Sad and Confused

“We are living in the world of pandemic. Life is not the same as it was before. We have to choose new ways of living. Being ignorant or in denial won’t make you immune to the virus. Choose to be responsible and always be careful. Watch what you do, where you go and what you touch. You can practice your freedom by choosing to be safe.” ~ De philosopher DJ Kyos

“We are not going to get the racism out of us until we start thinking about racism like we think about misogyny. Until we consider racism as not just a personal moral failing but as the air we’ve been breathing.” ~Glennon Doyle from Untamed

I’ve been feeling sad and confused these past few days with all the turmoil that’s been going on. It has shattered the quiet of the cocoon I’ve been living in for the past two and a half months.

My husband has been working from home for about 63 days. This arrangement is coming to an end. The other day we admitted to each other that we were feeling sad about that. We like being home together. There is still so much uncertainty about the virus that it makes his going back to work scary.

Some people seem to think it’s a hoax and don’t follow the CDC guidelines. They think that reopening means that everything is going to go back to normal. But I hope we don’t go back to the way things were.

The other day a Facebook friend posted three or four pictures of trash on beaches, in parks, and even around trash cans as an example of how people have gone back to abusing the planet. I don’t know if the photos were recent but if they were, I’m sad and confused about that.

Then there are the photos of people flocking to parks and beaches with no masks, congregating close to each other having a grand old time as if nearly two million cases and over one hundred thousand deaths in this country alone doesn’t affect them.

I can hear their inner dialogue. “The danger is past. We can get back to normal.” As if what they want and need is more important than the safety of their friends, family, and neighbors. I don’t think those people took the opportunity to do any self-examination while they were in quarantine. They were just biding their time until they could get back out into the world and resume the lives they’d been living before the pandemic.

What I’ve been hoping would happen during this world wide crisis, is that most people would take the opportunity to do some reevaluation of how we’ve been running the world. But it seems fewer people have been doing that than I’d hoped.

And then there was George Floyd’s death caused by a white police officer kneeling on his neck to restrain him. And stories of people calling 911 complaining about people of color going about their normal lives but somehow the caller thought they were a threat. The police discovered in many of these cases that there was no emergency, the caller said they were just afraid.

Maybe fear is at the bottom of both situations. People are so afraid of all the changes taking place that they act irresponsibly and hurt themselves and others.

The thing some of us don’t get is that fear is internal, not external. No one can make us feel afraid. We do it to ourselves. Once we allow fear in, it can’t be ignored. Sometimes, though, we try to push fear away. At those times fear can manifest in really strange ways. Like, claiming to be afraid of people wearing masks. Or rebelling against businesses requiring their customers to wear them. Or getting upset when we find black, brown, or asian people occupying spaces we’ve claimed as our own. It’s becoming too common for people to make fear an excuse for bad behavior without taking responsibility for their emotions and actions.

To be fair, fear has been nurtured by so many sources in this country for a very long time. Pharmaceutical companies spread fear by advertising medications for this or that condition. Certain politicians spread fear by targeting this or that group telling us they are the cause of our problems. The NRA tells us that we’ll be safe if we own automatic weapons. Certain religions spread fear by telling us we won’t go to heaven if we do thus and so. It goes on and on. We’ve given our power away and allowed ourselves to be brainwashed. But we can stop the madness. We just have to take a step back to examine the messages and motives behind them.

Recently I read Glennon Doyle’s book Untamed. In it she has a chapter titled “Racism” which I found disturbing and profoundly accurate. Her premise is that we have all been so deeply immersed in the toxicity of racism, that we don’t even know that our thinking and feelings are tainted. We need to admit that we’re affected by the generations of racism we’ve been exposed to. Once we do that we need to do the work to detox from it.

Glennon’s assertion hit close to home. Years ago I was forced out of a teaching position at the largest high school in our county. I had two or three weeks to find a new teaching assignment for the upcoming school year. There were two positions in a school district about an hour from my house for which I was qualified. It’s a border town and most of the students are of Mexican descent. As I sat in the school district office filling out the application, my heart sank for a number of reasons. I knew nothing about the Mexican culture, I’d be one of a minority of white teachers, the school district was not as financially well off as the one I’d left, I’d be getting up at 4:00 a.m. to get to work on time, and I’d be teaching English, not drama which I was educated to teach. There were lots of unknowns and I was a little scared.

Here’s what I learned from teaching in that border district. The students were, for the most part, hard working. Their parents valued education and they valued me as a teacher. None of them ever asked me to fix their child, as one parent asked, and others implied at that old school. Family was extremely important to those students so they were motivated to study hard. Oh, of course, there were the same kinds of personality clashes as there had been at the other school. But in the end, I felt more at home, accepted and supported in the border school district than I had at the more wealthy district. And in the end, I had to admit, I’d been prejudiced against these students until I learned I was completely wrong about them.

