To a certain type of little girl, there’s nothing like pink ballet shoes.
I mean NOTHING. Nada.
Before I was Princess Rosebud AND before I was Rowdy Rosie, I was simply Rosebud.
I was ballet-obsessed.
A little ballerina in pink tights, leotard, and ballet shoes, and once in a blue moon at a recital, I was lucky enough to be chosen to wear a pink tutu. HEAVEN.
Yes, I was a bunhead. And proud of it!
There was the special red letter day all ballet dancers wait for; the day we’re told our feet and legs are strong enough for POINTE WORK –and that means TOE SHOES.
To dance en pointe is the epitome of a dream come true.
You never forget the day your mom takes you to Capezio to be fitted for those first toe shoes. Smelling and stroking them all the way home, hand sewing the satin ribbons in the perfect position, tying and retying them, clumping around the house on hard flat soles that feel like wood, hours spent staring at your reflection in the mirror. I AM A BALLERINA; ignoring the promise made to Madame NOT to try to stand en pointe without her specific instructions.
Innocence and hope and aspiration all wrapped up in pink satin.
These are my old shoes, the toe box full of lambs wool. I’m walking around in them right now…and my feet are killing me, lol.
I definitely can’t execute twelve fouette turns in a row like the good old days. Never mind trying SIXTY-FOUR!!!
Down in the village. there’s the cutest little ballet store, and I couldn’t resist a new pair of soft shoes for barre work-and an adorable shirt–pink, of course!
And I know what you’re thinking and NOPE, I’m never going to grow up, don’t even ASK!
Counting your blessings and creating a list of things to be thankful for has a real foundation in science and might even change the way our brains work, according to a brain-scanning study in NeuroImage.
It brings us a little closer to understanding why these exercises have these effects. The results suggest that even months after a simple, short gratitude writing task, people’s brains are still wired to feel extra thankful. The implication is that gratitude tasks work, at least in part, because they have a self-perpetuating nature: The more you practice gratitude, the more attuned you are to it and the more you can enjoy its psychological benefits.
Feeling grateful is very good for you.
Time and again, studies have shown that performing simple gratitude exercises, like keeping a gratitude diary or writing letters of thanks, can bring a range of benefits, such as feelings of increased well-being and reduced depression, that often lingers well after the exercises are finished.
Changing our neural pathways of any old tapes we run of self loathing and lack of self worth and depression with replacement thoughts of being valuable, of deserving love and respect aren’t new ideas but they’re new to ME. Louise Hay is a well-known proponent of positive self talk and affirmations.
Recently, I started sporadically attending free Friday mediation classes at the Deepak Chopra Center in La Costa because I thought I needed a little jump start to get to the next level of peace, harmony, joy, and NAMASTE.
After one of the sessions, I purchased Deepak’s little book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. I just found a pdf of it here, if you are interested in reading it, too. It’s an easy read with valuable insights and suggestions.
I like knowing that I’m headed on a path toward increased compassion and gratitude, hoping to make the world just a little bit kinder by being more kind and grateful.
The Project of Happiness outlines seven steps toward the goal of a joyful and fulfilled life.
I’m grateful to all of you who read and follow my blog.
What are YOU grateful for today?
*Thanks to http://bulgariastories.com/2015/11/2612/ for JFK image
Yes, I kept my promise; no dates and no mistakes. There was the excruciating lure of nubile and suntanned young surfers but I stood firm in my resolve in spite of the half naked, salty-skinned–oh crap. Living in Southern California is sooo like opening up a fresh box of candy. It wasn’t fair, but a deal’s a deal.
If only I could have had just a teensy-weensy bite here, a bite there–oh, SO yummy–that one has a caramel center, or that other one’s coconut-filled, or a tart juicy cherry embraced by dark chocolate, or full of Baileys Irish Cream—er–you get what I’m sayin’? I’ll just bet you do. On my towel, surveying the beach, I wanted to take a little bite out of each one, so to speak.
But….I had to go cold turkey and avoid them all. Not one lick, not one taste.
I had a goal, I had a vision; I had my list–clenched tightly in my hand–WILLPOWER–it’s all about the willpower.
Here’s where serendipity might have had a hand in the convergence of our lifepaths.
In the beginning, I THOUGHT I first laid eyes on the captain when I was hired for the marketing department of a local cruise line.
Aside…because the whole idea of me and boats is a joke. I’m not what you’d consider sea-worthy. I’d only been on a couple of boats previously and became violently seasick on both of those trips.
OK, now read this – could it be the hand of fate that brought us together? Was our eventual connection forged a decade before ?
Was it luck or serendipity?
On a romantic evening In front of the fire with a couple snifters of Courvoisier, my tugboat man and I concluded that our paths did cross, not in a prior life, but…
In the 1980s he captained a charter vessel in our local harbor–tours of the bay, dinner cruises; that kind of thing.
In between going out to sea for four to six months, he’d come back to SoCal for a break and to surf-and worked locally.
Around that same time, my mom and I took my then five-year-old son on his first boat ride, a tour of San Diego Bay.
At that time, there was really only one boat company that offered daily excursions.
