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Pearls

Published on August 19, 2014 by in Inspirational

I went in search of the perfect pearls.

I don’t know why.

Pearls are really irritants at the source, aren’t they? And Heaven knows, we all have enough irritants in our lives that we don’t need to hang them around our necks!

But having said that, I guess they are the classic piece of jewelry–worn by all of the beautiful women in all of the old movies. I figure what’s good enough for Audrey Hepburn is good enough for me.

So off I went, looking for that perfect strand.

And that’s when I found it–in all its glory:

Ahh...Perfect!

Ahh…Perfection!

Each pearl a miniature cloud shaped precisely by its maker.

What is it about beauty that attracts us so?  What do we recognize within even the smallest piece of nature that whispers to us of the divine? Who’s nature is it, really? And why do we yearn to possess that which we think isn’t already ours?

Volumes have been written to answer these questions, yet the mystery remains. Ah…Sweet Mystery! And who is part of this sweet mystery, anyway!

As I stood admiring this delicate strand of timeless beauty, I could feel someone peering over my shoulder, eying the spinner of this exquisite strand. This fellow seemed far more interested in breakfast than in grace. Of all the gall, that’s what I say.

Gull Gall!

Gull Gall…!

Well, we’re all on different levels of the development chain, aren’t we, so I tried not to get my feathers ruffled. Instead, I studied my fine feathered friend for a moment and saw his timeless beauty, his perfection, his attempt to put red lipstick on yellow lips. Yes, even he appreciates beauty!

I decided it was time to go home, so Mike and I jumped in the car and headed north.

“Did you find what you were searching for?” Mike asked.

“Yes,” I admitted. “Now I think its time to find the perfect brooch.”

While his eyes were still rolling, I saw the smile spread across his face.

“Where would you like to look?” he asked.

“Everywhere,” I responded. “That’s where you find grace when you’re looking through eyes of beauty.”

And look, we did. That’s when the perfect brooch presented itself. Exquisite in design, graceful in beauty. Worn and borne on the winds of time.

 

Star Brooch

Star Brooch!

Yes, jewelry never looked so good!

Earth adorned with sparkling jewels, temporary in nature, yet breathtaking when given their rightful expression.

Just like us.

Maybe it’s time we get out that jewelry polish to restore our natural shine.

Maybe it’s time to show our divine grace.

Unashamedly.

Won’t you join me in finding the true crown jewel? It’s closer than you think.

We’ll start right now!

 

 
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Turkeys Lobby for Equal Time!

Published on August 10, 2014 by in Inspirational

Okay. So my last post introduced you to Mr. Squirrel.

I enjoyed him, but my turkeys were not amused. You’re probably wondering how I could tell. Just take a look at this:

We Are Not Amused!

We Are Not Amused!

As you can see, they turned their backs on me and wouldn’t speak for a while.

They lobbied for equal time–you know, that discrimination thing.

Hmf! What are you going to do!

When I finally agreed to equal time for equal performance, I asked what they thought they could teach me. Maybe it was the fact that I was still in my robe at noon or that my hair wasn’t combed or that I was sitting outside in 107 degrees temperature that tipped them off. I don’t know, but whatever it was, they saw I am having a struggle with taking care of myself. Being the brain-iacs they are, they immediately gobbled, “Self Care.”

“Okay,” I answered. I could use a little help in that area right now.

Here is what they said:

Take a bath when you first get up in the morning.

Can You Get Me The Bubble Bath, Dear?

Would You Get Me The Bubble Bath, Dear?

 Dress in your finest clothes. 

Lookin' Good--Feelin' Good!

Lookin’ Good–Feelin’ Good!

Take care during breakfast not to sit in your cereal bowl!

Has Anyone Seen My Bowl?

Has Anyone Seen My Bowl?

 

 Catch up on the daily news and gossip.

Really! Seriously?

Really! Seriously?

 

Spend quality time with your flock every day.

Ah, My Flock!

Ah, My Flock!

When you get tired, go to bed!

Good Night All You Turkeys!

Good Night All You Turkeys!

 

As you can see, they had plenty to say about the subject of self-care.

Wonder what they would say about Thanksgiving dinner!

 
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One Wise Teacher!