To be sure, what is happening now shows us the tangled web in which we are caught. But we can extricate ourselves if we choose to do so. It will take time. It will take support from people like us who’re doing the work to get free of the old ways of thinking. It will take continued vigilance.

We have to admit that things are not ever going to go back to the way they were before. My husband got the message from one of his bosses yesterday that an employee has come down with Covid-19 symptoms. All employees who went back to work this week were sent home and City Hall will be closed until June 15 at the least. So he has two more weeks at home.

I’m hoping instead of weeping and whaling on social media about how terrible this or that incident is, we use those events to wake up and start taking better care of each other.

I’m going to keep wearing a mask, and using personal distancing when I’m out and about and when I begin teaching my classes in the fall. And I’m going to continue my process of self-examination. I know I harp on this theme a lot, but it’s the only way I can see for us to make a better world.

Thanks for reading, liking, and commenting. I hope you are staying safe and healthy.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

My Quest

Stars

“Our stories come from our lives and from the playwright’s pen, the mind of the actor, the roles we create, the artistry of life itself and the quest for peace.” ~ Maya Angelou

My life long mission has been to understand human nature. That’s why I became a writer, and why I am now preparing to launch a podcast about the importance of story. As my first three guests all expressed, stories are what makes us human. It’s why stories were told around campfires, why civilization after civilization created myths that we still study today. That’s why we continue to create modern myths. On some level we’re on our own quests to understand ourselves.

These ten weeks of staying at home, I’ve been writing and exploring the stories that have great meaning to myself and my podcast guests. And I’ve been reading a lot. I’m trying to make sense out of all the crazy stuff going on.

The latest book I picked up is Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer by Gregg Braden. As I read the second chapter about the link between hurt, love, forgiveness, and wisdom, I realized why millions of people flock to the box office to see some of the big block buster movies of the recent past. These movies are our modern myths. They examine the link between experiencing pain and suffering and the decision to heal or not and they do it on an epic scale. The characters make a kaleidoscope of choices that we get to examine. Actually all stories do this for us. That’s why we’re such big story consumers.

Gregg Braden wrote something that made me pause. He asserts that the size of our “hurt” reflects the size of the opportunity to open up to love and forgiveness, which eventually leads us to wisdom. And I found that to be extremely profound. Braden has studied ancient cultures all over the planet and our human story throughout the centuries has always been the same. No one escapes experiencing pain. The wisdom that’s been passed down to us is a result of people who have dealt with their suffering. We don’t learn anything positive from avoiding feeling our pain.

When I have suffered huge painful events, I’ve recognized that I have a choice. There are two paths I could take. I could try to avoid the pain. Or I could embrace my suffering and move toward, forgiveness, love and eventually the gift of understanding what wisdom the pain was trying to get me to see. It’s my choice.

After a particularly life shattering incident years ago, I wanted to mask my pain, to blame others for it, and to seek revenge. I held onto those feelings and made my life miserable. I fell into a kind of dark pit and don’t really remember much about those years. I was going through the motions of being alive as I nurtured the hurt. I had put myself into a cage.

I’m not sure what brought me out of my stupor. It might have been my father’s death. When the extended family gathered, we shared so much love, and some family drama too as happens during family crises. Suffering brings out our best and worst natures. But one thing was clear, we shared stories about my father that showed what a positive influence his love had on all of us. I thought, “I want to be a person like my dad. I want people to remember me with love.” And so I acknowledged that it was time to examine my pain and start working on forgiveness.

Fortunately, I was teaching English at the time and in some of the stories, the characters had to deal with horrendous situations. I was able to do some self-examination through osmosis. The characters kind of pointed the way for me to deal with my own pain. Forgiveness and healing didn’t come to me for a long time, but I felt better and better as I let go of my suffering.

I’ve taken this great opportunity of being home, to re-evaluate my life. What grudges have I been holding onto, what wounds have I left unhealed. It’s been a revelation how many wounds and grudges I’ve glossed over and ignored. But I want to deal with them now or else I won’t be able to move forward when we come out of this crisis. Of course, it will be an ongoing process, but I know from experience, it’s worth my efforts.

I hope you are staying safe and healthy and maybe even doing some reevaluation as well.

Thanks for reading, liking, and commenting. Welcome to my new followers. I’d love to hear the creative projects you’re working on or any “aha” moments you’re experiencing.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

We Have It Backwards

Cart – Before – Horse

“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” ~ Plato, The Republic

“The only purpose in your life and mine is the restoration of our Identity ~ our Mind ~ back to their original state of void or zero (Buddha), of purity of heart (Jesus), and of blank (Shakespeare) through nonstop cleaning.” ~ Ihaleakala Hew Len, Ph.D.

Somehow we think that the way to change the world is to resist, hatred, greed, and disrespect. But the old phrase, what you resist persists, is true. I’ve learned this sometimes the hard way, and sometimes in moments of grace.

