Turning Poision into Medicine

“The Daishonin says, ‘One should regard meeting obstacles as true peace and comfort” You may wonder how encountering obstacles could be a source of peace and comfort. But the truth of the matter is that by struggling against and overcoming difficulties we transform our destiny and attain Buddhahood. Confronting adversity, therefore, ultimately represents peace and comfort.” -by Daisaku Ikeda 1/27/96

Somehow, I forgot this.  It used to be my mantra, my go-to guidance to help me understand and appreciate my life. When I rediscovered it yesterday it was shortly after receiving this guidance from a daily email I subscribe to called “Notes From the Universe” (www.tut.com) that said almost the same thing:

For every unexpected bump, turn, or squiggle on the path of life, Tolley, you pretty much have two choices:

Accept it as if you yourself had meticulously planned it and as if you’re being watched by 10,000 cheering angels who love you so much, you’re pretty much all they ever sing about.

Or, accept it, kicking and screaming, as if it were some freak accident or random mistake that had befallen you by chance.

I know which I would choose,
The Universe

P.S. Do you ever hear them, Tolley?

Here’s the crazy thing: I DO hear them! (Because you know my blog would not be complete without a little crazy, right?)    Yes, I do.  when I arrived in Virginia from 10 long years in the deep south. (That’s right, VA is the shallow south and don’t y’all forget it!)  I heard a group of spirit guides who had been working with me and protecting me since Seattle (13 years ago) start in cheering and dancing, saying, “We did it! We did it!”  They were wearing party hats and throwing streamers, no joke.  I, at the time was living in my parent’s spare bedroom with both of my teenaged girls. I was unemployed and I was running through my investments pretty quickly.  I was in no mood for cheering, let alone dancing, streamers and those silly hats.

Angels dancing in party hats

Angels dancing in party hats

A lot has happened since then.  Many things in the past 4 months have transformed not only my life but reality as I knew it.  I am now 3 months into developing my Clear Mirror Healing business and I can see that with this business I am going to transform the world of medicine as we know it in the U.S.  I am using my combined shamanic healing, reiki, and cranio-sacral therapy to heal people in one or two sessions who have suffered for years, spent thousands of dollars and seen numerous specialists without results.  I am going in to retirement communities, doing informational sessions about this healing and generating lots of happy clients.

I have published my first book from a series of 10 and I already have an offer to make it into a movie.  This book and movie series is not just entertaining fiction, though.  It is a whole new way of looking at life on Earth as well as our own capabilities for happy, healthy, wealthy,peaceful  coexistence.  Its not fiction at all.  And its going to blow the top off some old limited ways of thinking, acting, and governing.

Clear Mirror Healing is also about to transform education as we know it. That happens in about a year when I finish my masters in education and test out my workshop series on real teachers and real students and get real results.  And the happenings of the past four months have not been limited to what I’ve done with my business.  Not at all.  I’ve had some amazing people step into my life in a big way and blow the top off MY old way of thinking, acting, and behaving as well.

So what about those obstacles, you ask?  What happened to the unexpected bumps, turns, and squiggles you thought I was going to talk about?  Yes, well, the wolf is at the door, my friend.  That’s right I’m about as flat as broke gets.  I started out with just some personal savings and my business is doing very well.  In fact I’m about to turn the corner to ROI in only a couple more months.  But somewhere along the way I was introduced to an investor, a venture capitalist who likes to turn start up businesses into gold.  I stopped acting like I was on a 5-year plan and started really putting everything I earned back into my business.  Then my investor decided to put her money into some middle men shuffling papers for petroleum cartels.

For about a month now I’ve been facing down the barrel of this thing. The business is rolling forward in such a big way that If I stop putting my earnings back into it I will be choosing to put the breaks on a big golden freight train just now chugging over the crest of the hill on its way to amazing. On the other hand if I keep putting my money into it I stand a good chance of losing my home.  Ha Ha! What a pickle!

pickle

pickle

So the other night I caught my self talking behind my back! Really, I woke up to the sound of talking and found that it was my unconscious self talking to my spirit guides telling them to let me struggle on my own for awhile.  Leave me alone. No encouraging words. No support. No guidance.  Strange as it sounds, because believe me it was all kinds of weird to ME and I’m a gal who’s used to talking to angels and spirit guides and stuff, it turns out the opening guidance is correct, I did this.  To me.  For my own good.

