And so, I Blog!!

Soooo, everybody is blogging except for Moi? Is this the newest form of writing? Are we headed towards the reality of the movie "Fahrenheit 451 "? What a tragedy that would be!! I have tried Twitter~for about 48 hours ,not for me at all! I do Facebook, but also find it to be truly surfacy and a bit of a waste of my time. I like to write, not twit or mindlessly comment. So, I guess I will. :) Here I will share on the most precious thing in my life, my recovery and my spiritual journey. If my only audience is that of the ether, that will be good enough ... for I write not to be read, but because I am called to write!!! And so, I blog!!
I will begin with the daily readings from the book:

A Grateful Heart ~ 365 ways to give thanks at mealtime edited by MJ Ryan
The Winter Prayers began on the first day of winter ~ so I am begining there. The winter prayers begin with this thought:
A thankful soul is thankful under all circumstances, a complaining soul complains even if he lives in paradise. -BAHA'U'LLAH
Please join me in thought-provoking conversaton! Namaste' Cate

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


The ritual is One
The food is One
We who offer the food are One
The fire of hunger is also One
All action is One
We who understand this are One.
                       - Hindu Blessing

Ahhhhh, Oneness ....such an important reminder for me!
Sometimes I have moments where i really "get" oneness ...
and sometimes I struggle to wrap my brain around it!
For example, when someone says to me: " everything you have
is already there within you" ... I can't help thinking  about taking a look
in the mirror to see I see a brand new car shining through my belly button!  

Ok, seriously, when I remember Oneness, I remember that
my thoughts and deeds effect everyone and everything!
I learned something watching the Rosie show tonight ...
she was interviewing Patti Blagojevich,
and she began by pointing out that no matter what,
there is a family struggling here, 
children being separated from their father
and a wife separated from her husband.
People in pain.

I realized how many times i have poked fun at that man,
as if he is less than human because of his role or his alleged crime?
Wow ... that is an eye opener that I needed today.
That is not compassion.
That does not support Oneness.
I am sorry.

Monday, February 27, 2012

I bless them all

I am grateful for and bless the act of creation and all
my loving creators.  To be alive is the greatest gift one
can receive.  Life, with its mystery, joy, love, pain,
difficulties and opportunities.  I bless them all as I bless
the wonder of our existence and I bless all who use the
gift of life to increase the quantity of love and healing
we shall require to survive.  Peace.
                                     - Bernie Siegel, M.D.

Blessings come throughout a day from so many places and spaces ...
as long as I am living in awareness ...
the sun warming the earth and brightening this day a few moments longer each day ~
the warm smile of a client who pokes their head into my office door just to say hello ~
the mail service that delivered a book that will delight my little friend ~
the team at work that joins in common mission to promote dignity and choice ~
texting back and forth with my niece, communication of this age ~
playful little kitties greeting me at the door ~
a compassionate vet working hard to help heal my kitten ~
people all over the world seeking to live in truth and love .... thereby
changing the world around them.

No matter what ... the blessings are countless ... 
there is love and healing and life all around ....
and I get to celebrate that and feel the joy ...
as long as I am living on awareness!!

What are you aware of today?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Play and BE amused

Blessed are we who can laugh
at ourselves
for we shall never cease
to be amused.
                - anonymous

It is the winding down of a seemingly  ordinary day ...
the sun was shining,
I worked very hard at the office,
I got a chance to talk to my sister and connect with 2 of my nieces,
I had wonderful a chat with a friend,
my beautiful kitties are laying here beside me,
the academy awards are showing ... a favorite of mine for decades!!

Hmmm ... did I laugh and enjoy myself through it all ...
was my heart at play?

For the most part I think the answer is YES!

How about you?

