To Mask or Not to Mask

Suggestive of the modern day version of “TO BE OR NOT TO BE”

It’s quite the kerfuffle these days.  People standing too close while ungloved and unmasked capers simultaneously occur in the form of peaceful protests mixed with a bit of rioting (some paid for) and rabble-rousing and even a murder or two stirred in.  

I bristle each time I discover I’ve driven myself in a closed up car for any length of time with my mask on.  We are in at least our seventh month of mask requirements yet I suddenly find myself forgetting my mask in the car constantly.  I am certain it is a form of subversive rebellion on my part, but it’s annoying.  To have to walk a significant part of the same route, once without mask, return, repeat, once with mask. It’s become laughable since I now do it so often.  I’m hopeful it is not something that actually requires medical and/or mental attention at this point.

So here’s my conclusion.  It seems we are focused on all of the fact and fiction that is bombarding us on a minute by minute basis each and every day.  Pile the election nonsense on top of that and I believe you have the makings of a real mental wildfire.  (Similarly, I now advocate clearing a safe zone cleared of debris from around your mind to help safely manage the raging sparks and hot spots that may be near.  Once your brain is secure and knowing it has a safety zone, then and only then should you choose to cross over into the forest of news, opinions and complaints, lies and perhaps even truth.  But we know that to ignore orders to evacuate from an overload of info is just asking for trouble.) I’m happy to report my mind’s wildfire is at nearly 80% containment.

So, back to masks.  Like keeping the collective and various germs from coming in, it also limits the outgoing.  We now find ourselves trying to block the bombardment of germ-y information coming in that we seek to protect ourselves from. 

Also like the masks, we limit our individual stuff that goes out.  The very thing that makes each of us shine uniquely and allows for a show of love and  support and involvement can’t get to those who need it most.  Frankly, it scares me. 

My wish for today is that we remember to let our light shine.  Find a way to let the goodness flow outward, unmasked.  Please, don’t spend each and every day covering yourself from not just the icky stuff, but the good stuff that puts all the bad in its place.  It really helps to keep things in perspective.  We need a little of the worm to reveal the butterfly.  Otherwise, everything just seems masked and unresolved – lonely and contagious.  We need one another.  Masked or unmasked, we need to Be or Not To Be, together.

Decidedly Debra

Where Life Leads

Almost three years ago God demonstrated abundant Grace in my life. I was given the opportunity and arranged to stay with a friend’s Mom after work and through out the week nights. It was a commuting dream which I had been praying on for months. Alas!

This 91 year old woman (now 93 at the time of this post) has been remarkable to me. So many lessons to learn from her. So many stories to be heard. Her silver hair hangs nearly to her shoulders as she swipes the bangs styled to fall slightly to her right when they are not clipped to that side. She speaks in nearly a mumble and it takes some time to pick up the rhythm of her speech. Once in sync, it becomes clear this woman has a terrific and even scampish sense of humor.

For most nights we watch reruns of some favorite sitcoms. Often having seen each episode at least 3 times, we laugh. We know the joke before it comes, and we laugh. Sometimes the commercial breaks are filled with laughter as we recover from a funny line we’ve heard and commented on before. We roll it around in conversation for even further examination of humor and soon discover it is still funny. We reward it with another round of laughter. Perhaps we wait a day or two and slip it into conversation. We each wait a moment for the recognition, knowing the smile that is guaranteed to follow. Sort of an inside joke between just us.

Confusion begins to take a peek into our consciousness at some point. It is unobtrusive and fairly easy to moderate. A misplaced thought is easily redirected to correctness. A bad feeling is explained and the psyche is soothed. Through it all the observer sees unconditional love is expressed. But wait, it is expressed through animals. The love of dog becomes overwhelming and unhealthy. An imbalance begins to teeter-totter between the harmony and denial that sides with each of its riders this day. And then the next. This imbalance creates an inability to navigate the see-saw any longer. It seems denial is stuck up in the air and harmony will not let it drop down and dismount this ride.

A sudden event alters the course of these actions dramatically. It is instead replaced with sadness and regret. As we know, change is often unwelcome. Even when we are looking forward to change in our lives, it is often met with uncertainty and causes some discomfort or angst. It almost always requires significant work on our part if we hope to navigate our change for the better.