Published on July 28, 2014 by in Inspirational

What do you do when times get tough?

Do you pout, cry, throw a tantrum, complain, get grumpy, blame others, or God forbid, say, “Poor me.”

Yep, me, too. I’ve done them all, except that God forbidden one, and may I never be so arrogant as to say THAT! (Although if I ever do, will you please excuse me?)

Things around here right now are tough. So I’ve looked to a soul far wiser than I am to guide me on my journey. I have only found him to speak truth, and I figure life is too short for lies, so I listened with all my heart.

Here is what he taught me:

When life gets tough–Relax!

 

Ahh...How Sweet It Is!

Ahh…How Sweet Life Is!

 

 Invite a friend to lunch:

Friends Comes in All Forms and Colors!

Friends Comes in All Forms and Colors!

 

Be Brave:

Dare to Go For It!

Dare to Go For It!

Take a Drink If You Need It!

Lemonade Anyone?

Lemonade Anyone?

 

Trust Yourself!

I Can Defy Gravity!

Defying Gravity!

As you can see, my squirrelly teacher has taught me many enlightening lessons. The best one, however, was in his parting words as he prepared to leave the classroom and return to his home life. He, as most teachers do, had one last teaching to share, profound but obvious. And one that I’m sure you can relate to when times get tough in your life. What is his advice?

When times get really tough: hang in there!

My Reward!

My Reward!

If you are having a tough day today, I hope you do one or all of the above–you’ll feel better for it. If you are not having a tough day today, I hope you share your love and good fortune with those you love and those who need it–you’ll all feel better for it!

 
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Prayer Flags?

It all started innocently enough.

My colorful friend Liz visited from New York City. Like my husband Mike, the project man, I never know what Liz is up to.

Such was the case the morning after she had slept in our outside bed. I glanced out to see if she was awake yet and caught sight of her in an angelic act: making a rainbow.

Think for a minute. How would you make a rainbow appear in a severely drought-stricken land?

Liz made hers with dancing scarves and a playful imagination. And she made it appear right here on our deck, for God and everyone!

Liz the Rainbow Maker!

Liz the Rainbow Maker!

She made me smile.

How can you not love someone who brings a little magic into your life?

She made Mike smile, too. So much so that he wanted to join in on the fun.

Now, you have to understand. My husband is a retired Air Force colonel, fighter pilot, top gun instructor and once commanded thousands of men and women. He is skeptical of anything that he cannot see or that cannot be scientifically proven. His mind just works that way. Yet a little angelic magic will change his heart. His heart works that way.

He went out that very day and bought a string of prayer flags. That’s right: prayer flags. I really don’t know much about prayer flags myself. Are they used as a prayer that I (we) give? Or are they used as a prayer that is given to me (us)? Or is there any difference between the two? Anyway, that’s what Mike wanted, so that’s what he purchased.

And then he strung them. Liz and I sat enthralled watching him weave his bit of magic. For you see, Liz and I believe in things that cannot be seen and we believe in the goodness of people expressing who they are.

After Mike and Liz were finished, I wanted to capture a little bit of their hearts to share with you. I asked them to strike a pose for the camera. They both did what came naturally:

Prayer Flags Here Rainbows There Mike and Liz's Love Everywhere

Prayer Flags Here
Rainbows There
Mike and Liz’s Love Everywhere

I feel blessed to have people in my life who bring lightness and laughter to my days. I bet you feel blessed to have such people in yours, too. A rainbow here, a prayer flag there and lots and lots of love everywhere.

Hmm. Maybe those prayers are for me. And maybe they are for you, too. You will know they are for you if you find love everywhere today. And you will know they are for you if you spread love everywhere. Try it and see, but don’t wait until tomorrow. Life is short!

 

 
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Independence Day!

Published on July 3, 2014 by in Inspirational

I used to pride myself on my independence.

That was before I was in-dependence.

Now things are different. I must rely on others to cook, clean, and oftentimes drive me to medical appointments.

And if truth be told, I miss my independence. Oh, sure, I could take the spiritual high road, the enlightened path, and say that I accept this new condition without judgement, knowing that it is unfolding perfectly for my soul’s evolution.  But, heck, I’d rather tell the truth. The truth is, I miss my independence.