When I was a teenager, I had a fight with a friend. It nearly ended our friendship. But one day I got inspiration. It occurred to me that if I apologized to her, we could work things out. I did apologize even though, in my mind, she had misunderstood what I’d said or done. I didn’t feel I was in the wrong, but she was my friend and I wanted to mend our relationship. Her reaction taught me a lesson. Using an apology often opens up the discussion.

A few years later, I was a teacher’s aide at a Montessori school. I worked with three and four year olds. One day I had a confrontation with a young student. I could tell he was angry. So, I said to him, “It’s okay for you to be mad at me. I’m an adult. I can take it.” The relief on his face had a huge impact on me. Children aren’t given permission to have their own feelings, especially if they’re negative. And he needed to be given permission to be angry in that moment.

Giving an apology and forgiving someone are two sides of the same coin, and both are extremely difficult for humans. I’m not sure I understand why that is, except that perhaps we don’t love ourselves and so we hide behind our armor of mistaken beliefs, and perceptions.

I’ve recently been reading two books that have shifted my thinking about how we interact with each other. The first is Glennon Doyle’s book Untamed, in which she recounts her ongoing mission to heal from addiction and to love herself as she is, both the dark and the light she carries inside.

That’s been a huge struggle of mine, loving all of myself. You might call it my life’s theme. I’ve not been addicted to substances, but I’ve had my addictions. And who can say they’ve lived a completely blameless life? We all have both dark and light within. It’s most difficult to acknowledge our dark side because we feel such shame when we’ve hurt others. I know what that’s like.

So, there are times as I’m reading Glennon’s book that I laugh and other times when I cry. I can relate to so much of what she’s going through. The bottom line of her book is that we’re here to accept who we are and not be ashamed of our mistakes or triumphs. Some of us are ashamed of our triumphs as if dimming down our talents helps anyone else.

I told you all the above to get to this point. The other day I read a profound entry in Pam Grout’s book, The Course in Miracles Experiment. On May 11, the daily lesson was about Dr. Hew Len, and how he transformed the population of a mental hospital for the criminally insane in Hawaii. The situation among the inmates and workers was desperate. Other doctors who had been put in charge of the hospital had left in despair. They didn’t know how to help the inmates who had all committed violent crimes, or bring relief to the staff. The turnover was probably tremendous.

When Dr. Hew Len was appointed director of the state hospital, he didn’t call any patients to his office. What he did was sit at his desk with a file of a patient and used the Hawaiian technique of Ho’oponopono. He searched for the darkness inside himself that had caused the atrocities committed by the incarcerated patients. The ho’oponopono chant is this: “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.” This technique is based on healing through loving oneself. Instead of working on the problems of each patient, he worked on his own unhealed places and little by little the patients began to settle down and find interests like gardening, or arts and crafts. The employees stopped calling in sick. And patients were even able to reenter society. Eventually the facility was closed.

The thing about this story is, it’s not new to me. I’d heard it before reading it in Pam Grout’s book. But I’d finally come to the place where I had the ears to hear the message and feel it in my heart. The only people we can change is ourselves. And that is the only way we can effect change in the outer world.

Ever since that day, whenever I meditate, send Reiki, or even at various times of the day, I will say the mantra, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.” I say it when I’m tempted to call someone an idiot for not seeing the world the same way I do, or when a politician or business person puts profits above people, or when someone is so frightened that they take a gun and shoot innocents, or when they protest the lock down. We all get frightened when we think our world is crashing down around us.

The world is never going to go back to the way it was. Since I’ve been waiting for this change, I say thank heaven for it, but it’s still a difficult time to be alive. So, I will continue to say this mantra acknowledging my own fear and grief. I want to search my psyche for beliefs that are just plain wrong and that keep me from healing.

I’m sure you’re tired of hearing and reading this but it’s true. We’re all in this together. What affects me, affects you.

I hope you are safe and well. Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. Welcome to my new followers.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon . Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

Learning something new

 I’ve been wanting to revamp my blog page for a quite some time now. While I was trying to think what I wanted to do, I remembered this cool app that I learned about when I was teaching high school many years ago. It took me awhile to find it. It’s called Word Salad and is only available for smart phones and tablet devices. But I downloaded it and this is the result of my first Word Salad. I was trying to put it into my cache of WordPress photos, but, well, you know how it is when your only partly tech savvy. What do you think of it? I’m hoping to use is as part of my new Sage Woman Chronicles banner.

It may be a few weeks before I get the new design ready for you to see, but who knows, maybe I’ll get lucky and my resident tech guy will help me with it tomorrow.

There will be a blog post on May 16. I hope to connect with you then.

Blessings,

Lucinda

What’s Really Important?