To that end, the ego fights hard to hang on to the past. Like a scorned lover it prefers to spend time lazing in the what-ifs and the could have beens. If you listen there, you will hear it and that may be how you spend your days. Or, what if we recognize that those things that once served us well are no longer necessary baggage for our journey. We can lighten our load. We can know that we have a joyful journey ahead of us, thanks to the lessons learned on the path we have already traveled.

With that blessing, we know the best is yet to come. With that promise of the purest and most Divine Love we know where life leads.

Embrace the journey!
Embrace it with Love.
-Decidedly Debra

The Shoes We Wear

“No one walks in our shoes.” That is a statement I have heard a time or two. It is true. It should be obvious but it seems to be a concept that gets lost in the latest kerfuffle all too often.

I realize that although my own belief is strong that we are universally connected to one another we nonetheless each walk a unique journey. Unique to our human experiences or, to the shoes we walk in let’s say. Like cells in our body we have unique purposes but are all still a part of the whole, which is also part of the whole, the whole that I would call God.

Sometimes we are particularly mindful of the shoes that are unfilled. The loss of those whose shoes were worn by our nearest and dearest and that can never be filled again any further. At least not in this lifetime. Maybe the shoes never were filled. In some cases, like in my case, it might be the shoes of a spouse or motherhood that have never been filled in this lifetime, etc.

Conversations abound as of late regarding the shoes we have worn, the shoes we are currently wearing (or filling) or the shoes we might expect to fill one day. For myself I know the appeal of the spikey hi-heels of my 20’s and 30’s has diminished dramatically. The nervous click-ity-clack of the self-conscious yet motivated young woman was replaced by by a more confident regular high heel, now also left behind. The era of the still confident yet stylish and comfy shoe is more of a reality now, with an occasional spunky twist. The future undoubtedly will bring an ever more sensible shoe to walk my journey in.

My point in this post is just this; whatever the footwear, I hope the shoes you (we) walk in are comfortable for each of us. I know they will take us each down the exact right path. I do have faith that in that affirmation all things are possible.

So if the shoe fits, wear it.

Walk on, enjoy the journey!
Decidedly Debra

Communication

Communication

Defined as; the imparting or exchanging of information or news.
The spoken word, the written word and implication of an idea that has yet to be spoken…all forms of communication. All so easily misunderstood.

How many times have you sent an email only to be surprised at the reaction of the recipient? Apparently your cleverness did not translate similarly when read. It is easy to misunderstand something spoken. We can spin it so it appears to be more palatable to our emotional well-being. We can interpret some longed for intention we believe underlies in the promise of the words when they are not really there. We can sometimes seem to taste the frustration in the sender’s own words, or feel their sadness hidden in a text or e-mail, or even on the other end of a phone line. It’s the old reading between the lines notion.

There is a hint of appeal in the face of the woman talking to a man she barely knows. It has been realized and recognized as an invitation of some sort. A subconscious desire transcends their language and interrupts the otherwise professional nature of it. Society enters and frames the conversation with shade for the rising levels of inappropriateness. Even the written word is left to arouse temptation and quicken the breath. Words begin to generate the thoughts and entice the wrongness of it. The ego aches to seductively lounge there for a while. The divine consciousness demands evaluation of the need to love more completely and authentically.

A vow, or as the dictionary defines; a solemn promise to do a specified thing. Vows are words that to me should be more able to transcend analysis. They are meant to be spoken fervently and truthfully. They are meant to be recognized lovingly and completely. To me it appears as an insult to do otherwise. They are without loopholes. They are concise, definite statements honoring the willingness to uphold them. When witnessed they pronounce the terms going forward.

Is this why the compliment (a polite expression of praise or admiration) can sometimes be recognized as insulting? While designed to encourage it can often feel or appear to be requesting payment in advance. In other words, it is often meant to have a desired effect. To deny that is naïve.