And I guess, when I look at it I have done good for myself.  I’ve tweaked my business plan and called up several friends and associates who invest and pitched the investment idea to them all.  I’ve ramped up the retirement home presentations, calling every such organization in my area.  I’m applying for all kinds of grants and loans.  Most importantly, I’ve put my faith first, spending an hour each morning in determined prayer and meditation before I begin my day.  I’ve kept on keeping on.  I’ve acted as if I am winning and I’ve kept on encountering benefits.

Now, don’t misunderstand, no investor has jumped on this golden freight train yet!  Its not too hard to wake up to the wisdom that our obstacles are benefits and our struggles are amazing good fortune once you are out of the woods and chugging on down the golden track. No, I have about another week before that wolf at the door claws his way through the door, truth be told.  But you know what?  I like wolves.  I admire their tenacity, their strength, and their team spirit.  And I like myself a little challenge!  I’m going to learn me a little something from this wolf and we are going to be the best of friends!

I’m gonna stay right here, cause these are the good ‘ol days!!

wolf at the door

wolf at the door

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Spring Cleaning!

spring!

spring!

Spring is a wonderful time! The weather is nicer than most any other time of year, flowers are blooming, animals are flirting and playing, and everyone begins to feel light hearted again. Because of millions of years of evolution spent without the benefit of central heat or cooling, the seasons of the natural year trigger changes in our bodies as well as our external environment.  In the Autumn, our bodies tend to put on some extra fat to help us make it through the cold winter months and fight off any diseases that could do us in.  So spring is the perfect time to start removing some of those extra pounds.  Your body is ready to shed them anyway!

The best way to jump start weight-loss is a good spring detox.  Your body, when it cannot remove the toxins from your system fast enough, also uses fat to store toxins so they are not released into the bloodstream.  The fat serves as insulation to protect us from the toxins.  Your body will actually trigger cravings for excess calories to recruit fat cells in which to store the toxins!  So by removing the stored toxins from your system, you actually release your body from the need for cravings and overeating.

But detox is NOT just for weight loss.  Getting into the habit of regular yearly detox helps rid your body of the triggers that can lead to end stage diseases like cancer, arthritis, diabetics, and autoimmune diseases, just to mention a few.  These stored toxins are also what contribute to aging and mental dysfunction.  In our modern society, most people are taking in more toxins than their bodies can effective get rid of.  So a yearly detox is really basic to staying disease free, fit, and healthy.

It is with all this in mind that some beautiful, determined clients and I started our “Club Detox”  We have all prepared to start our own personal detox programs during the next week or two and we are supporting one another by posting our progress, struggles, encouragement and victories on our newly created page: http://www.facebook.com/DetoxClubCMH

detox

The best, most effective detox is done slowly over the course of 2 weeks. But if that is too much stress you can simply break it up. Do a one week detox and then a couple weeks later do another one week detox.  The basic idea is to increase water and “green foods” (dark green leafy veggies of all kinds, including algae, help to pull toxins out of your system while replacing the minerals.  Then you begin reducing any possible causes of toxins beginning with the most obvious (alcohol, coffee, sodas, junk foods) and ending up with a one day diet of only fruit and vegetable juices.  Following that there is one rather austere day of water and herbal tea only fasting along with a number of methods for releasing toxins through the skin.

You can improve the detox by using herbs and foods that support liver function, the organ responsible for most of the detoxification.  Some of these liver support foods include:

Milk thistle (silymarin)

flax seed

beet roots

dandelion greens (yes, the things popping up on your lawn)

nettles

spirulina (and all “green supplements”)

Moringa (so great at toxin absorption its amazing!)

That’s the basic gist of detoxing!  I will post our 1 week plan in case you would like to start your own “spring cleaning” And feel free to join our Club Detox and post so you can double your blessings and halve your struggles!  Happy, healthy spring!!

Detox Yum!

Detox Yum!

Don’t worry, Be Happy!

One especially useful technique in hypnosis is “goal programming”.  By imagining your goal as if you are already there and then enhancing the image by stepping into it, turning up the colors, sounds and feelings…and then by revisiting that image again and again you make it attractive to the mind.  The conscious mind begins to dwell on that goal.  The unconscious, meanwhile begins to find a way to make it reality. The more you revisit that success, the more it becomes believable. Once its fully believable it is entirely achievable.  Your unconscious mind will simply find a way to get you there!

Its the self same process you find described in The Law of Attraction , The Secret , and SGI Buddhism (sgi-usa.org). You create your goal and empower it so that your mind just cannot leave it alone. Then lather, rinse, and repeat till you’ve actually made it. You cannot fail!