Tarantula Nebula

“We do not know where death awaits us: so let us wait for it everywhere. To practice death is to practice freedom. A man who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.” ~ Michel de Montaigne

I have a game of the imagination I’ve played since I was a child that, for the most part, I’ve kept secret. What is it like to die? What comes after? And what is important to our spirit in the afterlife?

I’m not sure what made me begin playing this game. It may have been going to see Bambi at a young age. Bambi’s mother’s death was quite a blow. Or maybe it was when my paternal grandfather died the October after our summer visit when I was nine.

When my grandfather died, somehow I didn’t feel he was gone. It’s like he was hovering around me. And finally he revealed himself when I was going through some tough times in my twenties. I realized I’d been right. His loving spirit had been with me since his passing.

I’ve been with a few people through their dying process and what is important to them has nothing to do with the possessions or status they are going to leave behind. It’s all about their family relationships and the lessons they’ve learned or left unfinished.

I’ve rarely shared my contemplations on death. If I’d talked about them openly, people would have suggested I go see a psychiatrist. But I knew I wasn’t crazy.

Death is a part of life, but most of us don’t want to think about our own deaths. It’s hard enough to contemplate the deaths of loved ones. So we push death away. It’s dark and scary. We can’t see what’s on the other side and most of us have a hard time living with the uncertainty of that fact.

I kept practicing death through the stories I watched and read. When a key character died, I’d think about what they left behind. Was it good or bad? Did their death affect a change for the better? Two stories I read early in life that touched me in this regard were A Tale of Two Cities, and The Crucible. Sometimes choosing to die is the only way to wake people up or bring about a much needed change.

A few years ago I read the book Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser, the founder of The Omega Institute. The book’s subtitle is, How Difficult Times Can Help us Grow. For some reason I remembered this book a few days ago and in particular the chapter “Practicing Death”.

Lesser has developed a role-play game and meditation where people imagine their own death. When I read the book, I decided to try imagining my death. I mean after all, I’d been contemplating death for a long time. But I had never imagined what life after my death would be like. It was a profound experience.

When I sank into the stillness, I imagined that I had died and an amazing thing happened to me. All the things I had been worrying about and holding onto fell away. I was dead. I didn’t need those earthly cares anymore. It was a most exhilarating and freeing feeling. None of the stuff I’d been holding onto was of ultimate importance.

What was important was who I chose to be, the relationships I chose to nurture, the love and care I shared, and the lessons I chose to learn, or not. I had free will. I could resist life’s lessons and live in the dark. But if I chose that, the after life would be filled with learning and healing all the things I’d refused to do during my life on Earth. It was my choice.

Another interesting thing happened. It didn’t really matter which path I chose, because I’d be going back to pure love. And what I’d done here on Earth was all part of a huge tapestry of knowledge being collected. Still, I did choose to seek out the light in this incarnation, rather than the darkness.

Lesser writes about the above quote by Michel de Montaigne, “He means that we can practice death by becoming conscious of the ways in which we resist life; we can practice death by approaching endings and partings and changes with more ease and faith.”

We’re in a time of endings, partings, and huge changes. Maybe practicing death means to examine what is most important to us. What do we want to keep, what can we let go of, and what can we create anew?

I’d be interested to hear what you think is of ultimate importance. Please feel free to share in the comments below.

Thanks for reading, liking, commenting, and sharing my posts. I appreciate it.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

Letting Go

August Sunset

“Letting go helps us to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance. It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands off situations that do not belong to us. This frees us from unnecessary stress.” ~ Melody Beattie

“Before we can forgive one another, we have to understand one another.” ~ Emma Goldman

“What narrative are you playing out in your mind at this moment? The end of society? Or the liberation of it? The story you are telling yourself is more important than you realize.” @MasteringLawofAttraction

Sometimes I drift through life. I’m lazy. I think I’m finished with my personal work. Then something unexpected comes along to shake me out of my stupor. The Covid-19 virus has done that for me and I’m grateful for it.

I’ve been home, except for two short excursions, since March 10. That’s nothing new. I’m home most of the time anyway. But what the shift in energy created by this virus has done is make me pay more attention to areas of my life that I didn’t even realize needed cleaning up. For example, resentments I’ve been holding on to; the people I need to forgive.

I was listening to Amanda Ellis one day and she said that during this time, we need to pay attention to people we need to forgive, especially our leaders. Of course, I knew immediately that I needed to forgive Trump. Once I opened my heart to the possibility that I’d been holding a grudge against him, I had a vision of him as a baby in a crib by himself, crying.

During the 1980s or early ‘90s, when there was armed conflict happening in Eastern Europe, I think it was in what used to Yugoslavia, there were orphanages where hundreds of children got very little care because they had so few staff. The babies rarely got touched, or their diapers changed. They barely got fed enough formula or food. The lack of human contact affected their brains in a negative way. In my vision, that was Trump as a baby. He came from a wealthy family, but in my vision I could hear his father say to the nurse, “Let him cry. It will toughen him up.” Who knows if what I saw is correct, but it would explain why he has very little empathy. Seeing him in that light made it so much easier to let go of my resentment. He’s doing the best he can with what he was taught.