I miss swimming, biking, hiking and attending parties with my friends. I miss having the energy to clean my house, cook dinner and entertain. I miss going out on adventure with my husband. I miss doing what I want to do when I want to do it.

But, if truth be told, I still love life.

For you see, I can still write. I can still read. I can still sit outside and watch the animal antics going on around our mountaintop home. I can still dream of a better life. I can still paint and laugh with my friends. And most importantly, I can still love.

So, on this July 4th, when I won’t have the energy to watch the fireworks, I will have the energy to humble myself once again before my creator and thank Him for allowing me to celebrate yet one more Independence Day. One more day of being grateful that I live in such a great country, a country that values individual freedom and safety, a country that values life. For after all, isn’t life worth valuing? Isn’t independence worth having? Isn’t in-dependence a chance to continue loving?

How will you celebrate this 4th of July?

Sir Independence

Sir Independence

How will you celebrate your independence?

I am Free!

I am Free!

 
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One Compassionate Healer

I cried.

I couldn’t help it.

Dr. Figueroa, my Redding oncologist, is more like a loved one than a physician. And it’s harder for me to be strong when talking to someone who really cares! So when he asked me how I was doing, tears welled and fell down my cheeks as freely as manna falls from Heaven.

He embraced me and asked what was wrong.

“It’s my husband,” I answered. “This is very hard on him. He wants to make things okay for me, but he can’t.”

“Can you talk to him about this?” asked Dr. Figueroa.

“Yes.”

“Then every night when you go to bed, ask him, ‘Have you done the best you can for me today?'”

I recognized the wisdom of his advice immediately. “Thank you,” I offered as I wiped away my tears.

That night I took the gentle physician’s advice. When my husband and I were settled in bed, I asked Michael, “Have you done the best you can for me today?”

“Yes,” he responded without hesitation.

“Then there is nothing else you can do, except love me.”

“I do love you,” he said through a sigh of release.

What beautiful advice, thank you Dr. Figueroa for helping to lighten our load.

Since then, I’ve also asked myself the same question on days I could barely get out of bed. And when I find the answer to be yes, I’ve done the best I could for myself, I give a sigh of release.

For you see, sometimes I expect too much of myself and am disappointed when I don’t reach my unrealistic goals. But when I stop for just a moment and ask to see the truth in the situation, that, yes, I am doing the best I can each day, even if it isn’t much, then I am content. I am in full support of myself.

I am blessed to have a giant among healers helping me through this difficult time.

His name, too, is Michael.

Dr. Michael Figueroa & Gayle

Dr. Michael Figueroa & Gayle

 
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My Donkeys Won’t Fly

My donkeys won’t fly.

Isn’t that just like a donkey.

I mean, really, I do everything for them.

I provide a stable environment, a stable family and a stable stable.

I even assure the wind beneath their wings.

But what do they do?

They sit there.

Couch Potato Donkeys

Couch Potato Donkeys

And if I wasn’t positive that donkeys don’t know what it means to smirk, I would say they smirk sometimes.

SMIRK!

SMIRK!

But whatever else they do, my donkeys make me smile.

For even though they have a mind of their own, they seem to enjoy life.

They take what comes and if they like it, they fly. If they don’t, they smirk.

And what could be more honest?

I think we could all learn a lot from donkeys–if not how to fly, then at least how to be honest. And if you don’t have a donkey, but have a young child in your life, the child can teach you how to be honest. Children, too, take what comes and if they like it, they fly. If they don’t, they throw a tantrum. I do that sometimes, don’t you? Fly or throw a fit or smirk? It’s all allowed–if it’s honest.

For now, however, trying to overcome the effects of this harsh new chemo, I think I’ll throw my fit and go lick my wounds. I don’t really feel like flying today, and I don’t feel like smirking. But I do feel like being honest–just like a donkey!

 
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Graced by a Goddess!

Published on May 27, 2014 by in Inspirational

Have you ever met a Goddess?

I have.

I’ve actually met several during my lifetime. All of them have invited me into their hearts, but this one invited me into her home. And garden.

It’s best that you don’t say no to a Goddess, nor do you want to, so I said a resounding yes!

You may know this lovely vision as Sandi Howell. I call her Victoria. Somehow the name suits her.