Unless…worry creeps in and destroys your dream. Worry, anxiety, fretting, doubt, negativity – the “great” forces of destruction.  In Buddhism we call this “Fundamental Darkness”. By its simplest definition fundamental darkness is the natural human tendency to doubt that you (or others) have what it takes to achieve your beautiful successful dreams. Its part of the human condition.  We all must battle it.  At its simplest most benign it manifests as doubt and worry, at its worst it gives rise to great evil, hatred, cliquishness, racism, destruction, bombings, war…and “justification” of revenge, punishment, torture.  Nasty, horrible snowballing stuff.

Its a powerful force, right? Hard to stop?  Well, no, not really.

Its exactly the same process for achieving your greatest dreams only in reverse.  Sometime long ago, I remember knowing this.  But as this thing called “life” stepped in presenting me with ever greater challenges, I kind of forgot. It took my most amazing, happy, successful client sitting in my office worrying till tears rolled from her eyes for me to recall how it works. So now I am using my full brain again, I’d like to share it with you.

Worry and all that can snowball from it is nothing more than the process of achieving your dreams in reverse.  First you imagine what you DON’T want to happen – your worst case scenario, your greatest fear, whatever.  Then you make an image in your mind of the thing you fear.  Then you revisit that thought & that image over and over until it becomes an obsession. Throw in some hand wringing, nail biting, tears, and sleepless nights and before you know it you have empowered your WORST NIGHTMARE!  You are now well on your way to making THAT your reality. Heaven knows we all have before!

So how to STOP that process?  You can’t sit in a corner and NOT think of pink elephants, can you?

TRY not to think about this...

TRY not to think about this…

Not anymore you can’t!  What you CAN and MUST do is override that negative thought with a more powerful image. You do this simply by creating the image of what you really DO want.  Despite what news, movies, and Steven King may think, good thoughts always overpower bad because bad is just destruction.  Its ultimate end point is nothing.  But good is creative, it has no endpoint.  It is simply unlimited!

So the easiest way to create your image that will end all your worries and fears is to think of the best case scenario.  Find some pictures of what could happen if your wildest dreams came true.  If you’re not a very imaginative person or simply not visual, or even just too logical, you can let the internet do the work for you.  Start yourself an account on Pinterest (pinterest.com  ).  Google some pictures of what your heart desires. Pin them to your board.  Add to them whenever you think of something else.  Then visit that board any time you start to worry.  Visit that board daily, several times per day whether you worry or not.  Empower your images with your prayers.  Look at the board and pray for that outcome.  Go back to those images in your mind.  It won’t be long before that best case scenario becomes compelling, compulsive, and believable. Before long it will not only be achievable, but the old thing you used to worry about will seem absurd.

Then you, my friend, are well on your way to making those dreams your reality!  Now, whenever you find yourself worrying or feeling fear, go create a new board on Pinterest.  You can also do it the old fashioned way by cutting out magazine images and pasting them to a poster. You can hang your poster over your bathroom mirror or something so you see it every day. Why not do both?  While you’re at it why not get the Pinterest app on your phone so you can open your boards throughout the day and build your dreams constantly?

In no time at all you will find you are becoming HAPPY! Really happy, and FEARLESS! And amazing!  And the cool thing is you can empower EVERYONE ELSE in your world with the same happy fearless success.  You can make “The Secret” and “Law of Attraction” and “Kosen Rufu” a way of life everyday.  Go create something heretofore impossible! Go end worry and fear and doubt forever! Go leave in your wake a broad swath of happiness, riches, success, love, and joy!  And when people ask you how you did it – TELL THEM! They can do it too!  And it has nothing at all to do with pink elephants!

P.S.  Write to me and I will share my greatest secret Pinterest dream boards with you!  Happy pinning!

Stop thinking of that elephant!

Stop thinking of that elephant!

How to Say Goodbye to a Pet

I hope that you will never have to lose a beloved pet.  I hope that you will never have to sell or give away a pet.  I hope that you will never have to make the decision that a pet will be better off with someone else or put our of its misery and suffering by the cool hand of death.  I hope that no creature in your loving care will ever grow old or suffer disease or die.  It is my true hope.  My hope is, of course, in vain.  If you dare to adopt a pet at all, you will one day have to adopt the courage and the wisdom to let it go.

In my own opinion the noble thing about adopting any sort of pet is not so much in the quality of care you give it, nor how attached you feel to it, nor even how well you love it.  The most noble thing about having a pet is the selfless courage and grace with which you let it go, when the time comes. Animals should not have to suffer a long lingering death because the humans in its life are too selfish to let it go with dignity.  Nor should we call it “love” if we hold on to a pet that we are not able to care for properly.  It is merely selfishness.  We should be better than that.

