Friday, June 24, 2022

Roe v. Wade: How Can It Go So Wrong?

 I am heartbroken today for people around this country who just lost the fundamental right to make informed decisions about their own bodies.
Michelle Obama 

I don't think anyone could have stated my feelings for the overturning of Roe vs Wade then the quote above. Every decision like this makes it harder to hold the decisions on what I as a woman can decide in terms of the well being of my body mind.

I was a victim of incest by my father and sexual abuse by a teacher. Luckily I never had to make the choice of having to have an abortion, but I know the feeling of powerlessness through having choices about my body mind taken away from me. It is what has made me a fierce feminist and lead me to social work. I did the work to become more then just a survivor, I became resilient and I became dedicated to making sure women always have a choice in how they respond to what happens to their body and well being. I have worked at Planned Parenthood and I have advocated for open education on sexuality and birth control (the very thing that would reduce abortion) throughout my career. We are at a time where having gun control to help with keeping children from being killed is frowned upon as infringing on basic rights and yet it is okay for my individual right to make choices for my own well-being to become more endangered every day.

I had the security of making choices for myself during my menstrual years. Now I see the current generation(s) rights being chipped away inch by inch. And thank goodness that I live in a state where legislation was signed today by Governor Gavin Newsom today to help protect patients and providers in California against radical attempts by other states to extend their anti-abortion laws into California. For my sisters in other states, I say fight! Volunteer with organizations that support the right to choice, use your abilities to keep the right to have an abortion as part of the state you live in. Vote and protest! Use your voice.

I am woman, hear me roar:

"F' the patriarchy"!

Helen Reddy, "I Am Woman":


Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Change Goes Forward

 \

 
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old,
but building on the new.
Socrates
 
I've haven't written much because I'm on medical leave, and much has accelerated. I'm not returning to my job. After much consideration, it has been decided I will "retire" from healthcare. I have to use this terminology to allow me to keep certain things I will need as I move forward. I have two job possibilities lined up when I'm cleared to work again. And I will be working from home. Both will allow me to work only part time for about the same salary as I was earning before. This will leave me with much more freedom to pursue other interests.

Teagan just turned 6 months. It has been a joy to have her by my side.She has become my emotional support animal, without the official documentation to declare her as such. We have bonded and she has helped me get through some of my unexpected health issues and provided me with laughter and love. We went to the Sierras yesterday and she loved nature. So there will be more trips in the future.
 
Change is moving me forward and new adventures are awaiting.
 
David Bowie, "Changes":
 

 

Thursday, March 17, 2022

It All Changed In A Day

           I am born knowing two things- loyalty and love. You must teach me everything else.

Meet Teagan. My newest family member. Having a puppy is like having a baby, lost sleep, lots of messes, teaching and the biggest love you can imagine. Her breeder spends part of the year in Mexico and since she was born there instead of California, I had to wait a little longer to get her due to international laws. I met up with her at SFO. She was couriered by the breeder's friend and she flew in cabin. When I knelt down and unzipped the carrier, an adorable face popped up and then gave me a big lick. I melted and she owned me from that moment.

I've not had a puppy before only a rescues, so I'm learning a good deal of things about training her and training myself. Luckily I took 3 weeks of puppy parental leave to bond and train. Also I have accepted an at home position. It will take a couple of months to get there, but it means I'll be home full time.

Lots of adventures to come.

Musiq, "Love":

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Playing for Change


 We inspire and connect the world through music.

Playing for Change

Every once in awhile, you get up in the morning, there is a beautiful rainbow waiting for you and a new video from Playing for Change has dropped. I belong to Playing for Change. For me as a clinical social worker and musician it is the most incredible organization out there. Every new video covering a song brings them to a new level. Yesterday however they may have reached the pinnacle. They covered "When the Levee Breaks" via Led Zeppelin via Memphis Minnie. It just doesn't get much better then this.

Playing for Change, "When the Levee Breaks":


 

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

To Come Into Being


 For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.

Michelle Obama

I have talked before in this blog about my fascination of dark and light. To me they are the eternal dance of how we come into being, how we create and how we journey in our life. My last entry was about being the artist of your life. During the last few days I've experienced some pronounced events that are teaching me about creating and being the artist of my life. No longer am I just projecting the possiblity of being part of a new way of working with people, but it's about to happen. I have offers from 2 companies and am in the process of considering 2 others. There had been the darkness of working on the front lines of Covid-19 which brought my final disillusion with our healthcare system and the broken mess it is. And now the new possibilities of working with people to co-create with them a better version of the journey of this life they want to be on, to see it as a constant process and evolution have brought a tonic to my being. So in the next six weeks I'm going to experience some of the biggest changes I have experienced in 17 years, it's both frightening and exhilerating. Dancing with patterns of light and shadows to see what will come of this creation.

