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Safe and Secure? Not So Sure

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Security is an illusion. 

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.”  Helen Keller

These are the words that ring in my mind when I think things seem too daring for me, I remind myself that security does not really exist and that avoiding danger is no safer than exposure.

GodCare

When at the precipice of anything new, there is always the urge to turn back and go to where our lives are comfortable and “secure.”

I’m 7 months into a new relationship that has been full of love, miracles, connection and synchronicity.  I’m glad I reminded myself of Helen Keller’s sentiment because with anything in life, there are the balancing energies that cause a bit of fear and the desire to go back to when things SEEMED safe and secure.

Risk, vulnerability, and an overall letting go of concern for the future or the past, now that is a trick.  Love, new and developing love, is always unsure.  Why not think and feel in the direction of hope and trust?

If we stay focused in “back then,”  we miss being here.  If we worry about what’s going to happen, we miss being here and now.

Oh how we cling to our ways though, I had gotten so comfortable being on my own, when things became challenging in our relationship, I thought about running back to when it was all so much easier!

Trust, faith, and moving in the direction of the light are what I strive for.  If I listen to the concerns of society and some who spend most of their time in fear, I am bound to draw back in fear and doubt.  If I’m not careful, I’ll hear those concerns coming from my own mind chatter!

It reminds me of a piece I wrote, Pronoia.  Are we going to be paranoid and expect the worst to happen or are we going to turn paranoia upside down and expect the best!   https://naturegirltara.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/choose-pronoia/

HappyTara

Yes, that’s what I choose.  I choose faith and I choose a daring adventure.

I choose the daring adventure, even when it gets scary and challenging because that’s just the illusion creeping in.

I told a friend, “I want to spend most of my time living in the realm of NOW, the space of being in the presence of God, the presence of Love, and the presence of what is possible.”   Amen!!!

Those times when I find myself wallowing in the “what is” consciousness, I wake up and fill myself with the knowing that there is no Security and that life really is a daring adventure that can start right now, if we allow it!

Goethe writes,   “Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it.  Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it!”

 

 

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STREET Smarts–Detroit Taught Me Well

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Today,  I am feeling very appreciative of my mom and the freedom she graced upon her kids.  She gave us so much space and exposed us to more than the average person, I’m sure of it now.

When I was a young girl, we would go and visit my Grandma and Grandpa in the Cass Corridor, Downtown Detroit area.   The Cass Corridor is where the riots broke out in the heart of Detroit in 1963.

It was a real raw city, indeed. 

My Grandpa would walk us to the park downtown where we would feed the pigeons.  He was in a very sick phase of his life, and there were many times that he would have to lay down on the side of the street and take a nap.

My sister, Valorie,  and I were about 8 and 10 years old.  We would just sort of linger there while grandpa napped.  We were harassed by all sorts of people.

We learned the subtle art of knowing when to speak and when not to pay any attention.  There is a huge difference. 

If you look someone in the eye that should not be looked in the eye, you learn quickly what you did wrong.  When you ignore someone that you should have spoken to, you learn quickly what you should have done.  Trust me, it’s a big deal.

Most of the people I know are afraid of going to areas that seem unsafe.  Quite frankly, most people just don’t go.  When I was  a teenager and driving, I would drive my friends to downtown Detroit.  There were some amazing ethnic festivals at The Hart Plaza down on the riverfront.   Talk about a place to party and meet people from all over the metropolitan area, this was it.

If my friend’s parents knew they were down there, they would have thrown a fit!

To me, being downtown was not a big deal and it was not dangerous.  My Mom worked downtown all of my young years, my Grandparents lived downtown, and it was part of my vibe.   

If you aren’t exposed to the diversity at a young age, when will you be?

That, I believe, is the problem with most people who are filled with fear about going to certain neighborhoods.  If they’ve never had any experience carrying themselves down a city street, you’d better believe they’re going to show it. 

Body language and posture is everything. 

If you have no confidence, it will show and you will be an easy victim if anyone were interested.

Just the other day, I was in an area in Los Angeles that I would not necessarily  choose to go to.  I had bought a Living Social deal and I wasn’t sure of the area it was in.  Sure enough, as I drove toward the address, things weren’t looking all that fabulous.

It was a run down neighborhood and the people were definitely diverse and,  in the words of Jerry Seinfeld, “not that there’s anything wrong with that”.

I had a voucher and it expired TODAY.  Since I was juice fasting, I was going to get my full supply for the day and take them to go–all juice.  As I handed the cashier my voucher to pay, he announced that it was dine in only.

Shoot, I had no choice so I decided to sit there and drink a couple hours away.  I needed my computer which was in my car.

I walked to my car, which incidently had my bicycle on top of it, and grabbed my laptop and walked back.

There were people of all sorts out there.  Some in their yard, some on the street, some lingering in the old garage business on the corner.

