June 2009

Andrea de Michaelis, Publisher
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Hello and welcome to the June 2009 edition of Horizons Magazine. This is our 17th anniversary in print!   Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. This month's cover art is by Melissa Harris , entitled Mending The Web . I thought it appropriate for Father's Day. My dad and I had some issues that were unresolved at the time of his passing in 1987. He was a troubled man who had a hard life. Dad was bipolar, and alcoholic. He had chronic back pain from a several-story fall working construction, and it partially disabled him when I was in my 20's. He took Tylenol with codeine for the pain and, after a few years, the codeine began taking him. Daddy was a big man, 6'6" and a slim, sturdy 240 in his prime. He reasoned that, being so big, he should take twice the prescribed dosage. Within a few years, he was taking up to a dozen pills every few hours and began going to different doctors to get them. His wife called me at one point and asked me to intervene. She told me the situation, she gave me the doctor's names and asked me to contact them. I called Dr. Link , who had been our childhood doctor all the while growing up, and who was Daddy's primary physician. I told him Dottie had called me and I told him the exact situation.

A couple of weeks later, I began getting hateful mail from my father, as he realized that, one by one, his supply of codeine was being cut off. Ok, sad part of the story coming up, but it's all fine now, so it's ok to read *smile* I'm sure Dr. Link told him I called; I didn't say not to tell him. I'm sure his wife, Dottie, was banned from speaking to me or, if not, she knew to lay low and say nothing or his wrath would be directed at her. He began writing a series of suicide notes, listing all the things he blamed me for, not the least of which was sentencing him to a lifetime of pain. Now I knew I was not to blame. Not in the way he thought I was, and not at all. I knew he was troubled. I learned growing up that people say untrue things when they are in pain, words meant only to wound, so that somehow their own pain will be eased. I was 35 years old. I knew his words had to do with him, not with me.

So, after writing a series of increasingly blameful notes and mailing them, Daddy shot himself. 11 years, 1 month and 1 day after the date my younger brother, Bobby , did the same. Daddy didn't die however, he ended up in a coma at Baptist Hospital in Miami , after having been helicoptered from Key Largo where he lived. It's interesting to note that when Daddy mailed his notes to me, he mailed some directly to me, but several he sent to mailing services, who you pay to forward mail for you. You mail it to them, and they mail your envelope from their address? So for the two weeks that he was in the hospital, I continued to get notes from him.

Getting the notes from him was very helpful - not because of, but in spite of the words he wrote, which I knew were the ravings of a man tormented to craziness by his own life choices. I was given the opportunity to sit with him in the hospital, and sit in the silence with his notes and his body. During that time, I could feel him periodically squeeze my hand as he held it. Except he wasn't holding it. I was holding his hand, and his muscles were reacting involuntarily. He would also make sounds and sighs and once sat partway up, which somehow I just knew had nothing to do with "him", although his wife thought that meant he was alert and communicating. At that point, medical systems indicated that he was in a vegetative state. A lifetime of breath and yoga training has developed my nervous system to be aware of the subtleties of energy, so I knew my father was already gone from the physical body whose hand I held.

The day before Father's Day 1987 , we'd agreed to meet at the hospital to sign to have Daddy taken off life support. We went home to Key Largo to play the waiting game. The call came first thing the next morning. We'd already made all arrangements, so I began the 4 hour drive back home. I was lucky in that I was in time to catch Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion as I drove north along Highway AIA , the ocean drive, and caught the show on various public radio stations all along the way up. It was to be his last show ever and it was a Father's Day Tribute . It was a real teary journey home; very cleansing and renewing and healing. It was the end of an era, which meant the beginning of another.

Am I bitter about the circumstances? No. Do I hold pain about it, do I still carry it around in my energy field/ aura as a pain body? No. Sh*t happens. That's life. You get over it and you get on with it. He was troubled. The moment he was gone, I knew he had found peace. I knew he'd mended the web and began the weaving of the next lifetime. Any issues we ever had were melted away in that moment and we were, at last, unspoken, in total agreement.

I'd been making regular posts on Facebook about the cardinal nest that had been built right outside my back porch door. I'd peek every few hours and every few hours report back with the update. On April 22, I wrote: "Mama is finally off the nest. Two of the eggs have hatched. We're all parents! Remember, it takes a village."

