Spirituality Feed

How My Deceased Grandmother Protected Me from an Armed Burglar as I Slept

Cloud Heaven
The phone ringing on the bedside table stuns me out of a deep sleep. The clock reads 11:10 pm. “Kris, where are you?” I recognize it is Joan, my house guest. “I’m in bed, at home, why?” “Someone just stole your car. I’m out in your garage.” Huh? “A guy just ran out of your house with your car keys and stole your car.” I’ll be right out.


I threw on some clothes, grabbed my phone and walked hurriedly from the master bedroom at the far back of the house to the front of the house. Along the way, I noticed our 50” living room TV was half pulled out of the entertainment center shelf. Oh, my God, someone had just been mere feet from my bedroom door as I slept? And why didn't any of our four dogs bark? I passed through the small laundry room and opened the door to the two-car garage. The garage door was wide open to the dark night; the lights in the garage were too bright and there was the space where my car had just been. Joan stood there, waiting for me. I dialed 911 and calmly reported a home invasion and car theft. Then I asked Joan what happened.


Subaru Outback 2017


Joan’s friend dropped her off at my house. As their car approached, Joan thought it was odd that my garage door was wide open, and the light was on in the garage. Maybe Kris just got home from somewhere and she forgot to close the garage door. Joan walked through the garage. As she reached to open the door to the laundry room, a man rushed out the door, startling her. He pushed past her. Confused, Joan insisted, “Who are you?” “A friend,” he muttered with irritation. Then he jumped in the car and tore out of the garage. That’s when Joan called me.


Kathryn Front Yard

My mind was racing. My partner, DD was out of town. Joan was a house guest who never bargained for this kind of drama. She was very kind and understanding. The garage door was dented and couldn’t be closed. We went in the house as I frantically took stock of what I should do next. My mind was racing; my heart was pounding. He has my car keys and house key. Call a 24-hour locksmith. What valuables were in my car? A couple gas credit cards and my Costco card. Call and cancel those. He has the remote garage door opener. Get a new garage door opener. Dear friends of ours went to the all-night Walmart, picked up a new one and installed it that night. Meanwhile, where are the police?  Internet searches to find a locksmith. Infuriating. I soon concluded that all the “local” 24-hour locksmith businesses are actually call centers in Indiana. No help at all. Meanwhile, I walked around the house to see what else was stolen. Our dog’s Tramadol bottle was gone from the kitchen counter. Nothing else seemed to be missing. Back in the garage, I noticed an old gym bag on the floor had been emptied out and power tools were inside. Then I noticed the garage door had a long vertical dent in it across two panels. How did that happen? Then, I noticed that the two outside lights on either side of the garage door were out. I checked the switch – it was turned on. Huh. I reached up and sure enough, someone had simply loosened the bulbs. This was planned out. How did he get in? We figured he had a universal garage door opener and just drove house-to-house trying them and we were unlucky. We found out later we were wrong about this.


Meanwhile, where were the police? This was a Saturday night and Albuquerque has the highest rate of car thefts in the country, so maybe that had something to do with it.  An officer finally arrived around 1:00 am - two hours after I called. While taking the report, she was alarmed to learn that the suspect had been on the scene seconds before we called it in. She apologized and said there must have been a dispatch communication glitch because the call had been given a low priority response code.


I finished with the police officer and then I remembered something. Hey, when I bought my brand new 2017 Subaru Outback just four months before, I think I signed up for some kind of promotional Subaru Starlink service. At the time, I didn't even really know what it was or what it included. I ran to my files, and finally found the paperwork. I called the number and reported my car stolen. Thirty minutes later the police called me to say they found my car and I could come get it down in the South Valley area. It took forever for the taxi to pick me up. I wasn't going to call any friends for a ride at 2:30 in the morning. Several lit-up police cars surrounded my car waiting for me and my spare key. The officer entered the driver’s side door. He sat in the front seat, using his flashlight to search for any evidence. Within seconds, he presented a heavy thick plastic bag with handguns inside that had been left on the floor of the passenger side. Oh, my God - again! Did this man have a gun in my house, mere feet from my bedroom door as I slept? Two officers thoroughly searched the rest of my car for drugs and anything else they could find. Fingerprinting yielded few useful results. While waiting for the police to finish searching my car, I was relieved to notice that the only apparent damage was the missing solid triangle antenna on the top of the car. It had been ripped off and now only wires dangled there. Around 4:00 am they released my car to me. As I approached the open front door, I could smell an awful stench. It was a revolting odor that I had never smelled before. Like cigarette smoke mixed with cheap male cologne and maybe a dead fish all rolled together.