Animals in general, I have noticed, do not fear death like so many humans do.  They seem to have an easier time making the decision to let go of life.  In the wild an old or diseased animal would be quickly killed.  This seems to be their preference, a quick, clean exit.  Frankly, It is my preference for myself as well: A life of love, challenge and victory and a death that is quick, clean and dignified.  What more could I want?

In Life in Paradise, the story of a young hominid girl prior to the evolution of true humans (available from Amazon.com for $4) the nameless protagonist describes how she had the brain of an animal at the time.  She describes how she got through a painful and difficult period in her life by using that animal brain as a resource.  She takes the time to share how understanding the brain of an animal can help you make the gentlest and kindest transition for a pet when you must let it go.

…. to be honest, my brain was more the brain of an animal than the brain of a human. Back in that earliest time we were not quite human. We were on the threshold of becoming human, though we didn’t know it. There were no true humans then. We were something that does not exist today, something between animals and true humans. So if you have ever allowed yourself to wonder what an animal feels, let my story comfort you some.

If you ever have to sell or give away a beloved animal or even if you live on a farm and have to kill a chicken or a goat or a pig remember this, my story. Remember that though, of course, we can all remember the past with longing or imagine a terrifying future, or feel a great variety of things pleasant and unpleasant, those of us with animal brains are uniquely qualified to focus intently on the present. In that present moment it can be very comforting to feel a gentle touch, to be held or patted, have your feathers smoothed or to be slowly rocked. In fact, if someone holding you gently were to coo and tell you “shhh, shhh”, or to thank you for your life so far – that would be enough. That moment would be happy enough to block out regret and prevent terror, enough even to decrease all pain to a distant, unimportant thing.”

I have loved some pets deeply and well.  I can tell you, though you already know, that pets are amazingly loving and giving.  They are intimate in a way that we rarely experience with other humans. They know us entirely, our good and our bad, and they speak directly to our hearts.  I know this so well and I understand the huge weight of responsibility of caring for another small life so well that I generally avoid adopting pets when I can.  I’m just a big wimpy baby, that’s why.

But since my children were old enough to fall in love with some poor creature or other I have been saying “Yes.” mustering courage, and taking on that responsibility.  First it was hermit crabs.  Then goldfish. Then pollywogs we found in a ditch.  Then a small garter snake,  hamsters, and finally a pair of ferrets.  Thus, we have worked our way up though the evolutionary chain of species. Each of these small people I have taken on with seriousness and respect, and with love.  I am continually undone by the amazing capacity of even a small cold-blooded animal’s ability to love back.  Each of these small people have died much too soon for my heart to endure.

Perhaps because their brains are closest in form and function to our own, it was my relationship with the ferrets that impacted me most. Now, I talk to all our pets, which will not surprise you.  Also all my pets have talked to me (which may, unless you are a regular reader of my blog).  But, frankly, the fish never had much to say and the hermit crabs were a bit, well, crabby.  So none of these early pets prepared me for the warm, sweet, and surprisingly intelligent feedback I got from the ferrets.

Our Cinnamon ruled the house

Our Cinnamon ruled the house

Usually, our conversations were limited to simple exchanges about basic wants and needs.  They, of course, always wanted more time to run freely through the house and less time locked in their kennel.  While I preferred that they not curl up to sleep under rugs or relieve themselves in carpeted rooms (clearly their preference).  They did not like to be cuddled because they were so slender that it hurt to have their bones squeezed together.  I found them nearly irresistible to touch.  We were able to compromise by my lying on the floor and allowing them to touch me gently with their noses to show affection.

One day though, our conversations became more profound.  The female, Snowball developed an adrenal tumor, common to ferrets bred in the U.S.  There was not much the vet could do.  We made her comfortable as best we could and I asked her for daily updates.  I was preparing to take her to have her put down when her condition became too unpleasant for her.  She had other ideas.  One day she ferreted her way out of the house and took off for the woods. At least this is what her male friend, Cinnamon, told me. She simply disappeared never to be found.

Snowball makes her final escape!

Snowball makes her final escape!

That left Cinnamon and I alone, together. Our conversations became closer and more intimate.  One evening when my kids had been at their fathers house and I was missing them terribly, I begged Cinnamon to sleep with me.  He loved to sleep outside his kennel but was loathe to have me cuddle him, especially in my (big, clumsy) sleep.  But I was so lonely that he finally agreed.  Sure enough, he climbed up on my bed, found a spot where he would be in no danger of being touched, curled up and slept the whole night with me.  It was the first and the last time that he ever shared a bed with anyone other than Snowball.  It was very comforting to me and I was happy and grateful.

