Fall Is Beautiful

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Driving down our streets in Pauls Valley today, November 16, 2021, I am overcome with awe as I look at the beautiful trees with such rich colors this Fall. In every season, the beauty of a tree tends to bring me joy, but especially in the Fall. Today seems especially good with the wind blowing the leaves. The leaves are falling like the snow that may soon be on its way. Each leaf is special as it lets go of the tree. I smile as I remember the many seminars I have done in the Fall here in Pauls Valley in my home or at St. Francis of the Woods or for associations that have invited me to speak on “The Power of Letting Go,” or “Goal Setting” for the upcoming year. All seminars included information about what happens when we gain the courage to “let go” of what we no longer want or need in our lives, what we want to make space for, plus more.

That empowering seminar helped me in my past when I presented it, reminding me to also “let go.” It brought many unusual responses from people. One attendee from Texas was a woman that I had never met. She telephoned me about two weeks later and stated that she had been a minister for years, but the Sunday after returning from my seminar, she knew what she wanted to do, and it was not to be a minister any longer. She thanked me for designing a seminar that gave her the courage to step away from her pulpit and spend more time with her own family. At another time, a person telephoned after attending a seminar. That woman stated “I always cleaned up the leaves almost as soon as they fell. Something has changed inside me. I now cherish those beautiful leaves that are falling. I want to leave them on the ground and see their beauty as I decide what to release…Do I have a belief that no longer works? Is there a group I joined in the past that does not coincide with my present passions and is taking up too much time or Is it no longer a priority? Do I need to need to begin with cleaning out my closet?”

While driving with the wonderful leaves dropping as I go, I continue in my thinking, I let my thoughts continue to flow. Some trees are losing many leaves already, yet the beauty of the tree is no less diminished. The structure of the tree with only half the leaves remaining, and even the structure of the tree with only a few leaves, remains majestic, strong, and beautiful in its own right. It, too, still holds me in awe, and the wind blows so strong.

This is the same with us as we get older. As the transient beauty of our own leaves diminishes one by one, at our core, I hope to retain my inner beauty and strength just like my beautiful trees that I watch and sometimes even hug!

LESSON: We are as beautiful and colorful as these Fall trees. We are free to allow ourselves to “let go.” It is phenomenal to allow the space to open so that something better can enter our lives.

GIFTS: When we let go, we open a space in our lives for what we want to enter.

We also learn to watch for signs to show us what we say “yes” to and “no” to for our lives.

We watch how easily the tree lets go of its leaves so that new growth can enter. We know that we can do the same as we open our hearts and minds to what we want and do not want in our future.

Our own beauty increases as we become more colorful each year.

Visiting friends that are growing older, just like me, I see their colorful lives in both their past and their present. I take the opportunity to listen to some of their amazing stories. I stop, sit down, and have a visit. Look inside everyone and “see” their beauty within and without. They remind me many times of a grand tree I have seen.


Gratitude

Almighty God,

I am humbly grateful

for the first bite of food I take today,

and even more so for the second.

Amen

A Miracle

What do we do when we have a miracle in our lives? We often tend to justify it away. I am not explaining this one away that took place on Sunday morning, October 31! That was one week and two days ago. It was when television announcers shared with us all weekend about hurricane three winds coming to Northern California. We have a son who lives in San Francisco and a daughter, a son-in-law, and two grandchildren who live at Stinson Beach, California, about forty-five minutes outside San Francisco.

Sunday afternoon, Dawn telephoned and was still amazed by what had happened. She and her eldest daughter Ari rose at 3:30 a.m. to take Ari’s friend to the airport. They began the drive “in har rain” down the mountain to the San Francisco Airport. Suddenly, an electrical pole slid off the hill, fell, and landed about three feet in front of Dawn’s car. Other electrical poles also began sliding off the mountain onto the road. Broken wire lines were hitting in multiple places on the outside of Dawn’s automobile. One broken wire was across the top of her car and then came down next to the passenger’s window. The wind made the broken wires blow around, and the wire on the passenger’s side kept hitting that window repeatedly.

Dawn said that the oddest thing happened as an unusual calm covered her through this entire situation. She kept telling Ari and her friend that they would get out be fine. It took a while, but she did get them out. I said, “How was this possible?” It sounded to me like God’s Grace was covering her the way she described the unusual calm. She said, “Mom, it was like being caught in a spider web with all of those lines hitting my car, laying on the car, and hitting the car as the lines surrounded us.” I replied, “Oh my gosh, how did you get out?” Dawn: “I am not quite sure, but I would go forward two inches and then back up two inches. I did that repeatedly, hoping I would not get on top of a live wire, and we eventually got out turned in such a way that I could get past the poles and get onto the highway. It took a while.”