By the way, let me share with you how the guy actually gained access to my house. One of my students later told me about this little-known ingenious method. Sure enough, I went to YouTube and watched a demonstration of how it is done. You take a straightened wire clothes hanger and insert it up at the top of the garage door, between the door and the garage door frame. Then you extend it so that you can hook the manual garage door opener. Slide the hook of the hanger along the length of the red rope until you snag the black handle. Now, just pull down and this manually unlocks the door. Then, simply reach down and lift up the garage door – slowly and quietly. Most people – like us – never dreamed that this could happen, so we always left the door from the garage to the house unlocked. Never again.  He walked into the hallway and immediately saw my car keys on the hall table. Who knows how long he walked around my house as I slept with our four dogs back in the far back bedroom? By the way, I also later figured out that when he manually lifted up the garage door, he didn't lift it high enough, so that when he recklessly backed out the car, the antenna caught the bottom of the garage door and that's how it was torn off.


It was creepy and disgusting being in my beloved brand-new Outback. It felt dirty inside with that disgusting stench. The police warned me that if the test came back positive for Meth in my car, it would have to be considered totaled by the insurance company. Was my dream car going to be totaled just four months after driving it off the lot? Thank goodness, it wasn’t, but I kept all the windows rolled down for the first couple of weeks trying to air it out.


I was still quite shaken by this whole experience, wondering how close I came to a much more tragic ending. I couldn’t know then that this story was about to take a miraculous turn.


Two days later, I was finally ready to get inside my car, to clean it out with practically ritual attention to cleansing it of all negative energy. I planned to wash it, wax it, and thoroughly wipe down the entire inside. I had a bundle of sage ready and one of my students had given me a small bottle of Holy Water offered by her priest.


I pulled the car into the center of the garage, brought out the vacuum cleaner, and began behind the driver’s seat. Using just the wand tube, I reached forward to the emergency brake space between the two front seats. I could barely make out a tiny piece of paper. I don’t know why I didn’t just vacuum it up. For some reason, I turned off the vacuum and reached way down and grabbed it with my two middle fingers. When I looked at it, I was stunned. I couldn’t believe what I was holding in my hand.


Miracle In Car LabelMiracle Address Label 2


It was a very small and very old return-address label of my grandmother’s. I had never seen it before. How old must this be that it was printed before zip codes were used? "Columbus 13?" How in the world did it get into my brand-new car? I had never transported photos or old keepsakes or anything like that in my car. Again, I had never even seen this before. I knew instantly this was a sign from my grandmother who had long ago passed away. She is my mother’s mother. I always felt a special closeness with her. In fact, to this day, whenever I hear a distant train whistle, I think of her because I remember listening to those train whistles as I laid in bed as a child those few times that we visited her in Columbus. Here is her old return-address label and I know she is trying to tell me that she was watching over me during this whole break-in. As tears welled in my eyes, I started to cry a soft, knowing cry of gratitude and acknowledgement. I thanked her for watching over me and for so clearly showing me a sign that she was nearby.


After a few minutes, I gathered myself and turned on the vacuum cleaner again. This time, I positioned myself a little closer to that same area in the front seat. As I started to put the crevice tool down that same area between the seats, I looked straight down in that narrow space and saw another piece of paper. What? This one was larger. I squeezed my hand down there and was barely able to pull out what I quickly realized was a photo – a 4x6 color photo. Unbelievable!