After that profound experience, it’s been easier to look underneath behaviors to why people write nasty things on social media, or try to hoard money, or toilet paper. They’re afraid, or they feel unloved, or maybe they’re sick, or they don’t have hope that things will get better. I wish I could help them see things differently. I wish I could help them understand that they can change their thinking. It just takes discipline to do so. But we all have free will. I can post positive things as encouragement, but some people will never understand what I’m trying to convey. I have to let go of my desire to change everyone’s mind toward positive thoughts.

Every once in a while, though, someone’s positivity does get through. Lesson 68 in Pam Grout’s book, The Course in Miracles Experiment was a profound one for me today. In it she tells a story about Patton Oswalt, an actor, who about a year or so ago Tweeted a “cheeky” poem about Trump’s wall. As Pam writes it, a conservative war vet from Alabama sent some nasty Tweets back. Now, Patton could have gotten into a Tweet fight with the guy, but he didn’t. Instead he did some investigation and found out that the guy had some serious health problems. He had a GoFundMe page to try to get enough money for some much needed medical procedures. So, what does Patton Oswalt do? He sends this Tweet, “Aw, man. This dude just attacked me on Twitter, but … he’s in a LOT of trouble health-wise. I’d be pissed off too. He’s been dealt some shitty cards – let’s deal him some good ones. Click and donate – just like I’m about to do.” Patton donated $2,000, and in the end the vet’s campaign raised $15,000 in a couple of hours, three times its original goal. The vet’s mind was changed. There were people out there who cared about him, and it was all because Patton Oswalt let go of the insults. His second Tweet to the vet was this: “This is why compassion and forgiveness are always best.”

So, today, I’m doing some self-examination. Who else do I need to forgive? My father’s mother is one. She lived with us when I was thirteen years old and unfortunately she tried to spread discord in our family. She treated my mother horribly and tried to drive a wedge between my parents. That didn’t work, of course, and my father moved her out to a town a few hours away. When I got older I came to the conclusion, because of things she said repeatedly, that she must have been sexually abused. I felt sorry for her. She’d never been able to heal and recover from what I assume happened to her.

This past week, I realized, I had never formally forgiven her for her nasty behavior. In fact, it never even occurred to me that I needed to do so. But resentment was still stuck in my heart. I visualized her standing in front of me. I told her I forgave her, and I felt those hard feelings leave my heart. My poor grandmother needed love, compassion, and understanding. But none of us knew why she was the way she was and we resented her. I hope she’s had a chance to heal and is having a grand time with her family and friends in the afterlife.

As this weird time continues, I’m not sure we’ll be finished with it for quite some time, I’m hoping we let go of all the institutions, laws, and business practices that have needed to be overhauled for a very long time. And I hope we’re also taking time to overhaul ourselves as well. What is most important to us? What kind of world do we want to live in? We can play the “What if” game and start to picture the world we’ve always wanted to live in. Each person answering those questions for themselves accumulates and that’s how we change the world.

Thanks for reading. I hope you leave a comment. I want to know what you’re learning during this time.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

Positive Play/View/Read Lists

“After nourishment, shelter, and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” ~ Philip Pullman

This is a scary time. I don’t know why we humans have to go through traumatic periods. It’s happened so many times throughout our existence. It’s sort of like some force, maybe it’s us, says, “You’ve become too complacent. It’s time to shake things up so you’ll grow.” I created this post to give encouragement, and maybe some entertainment that will give us some things to think about.

I’ve been reading The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit For Rewiring Your Mind by Pam Grout. It’s a book with one lesson a day that helps the reader practice letting go of old programing. It’s an appropriate book to be studying during this time of crisis. Since everything is topsy turvy we’re almost forced to take out all our attitudes and beliefs and examine them. After so many lessons, A Course in Miracles, and Pam Grout, have us do ten review lessons. She offered a play list to help her readers understand that day’s lesson in an inspiring way. Here is her list of songs below. I thought I’d share them because they are all feel good songs. And who couldn’t use some good feelings right now.  

Pam Grout’s play list:

“I Feel Good” by James Brown

“Happy” by Pharrell Williams

“Celebrate” by Kool & the Gang

“Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin

“Better When I’m Dancing” by Meghan Trainor

“Imagine” by John Lennon

“It’s a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong

“Dancing Queen” by ABBA

“Living in the Moment” by Jason Mraz

“Shower the People With Love” by James Taylor

Pam’s positive playlist inspired me to suggest some feel good movies, TV shows, and books too. These are entertainment that I love to watch and even read over and over, especially when I need a little pick me up. These are only partial lists, but maybe they will help you seek out your own feel good movies, TV shows, and books. 