Playing for Change, "What's Going On":


 

Thursday, February 10, 2022

The Artist of Your Life


 You are the artist of your life. Don't hand the paintbrush to anyone else.

This blog wasn't created for the purpose of achieving something in connection with others. It was created with the idea of accountability and insight for myself. That is to leave a record, of thoughts, of ideas of creation and results of meditation. Now if it helps someone else, then for that I am grateful. It has taken me a long time to grasp spiritually that I am the artist of my own life and even more that it is never too late to pick up the paintbrush. Things are happening, synchronicities, possibilities and so on. What is amazing is that after so many years of being on one career path and repeatedly stating I was going to make change...well now that moment is coming to fruition. I think the seed has been quietly growing and now is the time for it to bloom.

Bon Jovi, "It's My Life":


 


Monday, February 7, 2022

Fragments


Over the years, confusing fragments, lost corners of stories, have a clearer meaning when seen in a new light, a different place.

Michael Ondaatje

As life advances, we have more experiences, more memories. How often though is it that we hold onto them in fragments? It is only when another experience which some how connects to it, brings those fragments back more into a whole picture, albeit with a new or clearer meaning then what we gave it back then.

Movement is happening into a new phase of career,  and it is bringing back the memory and story of what I set out to do years ago. Now I have a new light and a deeper meaning of what I hope to accomplish in the places I will go.

ILLENIUM and Natalie Taylor, "Fragments":


 

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Textures

I search for the realness, the real feeling of a subject, all the texture around it... I always want to see the third dimension of something... I want to come alive with the object.

Andrew Wyeth

Texture is something that I am obsessed with. When I'm out with a camera, I find myself looking for texture in everything around me. Decay, rust, layers all fascinate me... When I do textile art, I find myself looking for ways to create depth with stitches. The feel of texture can be sensual and bring alive the sense of touch. We use texture all the time in arts and life.  Perhaps also it is why I enjoy doing coaching and therapy. To paraphrase Andrew Wyeth to find the realness and the feeling of what is the experience of the client, you help them come even more alive on the journey of their life.

Some of the best texture is found in music. Here is something from a long time favorite.

Jesse Cook, "Into the Dark":


 

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Going On An Adventure

 The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.

 Eleanor Roosevelt

It's the first of February and much happened today. I got an updated photo of my pup and I'm looking forward to bringing her into my life in a few weeks and the adventures that may begin. I began the final phases of working with 2 companies that will bring me into private practice and to begin to see the possibilities of new career adventures. If all works out, I will be working from home and from other areas of the US/world as I travel in coming years. I think I've become more frightened of staid staying the same, remaining huddled in my home. The last two years has been long enough with its fear of going out...it's time hang a sign on my life...."Gone on an adventure".

Mumford & Sons, "Hopeless Wanderer":


 

Friday, January 28, 2022

Taking It Slow

If  you are always rushing to the next moment, what happens to the one you are in?
Nanette Matthews

Rushing through my life moments,

I arrived at the destination. 

Looking around I asked,

"Is this all there is to see and do?"

The Wise One sitting at the station replied,

"Oh no, there were many more things on your way here. Did you miss them?"

Humbled, I replied, "Yes."

"Too bad," said the WO.

"Maybe your next journey will give you more."

Taking my courage, I sat next to him to await the next life train's arrival and vowed

 to enjoy the ride

 no matter where it was going.

Perhaps when it arrived I would be the WO at the station.

Kevin Morby, "Slow Train":

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Beginnings


 The past is the beginning of the beginning and all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn.

H. G. Wells

Sometimes when I'm driving into work early, I'm blessed with a beautiful sunrise. It holds both beginnings and endings. During the last week I've begun interviews that will end one phase of career and begin another. It's frightening, but also exciting and full of possibilities. It entails leaving a salaried position and becoming a contractor. It will allow me more latitude to exercise my voice and creativity in helping others.

It's time.

Chicago, "Beginnings":

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Am I Blue?

  

Big Sur is a fascinating place. It is one of the true power places in America.
Frederick Lenz
 
 
I woke up to the news this morning that Big Sur is burning. Big Sur is one of the spots I love most on earth. Every time I drive it, it seems as if all concerns fall away and any thing is possible. It is a place of extremes. When it is calm, it is magical. When there is a disaster such as this fire or last year's massive landslide, it reminds us that it cannot be tamed, only allowing us to travel and be there as it wills.
 
Joni Mitchell, "Get Togther (Big Sur Celebration):
 

Friday, January 21, 2022

Unexpected Arrival

 

Life is not what you expect: it is made up of the most unexpected twists and turns. 