Miracle In Car PhotoMiracle Me with Tucker and Grandma Shay


Now, this photo I definitely recognized. It was a picture of me and my dog, Tucker visiting my grandmother in her nursing home. It was taken 22 years ago and a few months before she died. How did this get here?! I was blown away – again! I sat motionless and then started to cry, thanking my grandma for so clearly and undeniably showing me that she was here, and she was keeping me safe. I have never experienced anything like this. I could not ask for a more explicit sign that she watched over me. I had been feeling overwhelmed by all that happened, trying to process it all, feeling mixtures of sadness, fear, confusion, and anger. I was dealing with the police, locksmiths, the insurance company, and auto body shops, trying to coordinate all the next steps. I was also trying to consciously guide my process of emotional healing, not wanting to over-experience or under experience what even I had to acknowledge was trauma. She provided these signs to reassure me that she was here and that I would be OK.


Still sitting in the back seat of the car, I realized I better get moving; I was supposed to meet friends for lunch soon at a nearby restaurant. I quickly got changed and got in my car to leave. It is my habit to put on my seat belt, put the car in reverse and turn on my favorite political talk radio show. As I pulled out of my driveway, a thought occurred to me in my mind that was as clear and composed as could be. “Change the channel to a music station; I can’t get a message to you through talk radio.” What was this? More evidence? I had two preset music stations. I didn’t know which one to pick. I told myself to just pick one. I did. A song was ending, with its last few words. Without interruption, the next song began,

“I Can See Clearly Now, the rain has gone, I can see all the obstacles in my way. Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind, it’s gonna be a bright, bright, sunshiny day. Oh, yes, I can make it now, the pain is gone. All of the bad feelings have disappeared. Here is that rainbow I’ve been praying for. It’s gonna be a bright, bright, sunshiny day.”

I was blown away! Here was my grandmother – or someone on the Other Side - expressing even more comfort and reassurance. I reached for another Kleenex. As if that’s not enough, later that day, after I returned from lunch, I called to make a phone appointment with a Medium I had met with once before. I guess I just wanted to share all this and see if he had anything else to add. We set a date and time, but just before hanging up, he told me to wait. He had a woman on the Other Side who was insisting on not waiting until the appointment to send one quick message. I figured it was my grandmother, but no; he determined that it was my mother. He said that the message from her was kind of odd. “She is telling me to tell you to go into the bathroom.” Ha Ha! I recognized her message instantly. This was definitely my mom. I have told this story to many groups at many workshops through the years. Here is the story. Way back, during my first year of college, I was talking long-distance on the phone with my mom, apparently stressing over every kind of crisis – my boyfriend, my classes, not enough money, etc… After patiently listening for a while, my mom finally interrupted with some lighthearted advice, “Kristin Lee, go into the bathroom, turn on the light, look at yourself in the mirror and have a great big laugh! You are taking all this way too seriously; everything will be OK.”


What a day it had been! My mom and her mother had teamed up to be sure I knew that they were there for me. I know that our loved ones get very excited when we finally recognize their presence. I was humbled and overwhelmed by their efforts to express their love for me. Now I have much more of a daily consciousness of their presence and often send a knowing wink their way to acknowledge small signs. I have been blessed with two other major examples of being visited by loved ones who have died. My sister visited me in a powerful dream the night before she passed away. And my mom visited me in the back seat of my car as I raced to Arizona while she was in emergency surgery. She never regained consciousness and died two days later. Perhaps I will share those stories sometime. I know this all sounds a bit unbelievable. The really great news is that you don't have to believe in it in order to experience it.

Sunset Red 

Make this easy for yourself! Let me come to you!

It's FREE!

When you become a Subscriber, you will get an e-mail from me when I occasionally publish a new post. The link will bring you right back here with one click. Just fill in your e-mail address over there >>> on the right side bar where it says, "Subscribe."


Announcing Mary Roush's Book! "The First Eighty Years Are the Hardest: Feeling, Dealing, Healing"

As many of you know, I have been working during the last eight months on getting my mother's life Mom on Couch in GV Livng Roomstory manuscript published. She finished it about two weeks before her unexpected death in August, 2012. Well, I am thrilled to report that it is now available on Amazon! You can purchase it by clicking on the link over there to your right.