It wasn’t until we had been married for probably ten years or so– looking through an old photo album–when he saw a pic of my mom and me on “his” boat — that the subject came up.
That’s part of me and the Coronado Bridge. Obviously, my mom couldn’t take a decent pic.)
Since there were only two captains, and the time of day we were there was during his (remembered) shift, it’s highly possible that we spoke–or made eye contact. As captain, he always greets and counts the passengers while he collects boarding passes; especially because we had a child with us. Always concerned with safety, my captain.
Our ships DID, most likely, PASS in the night (day).
Did we each hold on to a momentary glance or imprint on our subconscious so that our path to romance was pre-determined?
Why did I become employed at a cruise line when I don’t know much about boats?
I still have no idea.
That we met in 1991 might be interpreted as luck or serendipity.
Which do you think it is?
Back to the story: Was it merely coincidence–meaninglessly simultaneous occurance–or synchronicity? We agree that it was meant to be. We’re two peas in a pod, me and him.
We mirror each other.
One of my first marketing duties was to attend a downtown trade show. I vividly recall my ensemble–and before you get all judge-y and everything, let’s take the year into consideration–1991–please be kind.
You know you looked exactly the same.
You KNOW you did.
I wore a short split skirt (dare I say skort) of silky polyester-type material (I know, I know) imprinted with brightly colored parrots (cringe), a turquoise blazer, and four-inch-high red heels. Oh, and they were LARGE parrots. I’m five-feet-tall with very curly dark brown hair. You can imagine the style when I tell you it added five inches to my height. Nuff said–stop laughing, I have nothing to apologize for; it was the decade of big hair.
The owner of the company walked by our booth and introduced me to his senior captain. I played it cool; I’m good at that–just a quick handshake and then I turned my attention to the marketing materials like I was very, very busy.
I only allowed myself a passing glance his way, committed as I was to making a good impression on my boss. Plus, I was fully dedicated to my promise to celibacy and just because he was ADORABLE was no excuse to give in to temptation. Not even with those green-gray eyes. Not even.
Since I was on a “man diet, I transformed him (in my mind) into a rich chocolaty truffle
and successfully used my powers to resist–at least on that particular day. During the next few weeks, our paths crossed many times; at the office with brief hellos in the hallway, and with overt scrutiny during cruises when I accompanied some of the charters. (When I wasn’t stuck with my head in the toilet. I told you the truth, I’m not a natural seawoman.)
As much as I tried to deny it–I can’t lie–there were those familiar little tingles, goose bumps even, delicious frissons of attraction. On one hand I was fighting it with all I had, yet on the other hand I spent more time in the office than I really needed to. A little extra makeup, perfume, a few new outfits–you know how it is. OK OK, I admit it! A smile from him did something to my insides, that fluttery butterfly sensation I willed myself to ignore.
I carried The List in my handbag and referred to it in moments of weakness, and for a while I was able to avoid temptation.
Here comes the good part, y’all.
In mid-November, I met with a client at one of the boats to plan a large corporate event. As we walked up the gangway, I discovered the captain was on board in the wheelhouse. I had no idea he would be there, and resolved to ignore him, except that everyone always wants to meet a captain, (too much Love Boat) so I was forced to be polite and make the introductions.
Here’s where it all went wrong-or right-depending on your point of view.
After my meeting ended, I did not immediately leave. I stalled, meandering around the small area of shops located near the harbor. I was so mad at ME; I tried to talk myself into leaving by going over The List and telling myself that I should be writing up the event details.
Just GO, I said to myself! But guess who didn’t listen? I found myself furtively looking around to see if the captain was still there. Since the whole chocolate visualization thing didn’t seem to be working anymore, I turned him into as a gooey, cheesy, spicy pizza and I used all my willpower to stand firm–to stay focused–recounting all the reasons why that delicious piece of heaven is not worth the calories.
I swear to you, I had every good intention of leaving and driving to the corporate office, I really did, but cosmic forces had grabbed hold of my good sense.
I was powerless. The hand of fate had me in her grip–and that chicka had been working out with the heavy weights.
Finally, I could find no further excuse to drag my feet and delay the inevitable departure.
I very reluctantly and slowly walked to my car, parked in front of a coffee shop, and as if by magic, the captain appeared.
I was trying to act all cool and nonchalant in spite of the fact that my heart was racing.
“Where are you going? Why didn’t you say goodbye? “What’s up?” “How about buying a co-worker a cup of coffee?”
I demurred, saying I had to go, I had another appointment (not true); uh, I don’t buy guys coffee, and he kept badgering me,
“C’mon, don’t be stuck up, don’t you have fifty cents for a cup of coffee?”
(That was before six-dollar lattes and Starbucks on every corner.)
“You don’t want me to think you’re a snob, do you?”
That did it.
Of course you understand why I wouldn’t want him to think any of those things, right? RIGHT? It was a matter of pride; once he turned on his charm, I was hooked. I unearthed a few quarters from the bottom of my handbag.
Yes, I bought the coffee. It’s something I can’t believe myself.
My other credo had always been, “Princesses don’t pay. Men pay.” But buy the coffee I did.