Then, not many months later poor Cinnamon began showing signs of the same adrenal tumor that took Snowball.  The vet confirmed the worst.  And so I began conversations with Cinnamon about euthanasia. He seemed to understand the concept and agreed that that was what he would like if his pain became too great. When he began to lose bowel control I asked again and he was very relieved to say “yes” he wanted to be put down.  I made arrangements and told him when we would go.  When that day arrived he hopped out of his kennel smiling and more peppy than I’d seen him in months.  He bounced downstairs like a baby.  After finishing his vitamin treat, he sat up and looked at me expectantly.  “Okay, I’m ready!” he announced. He was so happy and enthusiastic!  It was hard to explain that his appointment was in the afternoon so the girls could come home and say goodby. He took it well enough.

When we finally did say goodbye it was beautiful.  He was uncomfortable in the vet’s office because he could hear dogs barking down the hall and because they had to shave his forearm a bit.  But when she gave him the sedative he told us, “This is very peaceful, thank you.  I’m just going to go now.” And then he did.  Before he even received the killing shot we felt his spirit leave.  His little body went pale. I looked at my daughter and she looked suddenly at me.  We both knew and we were all at peace.

Cinnamon has been a very hard one to miss.  If I had it to do over again the only thing I would do differently would be to choose a vet that had a quieter office, and a face mask or cone for delivering a gas sedative.  If I had to do it for myself I would do exactly the same.  I suppose I have a different relationship to death than most people.  Remembering past lives means I remember my deaths as well.  Dying has often been painful or difficult, but death itself has always been them most luxurious peace and comfort, like a long cool drink of water on a hot day and a dark, lovely place to lay down and rest.

I think the little cave-woman in Life in Paradise has a lot to teach us.  She speaks eloquently if simply about fear, racism, greed, and love.  Not the least of her teachings are those about understanding the way animals think and feel.  I hope you will find some comfort and courage in her words, as I have done.   Here’s a link to the book. http://www.amazon.com/Life-Paradise-Grand-Experiment-ebook/dp/B00C4Z6FX0/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366297368&sr=1-1&keywords=life+in+paradise+%28Grand+Experiment%29

The Grand Experiment

I thought you might be interested to see how my first book, Life In Paradise, ties into the book series called the Grand Experiment.  If you haven’t read the first book yet, I hope you will.  I am only holding off on writing the second one so you have that chance. I am also looking for some people to write reviews for me…interested? Just say the word!  (Find the first book here for only $4  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Life+in+paradise+%28the+grand+experiment%29)

The Grand Experiment Series

This series of strikingly vivid and detailed past life memories begins when human life began and moves through time dramatically recounting in intense, personal detail, the consecutive lives of a single girl. As her lives follow the path of humanity and civilization across the globe, her true nature emerges. Her heart strains to reconnect with her beloved husband and child from the dawn of time. Their hearts, likewise aching for reunion, follow her movement, reconnecting time and again. But there is something else that she is questing. It is a puzzle that winds its way through all the books of the series and up to the present day where the larger story is finally, dramatically reveled.

  Book One: Life in Paradise     Life in paradise

This first tale takes place on the threshold of time when humans, true Homo sapiens, have not yet emerged from the crazy mix of genetically similar hominids in Africa. We meet our girl, a poor orphan of 10years, violently thrust into the animalistic reality of the times with a heart waiting to blossom into loving fullness. When it finally does, she transforms her desperate reality into a paradise of love, learning, hope, beauty and adventure.

Book Two: When Gods Walked Among Us  Greek_Goddess_Wallpaper_23gcu

Forget everything you thought you knew about the Greek “myths”. This book stretches our grasp of reality yet again with the possibility that perhaps they were not myths at all. Our protagonist emerges yet again, full of heart and optimism in a society before recorded time that had literally created true peace on Earth, a functional utopia. Well almost. Can society really function free of all violence? Is it possible to have plenty for everyone? The one key to this beautiful utopia will startle and amaze you. And if peace and true happiness were possible for everyone, what could ever bring down that living dream?

Book Three: By the Rivers of Babylon   Egyptian_Princess_by_tim_mcburnie

In the aftermath of the destroyed state of Utopia our protagonist grapples with learning and understanding the very society that invaded and destroyed the city of dreams and all it had achieved. Determined to find and free the people who still remember how things were meant to be, she is born into a ruling family in ancient Egypt. She longs to learn and grow but controlled by a loving yet overprotective parent, she becomes caught up in the tragic and beautiful details of what we now call “life”.