Wanting to enjoy the compliment rather than be dismayed at its underlying disrespectfulness, it feels somewhat comfortable but also very much like a guilty pleasure. It speaks of acceptance of something less than the deserved whole. It speaks of a price costing unhappiness when brought into the light. It has become part of a negotiation. It is a dance.

I want to communicate this dance without guilt or misunderstanding. I wish to cause no violation of vow. The displeasure I cause may not be of my own doing but rather a casualty of another’s. To reach for it without sincerity means succumbing to ego rather than divine knowledge. The knowledge that I will not benefit from another’s lack is little comfort. The knowing that I look to benefit from communicating in an available partnership is a vow I make to myself. I will find the words.

I was pondering this just this morning. Glad I was for the lack of stimulating conversation previously welcomed but now seeming to require abatement. The suggested references to pleasant pastimes had been successfully avoided for some time now. It seemed to be unappreciated but not for me.

It is true that I was examining the possibilities of such a conversation. I long to speak passionately about the conditions that fill my mind in thought. As the music played the perfect soundtrack for just such an event, reality stood before me. Startled and amused, the words designed to deter inflamed the spirit instead. The words unspoken spoke volumes. They confirm I want to realize my goal. I know nothing less than all of someone’s attention is deserved, not just the juiciest pieces of it.

No longer do I toy with the idea that desire is anything more than folly. I want to reach for it. I want to taste it and learn the unique language it speaks. There will be no history, no consideration, no supportive love, only the longing of the flesh unless the self is honored with the vow of more.

I do.
Decidedly Debra
January 2020

A Birthday to Remember

santa monica

While I believe in astrology, I’ve never really claimed Mercury in Retrograde to be my source of bad luck or unfortunate situations. It is here I would like to note that as of late peculiar events surround many of my outings.

I have a delightful story about a couple of elderly women who were thrown out of a nice restaurant in Marina del Rey recently. They were accused of calling a husband and his expectant wife’s young toddler who was dining with them ‘ugly’. That’s right. According to the manager, who I spoke with for very different reasons, stated they called the couple’s baby ugly and refused to apologize. When discussed with these women as we waited for my car at the valet, the young mother appeared at the front of the restaurant. She promptly gave us the middle finger salute and called my mother a racist piece of, well, shit. It was beyond bazaar. Oh yes, and the young offended couple got their entire meal paid for by the management of said restaurant.

I have a story that followed not long after while I was at a winery in Ojai with friends. This happened in the ladies lounge of their tasting room. A young attractive woman was by the wash basins when I entered. She insisted on showing me a mark on her lower neck. She proudly announced she had gotten it when shoved by another woman who barged into the unlocked stall she had been in. The woman apparently slammed open the stall door as she entered and proclaimed to the young woman that there was some law requiring the door to be locked. The young and allegedly now injured female was outraged and had called the local authorities. She was claiming to have been assaulted. Again, bazaar. The Sheriff’s did come. I can’t tell you how that panned out, I did not stick around.

Before that there had been other incidents at local restaurants. But I think the icing on the cake was my birthday just past. The day was spent with my Mom and Dad and Libby. All people and a pooch that I love the most! I would say Libby is my dog, except she has morphed into our dog, but really my Dad’s dog (they have a love affair going). So we packed the car to the brim and headed down the road so the four of us could spend three nights and nearly four days, in Orange County at a home basically on the water in Balboa Island, CA.

Balboa Island is a place fondly familiar to us as a family. We had been spending time there during many summers for years during my early teens. We were headed to a place we had specifically stayed before. A lovely home on the Grand Canal. The best part is it has an elevator that brings guests to and from the ground level to the upstairs where we were to have our run of the place.  Perfect for an aging dog and her aging family.

With the aches and pains that a 65th birthday may be inclined to manifest on any given day, it was still the Labradoodle that sent us in to a panic mode. It seemed the elevator for some unknown reason appeared to be off limits since the new management company had taken over. Our fourteen year old furry-family-four-legger was simply not going to endure climbing steps to the second floor every time a pee or pooh was required. Even our own anticipated walks for Balboa Bars (famous hand-dipped ice cream bars exclusive to the area) and the parade around town to self-judge the winners of the best decorated homes for Halloween would be all we could expect the good nature in all of us to endure. After all, this was to be a celebratory long weekend, not bootcamp!