Life is generous

It takes courage to ask a question and truly pay heed
to the answer ... From the highest level to the most
practical level, all real questions come about  from the
pain of separation, the separation from the answer ...
We are merely instruments through which the question
can be asked and through which the question can be
                           -RESHAD FIELD
Do you have the patience to wait
     till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
     till the right action arises by itself?
                                  - TAO TE CHING

Life is so generous ... not that I am always so willing to receive the generous lessons it sends to me. lol lol   It is amazing how life on life's terms sets the scene for me to take big steps of faith or growth or awareness.  I softly smile tonight when I realize the pattern has just played out again over the past few days.  Funny how I never notice until after the fact.

It happens like this ... I am in some sort of big struggle ~ either physical, emotional, spiritual or social.  And, I struggle and struggle and drip with misery , seek  instant answers, and trip and fall multiple times until finally .... I surrender.  

Finally, I just let it go, most likely because I can not hold on any longer!  Giving up the illusion of control is never easy.  And then ... in those moments of grace ... a new awareness, an invitation to let go, a nudge to face something i did not want to see ... whatever it is, it arrives when I no longer have the strength to do anything other than quietly receive whatever it may be.
And then, suddenly, I can see something so clearly!
It is a life changing gift.
I am ready,
I am grateful.

And so it goes ... ...
life is generous.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

If not now ... when?

If I am not concerned for myself, who will be for me?
But If I am only concerned for myself, what good am i?
And if now is not the time to act, when will it be?

I can't believe it is so late in what was a crazy day, and I am finally blogging, and this is the quote for today!?!  God sure has a sense of humor!

I remember hearing a speaker at an open AA meeting once who recalled a very stressful day, and said the only thing  that was good about the day was that he made it through sober.  For some people that didn't mean so much, but for him, it meant the world!  It meant that he chose LIFE, he chose to stay on the road to recovery no matter what ... he knew that one small step away from his recovery could be the step that carried him out the door and into the disease once more.  And then, he would be lost to himself and to all those he could help with his life.

I had an exhausting emotional overwhelming day. I am so grateful to have also been given the chance to choose LIFE.  I am up a little bit too late, but I ate a healthy dinner, did what needed to be done in my evening, and talked to several recovery friends who shared solution and faith and their God with me.  I stayed on the 12 step road today, this one day, one day a a time. 

We each have this one day ... and this is the time to act, to do the next right thing, this one day.  If we do that, we will still be on this road tomorrow ... and then we will have that day too :)

How grateful I am to be this grateful at the end of a day like this!!      Cate

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Be Merry

Eat your bread with joy, drink your wine with a merry
                                          - Ecclesiastes 9:7

What a funny reading this is for Ash Wednesday ... a traditional day of fasting!!  
Of course, who says you can not enjoy your bread and wine ,,, even when fasting!
lol lol 
Of course, this refers to so much more than bread and wine .... since we are all the bread of life ~ 
what a lovely reminder to enjoy EVERYTHING!  
Life is generous indeed!!!  :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

In Their Season

Just as sunset is as beautiful as sunrise, all things
are beautiful in their season.  So tonight we give
thanks for age, and pray that we may hold in honor
all those who graciously come to the winter of life.

I have reached the age where there are fewer years left ahead of me than  those that have already been lived ... that becomes more apparent as I begin to move into that time in life where the the experience of losing friends and their spouses replaces the 
experience of losing our parents.
More and more, I begin to notice the beauty of the winter years ... 
just like the incredible lace of spaces of sky woven between
barren winter branches ... so is the beauty of graying
hair and wrinkles woven into our bodies.
Unexpected, surprising, softening...
and with each new wrinkle ... 
and each letting go ...
I become more and more aware of the wonder of each day ~
and I desire to cherish it and live it well.