As soon as we got onto the clear road, I told Ari to call the police. Ari did call and shared with them that poles were coming down. They told her to tell her Mom to pull over immediately because they wanted the location where the electrical poles were coming down. Initially, Dawn said, “No, I am not pulling over. More poles may be coming down.” They responded, “You have to. We need to know where these multiple poles are coming down off the mountain. We are now putting you directly through to the fire department so they can help.”

Dawn did pull over and stop so that they could quickly find her location. The fire department immediately closed the road until the rain stopped, and they could take care of the poles that came down and the broken wires. Dawn and Ari did get the friend to the airport. They took the only other road home that could get them to their house. They later learned their area had over 13 inches of rain in 24 hour period of time.

Dawn kept saying to me over and over, “Mom, we should have been dead. Instead, we are alive.” I agreed! Either she had an Angel on her shoulder, or God’s Grace took care of them.

LESSON: We all have miracles and see how Spirit works and justify things away. For instance, one might have a close call while driving a car or an accident, but no one was hurt. Or it might be as simple as this: I had a headache every day, sometimes worse than others. Then one time in Palm Springs, I dreamed about little people drilling out my right ear. When I woke up, a terrible headache was gone. It stayed gone. I woke up the next day and the next, and the headache did not return. I justified the miracle I had just had and went on with my busy life.

GIFT: After that dream about the little people, I began paying attention to small and large miracles in my life, synchronicities, and minor things. I kept adding to my gratitude list!

I am more grateful for the lives of all of my family members as well! I almost lost my son years ago to an accident. I now almost lost my daughter. I now remember to be thankful, and when I pray, I also add gratitudes!

Second Opinion, Second Chance

When my daughter Dawn was working and going to college, we had a fantastic day! Because her Dad died and did not get a second opinion when I suggested that he do so, I am careful and listen for guidance within from God/Spirit. During a situation Dawn had in her life in 1987, I had a gut level experience about her. Dawn was living and working part-time in Oklahoma City and also in Norman part-time. That was hard for her. With money short, we made a new plan that we both liked! She could move back to Norman, live with me to save money, finish school, and work more hours at Crispy’s Restaurant in Norman rather than splitting herself between two jobs. This plan was good. She could end the drive back and forth between Oklahoma City and Norman, and could drive to school in Edmond on days she had class.

However, one night before her move, she telephoned to tell me that her back had gone out and was awful. Now it was morning and her back was much worse. She could hardly get out of bed. Her Grandfather, my Dad, lived in Oklahoma City. He suggested a chiropractor that he knew. I had never been to a chiropractor, and she had not, either. Daddy said that this lady could help Dawn. He had already telephoned her to ask if Dawn could see her. Yes! Dawn and I agreed that this was a good suggestion. Even though it was difficult, Dawn thought that she could make it to her car and drive to her office for the appointment. What happened next?

With my office in my home in Norman, I was waiting anxiously for a telephone call from Dawn. My phone finally rang, , but the call was not from Dawn. It was from the Doctor!!!

I answered, “Good Morning! My name is Susanne. May I help you?

Doctor: Susanne, I have your daughter in my office,,, and she is in a bad situation. She is upset with what I told her. I thought that you needed to know what my suggestion is for Dawn. I told her that she needed to quit school and move home to live with you for the rest of this semester. She also needs to be utterly bedfast until she gets better. I knew Dawn was most likely about to panic with this doctor telling her these things. Dawn was close to acquiring her degree, and I could imagine how devastating this was to her. While this doctor was talking, I was formulating a plan in my head.

Me: Will you please put Dawn on the phone? I want to speak to her if I may?

She did hand the phone to Dawn, and when I got on, I said, “Dawn, do you think you can drive to Norman? Or do I have to come to get you? I want you to get another opinion from someone I have learned about from a friend.”

Dawn: “It will be hard, but I can try. Why?” Me: “I believe I can get the name of someone else that can give us a second opinion about your backs that we can go see. Come to my house,,, and we will go from here. Just tell her that you have to leave.” As soon as I hung up, I called my friend Mary Enterline, who had mentioned a doctor that was with with excellent in helping her with her knees. I thought that if he could be so miraculous with knees, perhaps he might be just as good with backs.

I got his name. He was a family doctor, a D.O. that had excellent reviews. I hate to say that I cannot remember his name. Telephoning his office, I explained the problem to the receptionist before asking if I could bring Dawn to their office. She agreed and suggested that we arrive as soon as possible and explained that we might have a long while before seeing the doctor, but her final statement was, “Yes, do bring her in.”

Dawn arrived home. We headed to his office. The kind receptionist told us to have a seat. It was evident that Dawn was in lots of pain. Patients filled the waiting room; however, it was not long before the nurse came to retrieve us. She guided us to the examination room, asked a few questions, and left to help other patients. It was not long before the Doctor entered to do the exam.