Please be reminded that my Mom had been planning my birthday celebration for some time. I honestly think the first roll of my eyes came at least six or seven  months earlier when she asked if we should get a limo and invite a few friends to Ruth Chris’ in Pasadena for a fabulous meal in their private room to celebrate my birthday.

“Mom!” I remember saying at the time …”It’s not until October!” Followed by “But hey, who doesn’t like tacos? Maybe we should just invite some friends over and party in your backyard? We can hire a taco bar for on the patio. It will be fun.” The initial sense I got was it could work.

Thoughts of taco trucks went by the wayside as I began formulating a new plan to host an event at one of our favorite little Italian spots in the Valley. How about if we did it on a night they had their big band playing? I could feel Mom’s doubt seeping in like a thick fog followed by the most dramatic of replies; “Well…if that’s what you re-e-e-e-ally want…I guess…” voice fading as Dad looked relieved to hear at least it wouldn’t be at their house. But if that’s what I re-e-e-e-ally wanted, I was sure he’d be on board with that too.

Mom came up with a brilliant idea a couple of months later to rent the home we had stayed in a couple of years earlier.  The dog enjoyed it, Dad enjoyed it. Mom tolerated it. I enjoyed all of it. So off we went to Balboa Island and our beautiful home for our celebration. Our first evening was planned with my favorite meal being made fresh once we arrived (after cocktails of course).

The check-in instructions had arrived earlier in the week and we again wondered at the no elevator language that was included. But alas, this crack management team (sarcasm isn’t even the word) assured us they were on it and indeed the elevator would be available. A-ha! Are you sensing where this is going?

The point I’d like to make here is this; everyone made special efforts to accommodate one another for the purposes of insuring we all had the best time imaginable. My boss had reluctantly agreed to my time off. I was leaving my elderly friend earlier in the week than normal. My parents had juggled their schedules and already had spent thousands (it’s true) of dollars and time on securing our vacation. There were other incidentals as well too numerous to list but nonetheless appreciated. Plants were watered, newspapers and mail stopped, neighbors on notice, the car washed and gassed, we headed down the road. Traffic was heavy but we still managed in about two hours.

Here’s one of my favorite thoughts ironically speaking. Not wanting to be rude and checking in before the instructed time of 4:00 PM, we went to a nearby restaurant and had drinks and a couple of appetizers in the bar at about 3:00 PM. And no, drinks did not take the sting out of discovering the elevator was locked up tight and no key in sight. Still hopeful. No problem. We climb up the narrow and steep front stairway to cozy up for our call in to the aforementioned management company. Thank God they answer and it doesn’t go to voicemail. Always a gamble. But first, Doodle-bug has to pee. Off we go down the alley way, bag in hand for the larger jobs.

Back to the stairway where I hoist our Furry-Fig what I believe to be 20 or so stairs. No easy task even without a 60 pound lump of love and fur in your face. Neither one of us is amused.

Back to the task at hand. The call is placed. Maintenance is alerted. Discoveries are made. The elevator key has been known to be unavailable for a few days. “Oh-I’m sorry, I don’t know why in the hell your management company didn’t reveal that to us before we made the two plus hour drive to get there this day. Perhaps they didn’t understand when we repeatedly told them the elevator was ESSENTIAL to our stay. We are told a locksmith may be the only option. Yeah, like these folks can pull that off while we wait? I don’t think so. Okay then, they have a comparable property which might suffice. We look at said property on the screen of my iPhone. I think we all were hoping for some magical way to rectify our situation, so we agree to relocate and hoist Libby back down the stairs. We all get back in the car and head to our new but nearby relocation destination.

“I’m not getting out of the car and either is Libby” came the notification from the back seat when we arrived.  “You and your Mother can go in” came the follow up instructions.

Neighboring doors began to open and stare as we pulled in to a parking spot on the street. It was now over six hours since any of us had really eaten. As my Mom and I walked into the front room of this new place and glanced around, we both knew we would not enjoy walking up there. It took no time for us to be joining my Dad in the car and were back on the phone with management.