Honestly, I was borderline pathetic. Not even borderline. I was hanging on to the cliff with my fingertips.
It’s like sparks were flying off his body. I made every excuse in the book to lean over and oops, accidentally brush his arm and cop a sniff. He smelled heavenly.
It’s that damn pheromone thing. I was–still am-hopelessly–magically attracted. He’s irresistible. And he knows it.
We took our coffee outside and sat at a cement patio table. It was one of those perfect SoCal November days–balmy even. For a few moments we said nothing as we sipped from our coffee and enjoyed the warmth of the sun.
Red lights flashed on and off in my head.
DANGER AHEAD! STOP THE MISSION! RUN!
Less than a foot away from me he straddled the half-moon shaped concrete bench. His thighs were encased in soft worn jeans and my thoughts were heading into hazardous waters.
His hair was wet and looked like he just had showered.
“What are you doing here? Did you know I was going to be here?”
“No, I didn’t, I had to update the logs, and I surfed a bit earlier.”
Ah, that’s where the wet hair came from.
“So…you’re a surfer?”
That is most definitely NOT on my list.
“I like to think I am.”
Scintillating conversation, huh? I thought that was a bit arrogant, a bit–AHEM–cocky.
Later I learned that he had spent much of his youth in Kauai and he really was/is a great surfer, but I didn’t know much about him — only what I was feeling.
As the conversation unfolded and we chatted–he told me where he lived and where he had gone to college, and–those thighs, oh wait–no, not that–of course I meant what kind of music he liked and that he loves animals–I found myself listening to his voice but not hearing the words.
This is where it gets weird.
And pinky-swear, it’s all true, it all happened exactly like this. It was REAL.
He looked at me and smiled.
I felt lit from within.
My heart melted. (Even now, his smiles affect me the same way.)
I sighed. He sighed. I sighed again.
That was IT.
Everything became quiet and a calm-before-the-storm sensation enveloped me. I placed my hands on the bench because I was suddenly lightheaded–I needed support because I felt like the ground beneath shifted; waves that triggered that falling phenomenon just before you completely succumb to sleep–like a hypnagogic myoclonic twitch.
Faintly, I sensed the planets tumble into position, the click… click… click… of stars aligning in the heavens; the sun, moon, Venus, and Mars at that moment were singing in the universe.
Did we just have an earthquake? I jumped off the bench like it was on fire. I ran to my car, unable to deal with the intensity of the moment. He was right behind me. He was so annoying!
“Where ya goin’? We should go out sometime.”
I was having a hard time breathing and fumbled with my keys as I unlocked the car. I leaned against the door for support and turned to him,
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not known for being subtle.
“I have to work a charter later, I’ll give you a call.”
And with that, I drove off.
Of course, I never went back to work. Who could blame me?
I raced home and power-called all my girlfriends.
I was in panic mode.
I reported every detail to one friend after another. I needed advice, I needed explanations. I needed to be talked down. But no one had experienced anything comparable. No one knew what to do.
I was on this voyage alone; no rules to follow. I was in uncharted waters.
That evening I did what we are warned not to do, what mothers counsel daughters against.
I was nervous and jumping out of my skin, but also determined to be 100% honest (also on my list). How else would I know if he was “the one”? I called and left a message on his voicemail. Remember way back when we used voicemail?
“Hi, can you give me a call when you hear this message? There’s something I need to ask you.”
He called a couple hours later. I was on my bed, reading a magazine, pretending I was not waiting for the call…dreading the call.
“Hi there, it’s me. I got your message, but I was planning to call you anyway. What’s up?”
I took a deep breath and decided it was now or never–I needed to go for it…take that chance. DO it.
”Uhh, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what happened at the harbor…I never felt anything like that EVER, and I think… I think…”
I took a deep breath and the words tumbled out,
“I mean, I really need to know.”
[Pause] [More pause]
Oh boy. In that single, painful, heartstopping moment I wished I could hit delete and erase the last five minutes.
Palms sweaty, heart pounding, OMG, I am a total f-ing idiot–what have I just said–I’m insane, he’ll think I’m a freak or I’m exhibiting psycho pre-stalker tendencies–and then, finally, it seemed like hours of silence had gone by–I was gonna hang up and hide under my bed if he didn’t say something–he said,
“Umm, no, it’s not just you. I’m feeling the same exact way. Something happened to me today too, and I can’t explain it either. How about us going on a real date and let’s talk about it?”
I released the breath I hadn’t been aware I was still holding. That last planet locked into position.
I discovered my soul mate, my tugboat man.
There’s lots more to this story; some twists and turns and ups and downs, but the thread that ties it all together is how we found each other and fell in love.
Today: I wait for him to come home. And wait. And wait. And remind myself, “Don’t count the miles, count the I-love-yous”
Christina Perri, “Miles”
The wedding. Our song, our first dance as husband and wife. “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole
The Beginning…This is the love story of me, Princess Rosebud, and her tugboat captain.