He introduced himself and said, “Dawn, can you lay down on this examination table on your stomach?” He began lightly feeling Dawn’s back. His thumb and hand made a gentle motion back and forth across her back, moving his hands carefully from side to side. Next, he requested: “Dawn, will you stand up?” Dawn: “I have had a hard time doing that! I have barely been able to stand or walk or straighten my leg.”

To my amazement, she seemed to be able to not only get off the examination table but to stand straight. Then the Doctor made another request: “Now, will you lift your left leg and raise it straight out to the side as high as you can?” Dawn did so, and she smiled as she said, “I cannot believe this. It did not hurt!” He replied, “Now do it with your right leg.” The result was the same. Dawn looked so relieved and happy. She asked,,, “How long do I have to wait to go back to work?” The Doctor asked, “Where are you working?” Dawn answered, “Crispy’s Restaurant. I wait tables.” He responded by saying, “I like that restaurant. Perhaps I will see you there.”

Dawn asked, “I need to let them know if I will be able to go back soon?” This surprising Doctor replied, “When is your next shift?” Dawn: “Today at 4 o’clock.”

The Doctor grinned and said, “Well, you had better hurry. You don’t have much time to get ready.” Dawn: “I am the one on my shift that has to carry heavy trays up and down the stairs. Can I do that?” Doctor: “Yes, that will be no problem.”

So, due to a second opinion, Dawn went from bedfast to working her shift at Crispy’s. She had about an hour and a half to eat, shower, and make it to work following a difficult evening, night, and a portion of this same day in excruciating pain. Her back did not go out again for many years following this visit. I had a problem, though, and tried to call him for an appointment for me. No one answered. I learned that he had retired. A few years later, I realized that he had died.

To this day, if I have a gut feeling that a second opinion might be a good choice for the situation, I do not hesitate to get one. It is vitally important. So many times, we are all hesitant. We are afraid that we will hurt someone’s feelings, or we might hurt the feelings of the doctor we are seeing, or it will take too long before we can have an appointment, etc. All I can say is “Take time to get a second opinion.”

LESSON: Get a second opinion if you have the thought cross your mind or if you have a feeling in your gut that you might need to acquire one.

GIFT: A second chance came with a second opinion. The end result brought fantastic results for Dawn. She was able to finish school, graduate, and move forward in life! She was not stuck in a bed for the semester! Hallelujah!



The University of Braum’s

John and I go to Braum’s regularly, except during covid! We are now back doing it again since we have had two vaccinations, one booster, and had covid. Why do we go to Braum’s? We have great discussions with no phones ringing. Sometimes John is the one giving me instruction, and sometimes I am the one giving him instruction. We even take a pad and pen just in case one of us has an “aha” moment! Discussions are on multiple topics, everything from the Bible to family situations to spiritual lessons to goals we each have set. As we watch and listen to others, we also learn. We decided our Braum’s should be called “The University of Braum’s.”

One might see diversity at our Braum’s. It is a great stopping point for a fast break when driving down the road. It is also easy to get to as one pulled off for a break. Pauls Valley Braum’s sits right off I-35 at Mile Marker 72. At times, one might think they are sitting in an international airport while having a good sandwich or ice cream. Have a seat and listen. At times, people come in off the highway speaking languages of the world.

One time I encountered a group of Muslims that stopped for a break. Both men and women were sitting in a long booth. The men were talking, and the women seemed silent. When I was getting water, one of the gentlemen was waiting for me to finish. I spoke, but he did not reply. Then I noticed how the men were talking, the only ones speaking at their table. The women seemed silent. Eventually, I excused myself from our table and headed to the bathroom. As I was washing my hands, the Muslim women entered. They were laughing. I spoke, they smiled, and two commented. I washed my hands longer than usual, listening to them having fun with each other. Then I watched when they returned to their table and sat with the men. They were again quiet. Was this out of respect, or was this a cultural teaching, or both?

Another time we went in, and Chinese people were speaking their language. The young girl behind the counter was having a slight problem understanding part of their order. I tried to help but to no avail. And then a Japanese family was there another time. They could speak their language as well as English. They asked us to help them with directions. John went to our car for a paper map and was able to help them. Then there were the ones we met while waiting in line from France.