In case you don't know, this is an inspiring story of a woman who lived to be 81 years old; 44 of those years were spent in AA recovery and helping hundreds of sponsees from Philadelphia, St. Louis, Denver, and finally, Green Valley, AZ. My mother's story begins with the drowning death of her father when she was only five years old. It goes on to include her difficult childhood, marrying her husband, Skip (61 years), bringing up six children and then her descent into and out of alcoholism. She went on to become a therapist in private practice while living in Denver, CO. She conducted numerous weekend recovery retreats for spouses and adult children of alcoholics.

The book includes her move to Green Valley, AZ and the difficult years caring for my sister, Karen, who eventually died in August, 2005. My mother then endured a botched hip replacement surgery, three years of chronic pain, and then bladder cancer. I am happy to assure you that her last 18 months were pain free and filled with joyous volunteer work and remaining active in the local AA community. My dad, Skip Roush (86), continues to live in Green Valley at a beautiful retirement community, La Posada. He has decided to use proceeds from the sale of my mother's book to assist women in recovery. 

I am also announcing the launch of a blog/website that I am still in the process of building in order to celebrate the life and work of Mary Roush. You can reach it by clicking here www.Feel-Deal-Heal.com It includes several of my mother's self-reflection papers written while she was working on her Master's degree. I have included a listing and link to some of her favorite books. The site will contain many more photos that she selected but could not be included in the book because of space restrictions. I will be transcribing more of Mary's writings about codependency, family therapy, and women's issues.

I hope you will consider purchasing my mom's book and I would particularly appreciate your help in spreading the word about its' availability now. Perhaps you could post it on your Facebook page or send a note to people on your email Contact list. Thanks so much for joining me in celebrating the life of this wonderful woman!

Joy Word in Stone

Recovering Catholics: A Success Story

Catholic Rosary on Bible

It was the summer of 1989 and I was conducting a weekend retreat workshop for Adult Children of Alcoholics at the Dominican Retreat Center in Albuquerque, NM. As the participants were checking in on Friday afternoon, I struck up an animated conversation with Sister Margaret Mary. Her pronounced east coast accent caught my ear as I tried to distinguish, was that Baltimore or Philadelphia? Indeed, she was a Catholic nun from Philadelphia, so we just had to compare notes about our lives there in the 1960s.

I had attended Catholic grade school from 3rd to 7th grade in Swedesburg, PA, a small suburb of Philadelphia. Sister Margaret Mary had grown up in Philadelphia and was several years older than me, so she was familiar with the Catholic school culture that I described.

I wanted to share with her all of my funny stories about the nuns, the ancient and kind parish priest, masses conducted in Latin, Polish, and English, memorizing the questions and answers in the Baltimore Catechism book, corporal punishment, May Processions, mid-morning snacks of soft pretzels and milk, $1.25 due every Monday morning to pay for the five 25 cent lunches per week, jumping rope every day at recess because we were not allowed to run on the asphalt playground, and making up sins for confession that weren't so serious as to warrant much more than the standard penance of three Our Fathers, four Hail Marys and one Glory Be thrown in for good measure.

Catholic Virgin Mary

Sister Margaret Mary laughed knowingly as she smiled with recognition at our many commonalities. It felt so good to find a kindred spirit. That is what we were to each other. Through the years, whenever I would meet someone new at a party or social event and find out that they, too, had attended Catholic grade school, there was an instant and mutual connection - particularly if we were of about the same age, and attended school before the rumored reforms of the 1980s. We would immediately sit together, knee to knee, and excitedly compare war stories. Yes, there were funny stories. And, as I was beginning to realize with Sister Margaret Mary, there was a dimension of "impromptu support group" to those kindred spirit connections.