We met when I was a year into my deal with myself to stay celibate until I met someone, uh, worthy…
Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010… At 3:40 this afternoon, I was in the threshold of our garage door that leads into the living room where I had dragged in a ladder to help with my latest project–painting the living room walls a divine shade of seafoam green–to stay busy when the captain’s out to sea. I mean, I can’t shop ALL the time. A girl has to take a break now and again, right? I set the ladder down and went back to close the garage door. At that precise moment, the glass vases on the shelves surrounding our fireplace began to vibrate and wobble. Here in SoCal, I’ve endured a handful of quakes, but never such intense shaking.
Through the open garage door I saw the bicycles that hang from the ceiling sway back and forth. As I attempted to process THAT information, the crystal lustres on my grandmother’s antique porcelain candelabras clashed and clinked. Terracotta tile flooring in the foyer seemed to roll back and forth and I had a difficult time standing.
Feeling dizzy and unbalanced, I grasped the doorway for support. My poor kitty gave me a dirty look like I had interrupted her nap on purpose. So much for the concept that animals can sense an earthquake–not this spoiled little brat.
I ran up our oak-planked steps into the family room and through the patio doors onto the deck and shouted out to the neighbors.
“Look at your pool!”
“I know, this is crazy! Are you OK? Any damage?”
“I don’t think so. A couple seashells fell off the shelf in the family room, but I was so freaked, I didn’t want to stay inside, so I ran out back. I don’t know if we should stay in the house or what we should do!”
“Us either! Let’s see what’s on the news.”
This quake was so violent that it caused the water in their pool to slosh over the sides like a mini-tsunami. We each went back in our respective homes and turned on CNN. We discovered that there had been a 7.2 earthquake in Mexico. The first reports that came in revealed a lot of damage near the epicenter in Mexicali, but no major problems in San Diego; only broken glass and falling cans at grocery stores, which seemed pretty miraculous considering the earthquake’s size.
Still spooked by the shaking and some pretty strong aftershocks, I surveyed the house, removing anything unsecured and potentially dangerous.
This is as good a time as any to confess something. I’m a shell-aholic.
I’ve got shelves and shelves of seashells in every room–including the bathroom. Everyone collects seashells, right? One here, one there, as a memory of a great beach or a fun vacation, right? Well…I’m a seashellhoarder. I want ALL seashells–there are never enough seashells to collect or buy. I make things out of some of them–picture frames, mirrors, boxes–they line the walls in our two bathrooms and even our front door, but mostly they just hang out–in bowls, on shelves, anywhere and everywhere. There is no empty space in our house, and if there is, it’s quickly filled with a shell–or a rock.
After a couple decades, we have come to an understanding, the captain and I. He thinks I’m crazy and obsessed with shells and rocks and driftwood, and I don’t destroy his surfboards if he doesn’t give me a hard time about it.
I anxiously emailed the captain who’s half a world away in the middle of an ocean. I figured that if anything would cause him to cut his four month assignment short, this might be it. The way that emailing works in deep ocean situations is through a pretty inefficient satellite; sometimes it takes hours to complete the process. If there’s a real emergency, I have a phone number to call, but this didn’t really fit the definition. I wasn’t hurt and the house wasn’t damaged or anything. When he finally read the email and wrote back, he told me to “standby” at the house phone because he would try to make a call from the boat’s sat phone. When he called, I used all my powers of persuasion to convince him to come home, but to no avail. He simply wasn’t going to call the United States Coast Guardto fly a rescue mission a thousand miles from land to bring him home because the kitty and I were scared.
Well, I know where I stand in his list of priorities. Hmmm, I wonder if this is when I hatched my plot to get that Chanel. Hmmm, I wonder.
After that stressful event, and many aftershocks later, some pampering was definitely well deserved. That evening, I drew a bath in the upstairs bathroom we call the spa because it’s decorated in earthy tones with seashells and beach glass surrounding the mirrors and along the walls.
(I know what you’re thinking, and I don’t care.)
I lit a fragrant and calming lavender candle, eased my body into the almost too-hot-to-stand-it water, and trickled in ginger and lemongrass aromatherapy oils. Sipping from a glass of merlot, I leaned back, closed my eyes, and my thoughts wandered.
Experiencing an earthquake; the dizziness, the weightless feeling in a tub of warm water; it all reminded me of falling in love. It all felt the same… and it all started with a fifty cent cup of coffee.
Newly divorced in 1990, I speed dated a few guys, including one totally boring and slightly scary man who immediately wanted me to meet his parents after the first (and last) date, along with a couple of total idiots whose combined IQs prolly didn’t equal my Border Collie‘s. Those unsavory experiences became flashing red lights–STOP! NO! THINK!–impossible to ignore–that I seriously needed to take some time off the dating circuit.
It was the perfect time for a list.
I’m an inveterate list maker; I prioritize my errands and even list groceries in the order of where they’re located in the store– like my own custom board game–where I start at the entrance and finish at the cash register.
I wrote this particular list with the hope that if I documented the qualities desired in a significant other, the universe would deliver the right one when all the planets were aligned. Or so I dreamed.
At midnight on August 7th, 1990, with a bottle of wine to seal the deal, I made a promise to myself–I would not date (or do anything else) for a very long time, and the next one would be “the one”.