Our options at this point were not looking too good. In management’s infinite wisdom their policy is anyone who can do anything much more than take a reservation over the phone or computer goes home at 6:00 PM. The explanation was everyone should be checked in by 4:00 PM and would have had the next 2 hours to bring up any issues.  God forbid something major should happen to a property beyond that time.  I’m not buying it.  Yet well past that hour we were told little could be resolved.  The rep could only assure us that maintenance had noted activity on the elevator matter if we wanted to keep the faith and hang in there until further notice. Believe me when I tell you that there was no one that thought there was even a prayer of that happening.

“What about a hotel that takes dogs?” the young man on the phone then suggested.

Apparently he had the authority to arrange that. Thanks but no thanks. With a car full of our stuff and food and 3 of us and a dog to unload into a hotel room?  Even then with only the hope of being able to pack back up again and get into the original house the next day to unpack yet again to enjoy the remaining two days? Ummm…ye…uh…NO!

What did we do you ask? We came home. As the 710 freeway came to a complete halt at 8:30 PM that same night, we sat and marveled at the birthday spent on the highways and byways of Southern California.

Part way home we stopped for the dog’s comfort and in that process an opened bottle of red wine to be used for sauce came crashing out of the back of my SUV. I caught it as most of the red wine splashed from the bottle onto my slacks. It got the attention of a nearby homeless man just outside the 7-Eleven. My Mom asked me what I intended to do with the rest of the wine. I think the homeless man wondered the same thing. The smell was starting to surround us. With three swallows I drank it as I walked the now empty bottle to the trash can.

Funny, but when we finally got back home that night, no one was hungry. I don’t think any of us, including the dog, were happier to be home. The best birthday present ever? Home!

We unpacked. The chocolate birthday cake went back in the fridge. I went home and unpacked. We all woke up in our own wonderful beds and not needing an elevator. Disappointing? Sure! But fortunately it doesn’t end there. We spent the weekend making up for it. I had my planned birthday dinner the next night. The sparkling wine, a gift from work, began the culinary evening. The food and company were delightful! The next day the weather was beautiful and we ate lobster on the pier in Santa Monica. The day after that?  Oh my God, we all went out for a wonderful evening and dinner together. My Mom even included my dearest friend. After we came home and finally did some damage to that chocolate cake!  Where do you think we went for dinner? Ruth Chris’ in Pasadena! Just like Mom suggested those many months ago.

Thank you to my wonderful parents for their love and support and the gifts and their ability to make lemonade out of lemons. It is with much love and thanks to them I write this at the ripe old age of 65. It’s going to be a heck of a year, I can tell.

Love, Always,
Deb aka “Decidedly Debra

 

Sides and Angles

Are there two sides to every coin? Of course.

Is there a different angle to every seat at the table of life? You bet.

Perhaps it’s the Yin and Yang of it all. Certainly if I’m sitting at the table nearest the dessert display then I may have a bit sweeter disposition on the topic at hand.

Similarly, if I’m seated nearest the roast beef carving station, perhaps I may have a meatier approach.

As I find myself getting older, I observe those that are nearest and dearest to me doing the same. After all, time stops for no one. The life experiences of my 82 year old Mom (yes, that would be this post’s namesake) are beyond compare to mine at my new medicare-ripe age of 65.

Her expectancy for me to understand and appreciate her views at 80 are often frustrating. I have not been there…yet. Why can’t she recall and include the experiences of her 65 year self to more reasonably prepare others (okay me) for aging without the process becoming framed in hostility? Yet others listen to her sage advice with wide-eyed awe. To them she is nearly a prophet.

I stay with a 92 year old and have been doing so most weekdays for 2 ½ years now. I spend the better part of my work week joining her for dinner and conversation before leaving in the morning for my job. She is indeed sitting at the other end of the buffet table. She has been waited on in a luxurious lifestyle and it has afforded her and those closest to her more options in life than most I would guess. It is none of my affair except to note the different angle from which she approaches life. Saving the world is a thought that is easily replaced to a more simple love of her dogs and “Everybody Loves Raymond” reruns.

She is angry with her partner of over 60 years for leaving her flying solo on this earthly plane. While he did everything for her, the realization is she can do little for herself it would seem. That is her side of the coin these days.