Later that night, as I laid in bed recalling my conversation with Sister, I was barely able to recognize that there was a bitter tinge to the "funny" stories I was sharing.  I realized, to my innocent surprise, that there was an angry edge to the telling of some of my Catholic school experiences. I got quiet with myself and looked deeper inside and sure enough, I found anger there. And that anger was tangled up in hurt. There was in me a composite 10 year old little girl who was full of sadness and having a harder and harder time denying her forbidden anger.  Kris in 3rd Grade
Off and on throughout the next day, while conducting my workshop, I realized that this hurt and anger was real and that I needed to address it. I knew that I didn't want that resentment any more.

Sister Margaret Mary was busy running the conference center. I found Sister Janie. Sister Janie was a young noviciate - a nun in training, if you will. She was kind and helpful and I just knew she would understand. During a break, I explained what I was realizing and asked if she might be available to meet with me on Sunday afternoon after the workshop was over. I believed her when she said she was happy to help me in any way.

We met at the appointed time and we walked out into the hot arid desert to find a shaded bench. I told her that I wanted to inventory every single Catholic resentment that I had been carrying all these years. I didn't want this toxic anger any more. She listened. I talked. And talked. And talked.

  • the time Sister Camilla hit me over the head with the hard bound Geography book
  • the time Sister Gabriel stood me in front of the class as an example of a ratty school uniform because the tear in the front had only been patched from underneath... I was humiliated...
  • the many times the nuns said that the Roush girls would go to hell if their parents pulled them out of Catholic school and enrolled them in the public school
  • being told to never "touch yourself in an impure place;" the human body was dirty
  • being told weekly stories of children who had sinned during the day and then died in their sleep that very same night
  • being called "white trash" and my very tanned best friend, Joey being called "black monkey" by the nuns... I didn't understand what "white trash" meant until I got to high school years later
  • being made to memorize the meaningless answers to the Baltimore Catechism book questions
  • no exposure to the Bible, just my Catholic Missal
  • the incessant warnings about God's wrath and eternal punishment in a burning hell
  • the constant implied teachings that I was bad to the core and had to be diligent on a daily basis to resist my sinful nature
  • and perhaps most painful, finding out in high school, through Young Life (a Christian outreach for high schoolers) that God really did know me and love me all along and that my Catholic school had brainwashed me into self hatred and a terrified fear of a vengeful God.                              Catholic Nun

This and much more poured out of me and I will be forever grateful to Sister Janie. Through my tears, I could see her face. Her look of anguish as she slowly shook her head in sorrow, healed my pain. She didn't speak words. She spoke heartfelt compassion with her face. She believed me. She never defensively tried to explain away or excuse the nuns, the church, the doctrine, none of it. And after it had all come out, my pain, the betrayal, the lies, my resentments about it all.... when there was nothing left to say... I dared to ask.

I don't know where it came from. I was just as surprised to hear it myself. A small and tentative voice inside of me asked Sister Janie, "I don't know if I can ask this or not, but,... could you apologize to me on behalf of the Catholic Church?" I couldn't believe the selfish audacity of my request. Before I could recover from the shock of my own question, Sister Janie quickly answered, "Of course! I am so sorry all of that happened to you. It did happen; I have heard similar stories from other people. I am so sorry and  as an official representative of the Catholic Church, I do apologize to you and I ask for your forgiveness." Well, I burst into tears again as we held each other and sat on that bench together, - two women who had only met the day before.  Finally.  God was good.

I told Sister Janie of my intention to leave it all there, there in the South Valley desert. I had released all that anger and would not pick it up again. And now, I can honestly say that when I tell my Catholic school stories, that tinge of anger is gone. I smile a little smile for Sister Margaret Mary and for Sister Janie, and yes, even for Sister Camilla and Sister Gabriel and all those misdirected and wounded nuns who are indeed now, my sisters.

You know, I share this story as one example of how to recognize, address, and release toxic emotions that might have been living just beneath the surface for many years. It is important to know, though, that forgiveness is not an event; it is a process. I started a process that day. I did not snap my fingers and see that it was all gone. I declared an intention that day, which I followed up with conscious choices to not pick it up again in the form of re-living and ruminating. I disallowed myself the luxury of basking in my hurt and indignation. That is the only way to truly move on into the future, unencumbered by past baggage. One of these days, I will get back to work on the book I am writing about this very process. Until then, I hope you will share with me your experiences with letting go of old hurts and then enjoying the freedom of their release.