1. Must call when he says he will. This is non-negotiable.
2. Must show up on time for dates.
3. Must love pets. Also non-negotiable.
4. No cigarettes. No smoking, and of course, no drugs.
5. Likes to exercise, work out, eat healthy, etc.
6. Must have gainful employment.
7. Must be nice and polite and honest and trustworthy.
8. Fidelity is of paramount importance.
9. When the time is right and he meets my son, my son has to like him. Also non-negotiable.
Next: Part Two
- Where My Ladyz At: Strong Women Campaign – Princess Rosebud (thefurfiles.com)
- The Secret of Seashells (reflectivemindsets.wordpress.com)
- Friday Fun: Seashell Pancake Art! (beachtreasuresandtreasurebeaches.com)
- Free romance anthology + prizes (trsparties.com)
- Seashell Wallflowers! Display Your Beach Treasures.(beachtreasuresandtreasurebeaches.com)
- A New Direction? (chowderheadbazoo.typepad.com)
- Smith’s Minted Rosebud Salve (dailyglow.com)
- Festive Seashell Caroler and Angel Ornaments(beachtreasuresandtreasurebeaches.com)
I spent the entire day with one of my oldest friends. We had lost touch for many years but picked up the thread as if it were only hours between chats, and not the chasm of time that separated us.
It was my fault. I wasn’t there for her when she needed me. I apologized and she forgave me.
So simple. True. Honest. Authentic.
Here are three of my favorite things to celebrate and be grateful for on this kind of overcast and cloudy Sunday.
Yoo hoo! Over here! *waves arms furiously*
Hi, Donald. How ya doing today?
As Judge Judy often says, and I’ll paraphrase…put on your listening ears. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.
Let me make myself particularly clear.
My parts belong to ME.
MY eyes, MY nose, My arms, MY uterus, cervix, ovaries, and vagina.
Not yours to invade and certainly not yours to grope or grab at the behest of one of your NASTY little whims.
(See, there’s the proper use of the word “nasty“. Donald, don’t refer to Hillary Clinton as “nasty” because that’s REALLY a whole lotta narcissistic projection going on, DONALD, along with some garden variety “pot-calling-the-kettle-black” blameshifting, smearing, and gaslighting.)
Unless I invite you in or ask for your opinion, keep your grubby paws to yourself.
If I get pregnant and do not want -FOR WHATEVER REASON- to grow the little sperm/egg combo to maturity, it is my RIGHT, not YOURS, to determine the outcome.
D’ya hear me?
MY REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS do not include YOU.
Do you hear me now?
Do you understand? Comprendo? Verstehen?
I am a woman. Stay out of my body. Stop telling me what I can and what I cannot do with all of my parts; past, present, and future.
Here’s an insightful article on Huffington Post by an OB/GYN.
Donald Trump Confuses Birth With Abortion. And No, There Are No Ninth Month Abortions.
(Photo courtesy of http://photos.gograph.com/thumbs/CSP/CSP519/k5193117.jpg)
Before I was Princess Rosebud and Rowdy Rosie, I was a little girl who loved to dance in pink tutus and satin toe shoes.
A sweet and innocent little girl who was very gentle and sorta clueless about life.
Who loved animals (especially wolves and coyotes and foxes and mountain lions and bobcats) but all animals really.
Who never had to face life’s seriously sucky tribulations, cos life was pretty good most of the time.
Especially when there were seashells to pick off a sandy beach. Or someone thought about me and brought home a handful of seashells from one of their vacations.
Seashells make me happy. Butterflies make me happy, too, but that’s a different story.
This is about death. DEATH. Not a metamorphosis.
Death is pretty final in a lot of ways. I mean in this plane, on this Earth, when someone dies, stops breathing, heart stops beating…well, that’s pretty final.
Why do some deaths hit us harder than others?
Randomly searching for something on the internet, I discovered that a friend and business associate I hadn’t seen in a long time had died of cancer a few months ago.
I didn’t know. No one told me. How did this happen, that I didn’t know?
The death and the not knowing shocked me, rocked me to my core. I was sobbing. Not him, I thought. Not him. Good men like that should live to be one-hundred-years at least.
(I could tell you how it happened that I didn’t know, I could elucidate, fill you in on all the deets, but then the story would be all about me and not a way, however small, to honor this fine, fine man.)
I heard him say this one thing a thousand times, “Hey guys, here’s just another rusty brain idea I’d like to run by you.”
He was one of those true-blue, honorable, faithful, simply noble, ethical, principled, reliable, honest, trustworthy, dependable, SALT OF THE EARTH men.
They don’t make them like that any more. Trust me on that. It’s really so simple, when you think about it. Not a difficult way to live one’s life if you know what’s really important.
All men (and women) should aspire to conduct their lives to that standard. A decent man with character and a deep commitment to his wife and family.
A never-give-up kind of man. The very definition of what a man should be.
If you needed anything, Steve was there. Especially if there was food involved. Oh yes, Steve loved to eat, that’s for sure.
I sent his wife a letter expressing my sorrow for her loss and apologized for not knowing and not attending his memorial service.
She wrote back almost immediately.