Normal day, let me aware of the treasure you are.
Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you
depart. Let me not  pass by in quest of some rare and
perfect tomorrow.  Let me hold you while I may, for it
may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into
the earth, or bury my face in the pillows, or stretch
myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want,
more than all the world, your return.
                                        -Mary Jean Iron


Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Shadow Effect

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every
purpose under the heaven;
     A time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant,
and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
     A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break
down, and a time to build up;
     A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to
mourn, and a time to dance ...
     A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep
silence, and a time to speak...
     A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war,
and a time of peace.
              - ECCLESIASTES  3:1-4, 7-8

This morning I was graced with the opportunity to watch The Shadow Effect
on Oprah's Soul Sunday. It was one of the most powerful things I have seen in a long
long time.  I know I will return there again and again, taking in the messages on a deeper and deeper level.    The richness of this program lasted for an entire three hours!  As the program opened, it explained: "The shadow is made up of the thoughts, emotions or impulses we find too painful, embarrassing or distasteful to accept - so, instead of dealing with them, we repress them.
Right now, hundreds and millions of people are living in denial of their individual shadow.  And all of us are being effected by the collecive shadow in more ways than we can imagine."

To 'everything there is a season'  ... and I have finally begun to accept my own denial of the depth of grief I am struggling with over the loss "my person" (as named by her daughter Kay,  as referenced in describing true friendship on Gray's anatomy).  This weekend was the season ... it seemed that people lined up all around me to peel back the layers and allow me to begin to open up to feeling a pain that felt bigger than myself...too big to handle. 

Gratefully, as always, life paved the way to inviting me to do what I need to do before it all closed in around me.  And so, the hard shell that I had temporarily constructed in order to hold back the pain has now cracked open, the pressure cooker is gone, and the light of healing is beginning to shine in and warm and heal the pain previously held in darkness.

Honestly, I don't know what to do without my person.  No longer am I able to thrust it all into the gratitude that I feel that she is no longer in such pain, and is now free of that physical body that trapped her so dreadfully.  

The shadow had me in its grips for a while ... I did not want to appear to be selfish, by wishing her still here ... or weak and needy,  by grieving so deeply.  (You know us people made of that tough German stock!) And, I did not want to break.   Somehow I forgot that it is a both/and world ...Yes, I am truly grateful that she is no longer in pain, AND  I also wish she was still here...I don't know what to do without my person. But, you know what?  I'm going to find out ...because I am back, reconnected perhaps? 

The shadow no longer clouds my vision, and yes, now, finally, I weep.....and the tears are cleansing and allow my vision to be cleared and my heart to be softened so that I am more authentically present to life on life's terms.  This battle is over, and I am finally willing to let go of the struggle, and to least for this day.

In that surrender, I feel connected to myself again, and I realize how much I have only been going through the motions ... omg, just those same things I learned in hospice many years ago.

I am back to living in acceptance, in the only way I know how to live ... in surrender to the ONE who has ALL POWER.
I missed me. 
To everything ... there is a season ....

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The light shines and lives in all.

The light shines and lives in all. May I never forget
that the darkest of creatures is also of the Light ...
   Love breeds love and is born and nurtured from
tolerance and acceptance.  Let me lay down the
anxieties and frustrations in this life to seek and foster
love all while remaining unattached to the act and
its results ...
    Spirit, friend of my flight, help me to journey
homeward in view of your message, "Love binds all
wounds, softens all roads, and frees the soul to fly
home in peace."      -DIANE V. CIRINCIONE

This writing is so rich with wisdom ... so filled with important reminders ...

FIRST ~ to remember that  even the darkest of creatures is also of the light!
I have heard it said tha there are really always only two things happening ... one is either  loving or seeking love.  How desperately some people behave in order to fill the emptiness they feel within ...this is a call for a compassionate response, not one of judgement.

SECOND ~ what an important reminder to share love and compassion freely,
without expectation or attachment.  Giving freely, and staying out of the results department ...
that is loving freely in a way that is truly healing!

THIRD ~ if i can remember to love, and keep loving ... it is love itself that will fill my journey with softness and light ... and will lead me ever home in freedom and peace.

Like our dear St. Francis says:  May I seek always to love, rather than to be loved.