Special-announcementsMake this easy for yourself! Let me come to you!

When you become a Subscriber, you will receive an occasional e-mail from me with a link straight back here to my latest post.

Just fill in your e-mail address over there to the right >>>>> side bar where it says



The Serenity Prayer


Candles Photo Spirituality


This morning during my quiet time, I found myself contemplating the Serenity Prayer. In case you are not familiar with it, here it is:

"God, grant me the

serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

courage to change the things I can, and

wisdom to know the difference."

I was struck by the simplicity and brevity of such an all-encompassing prayer. It is widely attributed to Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr, a theologian from Massachusetts, though its origins are still debated. It has been used as a closing prayer by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) since 1942.

I decided to study each of the words and discover their particular meaning for me. Perhaps I might glean more insight if I thoughtfully considered the words behind the words - for me. I would like to share this with you with the hastily added clarification that I am no philosopher. Here is how it broke down for me:

"God, grant me the                   "Something/Someone greater than myself, give me the

serenity                                       peacefulness, faith and knowing

to accept                                    to allow and not fight against

the things                                   the people and conditions

I cannot change,                        I am powerless over,

courage                                     the trust, resolve and strength

to change                                  to act and make different, - to transform

the things I can                         myself and the conditions I am able to make different,

and                                            and give me

wisdom                                     the transcending knowledge from experience

to know the difference."          to recognize what I can and cannot make different."


"God, grant me the

serenity, courage and wisdom


accept, change and know."

Spirituality Candles Layers of Votives

The Serenity Prayer seems to presume at least three things:

1) the need to go outside of the self to receive help,

2) the willingness to receive and act on what is asked for, and perhaps most strikingly,

3) serenity is not the result of accepting what we cannot change; serenity is the prerequisite to accepting what we cannot change.

So much is made of the need to accept what Life has given us each day, in order to experience peace in life. I can certainly see the wisdom of that, the directional flow that acceptance leads to peace. And yet, the Serenity Prayer calls us to do the opposite, to receive serenity in order to then have acceptance. This is where the need to seek help from outside of us comes in. This is what turns an affirmation into a prayer, the humble invitation to a higher power. I don't know if or how prayers get "answered" or "not answered." My personal belief is that the power is in the act of the asking.

I can appreciate that I might need divine intervention in order to have enough serenity to then experience acceptance. And, it strikes me that serenity is not the same as peace. Serenity is a state of grace that is sometimes the eye of the tornado. It includes a kind of faith from an inner Knowing. In this way, it is much more than a peaceful feeling. 

So, it begins with serenity and through acceptance, courage, action, and wisdom, it then ends in serenity and so goes the circular cycle. I am sure I have much more to learn from this prayer, and more importantly, from living from this prayer.

I would love to hear what your experience is with the Serenity Prayer and what it means to you. Please consider leaving a comment below.


Make this easy for yourself! Let me come to you!

When you become a Subscriber, you will receive an e-mail from me a couple times a week with a link to my latest post. Just click on it and you are here.

It's FREE!

Just fill in your e-mail address over there on the right >>> side bar where it says, Subscribe.



God Doesn't Like Bread Crust, Either

This might just be my earliest memory. I was about five years old. We lived in Detroit, Michigan and I was in Kindergarten. I had two older sisters and a younger sister and Child in Thought
brother. But none of that mattered on this particular day. This was between me and God.

I remember sitting at the kitchen table. I was finishing my cereal and toast for breakfast. I really didn't want to eat the crust of my toast. Such a delicate palate at that young age. I knew I had to eat everything on my plate, what with all the starving children in Biafra and all. We were raised in a pretty strict Catholic home and you did what you were told. So I had to eat my crust. What to do?