As I watch her daughter and granddaughter visit and interact with this 92 year old, I reflect on my reactions to my own Mom. It is a different side of the caring coin when it is your Mom and the Mother/Daughter history shared is your own. Personal frustration comes to lead the dance when it is your maternal relationship. Compassion dictates the pace of the song when you are accepting the unrelated invitation to assist. The silly comments and clouded memories are noticed playfully until the relationship’s history gets called into play. Why then does hostility waft in like unwanted cigarette smoke while we try to discount the seeming decline in ability? The angles are cloudy now.

Just today my Mom was commenting on the angst that surrounded the latest years of her own relationship with her Mom. Is that characteristic meant to help us let go? I wonder?  The angles are very different but the love is undeniable just the same.

I actually think it’s two-fold. As we age and sense the loss in our ability to be independent we resent it. After all, that’s what most of us thus far have worked so hard for all of our lives. As we approach advancing age we realize it is all happening so quickly and maybe we need to make a more valiant effort at it. Then, those two conditions I call sides and angles collide in a whirlpool of emotion that makes us even more painfully aware that we are fast approaching the aging topic at very different angles.  Decisions we know to be necessary and have planned for now seem invasive and unwelcome.

There is definitely truth in an old boss of mine’s statement, “Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer you get to the end, the quicker it goes”.

That’s one side. My angle is to do the best possible with each moment/hour/day, week, etc. After all, I’ve learned that we have the power to flip the coin to a different side at any age.  If you don’t like your view, try approaching it from a different angle!

Happy Birthday to Me!
Yours Truly,

Decidedly Debra

Now I Lay Me Down . . . on Pillows

Yes Pillows. Soft, heaven scented, downy pillows. Pillows covered in fresh cool cotton linens. They cradle and comfort the weary mind and the tense neck as the body follows, relaxing into its place.
I unlock my door and enter my home after a long day’s work. I’m greeted by a room with colorfully printed accent-pillows arranged on otherwise lush but boring cocoa colored leather furnishings. They offer a spot to rest the head for a moment of recharge and respite before the evening meal.
Down the hall, a peek into a neatly arranged room for guests. The first room is invitingly adorned with a sense of whimsy and pillows. These pillows offer a sense of familiar in an unfamiliar place of possible adventure for those welcomed there.
The other room is where I most often place myself when the end of the day and rest beckons. Large pillows soften a corner designed for spiritual practice. It is easy to quiet the mind and feel grounded with these pillows. They help prepare the body to release the seen and focus on the unseen and the message that may lie therein.
Even the bath has its own pillow. An airy puff to engage the body in its desire to linger in a good soak. Relax. Hear the unspoken ahhhh.
Is it any wonder why I am so attached to my pillows? It is an intimate relationship you see. Much like the escort who is so giving of themselves, yet may choose to reserve the kiss. I too find sleeping accommodations easily giving of their comforts, but the pillow is reserved and off limits to most except me. Sharing is limited to a select few, unlike the shirt off my back or the comfort of a night’s rest.
Travel with me my friends. Embracers of my night dreams! Yes, my favorite pillows often go with me.
As I drove to work this morning I idled in the usual snarls of traffic. The drive there borders an undeveloped but fenced parcel. In the winter it is an atmosphere of rain water and green growth as an occasional Metro train gurgles past at set intervals. White clouds are their pillow-y canopy. In the summer it is a brown scar on an otherwise barren or cement path and the train seems more like a mirage in the background.
I often fantasize about jumping the curb and 4-wheeling the rest of the way to the office. That is a lot of risk for a five minute gain in ETA. A fence surrounds the parcel and is locked at the driveway entrance 90% of the time, thankfully. This morning, it was a spring scene set against a field of wild mustard. Their tiny yellow flowers dotting the landscape.
Against that same fence that corrals that land was a king size pillow. It was propped against the newer still shiny chain-link fencing along the sidewalk. It was placed as if it was on the cover of a fancy catalogue advertising the latest in swanky bed clothes. Proudly propped, plumped and smoothed, its black case looked somewhat inviting at first glance. But wait, was it black from wear? It looked intentionally propped up there as if by desire. Had that been someone’s less than private sleep spot? I’m wondering if that pillow felt as good to them as mine does to me at day’s-end. As I felt my uneasiness grow I reminded myself of my blessings, my own pillows. I found myself hoping that this pillow, while perhaps now disturbing to me, might be someone else’s blessing. Odd but true.
So thank you to the universe for the reminder that my pillow may look different than yours. Lord knows I do not spend fortunes on mine only to be slobbered on by four-leggers or tossed into the SUV for the next adventure. No matter what you are resting on when you lay YOU down – I hope they are pillows of the same comfort and restfulness supporting you.
With love, Decidedly Debra