Book four: Demons of the Mountain  Vietnam mtsVietnam-Photo-Tour

As Asia emerges, we find our protagonist living a quiet rural life in a small village way up in the mountains of Vietnam. Life is simple but our girl is anything but. By the tender age of seven her beginning language skills reveal amazing abilities. She is called, “The Oracle” given a seat among the village elders and generally treated with such deference that she becomes miserable. Or so she thinks.

Book Five: The Shogun Princess  Jap princ

Following the flow of civilization East, our girl is born into a ruling family of 12th century Japan. She is loved, protected and supported in the heart of a wealthy family that reveals itself, over time to have more than a few family problems. Her doting father adores his little princess and fulfills her every wish. What she really wishes for, though, is to leave the house gates, to learn and to grow. Not just the artistic skills girls of the time are schooled in,what she really needs to learn are the skills to feed and protect herself. Just in case.

Book six: A Home Among the Heathers  Scotish red

As the newest race of humans have finally begun to civilize themselves, after a fashion, among the British Isles, our girl tries to make her way in this emerging society. Perhaps the lack of city gates, stone buildings and locks will allow her the freedom she needs to roam and learn. Perhaps her beloved family will be able to reunite. There on the windswept coast of old Scotland, together with her man at last, she is able to practice new skills of healing and friendship. Maybe just living is enough. Maybe her poor heart can finally be satisfied. Maybe the drums of war are only her husbands chance to prove himself as the man she has always believed in.

Book Seven: The Underground  Les-Misérables-2012 FrFlag

French culture as early as the 1700’s made a vast amount of room for individual differences. The dark cover of Paris’ streets made for even more possibilities. When the ghastly revolution begins our protagonist finds that she is in the perfect position to build an underground system for rescuing those who were targeted for the guillotine, or worse. For who would ever suspect a coalition between nuns and whores? Who even sees their comings and goings or recognizes their faces? Proud of her work and herself she recounts,“If we saved tens, we saved thousands. If we saved bodies, we saved souls. If they destroyed a way of life, We transformed it forever.”

Book Eight: Brothers in Arms  French boy Frog Flag

Seeking an ever closer connection to her man, our girl fulfills a determination made in Scotland. Our young she is born as a he – destined for war in Napoleon’s army. The two explore the bonds of male camaraderie and the brotherhood of the foxholes. Meanwhile the “first life” daughter is there to tie up loose ends with a woman’s loving touch and await the hero’s glorious return.

Book Nine: Foresight and Forbearance Slovak Jews with Star of David Star

Born in the bosom of a warm and loving extended family our girl is finally raised with care, taught all that books can teach, and instilled with the self possession of beautiful powerful kind women. Yet her ability to see what the future holds transforms her young life in unspeakable ways. Will the family she loves ever take her warnings seriously? Will she find the words to stop the hideous betrayal? And if history marches ruthlessly over her town, her country, and her people will she still be able to hold on to her heart? After all, it is the heart that matters most.

Book Ten: What if God Were One of Us?  blue eyeAmFlag

The American Dream gives rise to a new way of life – one in which women are once again considered people in their own right. “This time,” our girl declares as a young child, “I’m going to do everything.” And so she does. Free to learn, to experience, to travel, and finally to remember our girl comes full circle, realizing the ultimate dream. The “Grand Experiment” is finally complete. The burning questions are answered. The big picture is finally clear and life as it was meant to be begins at last.

This book series promises to be as gripping and memorable as the “Harry Potter”, “Twilight” or “Percy Jackson” series and is presently being made into a movie.  Better read it!!

Taking LOVE lightly

“I had not dropped from that tree to save my husband. I had not dropped from that tree to protect my child. I had not dropped because my hands slipped. I had not even dropped from that tree because my poor simple brain had lost its straight forward way of reasoning. I had dropped from that tree because my poor selfish heart could not bear to go on without the man that I loved with all my life. Love can be a very good thing and I would like to tell you that it always is. But love can be a bad thing too. Love is a bad thing when it makes you selfish or foolish and I had let love make a selfish fool of me.”

excerpt from Life in Paradise the first book in the series The Grand Experiment available from Amazon.com      http://www.amazon.com/Life-Paradise-Grand-Experiment-ebook/dp/B00C4Z6FX0/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1365254231&sr=1-10&keywords=life+in+paradise

In the final chapters of Life in Paradise our young protagonist, the girl with no name, reflects upon her death, her life and her ability to love. With deep regret and longing she regrets her untimely drop into death.  She longs to get back in the game of Life.  She longs to be a good mother to her only child, now an orphan at the tender age of seven years.