They were diverse and it did feel like I was on the streets of Detroit from my childhood. 

The beautiful thing, though, was that  they were not at all offended by my presence.  The tough chick walking by was one of those you just don’t engage.  The older woman, who seemed a bit out of sorts and maybe a little intoxicated,  was pleasant and a simple smile worked with her.

All I can say is, I am so appreciative of my upbringing and the example my mom set for me.

I appreciate her for exposing me to all the neighborhoods, not just the suburbs. 

Fear just wasn’t present in my body when I was out there.  All was well.

I guess if you are already an adult and you  weren’t prepared to navigate in such neighborhoods, you probably should stay out of bounds until you learn the art of posture.  Or, come with me and you’ll be fine.

All is well and it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood–wherever it is!

Dilapidated Dreams

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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.

The sight of this was so dramatic.  Honestly, health is one thing that I do maintain, but what about my dreams?  I have caught myself saying “I used to want to be…” a lot.  I’ve said that phrase  several times within the last year.

I admit, I have let some of my goals and dreams grow wild with weeds.  The weeds represent my doubts, my fears, my inaction.

I’ve noticed a trend in how I handle life and success.  It seems that once I reach what I’d wanted, I become a little complacent, stagnant.    It’s almost like I want to rest awhile before I start striving again.  It’s usually during that rest and relaxation that depression sets in because I’m not keeping up with my new desires.

Perhaps it was all the years I spent in college that conditioned me to strive and take a break once I achieved a thing.  As one of my favorite teachers, Abraham-Hicks, says “reach and find balance”.  I think I’ve been spending too much time at the balance point and then level off there for a bit too long.

Because I’ve been pondering these thoughts, people and circumstances have been showing up for me in a synchronistic way.  The other day, as  I was riding one of my favorite mountain biking trails in Malibu,  I met a rider who exhibited such skill and confidence.  It turns out, he is a former pro down hill rider.

He was just so masterful and playful. 

It seems like he was in my space to show me that there’s always another level to get to.  There are no words to describe his skill and ability–I was utterly amazed at what I saw.  No, I don’t want to ride with that kind of gusto because it is amazingly fast and dangerous, but it was just an indication that there is always room to grow and improve.  There is always more to learn–a higher level to reach.

On the opposite end of that, I have a girlfriend who truly inspires me.  She grew up and never learned how to ride a bike.  Now, after all these years of owning that fact, she is now stepping into the truth of what is possible–she has taken on learning how to ride a bike. 

I met up with her yesterday to ride our bikes together.  It was her 3rd or 4th time on the bike.  She knows she looks like a beginner but, honestly, she is so full of grace as she loses balance or has to stop suddenly.

She is  reaching beyond what she’s always been and silencing her ego.  She will not stay in that place.  Her courage is so inspiring to me.

What showed up for me next was a Joel Osteen  sermon.

Joel Osteen is one speaker I love listening to.  His words spoke directly to how I’ve been feeling.

Joel says, “One of the battles we all have to fight is the battle of containment.  The enemy doesn’t want you to go any further.  He can’t do anything about the ground that you have already gained, he’ll give you that.  But what he doesn’t want is for you to advance.  His goal is to keep you contained.  That’s why it can be very difficult to press through to a new level.  There are forces working overtime to try to keep us where we are.  Many people are too easily satisfied…instead of stretching and believing in bigger things they get stuck.”

The reference to “he”,  for me, is the ego.  The ego doesn’t want us to grow and stretch, it wants things to be just as they are–no growth, just comfortable contentment.

The ego has a hard time with not being good enough.  Trudging through all the pain and humiliation of achieving a new level of skill or taking on something totally new is far too much for the ego.   There is a lot to learn and it will take time to gather the skills.  That’s why the two extremes of my new friend Gary (the pro) and my girlfriend (the beginner) speak volumes to me.  In each case, it really takes something to get to a new level.

Joel’s words were just what I needed.

Fear has been presenting itself to me often these days.

There are new career endeavors I’d like to venture into, but I seem to be stopped by fear.  When you’ve been in one field for most of your life, the thought of  even claiming you can be something else is daunting.  But since the new career I want to embark upon is in the creative realm,  I just need to step into it.

There isn’t any formal education I need to apply for, I just need to be it in my mind first, then I will be it in the world.

Sounds easy!  In reality FEAR is false–False Expectations Appearing Real.

Yes indeed, it’s time to take on bigger and better dreams and turn them into reality.  Where I am is not where I’m going to stay.  Yes, I’m proud of what I’ve achieved so far, but there is always more thrill.  The thrill really does come from reaching for something greater, becoming more than I once was, and finding balance in that new place.   Inspiration has shown itself to me and I do believe I have some weeding to do!