My feel good movies:

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

The Mountain Between Us

The Age of Adaline

Feast of Love

Arrival

The Man Who Went up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain

The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

Now Voyager

The Razor’s Edge

The Princess Bride

Young Frankenstein

The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Man Who Invented Christmas

All the Star Treks

Cloud Atlas

Possession

The Star Wars saga

ET

Little Women

Moonstruck

 

My feel good TV shows:

Friends

Almost any Star Trek, particularly Next Generation, and Deep Space Nine

Cosmos and Cosmos: Possible Worlds

The Story Of God

Bones (Because of the development of the relationships.)

From Masterpiece Theatre, Downton Abbey, Grantchester, All the Jane Austen adaptations

Some of these feel good books are also on the movie list. That’s on purpose. I love watching a movie and then reading the book. It gives me a broader base of knowledge about the plot and characters. 

My feel good books:

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Any LaVyrle Spencer book

The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

Any Jane Austen novel

The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham

The Princess Bride by William Goldman 

Now Voyager by Olive Higgins Prouty

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson

The Dressmaker of Kahir Kahna by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Winter Solstice by Rosamun Pilcher

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

The Cadfael Series by Ellis Peters (This was also a Masterpiece Mystery series, but I like the books a lot better. Some of the screen writers did not honor the spirit of the books)

The Circle of Ceridwen Series by Octavia Randolph

I’m the kind of person who is always looking for ways to get out of ruts in thinking, feeling and behaving. I actively seek growth and change. If you’re not one of those people, then this time when routines are shattered might be extremely hard for you. I hope, though, that you can take a breath and take stock of not only your life, but of our society and see how changing yourself can make both better.

In any case, I hope my lists help you through this unusual and trying time.

Please share a song, movie, or book that help calm your nerves or make you feel better when you’re down. 

Thanks for reading. If you like what you’ve read, share it with someone. 

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

Prescription for Hope

January 9, 2018 Sunrise

“Fear is the mind killer.” Frank Herbert, Dune

“Fairy tales are more than true not because they tell us that dragons exist but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ~ Neal Gaiman

“When you look inside anyone else’s heart, you feel your own heart.” ~ Deepak Chopra

I said I was going to push positivity like a drug. Here are some “pills” that I hope will brighten your day.

First, if you haven’t checked out John Krasinski’s SGN, (Some Good News) on YouTube, I suggest you do. Krasinski, is known for his roles on The Office, and Amazon’s Jack Ryan. In each SGN episode, he’s funny and upbeat. He shares good news from different parts of the world which helpes me feel more connected to my fellow human beings. So far, there have been three episodes that he does from his home.

This Friday, John is hosting a SGN Prom for those students who will miss their school proms because of the virus. It’s live, and though I probably won’t be watching, I love that he’s doing this. I wonder if he’ll have a live virtual graduation as well.

In the first episode of SGN, Krasinski gives the names of other sites like inspiremore.com, tanksgoodnews.com, goodnewsnetwork.org that all have positive stories. You can check them out when you are feeling down.

Last Sunday was Easter for much of the world. Many people were extremely sad that they couldn’t attend services, but Andrea Bocelli provided live church music for the world from Duomo di Milan. He called it “Music For Hope”. At the end, he stepped outside the cathedral and sang “Amazing Grace”. When I listened to it, tears streamed down my face it was so beautiful to hear his rich voice echoing among the empty buildings.

Another resource you might be interested in is the “Letters Live” channel on YouTube. These are letters from ordinary people to their loved ones while we’re all at home unable to travel. This first video, read by Benedict Cumberbatch, is an invitation to all of us to read our letters to each other, to share love, give thanks for the extraordinary work people are doing, or to give encouragement. It’s a project aimed at connecting us.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I saw each of these videos, I was so moved by the goodness of humanity. I know that if you frequent social media you can’t help but see the negative comments on posts, but remember, those nasty comments come from frightened, unhappy people. They need our prayers and forgiveness. I don’t comment back to those kinds of comments. In fact, I don’t even continue reading the comment stream when I encounter those negative online fights. I choose to give my energy to spreading love and compassion.

My sister was saying the other day that her generation (X), I’m a baby boomer, she’s not, and those that came after, haven’t faced world wars, or world wide disasters until now. They’ve had a pretty easy life. This pandemic is their crucible. So, of course, there are lots of frightened people out there having a hard time learning to cope with what’s going on. But it’s in times of crisis that we need to connect with each other, share our true hopes and fears. It’s the best way to not only feel better, but to learn something new about ourselves.

I find meditation soothing when I’m frazzled. Oprah and Deepak have lots of 21 one day meditations. Their latest one is “Hope in Uncertain Times”. You can access it online or in the Oprah&Deepak app. They are keeping it open until the stay-at-home order is lifted. And, of course, theirs in not the only mediation program. You can find them on YouTube, or other social media, and internet sites. Taking a few minutes to quiet my mind helps me settle down to get a better perspective of what’s really going on.