Friday, February 17, 2012

You Feel It!

Sweet is the smile of home; the mutual look
When hearts are of each other sure;
Sweet all the joys that crowd the household nook,
The haunts of all affections pure.
                              -JOHN KEBLE    

From joy I came.
For Joy I Live.   
And in sacred joy
I shall melt again.

An evening shared with a dear friend is indeed a gift of joy!
They say that a dear friend is God with arms,
and that  really rings true for me.
The connection of friendship warms my heart and soul,
and brings me into a deeper touch of gratitude.
Thank you!   Thank you!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

the circle of life

Praised are You, Adonai our God, Guide of the
Universe, who creates innumerable living beings
and their needs,
 for all the things You have created to sustain every living being.
 Praised are You, the life of the Universe.

                   - A JEWISH BLESSING 

It is a tradition during funerals for Jewish families to eat round foods: peas, bagels, eggs, tomatoes, onions, all round to represent the circle of life.  I love the circular view of the journey of life: always connected to the source, beginning and ending and ongoing....
This blessing also presents another angle on  that view ... the creator of beings, the creator of the needs of the beings and the creator of the things needed to sustain those needs....
Each being so much the same, and also so unique ... each created for their own purpose, and also a part of the Oneness....all connected within the circle of life.                                                                  cate

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Peace be with you!

Peace be with you, Life!
Peace be with you, Awakening!
Peace be with you, Revelation!

Peace be with you, oh Day, who
Engulfs the darkness of the earth
With thy brilliant light!

Peace be with you, oh Night,
Through whose darkness the lights
Of heaven sparkle!

Peace be with you, Seasons of the Year!
Peace be with you, Spring, who
Restores the earth to youth!
Peace be with you, Summer, who
Heralds the glory of the sun!
Peace be with you, Autumn, who
Gives with joy the fruits of
Labour and the harvest of toil!
Peace be with you, Winter, whose
Rage and tempest restore to
Nature her sleeping strength!
           - KAHLIL GIBRAN

I read this line many years ago, and it has stayed with me ever since that day ....

"The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences."

Peace  is so possible everywhere and in all ~ IF I live in acceptance.  Live on life's terms does not always arrive with the gift of acceptance.  Sometimes I have a lot of preferences that do not arrive with the life that comes my way each day ... health concerns, loss, injustice, conflict, fear etc.  On those days, in those things, I usually struggle a while before I am finally ready to surrender into total acceptance ... and only there can I be the peace that sets me free.

I pray this day for peace and acceptance for each of us!  May we be the peace we really are!
                                                                                       Love, cate

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Corner

Let today embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing.
                                           -KAHLIL GIBRAN

I find myself in that shared space of deepest gratitude and deepest grief today.
These two energies meet at such a powerful intersection.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Eating a little ZEN

Innumerable labors brought us this food; we
     should know how it comes to us.
Receiving this offering, we should consider whether
     our virtue and practice deserves it.
Desiring the natural order of mind, we should be
     free from greed, hate and delusion.
We eat to support life and to practice the way of
This food is for Three Treasures, for our
     teachers, family and all beings.
This first portion is to avoid all evil;
     the second is to do all good;
the third to save all beings.
Thus we eat this food and awaken with everyone.

Imagine how healthy we might be
if we adopted this way of BEing while we are eating?
So fully present,
not multi tasking,
no TV on ...or book or magazine,
or working at the desk!
That is something I have struggled with,
I think I will try ...
and why not!

How about you?

Love, Cate

Saturday, February 11, 2012

As plentiful as the grass that grows ...

As plentiful as the grass that grows,
Or the sand on the shore,
Or the dew on the leaf,
So the blessings of the King of Grace
On every soul that was, that is, or will be.
                   -Traditional Irish Blessing

There are days in which it is so easy to see the blessings that are all around,
and there are days where the blessings seem to be in disguise!
What has changed? 
Simply my view ~ the color of my lens that day ~
the window I am looking through?