True to form, he never told anyone of his battle with cancer. Thinking back, I remember he was always showing up with bandages all over his face and head from skin cancer surgeries, but he brushed aside all questions about his health. The cancer spread and though it was quite painful, he never complained.
One day he collapsed and died in his wife’s arms, the only place that was ever really home to him.
I honor you, Steve, and I will miss you forever. More than you could know. This is a big loss, a big death, and my heart goes out to your lovely family.
Before I was Princess Rosebud, I was Rowdy Rosie, did you know that? Something must have happened over the years to morph RR into PR, but she’s BACK! (You can read a previous post about RR here: https://enchantedseashells.com/2013/07/02/the-story-of-rowdy-rosie/)
All you need is a little patience, right? Well, to paraphrase my rock and roll crush, Axl Rose, I guess I needed twenty-plus years of patience, ‘cos that’s how long it took between Guns N’ Roses concerts. At least for me.
When my good friend from Cowboys and Crossbones told me their Not In This Lifetime tour was one of the best concerts she’d ever attended, my ears perked up. When I discovered GnR would end their US tour in San Diego, I knew I’d have to something about it.
I dusted off an old Rowdy Rosie sheer lace spandex camisole I’d kept safe (just in case) since the nineties nestled in tissue paper and wore it over a black and white polka dotted push up bra, squirmed into skinny jeans so tight there wasn’t an ounce of space to breathe, added studded moto boots, and the look was complete.
Not too bad for a grandma, am I right? (DO NOT ANSWER THAT RHETORICAL QUESTION!!)
After a slight mishap at the trolley station where I accidentally fell onto the tracks. No adult beverages nor any mind altering substances could be blamed…the sun was in my eyes and it was SUPER crowded-sometimes the truth is BORING, but the truth is what you get in Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife…
The opening act was the Cult, do you remember them? They did a great job of holding our attention until Axl hit the stage.
OK, here’s where more truth comes in.
We are all aware of the inexorable march of time; it can’t be stopped, we all get older, look older, feel older–none of us really has a picture in the attic (literary reference to Picture of Dorian Gray)-even Botox and a skilled surgeon can only for a brief moment hold back the tick-tock of aging.
So…when that sweet bad boy child of mine, the now fifty-four-year-old Axl Rose first appeared, I do believe there was a collective GASP from the crowd, or maybe it was just me? I mean, I know it’s been 20+ years, but I really expected him to still look like…
Side by side comparison…Where did he go?
And it didn’t matter at all. Once he started to sing, I was transported back to that special place where everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky (lyrics to “Sweet Child of Mine”)
He’s still bad boy sexy though, and if I squinted, he kinda sorta-well no, actually not at all.
He’s aged, I’ve aged, we’ve all aged. He’s had some work done, not exactly a total Mickey Rourke, but a bit, and he’s brave to step on stage knowing how the world sees him in reality versus in dreams (oops, my bad, hee hee.)
I screamed like a teenager.
I danced like no one was watching (no one was) and had the BEST TIME OF MY LIFE.
The biggest difference in the two concerts from then and now -except for the cost of the ticket lol-was the ubiquitous presence of cell phones capturing every single moment. I’m guilty of that too.
When the first chords of “Welcome to the Jungle” started up, there was nowhere in the world I would have rather been than experiencing that iconic moment.
They played nonstop for more than 2 1/2 hours and ended with “Paradise City”.
As we ran to grab the trolley back to our vehicle, we saw Slash drive away in his black limo SUV and he waved to us.
BEST NIGHT EVER.
And now I’ll have a forever scar to remember it by…
According to Awakening to the Spirit World by Sandra Ingerman and Hank Wesselman, “Shamanism is the first spiritual practice of humankind and dates back tens of thousands of years. The fact that this spiritual practice of working in relationship and in partnership with the helping spirits is being widely used today speaks to the potency of the work.”
Shamanism is a practice that involves a practitioner who reaches altered states of consciousness in order to perceive and interact with a spirit world and channel these transcendental energies into this world.
Hold on a sec…yes, you’re on the right blog, I’m still Princess Rosebud, still Enchanted Seashells haha, just doing a little ENCHANTED exploration with the spirit world in addition to gluing seashells to any available surface. With a nature. land, and animal connection, how could it be anything but good, right?
Let me clarify…I’m not a shaman. Did you think I was? Nope, but I met an amazing woman who is a shamanic practitioner,and I’d like to share her story and my experience with you.
I met Carmen in January. I had undergone an emotional and total body 10.0 earthquake, a tsunami of pain that ruled my life so unbearably for a couple of months until I was so devastated that I was literally unable to function (I’ll tell you all about it when I can.)
A very good friend suggested that I seek out the support of a shaman for healing from these deep heart wounds.
Always a skeptic, I was so far out of my mind and spirit and soul that I would have reached up to the sky to pull down a star if that could have helped me work my way out of depths of despair.
Serendipity, divine guidance, luck, coincidence…who knows what it was, but I found Carmen located in my own little town and booked an appointment.
I had no preconceived ideas about what to expect. I didn’t even Google “shamanism”–I don’t remember how I drove to her office.