You can also grab a friend to take guitar or piano lessons, or learn how to bake bread, or garden, or sew masks, or learn a new language with them online. I’m lucky, I get to connect with my students, family and friends, via Zoom. My husband is working from home so it’s lovely to have lunch together every day. And I have creative projects I’m working on. I think back to the flu pandemic of 1918, ’19 and feel that we are so blessed to have the technology that enables us to connect with people across the globe.

I hope you find your own good news sites and share them with the rest of us. It’s okay to be afraid, just don’t stay stuck there because it eats away at you. Remember, you’re not alone. I’m sending prayers every day for all of us.

Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. If you like what you read, share this with a friend.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

It Takes Discipline

Chapel of the Holy Cross, Sedona, AZ

“For those who have been trained by it/No discipline seems pleasant at the time but painful … Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace …” Bobby McFerrin “Medicine Music”

I don’t know about you, but I was getting lazy before this crisis happened. Not so much lazy in doing things, but in my thought and emotional patterns. It seemed to me that the world was in such a big mess that I couldn’t do anything about it. I allowed myself to feel helpless, so I didn’t make much of an effort to effect change. I did personal work, but I wasn’t diligent about it. My life was pretty good. What more could I want? I was drifting, spiritually.

Then the big disruption hit and I took a big step back and said, “Whoa, I need to do some self-evaluation.”

You see, I believe what a friend of mine said long ago, “There are no victims, only volunteers.” We’re here now because we volunteered to live through these events. We’re experiencing, on a global level, what most of us have experienced on personal levels. Our lives fell apart and we were forced to do what I call “cosmic closet cleaning”. At those times we realized that we let life happen to us instead of choosing who we want to be and what we want to do. We listened to and followed other people’s ideas of who we should be and what we should do. At some point we hit a wall, we crashed and burned, and blessedly we got to reevaluate where we were going and who we wanted to be. If that hasn’t happened to you yet, maybe it’s happening now.

We’re taught to see the world from a negative point of view, that it’s futile to buck the system, that the world is a negative place full of traps, that life isn’t fair. But what happens to us is not negative or positive. Events become one or the other when WE put a value on them. So, what is happening now can be our downfall, if we choose that. Or it can be an opportunity to make the world a better place.

What I just wrote makes it sound like we can change fairly easy. “Oh, we just change our thinking and everything will be okay.” But I’ll tell you that when I first heard this idea, that our thoughts create reality, I did not believe it. I didn’t want to admit that I was to blame for this messed up world! I didn’t want to do the work necessary to change my thoughts and emotions.

Side note: Our thoughts creating our reality is not a woo woo, airy fairy, new age theory. It’s a scientifically proven fact by quantum physicists who were shocked to find that the outcome of their experiments were affected by their observations and expectations. They could never see how particles behaved in their natural state, because they couldn’t keep their expectations completely neutral. And eventually they concluded that all of us, with our thought patterns and emotional states, create the reality we’re living in.

Again, changing the way we think and feel is not easy. I know from experience. It’s difficult to take responsibility for the things that happen to us. When I did accept that fact, it meant that I had to take a good look at everything I believed. Taking responsibility was the first step in my evolution as a person.

The second step was to begin to pay attention to what I was thinking and feeling all the time. The two go hand-in-hand. It’s a process. I’ve been trying to turn away from negative reactions and thought patterns for more than forty years. It takes constant vigilance. Something will happen, most of the time it’s really trivial, and I’ll get all bent out of shape about it. And then Barry will say something, or I’ll catch myself and I say, “Wait a minute, I don’t have to see this as negative. It might be a good thing.” The barometer I always use for situations like that is something my Dad used to say, “Will this matter in a hundred years?” If it won’t matter, I let go of the negative feelings and let things play out.

But if what I’m facing will matter in a hundred years, then I know I’d better take a good hard look at what I’m thinking and feeling that prevents the situation from getting better.

This week I was listening to a spiritual teacher on YouTube, Amanda Ellis, and she suggested that we take a few moments every day to choose one troubled place in the world and re-envision it as peaceful, joy filled, with buildings and gardens rebuilt, and with people and businesses prospering. It will take discipline to do this, but if each person choses a different place each day and sees it as filled with whole and happy people, our collective efforts could change the world much faster than having disaster after disaster forcing us to make the changes we need to make.

I for one do not want to live with despair any longer. I want everyone to be happy, healthy, and honored for what they do no matter the size of that contribution. I’m willing to do this daily visualization. I’m willing to make a commitment to turn away from the negative and seek out acts of kindness and compassion. There are plenty of stories out there of people helping others if we look for them.

