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Degrees of Forgiveness?

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Forgiveness is power.

Hiking Los Angeles, Malibu, Santa Monica Mountains

Recently, I’ve had the “forgiveness” conversation with people.

I’ve heard a common theme that troubles me.

People seem to have varying degrees of forgiveness.  It seems that some things are acceptable to forgive yet others are not so acceptable.  Gosh, that doesn’t sound like forgiveness to me.2012-02-19 11.59.27

I was telling someone that I was going to a friend’s  house to watch the movie  “Powder”.  I had watched it the first time in 1995, the year that it was released,  and remembered what an impact it had on me.

She exclaimed, “I won’t watch THAT movie because a child molester was the Director of it”.

Gosh, I know that being a child molester is not acceptable AT ALL, but must we always carry that with us and NEVER forgive a person?

Are there degrees of forgiveness?  Are there some things we just shouldn’t forgive?  I’m troubled by the rigidity of that!

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Feathers Find Me

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Hiking Los Angeles, Malibu, Santa Monica Mountains

It’s amazing the thoughts and beliefs we hold onto.

Even long after we are adults and can clear the clutter of the limiting beliefs we’ve been taught, there are still some beliefs that hang on.

Lately I have been walking by lots of feathers lying on the ground.  One of the things my mom told me when I was very young was, “don’t pick up feathers because they may have lice”.  That is something that, until recently, I listened to and obeyed.

IMG_0962Feathers, though, are one of the most powerful animal totems.  If you’ve read the book, “Animal Speak” by Ted Andrews, you know that feathers are considered gifts from the divine.

Feathers have long been associated with the wind, the mind, new flights, and a direct connection to divine forces.

Ted Andrews says, “as you begin to study and honor the birds you encounter, you will find yourself being gifted…

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The Hike of Your Life

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Hiking Los Angeles, Malibu, Santa Monica Mountains

The hike of your life…

If you’ve ever gone on a long, hot, arduous hike, you know how closely it relates to life.  Life is like a hike at times.  Sometimes it’s really high and challenging and other times it is low, boring and mundane.EagleRock

One hike stands out in my mind. I was leading a hike for the residents of a drug and alcohol treatment facility. 

The residents are adjusting to a lot so, naturally, they aren’t always pleasant and cooperative.

One woman on the hike was almost always complaining.  She only wanted to go on hikes that started with a steep up hill. Anything that didn’t start hard wasn’t enough for her, she wanted to work hard and enjoyment was not part of the plan for her.

This hike was such a lesson for all involved.  We started out and the trail was muddy.  It had just rained…

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California Dreams–Letting Go!

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I remember my second visit to California, I was 18 years old and loving this place!  Near the end of my trip, I read some graffiti on a freeway overpass, “Tourists GO HOME”! 

I remember feeling really bad when I read it, almost like I had been personally attacked.

I couldn’t understand how someone would want me to go home.  I thought to myself, “gosh if I lived here, I would want to meet all the people that came from all over the world to visit”.  That’s just how I am, I love finding out about people.MeetupPhoto

I’m still the same way all these years later, if I meet somebody new I want to know all about them.  I’ve lived in this state for 23 years now.  I wasn’t born here, but I did live here when I was a baby and I feel as if California is in my bones.  I love this place, it is so magnificent!

Where else can you go to the beach then take a 2 to 5 hour drive and be in the mountains with snow?  Everywhere I go here, I feel at home.

California!  I’ve been up and down the coast and everywhere I go is total bliss.  It really is no wonder that people want to visit here, let alone move here.  If you knew what we had to endure in Michigan, you would have a heart and be okay with us being here.  While it is true, there are lots of people and cars, how can you blame them all?  This a a gorgeous place!

I remember one of the women at the gym complaining about all the cars flooding from the valley to go to the beach.  She said, “vals, go home, we don’t want you here”. 

It’s funny, I thought to myself, she moved here from Ontario Canada–who is she to talk?  Vals are the people who live in the San Fernando Valley.  It is a good 15-25 degrees hotter than on the beach.  Gosh, they deserve to enjoy the beach.  I can see it from both sides, though.  When I spend most of my time up and down the coast because I work in Malibu and live in Brentwood, there can be a huge amount of traffic in the summer months because of everyone flooding to the beach.  It’s all good though, we’re just enjoying where we get to live and play!IMG_0920

I enjoy where I live and play every day.  Today, as I drove the stretch of PCH that takes me to my long time place of work, The Malibu Gym, I marveled at the beauty of Point Dume’ in the distance.

Honestly, I don’t think there has been one day in the 23 years I’ve been driving that coast that I haven’t been in awe of the sight of it when I see it. IMG_0785

I do wonder, how is it possible to love a place so much?

The month of June, 2014 marks 23 years of living in California.  From the age of 10, I spent 20 years dreaming of living in California.onewiththetrailtara

Some might say it became everything I focused upon.

The DJ in the college cafeteria only had to see me and know that it was time to play my song, “California Dreamin”.  Class after class of teaching, I always ended in the relaxed visualizing mode and saw myself here, happy and vibrant!  Then, after years of postponing my move either because of school or a job or a boyfriend,  I made it happen.  I had dreamed and visualized and listened and dreamed some more and then I moved to California.

I had no car, no job, no place to live–I just had to be here once and for all.

So many dreams came true for me.  I live the lifestyle I lived when I lived in Michigan.  I lived it in my own little world there because my environment didn’t really support it.

Today, I am surrounded by health food stores, healthy restaurants,  nature abounding everywhere I turn, near perfect weather, people I adore and so much more!

I love the life I’ve created.  I ride my bike, I hike the trails, practice yoga at my choice of a plethora of studios.  I live in a neighborhood that simply must be one of the prettiest in the country. fuscia flowersAbundance surrounds me in every direction I turn.  I am worthy of it all because I brought it to life with my visions and my strong desire.

Now, after 23 years of fully embracing and loving this place, I had the thought of letting it go.

Let it go and move onto something different.  I am open to that.  Montana seems to be pulsing in my radar these days.  Colorado is another place calling to me although the thought of the Winter months don’t really appeal to me.   Hawaii could work for me.  Wyoming is a mystery to me still. Or, I could stay here and just keep living it in the blissful fashion I’ve carved out for myself.

The feeling I had, though, when I let go of the need to be here and the need to stay here was so freeing.  pacific palisades hike

By letting go, we simply surrender to either something better or keeping that which we have.  It was obvious I had been clinging to being here.  I could feel such a total sense of freedom when I just let go.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring? “I am open to everything and attached to nothing”.  That sounds like a good plan.  I heard Dr. Wayne Dyer say it many years ago and until you experience it in one area of life, you won’t really know how good it feels.

I am feeling this way in several areas of life and it feels like a dream–as  good as the California dream I had all those years ago!purple passion point dume

Dilapidated Dreams

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Hiking Los Angeles, Malibu, Santa Monica Mountains

Have you ever driven by a business that was once thriving and now it is dilapidated because of neglect?  In your memory,  it was busy and successful– the place was always maintained with the utmost care and cleanliness; there were  customers bustling in and out  and it was alive and thriving.  Then, years later, you drive by to see an establishment that has been abandoned.

That’s what happened today when I drove by the old Chevron station in Malibu.  It is now infused with weeds, cracked cement, and an old wire fence surrounding it.  The sight of it just hit me really hard.

I guess what  moved me was that it can be a metaphor for our lives, our health, and our dreams.

Unfortunately, some people do this very thing with their  health–they just stop the upkeep.  They decide to just let it go and discontinue maintenance of the premises.

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