There are a couple of views that I know will rob me of
my peace and serenity ....they are
or seeking to understand!

When I head into that territory,
I have left acceptance in the dust!



Friday, February 10, 2012

Peace Be With You

Peace Be with You, Life!
Peace Be with You, Awakening!
Peace Be with You, Revelation!

Peace Be with you, oh Day, who
Engulfs the darkness of the earth
With thy brilliant life!

Peace be with you, Oh Night,
Through whose darkness the lights
Of heaven sparkle!

Peace be with you, Seasons of the year!
Peaced be with you, Spring, who
Restores the earth to youth!
Peace be with you, Summer, who
Heralds the glory of the sun!
Peace be with you, Autumn, who
Gives you the joy of the fruits of
Labour and the harvest of toil!
Peace be with you, Winter, whose
Rage and tempest restore to
Nature her sleeping strength!
                -KAHLIL GIBRAN

This was a timely reading for me today ...
reminding me of mysterious connection
of everything ... the support of all
into the wholeness
of ONE.

I ask myself ...
am I at peace with all?
If not, why not?
How can I transform that view?

I want to be a part of the lifegiving  flow
of life,
I pray that I may be willing to let go
of any parts of myself
that may block that flow.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

To use or abuse

The million little things that drop into your hands
The small opportunities each day brings
He leaves us free to use or abuse
and goes unchanging along his silent way.
                       - HELEN KELLER

Life is generous ... always!
It is always my choice ~ how I receive the oppotunities before me.
Sometimes I choose well,
other times, well, ... not so.

This is I do know ...
God does not judge,
punish or desert me.

Oh God, how I wish I could see me the way you see me,
and others the way you see them!

Love, only love ...
when I remember that power,

Please, clear my vision today and align with yours.
Love, Cate

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

all that I am

Mighty God, Father of all,
Compassionate God, Mother of all,
bless every person I have met,
every face I have seen,
every voice I have heard,
especially those most dear;
bless every city, town and
street that I have known,
bless every sight I have seen,
every sound I have heard,
every object I have touched.
In some mysterious way
these have touched my life;
all that I am,
I have received.
Great God, Bless the world.
           - John J. Morris  SJ

I thought I might make it past this current cold virus,
but no, it has joined me on the journey for this week.
As my throat grows raw and my body grows heavy,
I strive not to grow in dismay ...
 this prayer is such a loving reminder to practice gratitude for all!

What an invitation to breathe a whisp of gratitude
for those who have passed through my life,
and touched my heart along the way!
So many come to mind ... moments of encounter that have touched my heart ~

Thank you little red headed girl... for sharing your laughter at the zoo ~
thank you dancers ... for the shalom dance we shared to open our retreat ~
thank you Anna ... for taking the risk to take my hand and relax ~
thank you warmly wrapped woman ... for smiling as we passed on the walk ~
thank you Janet ... for answering my unknown call ~
thank you kitty companions ... for loving to talk about your kittens in the pet food isle ~
thank you New York Street musicians ... for filling the air with music ~

the list goes on and on and on ...
and can not help but awaken my gratitude!

Who is on your list?   

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Conversation for Today

Me (in a tizzy) : God, can I ask you something?

GOD : Sure.

Me: Promise you won't get mad?

GOD : I promise.

Me (frustrated): Why did you let so much stuff happen to me today?

GOD : What do you mean?

Me : Well I woke up late,

GOD : Yes

Me : My car took forever to start,

GOD : Okay....

Me (growling): At lunch, they made my sandwich wrong and I had to wait

GOD : Hmmmm..

Me: On the way home, my phone went dead, just as I picked up a call

GOD : All right

Me (loudly): And to top it all off, when I got home, I just wanted to soak my feet in my foot massager and relax, but it wouldn't work. Nothing went right today! Why did you do that?

GOD: Well let me see..... the death angel was at your bed this morning and I had to send one of the other angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that.