That Which You Fear You Create

Lately I have been very intentional about releasing my fears. Admittedly that hasn’t been easy. Seems like we want to hold on to our fears like an old teddy bear we once dearly loved. It’s now missing an eye and has been stitched back together over the years to be held onto even though it doesn’t make sense or serve us anymore. Sounds just like much of the fear I am currently releasing.

It’s time to set my soul free and know that love and goodness propels it forward to the next right action. No longer am I expecting the worst but rather the best. That is what I aim to create!!!!

Healing of past hurts have been forgiven. The haunting thoughts and “what if’s” have now gone and it is a much cleaner space. There is a lot of redecorating going on – both figuratively and literally. It feels good!

As I search for the perfect balance in restoring the now empty space, I wonder. What is it I hope to accomplish in this place I’m intending to create for…for….for myself, for my retirement career as an audio book narrator and as a creative space for spare time projects. A place where I can dare to be me, unfiltered and unafraid.

In this place, much like my mind, as I call it my own and lay my exclusive claim to it, I know this is where only I get to edit the creative process that takes place there. It is not the egotistical “I” but rather the universal “I” that will take in all that the universe has to offer, seen and unseen, and then perceive my plan. It will be without fear. This will be a place of careful evaluation. I will assess there but not judge. The final outcome will be my own expression and it will be pure and voluntary and intentional.

I’m excited to share the fearlessness I create there!

With love,
Decidedly Debra

Spiritual Promotions

I can’t remember where I first heard this term but I liked it. Death is a final and sad word to me. For me it acts like a speed bump which slows my eternal thinking. Replacing the word death with Spiritual Promotion has made me realize exactly the opposite. I am so grateful.

My Spiritual Promotion, which I am in no hurry for any of us to claim by the way, insures my thoughtful living with good intention. Even as I approach official retirement from my job I know I can go forward and evolve in a positive way. I have many hobbies I can’t wait to pursue. My flourishing career as a voice actor and audio book narrator after retirement as an executive secretary is the plan. Until recently it seemed to me that most adventures beyond retirement were merely distractions meant to pace the time until…until…until time to leave this earthly body.

When I renewed my spiritual path a few years ago it was truly a God-send. My life had boiled down into a slowly evaporating pot of whatever was left in the bottom of my fired up saucepan.

I had;
– shown my boyfriend the door after 10 years (I had just become aware of his wandering eye),
-let my beloved older dog go to live with my parents (it was best for her), and
-let the commute to work become a struggle and drive me slowly crazy (a short trip at only 12 miles one way).

Although I later found these things to be a blessing I found myself feeling completely alone. I have amazing friends and family and yet it seemed to me like I was waiting for everyone and everything I cared about to die. I would pass my alone time imagining the life I should be having, but for how long? What was the point?

My free time was spent attempting to enjoy myself thru travel and a gym membership. It simply reminded me of my need to embrace a more serious approach to my personal financial responsibilities as well as my physical self. It was a time of “tension relieving rather than goal achieving”. (I could write volumes on the the man in my life who coined that phrase!)

A year later I was reintroduced to God and the goodness and abundance that is our inheritance. Gone from my religious experience was the guilt, punishment and suffering. To hear the Universe has already said yes to all that I can dream of is invigorating. To know that I am human form uniquely expressing God-like qualities is amazing. The best part is to appreciate the evolution and eternality of all Creation!