At that time life was hard. The daily struggle for existence meant a man of 28 years was a wise and honored elder. It meant that even healthy people did not live long. Luck and wisdom were key to survival. She had been lucky and she had learned much and she had been very, very happy.  For her life in this hard time had been nothing less than paradise. But in her own words, she had been a fool for love.

Wise people could outlive most but a fool’s life was usually the first to go.”

She passed into death regretting her foolish, selfish way of loving.  She made a vow never to love that way again.  Many of us today have observed that “love is blind” and that “love makes a fool of us all”  But is that the way of Love? Or is that only the Love of fools? Does Love really make fools of us or are we only fools who fall into love blind, helpless, thoughtless, following where it leads without learning what it has to teach?  Is there another way to love that is greater, kinder, more generous, less foolish?

The bible tells us that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son..”  I ask you, who among us would give our child over to suffer and die a long lingering painful death, and call that love?  We want love to transcend all suffering but no good parent has ever watched a child suffer without feeling that suffering even more intensely than the child herself.  And yet it is the job of a good parent to let her child suffer what there is to suffer.  A parent who protects her child from any hardship does that child a great disservice.

Life is hard.  It is life’s very hardship that makes it so very good.  If a parent hovers so close as to scoop up her child before he hits the ground anytime he falls, that child will grow up without learning life’s most important lesson: how to pick himself up and try again.  If a child has never been allowed to fall when he is only a couple feet from the ground, he will become a man who is six feet tall and whose first independent fall can actually break his legs, ruin his knees, and cause permanent and lasting damage.

Children are born with almost no true calcified bones.   The cartilaginous bones of infancy do not harden into true, ossified, breakable bones until long after sexual maturity is reached.  They, with their rubber bones mere inches from the ground, are perfectly built to withstand the falls of childhood.  Whereas an adult who falls from a ladder his own height is very likely to suffer spinal injury and possible paralysis.  Perhaps it is the best kind of parental love that lets a child fall a few times on his own – and as early as possible.

So is love this thing that drives us to catch a child before it falls? Or is love the wisdom and courage to let the child fall no matter how much we, ourselves stand to suffer by allowing it?   Is love the dark whirlpool that draws us in, sweeps us away from ourselves, our suffering, our duties?  Is it love that makes us blind to all others?  Or is love the thing that stands behind us, encouraging us, reassuring us, yet pushing us into the wild fray of life to strengthen and better ourselves moment by moment?

I have two children in this lifetime. One came into life with wisdom beyond her years.  She has taught me more about life and love and being my true self than I can ever hope to teach her. (Though I will never stop trying.) When she had begun to toddle I had only to say to her, “Be very careful on the stairs and always hold the handrail.” and she did so ever afterward.  My second child came, apparently, from a place where there is no such thing as gravity. She took her first steps at ten months by charging across the room to greet guests, falling headlong into the hard floor only to be caught at the last second by one foot or the other swung in front of her just in the nick of time.  The next day she began climbing ladders with wild and reckless abandon.

This second child spent her elementary years covered in small bruises and scabs.  She has sought out greater and greater falls over the years, usually while my overprotective back was turned, breaking teeth, bones, and hearts along the way.  This child, oblivious to gravity, has taught me about risk-taking, fearlessness, and the courage to swing forward another step just before I fetch up hard against the asphalt of life.  She has taught me to love like I’ve never been hurt, to dance like I’m not really white, and to work like no one is watching.

I have some good friends, very good friends, indeed, who maintain that the love of a child is a very different thing from the love of a partner. I have experienced many “kinds” of love and I say there are only two kinds.  There is the love of a fool who allows herself to be swept along blind, driven to rage and jealousy, protecting her beloved from experience and life and from ever finding comfort in the arms and heart of another.  Then there is the love that learns the wisdom and courage to support and encourage life-saving growth in those she loves.  There is the love that grasps desperately, greedily, and selfishly as if love and indeed life itself is a limited commodity that appears out of nowhere and can be snatched away without warning, never to come again.  Then there is the love that learns to create itself and renew itself over and over again in an infinite number of new and beautiful ways.

Daisaku Ikeda, world renowned leader of Buddhism, peace, culture, and education says this of love:

“If you are neglecting things you should be doing, forgetting your purpose in life because of the relationship you’re in, then you’re on the wrong path.  A healthy relationship is one in which two people encourage each other to reach their respective goals while sharing each other’s hopes and dreams.  A relationship should be a source of inspiration, invigoration and hope.”   –Discussions on Youth 1, chapter 7

There is love that stays small, powerless and limited.  Then there is love that grows and reaches indefinitely beyond to love more.  There is the love that creates love and the love that devours love and life itself.  For my part I will continue to love as I have been taught by life’s greatest teachers.  I will love with wisdom, holding carefully to the handrail of reason and observing my steps with caution and logic.  I will also love with wild courageous abandon, planting one more daring step ahead of me just as I begin to fall into certain pain.  I will create love as I go and grow love as I grow and rebirth love in everyone around me and within my self daily.