There are also those behind the counter that bring diversity to this Braum’s. It makes me smile to write this because we have had so many different experiences right off Exit 72, where Highway 19 enters Pauls Valley. Behind the counter is a young man from India. Initially, he spoke with a broken accent. We eventually learned that his parents owned multiple hotels in our area and Dallas and other large cities. When his brother received his inheritance, he got a hotel and a significant amount of money. His Dad would not let him receive his legacy until he could speak fluent English well enough that people could easily understand him. His parents encouraged him to take the job offered to him at Braum’s. They felt it would be the perfect place for him to become proficient in the English language. It took him over a year to speak well enough that his Dad said he was almost ready to learn about the hotel business before receiving one. So we had the honor of learning about this attractive young man. We became friends. He shared that his parents wanted him to go to India with them to find a wife. They wanted to begin the process of an arranged marriage. He told us, “I am not ready yet. I do not want to get married until I am older.” His Mom was Christian, and his father was Hindu. This new information made for a fascinating discussion. His Mom believed in one God while the rest of his family believed in many gods.

Then there was a great young lady that was LGBTQ. She shared her life with us and her difficulties with a person in her family needing physical help. Thus, she had to put off her marriage and was helping a family member before she could reschedule her wedding. There was no one else that could do it. We also learned that she had taught herself how to write and speak Russian. These two young people who have now gone forward in life helped us see beyond the counter. Some behind the counter taking orders and making food are in recovery programs. They shared their history and years of sobriety with us because they were proud of their success, and John was the Judge that helped them when running Drug Court. Paying attention, we also realized how many disabled people come to Braum’s. They can get groceries there more easily there than at a grocery store. John and I have offered to help someone we noticed having difficulty getting their groceries from the door of Braum’s to an automobile.

Yes, we have a Braum”s that is amazing. It has been a significant part of our lives. Miracles happen there. As we look out the windows, we see where parents are exchanging children or where a grandparent is returning grandchildren to parents. Then when I had car fever and did not know what automobile I wanted, we sat watching out the window for what I might like. Once I saw an automobile that I liked. I stepped outside to look in its windows. With the car sitting in the same spot for a while, I thought a person might have parked it at Braum’s while taking a quick ride with a friend for some reason. When I was looking in the window, I noticed a group of people coming out of Braum”s. They were visiting on this lovely day outside, and I thought they might be saying their goodbyes to each other. Finally, the older man came over to me and said, “I hate to bother you, but we have to leave. Is there anything I can help you with?” Embarrassed, I said, “No, I just love your car and may want to get one of these.” We both laughed. He climbed in. I returned to John watching us and laughing inside.

Yes, we have a hub at our Braums of multiple kinds. See us in Pauls Valley sometime. Do not hesitate to give us a call, and we will meet you there.

Statements That Might Help With Change

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new!

One reason people resist change is that they focus on what they have to give up, instead of what they have to gain.

Sometimes you have to forget what is gone, appreciate what still remains, and look forward to what is coming next.

Be the change you want to see or become.

And when I wanted to make a change and needed the courage to do it, I went back to the sign that I made and placed it on my desk. It read, “If there is no change, there is no change.”

Have a happy week. I hope to return next week with a short blog on “The University of Braum’s.

Living Life

Gratefulness fills my heart today with what comes from the invisible world as well as the visible world. I am even grateful for difficult times in life that have taught me so much. In the last few months, we have had two deaths in our family, a brother that lived here in Pauls Valley and a sister-in-law in Oklahoma City. Our sister-in-law that lives here needs our help. In addition to this, John and I are having multiple doctor’s appointments. Every day this week includes a doctor’s appointment for one of us, plus we have to take our sister-in-law to the city to see a doctor on Friday. In November, a family of four will be staying with us for three weeks!

Children and grandchildren will be with us through Thanksgiving. Next, comes Christmas and all four families are thinking about coming home? We did that a few years ago, and I am not sure either one of us got to talk to anyone. John and I were always working, preparing the next meal, getting everyone ready and in the cars to go somewhere, etc. We decided that they think we are still 40! Ha! With all of this, my first thought is, “How am I going to get a blog out every Monday?” I still have a list of more blogs that I hope to do. It generally takes me two days to do a good blog, one to write and the next to change and correct. I already skipped some weeks when the deaths took place. There was more work to be done following our brother’s death. He had too much. It makes us want to downsize as soon as possible. That work is continuing, and his wife also needs our help.

I want to continue my blog because I am surprised by the joy I get from stepping back into my situations through my blog. Plus, some of you have been fantastic readers. How do I know? Some encouraging comments have shown up. Any of you can leave a comment on Facebook where my blog shows up. I hope you will leave a comment because comments help me know who is reading my blog.

I intended this blog for grandchildren to read my when they were in their forties to learn more about me. Boston, a son, helped me get everything set up, including a webpage. Then a daughter called while we were working on it, and I told her. I shared what I was doing with only two friends who asked me how I was spending my time. However, some of you saw the blog and gave me feedback—this delightful surprise caused me to keep going. I got excited about just sharing it with everyone, hoping that it might help someone. For me, it was a way to touch lives in Covid. Now I want to continue. I am encouraged with every comment.