Sandi's Ambrosia (Or is that Victoria's?)

Sandi’s Ambrosia
(Or is that Victoria’s?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although Sandi had invited other guests, Lynda and Bobbie, she called me Queen for the Day and treated me like royalty. I loved the honor and giggled daylong.

Goddesses always start the day with a flourish, a bit of ambrosia and then retreat to the enchantment of their garden.

So we followed her lead; we flourished, we ate ambrosia and retreated to her enchanted garden.

But lest you confuse a Goddess with a Princess, even though I was a Queen, it is birds that follow princesses, tweeting and chirping and acting like lovesick school girls. And it is every creature that follows a Goddess in hopes of giving her sweet adoration and kisses.

A Little Fishy Smooch!

A Little Fishy Smooch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, the four of us got out our water-colors and painted!

Displaying DSC_0137.jpg
Ah…life doesn’t get any better than this.
But I have learned that life is best when we give our most precious gift to each other–our Self.
Our true self–unashamedly, unapologetic, and with flourish.
When it comes to the time when we must say our final good-byes, who among us will regret having shared who we are? Who among us will regret never having done so?
May you be among the lucky ones. May you give your greatest treasure. May you give You today!
And if you don’t know how, invite a Goddess into your life. She will show you how easy it is to give, and she will teach you how to do so with flourish and grace!
Give Until Your Heart Runneth Over!

Give Until Your Heart Runneth Over!

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Summer Vacation

Summer is coming.

Have you made any plans?

Maybe rising early to watch the sun herald the day?

Big Baba and the Sun

Big Baba and the Sun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe taking a refreshing dip in a nearby lake?

Gayle at Whiskeytown Lake

Gayle at Whiskeytown Lake: 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe blowing bubbles in the sand?

Liz Making Bubbly!

Liz Making Bubbly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or that all time favorite: sleeping outside…

Ah...My Favorite!

Ah…My Favorite!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I remember that at one time making future plans was almost as exciting as the event itself. But that is in the past. Now I know that making future plans means you are confident you have a future!

Ah…the pleasure in “future” should not be taken lightly. Nor should it be taken for granted. Have you ever stopped to consider if you could no longer plan for next year, next month, next week, or tomorrow? How would you adjust your lifestyle? How would you decide to live more fully so that when the time does come, you will be satisfied you have lived, you have loved, you have laughed?

(Pause here so you have time to consider……….)

What answers have you come up with? What are you doing about those answers?

I know what I’m doing. I’m planning for the future–and doing what I can about those plans. I’m living until I die. I’m loving more deeply. I’m laughing until I snort. And then I’m doing it some more.

Will I ever be able to take another vacation? Who knows!

But today I can live; I can love; I can laugh.

And that’s enough.

Besides, if the time comes when I can once again take a road trip, I have already planned my future vacation-mobile. Something that fits me after having lived for 3 years with advanced pancreatic cancer:

Future Vacation-Mobile

Future Vacation-Mobile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rusty and a little worn out, but still living the sweet life!

 
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The Reluctant Artist

Published on May 13, 2014 by in Inspirational

Does this look like an artist to you?

IMG_2967

 

How about this?

IMG_2936-001

Or this:

IMG_2936-002

Now, please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying today’s art is going to the dogs. I’m just saying today’s dogs are going to the art.

Some may go reluctantly, unsure, not knowing what to do, as some artists go to a blank canvas…

You Can Lead a Dog to a Canvas,.....

You Can Lead a Dog to  Canvas…..

While others run full speed ahead, unafraid, safe in an unsafe world, confident.

IMG_2943

Yet with support and gentle hands to guide them, even ‘reluctants’ will take a step forward, and then another, and maybe another if the unsafe world is growing safer.

Everyone Needs a Helping Hand at Times!

Everyone Needs a Helping Hand at Times!

And when he looks back at his achievement, however small, he smiles. Not because the painting is so great, but because he took that first step. And then another.

I Did It!

I Did It!

Now I’m not saying humans are any different than dogs. I’m just saying you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Which first step are you willing to take? Which first step are you willing to smile for?

For which first step are you willing to pin up your ears and begin? Then do it!  Today.

Let's Go! Life is for Living!

Let’s Go! Life is for Living!

 
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