I walked through the door with shoulders hunched, tears streaming down my face. There was a candle burning and the scent of sage. I don’t remember filling out her information form…why are you here, and later I saw that I had written, “to save my life”.
Between bouts of sobbing, I told her what had happened to my world; it felt like a death but no one had died. I felt like there was something strangely wrong with me; not a medical issue, although I had absolutely suffered some health issues due to this seismic shift-but more internal, cellular, organic. I felt like there was a toxic or malignant entity inhabiting my body, causing me an incredible amount of despondency- I was tormented.
What is a shamanic journey?
In shamanic practice it is believed that part of the soul is free to leave the body. There are various times the soul might leave the body, during dreaming or to protect the soul from trauma. When a shaman is initiated onto the shamanic path, they usually learn how to send their soul forth intentionally, on the soul flight which is commonly called a journey or the shamanic journey. In early shamanic societies, many shamans were initiated because of having a near death experience. Death being an experience when all of your soul leaves the body, the near death experience is thought to teach an individual to travel with the soul.
The shamanic journey occurs by shifting awareness or consciousness in order to allow part of your soul to leave the body. The drum or rattle is frequently used. The slow repetitive rhythm shifts the individuals “rhythm” so that he or she can journey. Just the way a soothing song can help an someone achieve a calmer state. The rhythm of the drum puts you in the right state to journey. The drum beat used is very close to the frequency that is measured from the earth, and has proved effective for the majority of people. [From https://www.shamanlinks.net/shaman-info/about-shamanism/the-shamanic-journey/]
I’ve learned that everyone’s journey is different. Mine involved an out of body and trance-like dreamy experience — meeting my spirit guides and my spirit animal (a wolf, of course), and a feeling of release of toxins and pain–and a sort of rebirth. I felt as if I was physically still in the room and simultaneously travelled away from my physical body. When Carmen brought me back from the journey and I regained my awareness of the present moment, I felt completely changed from the person who had walked in two hours before. Lighter, less burdened, less desolate, less weighted down by a thousand ton boulder crushing my heart.
Are you asking yourself if I exaggerated or if it was as intense as I’ve shared? Yup, it was, and even more so.
And all I know for sure is that I felt better walking out than I had walking in, and for the most part, that’s stayed with me, along with a renewed sense of purpose, and maybe even healed a bit.
From that moment, I’ve done a lot of reading about Shamanism and I’m fascinated by everything I’ve learned.
I asked Carmen a few questions and below that is a lot of info about her background and training . Even if you don’t live in our area, she does distance work, and I highly recommend her.
Carmen Tracey: Paradise Reiki, specializing in Reiki, Shamanic Therapies, and Spirit Guidance. 800 Grand Ave – Suite AG1 Carlsbad, CA 92008 Phone:414-367-4325 or 760-576-5133 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paradisereiki/
Questions with Carmen:
What is your favorite specialty area?
Curse unraveling. With enough intention behind our words, a curse can be as simple as wishing someone ill, but sometimes people are really skilled in creating curses with components, with plants or animal parts for instance, and those are really intense to unravel.
Where did you learn this ?
I learned this specialty skill from Betsy Bergstrom
I love doing animal communications and spirit guidance. I enjoy working with animals in that space; they have very rich emotional, mental, and spiritual lives and because we are so focused on everyone speaking the same language we miss out on a lot of information.
I enjoy being the bridge between human and animal communication.
My first animal client was rabbit that was acting out, super horny lol, and I told his owner to get stuffed animal — but what he really needed a mate, and when she introduced him to a female rabbit, it all worked out, he was a great dad and great mate. This experience reinforced my passion to work with animals.
Can you give us an example of a worst curse scenario?
I helped a woman where back in her ancestry an ancestor was at war with a local witch and who placed a spell on the family. The spell had components. The release of the spell originated with that one person but helped the entire family. I was able to release a supernatural being that was bound in the spell in order to heal the family. This will carry forward into the future.
When did you first realize that you had these special gifts and skills?
It was in high school. I always had psychic abilities, have always seen spirits, which got me into a lot of trouble because in the beginning, I had no filter and told everyone what I saw and heard. I “knew” that my 5th grade teachers were having an affair. Their two classrooms were separated by a room divider and their individual desks were next to each other but on either side of the divider. One day I saw them together at their desks along with an image of the two of them in her kitchen drinking coffee. I said to them, “Hope you had a fun time together.” They looked at me, like what are you talking about? The male teacher later confronted me in the hall and threatened that I’d be in big trouble is I told anyone.
Carmen Tracey is the Owner, Teacher, and primary Energy Therapist at Paradise Reiki. She is a Reiki Master Teacher and A Core Shamanic Practitioner. Carmen believes in honoring our ancestors and native teachings as well as using intention based practices for healing in the moment. She also believes it is vital to honor the future ones by re-weaving the tapestry with new healing stories. Her commitment to her client begins before we enter her healing space and continues long after we leave. She offers her support and compassion for us on our healing path and will share her knowledge and skills as a healer in all of her work.. As a healer her number one goal is to help us be in touch with our true self, honoring our own ability to heal and grow physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Carmen believes in creating an environment for learning and provides ample opportunities for growth for her students. She networks extensively in the area in order to provide clients with Holistic options when building their health care team.