If possible, I want to write one inspiring paragraph that could help all of us, myself included! I may even be lucky enough to write a line worthy of putting on a refrigerator as a reminder. We will see. As we see four doctors this week, I am filling my life with gratitude, and I hope you do the same with whatever you do. I am grateful for everything, from the air we breathe to all within our earth and the answers we receive from above. Our adventure in life seems to surprise us sometimes, and all can change in a heartbeat. What if everything that is happening to us is happening “for us?”

I hope you feel the love I am sending to everyone that reads this. Have a great week, and do not hesitate to write a question if you have one or send me an idea you want me to cover. Once in a while, when there is time, I might take the opportunity to have fun and write one of my longer blogs. I plan to go back to my regular blog in January. By the way, last year, I wrote no goals for the first time since the 1980s. I am now making notes for what I hope to begin or ultimately achieve in 2022! Are you jotting down any ideas? Now is a perfect time as the leaves fall and the tree prepares for rebirthing! Have a happy week!

This Time Of The Year

The cooler air and the feel slight breeze this morning felt great. It brought memories of happenings in my life during the Fall of the year. Leaves are preparing to fall off the trees. Some will be bright colors. Perhaps those represent good closings that will come into my life through this transformational time. Some other leaves will be all brown or partly brown. Maybe those leaves represent a difficult closing in life during this time of the year. Still, green leaves also drop to the ground. Why are they green? Those leaves just might be the goals in life that will continue until next year? Once, when doing a seminar during this time of the year, I asked participants to go outside and find a leaf that represented them. When we begin relating ourselves to those things around us, we become more aware of our relationship to “all.” Try this. See how it represents you. After comparing yourself to a leaf, hug the tree and listen to your thoughts. How are you like that tree? Once I had a vivid dream and in looking at what my dream was about with a friend, she said, “Let’s look at every item in your dream and see how it relates to you.” We did just that. When it came to a simple part of the dream where I picked out a pen to use in writing a note, she said, “How do you think that other pen beside it felt when you picked the other pen? Have you ever felt this way?” Now every time I pick up a pen when it is sitting alongside others, I think about that interpretation of my dream we worked on.

This time of the year has also presented a time of many closings in my life. My husband died at age 39 in the Fall of 1979. This year my brother-in-law died, and my sister-in-law died. I left a position I liked the most in my life during the Fall of 1981. It was building a seven-county comprehensive mental health center and I left to marry a second husband. It was a “wrong choice” as a marriage, but a fantastic experience to teach me so many things! My divorce began in the Fall of 1985. After a two-day court trial in early 1986, I got out of the marriage. John and I dated for six years and then, in 1995, we married. I began closing down my Shaklee nutrition business and my apartment in the Fall of 1996.

During those years between the man that carried major lessons into my life and John, I began a practice of setting goals and writing affirmations every year. This beginning came during the time of Fall! I jotted down notes. Where are my priorities going to be for the upcoming year? What goals do I want to keep in my life next year? What do I want to release from my life? What causes me stress and am I ready to release that? Those are the questions I asked myself as I watched this transitional change in weather. I noted the physical part of my life, including not only my health but also my environment. Then I paid attention to my mental part of Self, my thinking process. Do I want to turn off the TV and focus more on my relationship to God/Spirit and then to family? Next was the Emotional Part of my Self. How are my relationships? What is my heart happy about? How can my heart open to my love for “all,” even those difficult to love. Are there energy-draining relationships that would be good to step back from? Then I move into the Spiritual part of Self, asking myself how I might keep that personal relationship open with all that is invisible? With situations I am struggling with, perhaps this is a good time to put my divine source, Jesus, in the center of my page and ask about each “What would Jesus do in this situation?”

Some very good things have also happened in my life during this time of the year. Due to an amazing dream right before I awakened this morning, I decided to do share with you a special event shown to me in this vivid dream. I stepped back into my Native American Vision Quest days and was outdoors explaining to a group how to prepare for (1) a vision quest and then (2) how to do a vision quest. To be exact, I was even sharing with those in attendance in the dream how to build a fire, how to lay the tobacco first depending on the reason for the quest or quests. I had been taught by a Lakota Medicine Man that would not call himself as such. Others would, but he would not. My dream was detailed.

Why did I have this dream? Fall is a good time for a Vision Quest! Perhaps I was being sent a gift of times past in my life. When the sun hit my face and awakened me, I wanted to stay in the dream. It felt like this dream was a great gift when the sun hit my face and I became completely awake. I got up with a sense of gratitude for all I learned during that twelve years in my life where signs appeared to show me that I was to look at the Native American path to finish my healing through Native American ceremonies. The doors were then thrown open for this to happen through John. I was actually standing on the steps of the house we live in when he told me that he had been to Sun Dance and he had been doing sweat lodges. Then he asked if I wanted to see if this path was for me. What I received has left me in awe ever since that time. We both immersed ourselves in Lakota spiritual experiences in Oklahoma and South Dakota. Other tribes in Oklahoma also shared their ceremonies in Oklahoma with us.