I don’t think our efforts have to be huge. I’m not one of those working in an essential field. But I can post encouraging things on my social media outlets, and on this blog. I can encourage my students, my family, and friends. I plan to push positivity like a drug, and that’s helpful even if only in little ways.

Sometimes the right message comes along at just the right time. I finished reading Marie Foleo’s book, Everything is Figureoutable last week and the three tenets of her book are: 1) No matter what the problem, we can figure out how to fix it, it’s figureoutable. 2) Start before you’re ready. You’ll figure out how to do it as you go along. And 3) refuse to be refused. There will always be naysayers when you comes up with innovative ideas. Don’t listen to them. If you’ve got a vision for how to be of service, go for it. Marie always finishes her MarieTV episodes by saying, “Remember, the world needs that special gift that only you have.”

If we accept that each one of us has a special gift that the world needs, that’s a much different perspective than to think we’re worthless and the world is against us. It also means that we need to support the people who can figure out how to cure this virus and not just them but everyone, because you never know how they will use their gifts to help us through this crisis and beyond.

I admit, I get discouraged and overwhelmed. There are so many people who need help. I want to give money, but which causes need it most? Sometimes my head feels like it’s spinning around like in some weird horror movie. But, I’m going to take Amanda’s advice and take just a few minutes every day to silence my mind and visualize a much more friendly world.

As we’re forced into isolation, it might be a good time for you to take stock of your life. I’m doing that. I’m asking what more work I need to do on myself. It’s not always a comfortable process. I’ve had to face dark places in myself that I’d much rather have ignored. But if I don’t face and accept them, they fester and that’s not good because my negative energy spills over onto those around me. The negativity acts like ripples in water. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of living in a scary world. I want to live in a friendly, compassionate, loving world.

What are you planning to do during this time of upheaval?

Thank you so much for reading. I hope you are safe and well.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

 

I’m Grateful!

Chapel of the Red Rocks

“Our world has more than enough critics. Be an encourager.” ~ Marie Foleo, Everything is Figureoutable

“I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.” ~ Dalai Lama

Yesterday I took a trip outside for the first time in twenty-three days. I was surprised to see so many cars on the road. Well there weren’t as many as usual, but more than I thought there would be. The parking lots, however, were mostly empty. We have a shelter in place order in our state.

I know some people are going crazy because they’re stuck at home, they’ve watched every movie and TV show, they’ve read every book they had on their night stand. They’ve played games, done puzzles, exercised more than usual, and cleaned house over and over. Or maybe they’ve had to home school their children and that’s driving them crazy. I feel for all of you, especially if you are energized by being out and about interacting with people. This staying at home thing must be torture.

I can’t say I feel the same. I love being quiet at home working on my creative projects with lots of time to journal and think. This morning while I was meditating I felt an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for all the people we usually take for granted. The people who are keeping our society going.

I got an email from our garbage company yesterday assuring us that they would continue to pick up our garbage. How often do we thank the garbage man. Think about how horrible it would be if garbage stacked up everywhere.

Our neighbor works for Safeway. She and all the other grocery workers are making sure their shelves are stocked so we have all the things we need while we stay in as much as possible. And all the people we REALLY take for granted, the people who harvest the fruits and veggies we enjoy.

And I’m extremely grateful for the home repair guys who did all the work we needed to repair underneath our house so we could have our new heat pump installed before the hot weather hits. That was a seventy day process with more than one company and several men working. Thanks guys! We’ll be comfortable through the summer.

We’ve ordered items we needed online and I’m grateful for UPS and USPS workers for delivering those packages.

I have a young cousin and his wife who both work at a hospital in the Portland, Oregon area. They have a two year old son who must stay with grandma and grandpa because they can’t risk exposing him to the virus. I can’t imagine how hard that must be, but I’m grateful for all the people who are there to protect our safety and health who are in the same boat.

I have a niece who is about to give birth, and only her husband will be allowed to be with her in the hospital because of the precautions that need to be taken at this time. She’ll be required to stay in the hospital for an extended period of time to be sure she and the baby are safe. Contact with grandparents, aunts and uncles will not be allowed until this whole thing is over.

I’m also grateful for all the actors, artists, musicians, and dancers who are producing videos to entertain us. They’re continuing to be creative no matter what. I love that!

And thank you to all the business owners who are repurposing their businesses to produce medical equipment and supplies, or who are flying to acquire things our medical people need to protect themselves and help their patients. It’s fantastic that people are looking around, finding a need and stepping up and making sure the work gets done.

I would wager that each of you reading this have your own stories of people to be grateful for. You probably have people you are concerned about. I send my prayers and love out to you. This is an extremely difficult time, but it helps me cope if I find things to be grateful for.

Wow! We’re so lucky to be living through this time when we can witness the kindness of strangers. It restores my faith in humanity.

I’m grateful for all of you who follow me and who like and comment. Stay safe and healthy.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.