Background and Training
1998 – Present – Continued study and exploration of Shamanism with teachings from a Lakota Sioux elder with sacred ceremony, to advanced energetic theories with Kathleen Rude and Betsy Bergstrom. Her personal spiritual path follows the path of the elders deeply rooted in spiritual ecology and intention setting practices. She was blessed with a family who valued philosophy in spirituality and religion and thus explored many faiths around the globe, hence her natural fit with Core Shamanism. She has deep personal relationships with many guides and allies in the world of spirit. She has a deep connection to animals and considers communication with nature as fundamental to our spiritual growth as a species. She considers spirituality as fundamental to our health.
Reiki Master Teacher Fall 2010 – She completed a yearlong Reiki Master Teacher program through The Art of Healing School of Energy Medicine in Elm Groove WI with 100+ hours of clinical and hands on teaching of Reiki.
Chakras 2009 – She completed a Chakra and Advanced Chakra healing program through the Art of Healing School of Energy Medicine.
Japanese Reiki 2010 – As part of her continued studies at the Art of Healing School of Energy Medicine she completed a Japanese Reiki and Advanced Japanese Reiki program. These teachings explored the newly released and translated information from Usui Sensi’s teachings. Carmen has integrated these teachings into her Usui Reiki program, merging east with west. Inherent in the original teachings of Reiki are an integrated connection to the natural world, indeed the first part of the kami of the word Reiki contains the word Shaman. Reiki has been a natural extension of Carmen’s healing gifts.
We are energetic beings with energy fields surrounding our bodies and around every organ. These fields resonate at a specific frequency when we are healthy and at a different frequency when we are not. Reiki taps into this energy through a gentle hands-on method that creates deep relaxation and reconnects the body to the Life Force Energy known as Ki or Chi. Using just her hands, the Reiki practitioner introduces a pulsing energy field to positively influence the energy fields in and around the body. Reiki energy can bring the energy fields back into their healthy ranges.
Reiki works with energy on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. A Reiki session will help your body relax and feel full of vitality and can lead to increased mental clarity and it can boost energy levels. Reiki is a very nurturing therapy.
Paradise Reiki believes that the whole self needs to be nurtured for healing to be successful. She believes in working with other healing therapies for a holistic approach.
Carmen has advanced training in Shamanic studies and practices. Among these are cord cutting, complex energetic unraveling such as curses and/or thought forms, soul retrieval and guided shamanic journeys to the realms of spirit. Carmen would be honored to help guide you on journeys that help you create relationships with your true self and your guides and allies. Adding these relationships to your own spiritual practices will offer opportunities for growth and healing.
There are many indications that a Shamanic Therapy may be right for you:
* Feeling Stuck
* Feeling drained by events or people
* Feeling not yourself
* The Desire to be on a different path in life
There are 7 major chakra centers from the western energy philosophy that correspond to physical positions along the spine. Each chakra represents a wheel or spinning disk of energy often visualized as a flower with petals open. These energy centers correspond to the organ systems of the body. The human energy fields expand beyond the body. Chakra healing works with the chakra centers and the energy fields to cleanse and balance.
There are many wonderful energy theories, such as the Jewish system with the Qabalah and the Nada Yoga practice of chanting the Sanskrit seed syllables for chakra healing. Carmen works with many theories to find a fit that is right for you.
Carmen works with a system called Energy Mapping to draw your energy systems, the locations and spin of your Chakras as well as your energy pathways. These are unique to you. There is not a one size fits all system to understanding your own energy centers and pathways. Your needs are also going to be unique to you. Together you and Carmen can map out a path to healing that fits your unique needs.
Blessed Magic Manifesting
From Desire Mapping to Vision Boards, Carmen will offer her insights into manifesting the life you wish to be leading in thoughtful as well as practical ways.
Animal Healing and Communication
All of the techniques that Carmen uses for her human clients she uses for her animal clients. Communicating with her animal clients through shamanic journeys can offer great insight into their needs and their inner lives. She uses her knowledge of animal chakra and energy systems and Reiki to offer healing. She can see your animal friends at her healing space in Carlsbad or travel to your place.
End of Life Transitions and Nurturing
Carmen will travel to your loved one for end of life transition sessions. She can offer nurturing support to you, your family and your loved one during this beautiful transition. Carmen has a gift for spirit communication and can offer her ability to communicate with your loved one, helping you to understand their needs. She can also help your loved one communicate with their guides and allies and their loved ones who are there in spirit to guide your loved one.
Carmen uses her Shamanic Practices to work with spirit to communicate to her client’s true self and guides and allies. She can help you learn to communicate in non verbal ways with your friends and loved ones.
Distance Services Offered:
All Shamanic Healing
Animal Communication and Healing
Spirit Guide Communication
Blessed Magic Manifesting
Reiki Distance Healing
All Workshops and Apprenticeships
Call or text: 414-367-4325 or 760-576-5133
Featured image by http://www.robin-noorda.com/