I did my vision quests in the Fall. I also supported others, including John, in theirs. I was receiving answers that I had waited long to receive, and I loved it. I have done four quests. John also did multiple quests. He even did one of his in New Mexico. Gary asked me to do my last one at Bear Butte, South Dakota. John, Savannah, and I went to South Dakota. Supporters even traveled that far to support. It was a great, great trip for all. Everyone got answers. When we did quests at home or somewhere else, we camped for four to eight days. Now that may not sound like fun to some of you. However, those that came, even ones that did not like to camp, were surprised at how much they received in their experience. Every person entering the land where a quest takes place learned to set ego aside as they stepped onto the land. They also learned to watch for their own answers, especially when a quest was taking place. After putting hundreds on the hills to do vision quests, I was told that it was time for me to start putting women on the hill. John also began to put men on the hill about that same time. We watched miracles take place.

Can you tell I pay attention to my dreams? I learned to follow my dreams shortly after my first husband Don died in 1979. So I look at “Did my dream relate to something I saw on television right before bed?” or “Is this a message for me?” I especially like those vivid dreams that do not relate to anything else. In looking at why I had this dream, I knew it was this Fall weather that carried me back to our experiences. I also knew that a discussion on our porch with good friends may have triggered this dream. We had a great conversation about “Killers of the Flower Moon.” It was John, myself, and three great women friends. John shared our experience when we were invited to the Gray Horse Ceremony by our friend Abe Conklin. They knew exactly the ceremony John was talking about due to how the ceremony was described in the book. They wanted to know more. John explained that Abe Conklin, an Osage Elder, had invited us to this annual Inlonshka dance. He asked us to call to confirm that we were coming. We did call Abe and Vicki to let them know that we would be there. When we arrived, we were invited to come to sit with the family. Later in the day, we were called to the center of the circle. Both of us walked to where Abe and a few others were standing. We suddenly realized that we were being brought to the center to be honored. A Pendleton blanket was wrapped around us that we were to take home following the ceremony. As part of the honor, we were allowed to remain in the center and were danced around the entire circle for all to see. Vicki helped me fix my Pendleton properly, We followed Abe and John around the entire circle. We felt ao humbled and so appreciative. Before this, Abe had taken John as a brother and me as a sister. Prior to that, Abe joined us weekly at my apartment in Norman where Gary taught the Lakota language to some of us. He also lead a blessing ceremony for our marriage in 1995.

LESSON: Pay attention to dreams. Write them down as soon as you can or they may leave and you will not remember. Evenually you will understand specific items in your dreams that are showing you something about your own life. You will understand as you watch what is unfolding in life when you have the dream. Dreams help you. Your dreams eventually will turn into prophesying dreams and that will help you in life. Look over your life. Perhaps make a timeline. Our divine source will be a partner that helps create an amazing life. I have had multiple lives in this lifetime, and I bet you also have had multiple lives. Just sit down, stare at a wall, and think about this.

GIFTS:

My biggest gift was all of this continued to remind me of how amazing my life has been and how amazing the lives are for those reading this. We each have ups and downs, excitement and difficulties. It takes time to transform our lives into what we want when we have difficulties, but and it is worth it to do the work to get there.

A reminder to list my roles in life again and see how I want to prioritize them. What do I want to release? Also, what goal is important for next year? What do I want to draw to me?

Reminder to enjoy this beautiful weather and know it will change. Seasons change and life changes! And we can learn to have joy at the center of self through all seasons and as we move through all difficulties.

CLARITY

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For a long, long time now, I have had something with me whenever I drive anywhere. It is my car’s license plate that reads “CLARITY.” When my car died as I was going into Pauls Valley in the 1990s, I purchased a brand new Toyota Corolla and added a personalized car tag to the vehicle. What I had been striving for at that time was clarity. I wanted to be “crystal clear” about my beliefs and about changes I was making in life and to so many decisions I was making for my life. For instance, “I have been married a year. Is it time to let my apartment go?” “What do I need to do to become more balanced in my life?” “Why are so many beliefs that I held in my past changing?” “Am I just becoming me?” “Do I need to give up my nutrition business completely to seriously promote seminars in Oklahoma that I used to do in New Mexico?” And the questions went on and on in my head.

I had made so many mistakes in my past that I questioned myself. Yes, I wanted clarity in my life. To my surprise, this word was available. I received the tag saying “Clarity” and put it on my car, having no idea others might appreciate it. However, it did touch other people’s lives. When attending a meeting in Oklahoma City, a woman stepped into the room where the meeting was being held, saying, “Who owns that car with CLARITY on the license plate?” I said, “I do.” She then continued, “That made my day. Thank you.”