Puma Power

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As I began my hike at I the start of  Will Rogers State Park, a young woman came running out of the woods, “Oh My God, there’s a mountain lion in there!”  She had turned around after seeing the mountain lion in her first 5 minutes on the trail.samendofthehike

I eased her fear a bit and said that if she wanted to join me on the hike, she could hike with me and I would protect her.

I have come face to face with a Mountain Lion before (I was on my mountain bike) and the Puma was afraid but not too afraid.

He was ahead of me on the trail and ran into the bushes.  As I approached that spot I had marked with my eyes in the bushes, I looked in and his big green eyes were peering out at me–actually I think she is a female.

As we made eye contact, she shrunk back a bit.  I began talking to her… “I see you.  I’m not afraid of you.  You’re fine.”

The fact is, I wasn’t afraid.  I was absolutely thrilled to be in the presence of such a wild animal.

So, on this day as Samantha and I made our way toward our destination 2.5 miles ahead, I explained what you should do if you come upon a mountain lion–it isn’t what I did in my face to face encounter but this is what YOU should do.

The first rule is, DON’T RUN!

Puma’s are a bit like men, they love the chase.

If you run, they chase–that’s just their instinct.  The second rule is, talk loud and sound mean and stand as tall as you can possibly stand.  They are afraid of you if you carry yourself with a confidence and a knowing that All is Well.

In Sam’s case, the Puma ran first, at which point Sam ran the other way.  Luckily, the Puma was scared first.

As we entered the woods, it felt like we were on the Avatar set itself.  Everything was lush and green with vines and ivy all around.Image

Even though I felt like being calm and quiet because of the serene environment, I was TALKING VERY LOUDLY for the sake of the potential Puma lurking in the bushes!  It was necessary to put Sam and I at ease and make sure that I followed my own advice.

The hike turned into one of the most magical days for both of us.

We talked about everything–moving to L A, love,  law of attraction, life’s purpose, goals, dreams, relationships…

I was happy to have her company because I am a Trail Guide by nature and I love to interact with the people I hike with.  I had a hike scheduled that day but the client cancelled.

I had intended on driving all the way to Malibu, but something in me said, “turn” as I approached Will Rogers Historic State Park off Sunset Blvd.

And so, I turned!

Perhaps, no not perhaps, I’m sure I was supposed to meet Sam today.

We were able to enhance each other in various ways and it made for a measurable, magical morning.  I am grateful.  I’ve heard it said at The Agape International Spiritual Center, “I am an answered prayer.”

Perhaps I was the answered prayer for Sam today, otherwise, she would have abandoned the hike within the first 5 minutes.  Sam was there for me so that I could share my beloved trails with somebody who had a strong desire to be there.mountainlionwarning

The Mountain Lion was there to bring Sam a message. 

As Ted Andrews, the author of  “Animal Speak” says in his book,  when we are out in the wild,  the animals we encounter are there to bring us a message… “when Cougar (Puma/Mountain Lion) shows up as a totem for you, it is a message to come into your own power.  People may not like your asserting and may want to keep you in the category they have always kept you in.   The Cougar teaches you how to take charge of your life and your circumstances most effectively.”

So many lessons are out on the trails of our lives, we just have to be willing.

As Dr. Wayne Dyer says:

“Miracles come in moments. Be ready and willing.”

So many magical moments on that 3 hour hike…  Synchronicity is the one word I will use to describe it.  I will leave it at that and urge you out into the wild.  You never know what, or who,  you’ll encounter out there, but you have to be willing to get yourself out in it and be open to learn the lessons as they appear!  There are so many lessons in NATURE!IMG_0508

Dog Days

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Live LIKE A DOG!

If you don’t have a dog or a dog that you can walk for someone else, get one or find one.  There’s something magical about being with dogs.  More than something…many things.

Just stepping outside and starting to walk with dogs is invigorating.  Dogs are so thrilled to be getting out in the world.  They greet you with such love and longing. 

If you’re ever feeling sad and lonely, go visit a dog and you are guaranteed LOVE.sebastianthatface

Dogs show us how we should be greeting every day.  It is amazing out there in the world.  There is so much for us to see and feel and smell and touch and taste and they can’t wait to do it all!  This is a life to be lived fully and who cares how many puddles or piles of poop you have to walk through to find the amazement.

I have had to catch myself on several occasions not to direct the dogs around the puddles–so what if they get their feet wet!!!  Dogs certainly don’t care how dirty they get.

They don’t care that their feet get dirty–they live life fully without reserving anything for any other time. 

They are living life in the NOW.  In one regard I am so grateful to be a thinking, meaning making machine, but I also find myself wishing I could be a little more carefree like the dogs I am blessed to learn from.BoomerandTara

Just when I was about to write that nothing gets in a dogs way of joy, I was reminded that there are things that dogs get upset about.  Sebastian gets so annoyed when he sees a certain dog in our neighborhood.  He just can’t stand to see him.  This dog usually taunts Sebastian when Sebastian is behind the gate in the yard.  The dog is allowed to be off leash and he walks near the gate and pees on Sebastian’s territory.  Oh boy!