It is with a full heart I’ve learned that those near and dear to me have always and will always be with me. Like a baby in its mother’s womb, it cannot fathom the wonderful life and relationships that are about to reveal themselves to itself. It is the same for us. We cannot imagine our world after transitioning from our human forms. I’m sure it will be glorious nonetheless.

So to those creations who have already been blessed with their Spiritual Promotions I send my love and ask you to save me a good spot from which to enjoy it all. To those who, like me, have yet to realize that phase of their journey I encourage you to stay the course and prepare well. With positive and loving intention your Spiritual Promotion will be well received. Replace fear with faith. You deserve to enjoy the abundant rewards of your evolving journey.

I look forward to seeing you all on the unseen side once I have earned my own Spiritual Promotion.

Until then, love and light!
Decidedly Debra

The Dough Starter

The Dough Starter. What is it?   Like sourdough bread, where did the original “starter” come from? It takes a little of the starter to add to the rest of your recipe in order to complete the process. The result is a reward of warm, out of the oven bread. Butter melts into the divots and the options for layering on top of that are endless.

Funny, I thought. That’s the same idea behind that one drawer in everyone’s kitchen or hall (maybe both) that collects stuff. Oh sure, you clean it out every now and then. Typically that time comes when the drawer requires longer than one minute in a series of mashing and rearranging moves that do not offer (drawer) closure. So it’s cleaned out, but aha, you have been left with another version of “Dough Starter”. That pile of what-nots and necessary thingies that don’t really have a spot all their own. They lie in a small pile assembled in the now cleaned drawer in solidarity. These perfectly good things, not ready for the trash, all have one notion in common.  No home to call their own.  Perhaps alone they are not significant enough to be housed in a home of their own. Yet without the item, that one piece of information that has the ability to morph into an item of great importance the task may be impossible to complete.

Similarly, the Follow-up Folder is on my desk now. It is currently void of things to do. All that remains is the “Dough Starter”. There you will find unrelated pages.  They relate to obscure notes, phone numbers and instructions that no longer have a current need. I’m thinking hey, it might be vital again, one day.   They are then joined with the clipped pages that relate to some task that has been reported complete, but is it? Once confirmed, the paper trail can be filed. But what remains is the “Dough Starter”. Like all “Dough Starters” each bit of the starter is required. The recipe is not complete without all of the vital bits. What is otherwise produced might lack that one thing that should have remained in the “Dough Starter” but was thought to be inconsequential to it.

Never underestimate the “Dough Starter”. It can make your progress or it can break your progress.   For example, a one-time Gate Repair man’s phone number was not worthy of a file card of its own. Where would I file the card? Would I remember the Company’s name or the Contractor’s name? Of course I wouldn’t. There it went, into the “Dough Starter”. Years later, when asked…the “Dough Starter” did not disappoint. There, in the plastic security blanket of a page protector was the slip with the information needed once more. That once in a blue-moon place, safely housed in the “Dough Starter”, offered another delicious bite of success without fuss.

Do not misunderstand me. Keeping the “Dough Starter” pure and viable is important. That drawer you are not able to shut, the folder too full to see the identifying tab at the top of, or even that stack of old purses that mysteriously manages to shove a favorite purse under the bottom of the pile is calling. (Closet purses are in cahoots with Dryer socks after all).  Maybe some of your favorite old handbags are enjoying the top of the heap but like the de-cluttering lady says, if it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it. That being said, I do have an old macramé purse in the “Dough Starter” pile of my closet. It has come out to save me a time or two on Halloween or that themed dress day at the office.

Do you have an emotional “Dough Starter”? Is there that quiet place inside you can go to? Clean out that sacred space of the things that no longer serve you. Keep the important and unresolved issues there until you can find the right place to safely store them. You will be left with that same little pile of odd feelings and emotions that you aren’t quite sure what to do with. Leave them right there. That is for your very most treasured “Dough Starter”. Do not force it. Let it age and it will come to you with just the right purpose to complete your progress at just the right time.  It is the key ingredient in the recipe called YOU.

This is Decidedly Debra. I hope you have enjoyedcropped-Debra-145.jpg this little slice made with love and a bit of my very own “Dough Starter”.