This appreciation of my license plate continued, and I continued working on clarity in my life. I even had a minister stop me and ask, “Do you think you have clarity about everything?” Why in the world do you have that license plate? I answered something like this, “I will be watching for clarity in my decisions the rest of my life. It is a reminder to take life a little slower and think before I act. When making some decisions in my past, I reacted a bit fast as I was hoping to satisfy my physical self by jumping to something different and satisfying my emotional self without thinking. I did not look at how it might affect everyone else or affect my own life down the road. It just might take care of my situation in the present moment. Have you ever done this? As I stepped towards gaining my answers from God/Spirit rather than others, I “listening to God/Spirit” and began checking myself. I realized that I could not hear answers, but I could check what I felt like when my answers came directly to me as I listened and watched for answers. Here is one activity that I would do when I was making a profound change.

I had worked for years building a big business for me and helping others develop their companies selling Shaklee products. I was in a new marriage, was still working on my business, and was writing a book about my spiritual journey. This book seemed to be taking years to complete. In addition to all of this, I also still wanted to spend more time with God/Spirit through prayer and meditation and Native American ceremonies. Did I have the courage to let go of a business that was bringing in money? Could I make the same amount of money or possibly more by creating and doing seminars in firms and individuals? In making such a decision and for other choices in my future, I did this exercise.

First, I made a circle and divided it into four sections: one was for the physical, the second was for the mental, the third section was for the emotional, and the last was for the spiritual part of the Self. In the center of the circle, I placed my divine source. For me, it was Jesus. I made a prayer for my help in receiving answers. Next, sitting in the direction of the physical part of the circle, I asked questions and listened to what thoughts came. If I let go of my nutrition business, what would happen? How would these changes affect my life and my marriage? Physically, how would this change my life healthwise, timewise, stress-wise? What will my physical surroundings look like for my business? Next, I moved and sat behind the “Mental” part of the circle. What could happen with this change? What could happen that is (1) good, then (2) not good? Would I be worse if I made the change than I am now? How? How might I be better? Listen to thought. Listen to the wisdom that comes when you are quiet and waiting in each area. Now move to space behind the section on the Emotional part of Self. Ask questions like “How will this affect my relationships in life? With myself, with family, with others. How does my heart feel about this? Listen. Now move to sit behind the Spiritual part of Self. Again ask questions: What would your divine source do in this situation? Will this change improve faith in any way? Will it help me spend more time doing what I value? Listen carefully. Evaluate.

You will have your questions in each section and your answers. Questions will come to you when you take the time to do this—no need to write them down. Just sit and do it. This exercise will also help you balance your life. Then what vibrations will you exude to others? The time you spend doing this simple exercise will release chaos and confusion. You will exude vibrations of peacefulness and contentment as you gain understandings for your Self. So much more is available to us when we take the time to participate in a self-made exercise like this. Enjoy doing this when you need to make a tough decision. See what you learn about YOU. It is amazing what comes.

LESSON: There are activities you can do to gain insight into your Self. You can hear your answers. You will pay more attention to your attitude, your words, and your actions. You will “feel” when it is not correct, and you will feel when you have found what your soul wants for you.

GIFTS:

This exercise gave me help in making my difficult decisions.

I watched as my faith kept increasing, my ability to be true to Self kept growing, and I spent more time in my life with what I valued.

Walking forward after deciding to release me from a business I built, I missed many of the people I talked to regularly, but I saw new doors open. I also still have many that remained good friends.

I finished my book and self-published it. I have sold more than 4,000 to date. The average sales for a self-published book are 250. I feel fortunate. Of course, I did not know that. I ordered 1,000 initially and ran out. I then ordered 5,000 more, still not knowing that number of 250. So I have a few left if anyone knows someone that might want one. Or I told John if I had a funeral, he could pass out books.

The Giving Tree

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If you have ever had a child, you may have read the book,The Giving Tree. I was blessed when I received this book as a present from a friend. In my thirties, I fell in love with this book. My children were in their teens at that time. I did share it with them, but the words seemed to mean more to me than to them when they were that age. Ordering the video of the book allowed me to present The Giving Tree in seminars for families of First Offenders in New Mexico. Why did this book hit me so strongly? The book is about a tree that grew to be tall and beautiful. It offered shade to many people, plus sometimes an apple to eat for nourishment. The tree gave and gave in different ways until it was old. Then it continued to give even when it had lost many branches. It inspired me,