Then 2 days later, I wrote: Drama! I heard the papa cardinal squawking and saw him hopping about in the bush near the nest, puffed up to twice his size. I couldn't see anything in there. He was clearly telling me there was a snake but I couldn't see one. So I went around to the other side and just reached in with my big pruners and got him. Sorry to see him go. We said a prayer for him. I'm glad I speak critter. I could see him floating up on his little angels wings saying, "thanks, I'm free again" and contemplating his next incarnation. Good grief, baby raccoon in my front yard eating sunflower seeds at the concrete table and bench in the middle of the day. Let me go follow him and make sure he stays away from the hatchlings also.

I started to see myself as a protector and rescuer, which naturally began attracting situations to me to showcase those talents. By the third snake, I realized I was attracting them by writing about them: I wasn't even going to write this, since I don't like bringing people's attention to anything less than happy or up. No matter that something is a fact of life. A couple of times this week I'd noticed yard snakes just a little too close to the cardinal nest. Living in a wooded area, there is lots of wildlife here and snakes are part of that. I'm used to it. They don't freak me out. They are harmless for the most part, in fact I've never seen a poisonous snake on my property, ever. I usually let the snakes go when the cats bring them in the house or corner them outside. But I killed 3 snakes this week. I wrote about two of them in Facebook . I think I was feeling a little too proud of myself, and vibrating there too long. Plus what's the diffrence between me killing the snakes and the snakes eating the eggs? Except one is a natural act of survival and the other is not. When I got up yesterday, the cardinal nest had been disturbed, and the cardinal family was gone. The nest was not completely destroyed, but it was empty and in disarray. The hatchlings usually fly in 10 days, and they were only 6 days old but had most of their feathers. I later saw the mama and papa cardinal out at the bird bath, and could hear them in the east woods. My story is that they moved the nest. It's possible that is what happened. Either way, it's just the cycle of life.

A couple of people asked on Facebook about the nest, and I told them the story as I see it. Maybe they did not move the nest. Maybe that is not the truth. However there are 2 new sets of cardinal babies that newly appeared on the scene at the same time last week, so who's to say one set is not the Facebook cardinals? Telling that story is the story that makes me feel better. It's a story that lets others play over and over again in their minds a happy scene of a happy life.

And that's my story across the board. I have a happy life, and when things like this happen, they happen. It is what it is. But I don't have to recount every sad or violent thing that happens to me when I talk to others. The story I tell to others reflects just how I see my world.  I don't see the world as predatory and scary. I see the world as a welcoming and loving place, full of opportunity. As a well stocked kitchen, as Abraham-Hicks says, with everything in it that I need to create a beautiful and fulfilling life. Do scary things happen? Sure. Do predators exist? Sure. But that doesn't have to be my focus. I don't need to continue to talk about those things and lament them and grieve over them and draw everyone else into the chain of pain.

My story is that life is good and fun and full of opportunity. My story is that I live a happy life with great friends and family and fulfilling activities. My story is that I have all I need and am always receiving more and more. And it's not just a story. It's really my life. Do bumps happen? Sure. Are they the norm? Not by any means.

A few months ago I began sending out a newsletter, and got an email from a very critical friend about "what a nightmare" the format was. I asked him for a remedy and he said simply "you just plain have to learn how to do this." Ken does not understand law of attraction, and went on to say, "As long as you keep peddling new-age snake oil, the deities of rationality and common sense will continue to screw up your efforts." This from a man who likes to quote: "If you recognize that you are further along the journey than another, that awareness immediately engages you in service to them." His way of serving seems to entail making snarky, hurtful criticisms instead of offering help.  I guess I don't see a goofy looking newsletter as screwing up my efforts. That may be what he sees. I'm always into content over form, though. When I see someone's newsletter and it's obviously not professionally and technically perfect, I could really care less. I look to see what they are saying to me. I look to see what the message is they are trying to get across to me. I look for their story behind the appearance of it all, what did the Universe send them to me for? No matter how they say it, what do they really want?

Is my way better? No. Does my way make people feel at ease and let them know I understand them, or am trying to?  Yes. And that's my point. I, too, used to be that cynical, smart ass, sarcastic person that took pride in one-upping anyone I imagined myself to be smarter than, better than, more (fill in the blank) than. And now? Now I realize what it's all about. Now I realize we're all in this together. Each moment is precious. Now I do my best to help make everyone's life a little easier, and skip to the fun parts.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.   Enjoy our offering this month. Hari Om.

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