Me (humbled): Oh...

GOD: I didn't let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that might have hit you if you were on the road

Me (ashamed): ............

GOD : The first person who made your sandwich today was sick and I didn't want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn't afford to miss work

Me (embarrassed): Oh.....

GOD : Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give a false witness about what you said on that call, I didn't even let you talk to them so you would be covered

Me (softly): I see God

GOD : Oh and that foot massager, it had a short that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn't think you wanted to be in the dark.

Me : I'm sorry God.

GOD : Don't be sorry, just learn to trust all things, the good and the bad

Me : I WILL trust you God

GOD: And don't doubt that my plan for your day is always better than your plan

Me : I won't God. And let me just tell you God, thank you for everything today.

GOD : You're welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I love looking after my children.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Seeing what is before me!

I've read all the books but one
Only remains sacred; this
Volume of wonders, open
Always before my eyes.
- Kathleen Raine

OMG ... I can not even begin to tell you how much
I needed this reminder today!!
I worked hard today, I had so much to do ...
and I multi-tasked my way through it!

I even kept my hands moving when
people came to my office to talk to me!

OMG ,,, I was sooo NOT fully present ~
no wonder I am exhausted tonight.

YES, the most wondrous tbing is to be fully present
always in All WAYS!

I remember one morning when I was rushing off to work,
as I drove past the front of my condo,
I looked up a caught a glimpse of  my
Sweet Destiny sitting in the sun
in the picture window.

He was so beautiful ~ he took my breath away!
It caught my attention immediately,
and I realized I was once again rushing through life
without noticing the wonder that surounded me.
I was so grateful that he got my attention ...
and I slowed down to B R E A T H E.

Obviously, I still do it ...
I did it today ...
I forget.

And then,
I remember!

Gratefully, Cate

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Teach me ...

Dear Lord, teach me to be generous,
Teach me to serve Thee as Thou deservest;
To give and not count the cost;
To fight and not heed the wounds;
To toil and not seek reward,
Save that I know that
I do thy will, Oh God.

What a huge reminder this is for me today to remain teachable!!
I often marvel at those oldtimers who read the same pages
over and over again ... and still hear the voice of God,
revealing to them something new!!!
That is remaining teachable, open, humble!

The simple third step prayer,
it is always the prayer of surrender that I need!
Its seems almost a contradiction ~ 
I want to do God's will,
and yet, I can not do this without God's help!  

Again and again and again, I find myself facing this prayer ...
needing to learn it again.
to confirm it again!!

Third Step Prayer
God, I offer myself to Thee — to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

To Believe

The food which we are about to eat
     Is Earth, Water, and Sun compounded through the
alchemy of many plants.
    Therefore Earth, Water and Sun will become part
of us.
    This food is also the fruit of the labor of many
beings and creatures.
    We are grateful for it.
    May it give us strength, health, joy.
    And may it increase our love.
                 - UNITARIAN GRACE 

May the love that is in my heart pass from my hand to yours.
(to be said while holdiong hands...)

My sharing tonight is quite simple ...
please listen to Jackie Evancho singing the words of her uncle.

Love, Cate

Friday, February 3, 2012

Be patient ...

Be patient to all that is unresolved in your heart
and try to love the questions like locked
rooms or books that are written in a foreign tongue.
The point is to live everything.  Live the questions now.
Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it,
live your way some distant day into the answers.
                - Ranier Maria Rilke      

What a reminder to simply be here now ...
and simply do the next right thing!
Its all pretty simple
 (notice I did not say easy)
if I do just that ... love what is before me at this moment
and leave the rest up to God!

 I read a poem many year ago that went something like this ....

God always answers prayer ...
the answers are yes, no,  or wait ...
and know that God always walks with you there!

I don't think I have learned to LOVE the questions,
but I have learned to live with them more precefully!
For that, I am most grateful!

What about you?

Love, Cate