Then in my late 40’s, I attended a Native American ceremony on the Rosebud Reservation and watched a cottonwood tree “be prayed for” that would give its life to be used for the ceremony John and I were attending for the first time. That tree brought the giving tree in my book to life as we saw how it was treated and how it gave and gave for the people. John and I watched this same respect and honor for a tree being cut and used for Sun Dance each year. We traveled and attended this ceremony more than ten times. Each time, the tree was caught by many when it came down. Participants of the Sun Dance then carried the tree that was chosen and cut until it arrived a few days later at the place where it would be covered with small prayer ties on the trunk of the tree and prayer flags in the top of the tree. This tree was always handled gently from the very beginning and until it was placed in the center of the circle for the Sun Dance. When the tree arrived on the land of the ceremony, the ones carrying it laid it down carefully on a long bed of sage. The tree was then finally raised. It stood tall for all to see during the ceremony as it remained in the center of the circle for this four-day ceremony. There is so much more that I could tell, but you would not want to read it all! I will say this: After watching how gently all people attending treated this tree and also how they handled other sacred objects, I returned home and began handling my Bible differently. It is a sacred book that I do not let touch the ground. Nothing is set on top of it. When I carry it, I attempt to do so carefully and with reverence.

This ceremony draws people from all over the world. Many people of different religions gather once a year to pray for peace, harmony, and resilience. A variety of religions are represented. We prayed together from sun up to sundown, spent four to ten days together when we attended and treated each other with honor and respect. It has been wonderful every single time. With all our differences, we lived harmoniously, visiting each other and helping one another. We accept others that were different from ourselves. It is an amazing experience, and it is what I hope to happen in this world.  

This tree in the center of a circle at Sun Dance made a drawing of a “Tree of Life” in our home come to life for me. When I returned home, I began to pay attention to every “tree of life” drawing or painting that I saw in real life. The feeling of sacredness returns every time I see a picture of a tree standing alone or see a drawing that represents a tree of life. My thinking about ancestors that had already died and those still alive entered my mind more strongly. I wished I had talked to some of them that are already gone more. Some of them had answers to questions that I did not think to ask. My life was busy, and I kept thinking that I would spend time with them later. Later never seemed to come.

Looking at the cottonwood tree at Sun Dance, I paid attention to the fork in the tree.  Everything is both feminine and masculine. That tree represented both masculine and feminine to me. It was another way I was like a tree. I am both masculine and feminine, just as each of us is! Above the fork in the tree is “all that is above,” our divine source and Spirit. Below the fork, the tree’s trunk represents all that is happening on earth that we need help with. So many prayers are put on that tree’s and so many prayers are said for so many while the ceremony occurs. I focused on where I wanted to be on the tree. I wanted to be right below the fork of the tree with one foot on the other side so that I might hear my answers from God, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit and one foot here on earth so that I might stay grounded. I also focused on staying balanced in life. Once I realized my place, I never experienced the world the same. Today I see Heaven differently and everything here on earth differently.  

Confirmations of my realizations once I found my place on the “tree of life” began to appear. What were my confirmations? Simple items to support that my prayers were being heard about my tree coming alive to meI. For instance, I received a card with the “tree of life on it” from a friend that had no idea about my new understandings.  Was I manifesting this with my thoughts about the tree? I received another card with a tree of life on it also. Then I received a necklace with the Tree of Life pendant from my granddaughter. Later I received another necklace from my daughter with the Tree of Life as a pendant. She had it made using real jewels to represent every person in our family. These unusual manifestations continue to come forth through other people.

So, do you remember that what you do in your earlier years becomes a part of your foundation? Example: I decided to find an answer by fasting one day a week for four weeks in the early forties.  Then in my late forties, I found myself doing Native American ceremonies where I fasted for three and four days at a time. I call these things that happen “strengthening my foundation.” At some level within, using The Giving Tree repeatedly in seminars in New Mexico in my thirties was the beginning of my guidance in finding a live tree that would become a giving tree to help so many that have prayers of healing for many people, for all life, and the earth, plus prayers of gratitude. 

LESSON: Be open to receiving answers! Pay attention to what is being given to you or sent to you. Next, look backward to see what happened in your life and how it was built. Are you today building your foundation stronger, or is it built on sand? We can always strengthen our foundation, no matter what age we are! Is there something that you did or believed in the past that expanded in your future? Or did it catapult you into a different situation? The biggest lesson is “Pay Attention.” 

An understanding of how Spirit works do come as when we watch closely every day.

Giving brings blessings back to us.

Gifts came from being open to what was presented to me. I listened to my gut, and it felt right. It brought answers. I discovered what I had a passion for. Answers from God to the many questions that I carried with me about my mother dying, and then later, when Don acquired cancer, we learned he was terminal. I was searching for answers here on earth from God, and I got them.

I take the time to pay attention to relatives and my children and grandchildren. I have many answers for them, but they are much like me. They do not ask. Perhaps they will before I die, or perhaps I can send them an answer from Heaven. Who knows?