In an earlier post I indicated I had lost my English Springer Spaniel, Bella. She made it to 18, but within a matter of a few weeks after Christmas, she became worse, so I had to put her to sleep this past February. I knew that I would get another Springer, even before she passed. So I had started looking at getting a rescue again, but due to Covid there were none, so I made the decision to get a puppy (for the first and last time). I found someone who only breeds his 2 dogs for the love of it. And waited. He notified me that someone who wanted a pup had backed out, so did I want the pup, earlier then planned (I was waiting for his other dog to be bred) I. So as noted I will be getting a female pup sometime in the next month or so.

Something happened though in late October. A good elderly friend who was taking care of some cats that after her sister in law died (she had fed them and they were feral), asked me in September if I would take a kitten from the litter one of them had had. The reply was no as I was going to be gone for two weeks in October and then I was expecting a pup. Well, I got back from the wedding and was having coffee with my friend. She said, " I have something for you". She brought out a 3 month old kitten and put her on my lap. They had trapped the other kittens and taken them to be adopted, the black one had escaped with the mother. They finally trapped them both and got them spayed (I was surprised they did kittens that young). She begged me to take her, and due to all the wonderful things, my friend had done for me and what it meant to her, I now have a kitten. Meet LunaBelle. So I went from hoping for a rescue, expecting to get a pup and to an unexpected arrival. So much for all my plans

I have a feeling the next few months won't be boring.

Bernadette Peters, "Unexpected Song":

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Dance Upon The Mountains

“Come fairies, take me out of this dull world. For I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.”
W.B. Yeats
 
One of the hardest things about the two years of  Covid is not being able to get out as easily and to places like I normally would. Last October I drove up Rt. 1, up the coast, after attending my brother's wedding in Arizona and it was incredible. Now I hear the call of the Sierras. Whenever I go, it is like, to paraphrase Yeats, riding on the wind and dancing like a flame. It has been far too long and the world far too dull. 

In the next weekend or two, I will answer that call.
 
Black Wolf, "Mountain Fire":

 
 
 
 


 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Possibilities

When nothing is sure, everything is possible.

 

Living with Covid-19 over the last two years, we have attempted every trend or possibility that can be discovered on YouTube, TicTok, Instagram etc. Zoom has become the socialization glue that holds us together and so on. I found myself sharing my sourdough starter as I had been doing it before the trend kicked off. My patients were constantly asking me for new ideas of what to do. And I found myself responding, "With this time what would you like to do?" So I ended up running a journaling club with them to work on insights about their life and paths that they would like to explore.

As the quote above indicates, we live in unsure times on so many fronts and it could either be paralyzing or full of possibilites. The path for me was and is possibilities. I explored some coaching paths, but for the most part, I dug deeper into things that I already was doing. I ended up taking some classes in Textile Art. The piece above was based on Phukari, a folk form of embroidery of the Punjab. 

Covid-19 isn't heading out in the near future, so instead of cursing every day, I'm learning to ask, "What are the possibilities?"

Freedie Storma, "Possibilities":


 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

And We Reach

Dare to reach your hand into darkness, to pull another hand into the light.
Norman B. Rice
 
This morning as I drove into work, I watched the moon head for setting and a full red sun rising. I couldn't help but ponder the cycle of light and dark. Although we cannot sometimes see purpose in the dark we need to be there for growth to occur. The problems that happen is when we spend to much time in one or the other, rather than find the balance between the two. In my work, I find two thing related to this: people get stuck in the dark or they want to be in the light exclusively and end up in addiction (which is its own form of darkness).

So if you run into someone in the aforementioned state if you can reach your hand, you might be amazed at what happens.
 
Allison Russell, "Nightflyer":



 

Sunday, January 16, 2022

And I'm Back

 

“There is nothing as sweet as a comeback, when you are down and out, about to lose, and out of time.”
 Anne Lamott

After two years away (things happened and my blog disappeared), suddenly it was found and I've returned to my creative reflection home. So much has happened, Covid-19, losing Bella my English Springer Spaniel, friendships begun/friendships ended and family happenings. I'm still in healthcare but am beginning to work towards doing online tele-therapy and coaching. The weird silver lining that has occurred as a result of Covid-19 is a window opened up and they are desperately looking for qualified therapists.

Creatively, I've been trying to do more textile art, not as much photography which has been harder due to Covid-19, at least in the way I like to traditionally, but trying to find my way back there also. I picked up a whole new level of guitar playing and singing. As I had to isolate a good deal, being in healthcare, it got me through the worst of the lockdown. So the explorations continue, the most exciting thing is that new English Springer Spaniel pup will be coming my way in a little over a month or so.

Let the new adventures begin.
 
Pink Floyd, "Coming Back to life":



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