And then it came to me. I'll give my bread crust to God. He'll eat it. He loves little children. What a grand solution! So, I climbed down from my big chair and went through the door to the basement. I stepped down a few steps and stood there in the dark staircase. I lifted my hand up, arm outstretched to the heavens and said, "Here God, you can have my crust." I waited. Nothing. I waited some more. Nothing. "No, really, ... You can have it." I waited. Still nothing. I finally brought

Continue reading "God Doesn't Like Bread Crust, Either" »

Where is Life? Here. When is Life? Now. Why is Life? Love

Earth From Space
Here ..... Now ..... Love

Much has been written about the wisdom of living life in the "now." I wouldn't know much about that; I'm too busy planning my day.

"and today is Thursday..."

Several years ago, I got some great advice. One Thanksgiving morning, I apparently was going on and on talking about all my plans and then all my worries about all my plans. My mother was barely able to slide in sideways a simple observation that pulled me up short. She said, "And today is Thursday." In an instant, laughing, I was back in the present day, in the present moment, tending to the present task: stirring the gravy in the pan on the kitchen stove.  I loved that sudden reminder to get back into the here and now.  And so, whenever I find myself getting too far flung in my thought world, I remind myself, "And today is Thursday,"... regardless of whatever day it is.

"...all you do is piss all over today."

Another several years ago, I was attending an open AA meeting in Vail, Colorado. In fact, it was the meeting where my mother introduced me to the former First Lady, Betty Ford. Betty was chairing the meeting that night. There was quite a mix of people at that gathering. I will never forget. The topic was about living one day at a time. An old, grizzled ranch hand with faded blue jeans and battered old boots spoke up and drawled, "You know, when you got one foot in yesterday, and the other foot in tomorrow, all you do is piss all over today." Ha-Ha! How's that for common horse sense! I remember Betty throwing her head back and howling with laughter along with the rest of us. Wisdom in any form crosses all demographics.

On Paper Towel Cardboard Tubes...

Try this exercise. The next time you run out of paper towels, save the cardboard tube.  Toilet paper tubes work, too. Now, bring the tube up to eye level and look at your world through this narrowed perspective. Notice how you are forced to focus on one thing at a time.  Go outside and walk around your yard. Be sure to look down occasionally so you don't trip over something right in front of you. Pan the whole area first, and then zoom in on the leaves, the blades of grass, and the insects. Look up at the sky and see the clouds, the sun, and the distant airplane. Follow that bird that just flew by. Now, while looking through your new self-awareness apparatus at some close up object, try to think and plan your activities for the next week. No, really. Just try. When your sensory focus is concentrated on one thing it is very difficult to make your mind wander into the past or the future.  The next time you drift into depression ruminating over the past, or work yourself up into anxiety worrying about the future, just grab your tube (the toilet paper tube is a nice purse-size) and insist on some here and now focus. While you're there, do a gratitude list.

Which brings me to love...

So my question is, what is the purpose of living "in the here and now?" What if I actually master some decent ability to live my life in the more or less present moment? If I have that, what have I got? I have the awareness that right now,here in my living room,  I am eating a peanut butter and banana sandwich and it is 2:10pm.? Is that it? That's the secret to happiness? That can't be it. I'll bet if I meditated for several years, I would see the connection and understand. Right now, I don't.

What is the use of living in the here and now if my inward gaze only reveals me? I think it's about love. That's the only thing I can think of that would make living in this moment mean anything. Having a loving attitude toward myself. Having a loving intention toward others. A willingness to love and be loved, which includes the "cousins" of love: gratitude, forgiveness, joy, kindness, and patience. In fact, this love piece is the real essence. Love that is here and now or there and then for that matter, love provides the answer to the why? of Life. To love. To be loved. Flowing love.


What's the Takeaway?

The next time you find yourself projecting into the future with your grand planning, orchestrated arrangements, scheduled to the minute hectic life, remember the immortal words of my mother, Mary Roush, on one Thanksgiving morning: "And today is Thursday." Then look through your cardboard tube and send love out to the universe and receive love in from the universe. And have yourself a peanut butter and banana sandwich.


Spirituality Business Man on Beach Meditating with Computer and Sand Toys