It has been great to watch the evolution of dogs and their social abilities.  The first time I walked Josephine and Sebastian, I took them to a nearby doggie park.  The dogs’ owner had never taken them to play with other dogs so their abilities were quite lacking.  Josephine was so afraid–as soon as she saw another dog, she turned and ran toward the gate to run home.

That was about a year ago and it didn’t take her long to step into the fear (with a little love and encouragement from me) and begin to trust other dogs. To see a dog go from fearful, shown by either aggressive barking or running away, to initiating play with other dogs is such a lesson in how we live our lives.

taraandzoidintheparkIf we can just turn in the direction of joy and pleasure and trust that we will be fine on the other side of it, we will know how to live life!  So, I feel so fortunate to have dogs that remind me that life is brand new in each moment and we can choose to make a big deal out of the puddles and piles of poop or not!  Life is Good–Live it Absolutely!!!

I AM THAT!

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Today I rode my bike on the road. Most people are full of fear for me when I tell them I’m riding my bike… “be careful out there, watch your back” is the usual response.    That was the warning a friend gave to me yesterday so I chose to ride my mountain bike instead—not as many cars.mountains & me

Honestly, as much as I don’t want to admit it, those fears sometimes rub off on me.  Today, though, I missed Pacific Coast Highway.  I wanted to feel and smell the ocean air and see the coast in my face!  I rode from my house in Brentwood down Sunset Blvd to PCH and on into Malibu.  Tears fill my eyes as I write this, that’s how much I love this place!

As I rode through Pacific Palisades on my way back to Brentwood, I was on a stretch of Sunset Blvd that I had been on hundreds of times before.  I lived in this town for 15 years so I was quite comfortable on it.  Even though there were cars all around me–cars parked on the street, cars coming up behind me, cars turning into driveways, and cars coming out of driveways, I was one with the flow.

For just a brief flicker—not even a moment—I thought about all the cars and the possibility of danger.  What overtook me from that flicker of fear was the feeling…I AM THIS ROAD. I AM.

It’s hard to put into words, but all possibility of  fear was stripped from me.  I had such a confidence, a knowing, that I was safe because I WAS the road.  I was simply part of the flow of the Universal Law of Life in and around me.  I was safe and secure because I Am that.  I’ve heard it said before, when you master something you become it.  Fear will almost always rob us of our strength, I chose to trust and know that all is well and everything is working out for me.

The Locked Gate

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I came to a 10ft. locked gate at the end of my 2 hour mountain bike ride. 
This is a gate that is usually open.

Imagine my angst after climbing and descending trails to get to the end of my ride only to find NO WAY OUT!

I gave it a go!

I gave it a go!

The gate was all the way across up into the field with barbed wire on top.  At first glance, it looked impossible to pass.  However, who I am is not someone who gives up quickly.  I noticed there was a section of the fence where the barbed wire had been twisted down.

Also, I could force the gate open about a foot or more with my foot.  So, I chose to give it a go. 
I removed my front wheel, cranked open the gap in the gate with my foot while I shoved my bike through.  Of course the pedals got hooked up in the links and became lodged at a certain point.  I figured if I climbed to the other side of the fence I could pull the bike through instead of the pushing I had been doing.
I climbed the 10 foot fence and there was a moment or two at the top (when I started thinking too much) that I froze with a bit with fear.
taraonpaseo 
Let’s face it, whenever we sit “on the fence” it is kind of uncomfortable.  I was aware of the fear and decided to “keep moving forward.”    I jumped to the ground and made it over the fence, then I dealt with the rest of my bike.  I cleared the pedals and then of course there were the handle bars which needed to be turned and maneuvered through the gate gap.  In the process of yanking it through, I ripped the computer off!
It was  frustrating and time consuming but I finally got my bike through the gap.  The moral of my story is that
LIFE can sometimes be The Locked Gate! 
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 CliffsideBirdview
Are you going to let obstacles that look impossible stop you from what you want and where you want to go or are you going to FIND A WAY through those obstacles?  I simply DECIDED I was going to get to the other side of that gate…I wasn’t going to turn back and go where I’d already been (the past). 
BackboneBuldge
Sure, it was a bit of a stressful experience.  It also took some sweat effort and required me to get a little dirty and feel a little frustrated.  Once back on my bike, I flew down the hill back to my home which was my starting point of the day.  I felt such a sense of accomplishment and mastery.
 
That’s how I feel in life.
I won’t let people and their negative attitudes or actions stop me from where I want to go.  I keep moving forward, pushing through any fear that wants to stop me, and I find ways to get to the other side of The Locked Gates in Life!!!