” Love began for me not like something new that I discovered or something strange that someone gave me, love began like something that was huddled inside of me afraid to wake up.

It began like a seed lying on the ground with no water, with its shell getting thicker and harder that is suddenly and unexpectedly drenched and soaked through. Like a seed that stops being a seed and bursts out through the thickest of shells and becomes, overnight something green and tall, something that will never again be a seed, something that grows taller and stronger and more beautiful every day.”

    – From Life in Paradise, by Tolley Thompson available from Amazon.com

Sprouts

Life in Paradise

Well, I’ve finally done it!  I have published my FIRST BOOK in a series of books recounting past life memories from the very beginning of human existence up to the present day.  You can find the entire book on Amazon.com by searching “Life In Paradise” by Tolley Thompson.  The cost is $4.00. The cover of the book shows the archeologist on the team of Mary Leakey as they unearthed the footprints of our hominid ancestors at Laetoli in Tanzania.  These footprints may well have been made by the characters in my book. The characters in my book may well have been the ancestors of the human race.  I will let you be the judge of that.

This book follows the life of a young hominid girl who believes that her life there in Africa on the threshold of time was “paradise”.  To our modern minds it is anything but.  It is a life and death adventure of the highest order. There are other hominids who will kill and eat you if they so much as see you.  There is the problem of that most basic of life’s resources, water.  You see, the water of Africa “moves”.  It is the same in modern Africa.  The seasonal rains bring floods or droughts.  Rivers, lakes, and even small seas form and disappear constantly.  To live by a river is to die by a river. Yet our nameless protagonist finds love, romance, hope and beauty in this desperate and hostile world.

As you read of this first paradise, perhaps the true “Garden of Eden” you will find yourself swept away.  You will see her world through the eyes of the very distant past.  You will feel her humanity already alive within the body of this young animal-child.  Perhaps you will even find wisdom for living more fully and more honestly in our modern times. Perhaps you will find startling truths that make you wonder what, indeed is true and what is false in this world.  Without a doubt, you will enjoy a grand adventure that unfolds like a good fiction full of romance, tragedy, hope, mystery, and a puzzle that winds its way through all the books of the series and up to the present day.  You will remain transfixed right up til the startling conclusion.

Here is a taste of what’s to come:

My body opened right up and the baby came out and when I had my mind back she was laying there on the clean sandy place in a little patch of sun. She was like a little pod at first and looked a dark purple. I wanted to pick her up and clean her but the food that comes with babies was trying to get out too.

The moment everything was done I picked her up and separated the cord with my teeth. I was surprised to find myself out there among the rocks with a sandy place below me and suddenly I began to feel very exposed and frightened. I looked quickly around holding the small thing close to me again and wanted to call out for my husband but I found I was afraid to make a sound. That was the same moment when he popped from the shade behind me and came to us.

This is why I loved that man so: he had tracked me all day like a hostile tribe and watched every part of the birth from close in the shadows. He never once told me I was being foolish to heave my self around so or to seek out the open sandy place or to keep moving away from him without any words. He never interrupted my birthing with talk or tried to hold me or move me to a better place. He never even let me see I was being watched. But he never let me leave his sight. He might have been hiding still and trailed me back to our place and let me think I did the whole thing myself if he had not seen me grow worried and afraid. So this was my man and my husband and now this was the father of my little purple pod.

Even when he came out to us he waited there with me while I put the little pod to my breast and regained the strength of my legs. I looked at him and saw he was as wet with sweat as we were and knew he must have strained in the bush with resisting the impulse to come to us. We looked long at each other then and we laughed at each other. No one could say that day that this was a man who had no resistance!”

Happy reading, My Friend!

laetoli footprints 3

The Laetoli footprints were discovered in 1976 by Mary Leaky. The footprint trails are set in cement-like hardened volcanic mud and extend about 25 metres, 80 feet, over level ground. One set of prints was made by a larger, heavier creature; the other by a smaller, lighter one. Both sets are very similar and show that the two were walking in step – side-by-side most of the time. It appears that a third individual, much smaller than the first two, was following behind, stepping playfully in the footprints left by the larger individual. very similar a

at the two were whttp://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A944336