Belleruth Naparstek feels like family to me (but I have a feeling thousands of people feel that way too.)

I’ve taken Belleruth’s downloads with me everywhere. I was listening to a download of Belleruth’s trauma CD at the precise moment when my mother died.

What more can I say? Belleruth gets me through any kind of day.

National PTSD Awareness Day is this Thursday June 27th, and as we focus on people’s suffering, we can also point out ways in which they are being helped. Guided imagery is a powerful tool for alleviating symptoms of PTSD, panic & anxiety. It’s also a great way to support any meditation practice. Or just to relax.

Here’s an easy way to feel what I feel when I’m listening to Belleruth’s guided imagery: Click on this link, and you can listen for free to Belleruth’s CD on relaxation and wellness:

http://www.healthjourneys.com/Main/Listen/RelaxationWellness

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Goodbye Riva

February 1, 2014 · 1 comment

My mother’s long struggle with Alzheimers is over.

She died on the morning of January 6th, 12 1/2 years after her diagnosis.

I thought I’d said goodbye to her hundreds of times, as she slipped away from me slowly.

But this last goodbye was by far the hardest.

I took many videos of her over the years, and they are a comfort to me now, as I try and figure out how to live in this world without my parents, with grace and gratitude.

Here’s one of my favorite videos, shot when I walked into Riva’s room and woke her up from a nap a few years ago:

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Why 60 is the new 60

August 6, 2013 · 0 comments

I’ve been sixty for a month now, and I feel pretty damn good.

I wrote about my experience facing my 7th decade (yikes) for The Huffington Post.

And I enjoyed many slices of birthday cake, including this beautiful lemon one, made with love by my friend Carolyn…

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Gifts

June 16, 2013 · 1 comment

I’m turning 60 in a week, which is a significant milestone, since my father died shortly after his 60th birthday. I’m noticing all the other gifts that surround me, like these strawberries my friend Linda gave me fresh from her garden.

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Letting Go

June 3, 2013 · 0 comments

Clearly I’ve had no problem letting go of writing posts on this blog! But I’ve been struggling to let go of other things in my life. When I came across Ernest Holmes’ words online today, I felt a shift. Thank you to Lindsey Meade, as always, for your wonderful, wise blog. And thank you to Sue for posting this there:

She let it go:

She let go.

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear.

She let go of the judgments.

She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.

She let go of the committee of indecision within her.

She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.

Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice.

She didn’t read a book on how to let go.

She didn’t search the scriptures.

She just let go.

She let go of all of the memories that held her back.

She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.

She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go.

She didn’t journal about it.

She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.

She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.

She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.

She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.

She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.

She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.

She didn’t call the prayer line.

She didn’t utter one word.

She just let go.

No one was around when it happened.

There was no applause or congratulations.

No one thanked her or praised her.

No one noticed a thing.

Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort.

There was no struggle.

It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.

It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be.

A small smile came over her face.

A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore…

- Ernest Holmes

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Sound Meditation

March 24, 2013 · 0 comments

I’ve started making Breathtaking Moment videos again.
When it snows in March, over a misty Long Island Sound, it’s very easy to be inspired.
And lulled into a meditative state.

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The Guest House

February 9, 2013 · 0 comments

This human being is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain then all!
Even is they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

-Rumi
with thanks to @JenSchelter

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Today I paid a visit to my mother, who has been living with Alzheimers for twelve years. It takes me three hours to drive to her nursing home. I try not to go with expectations, but that’s hard, since the drive itself is a commitment (kind of like sitting down to meditate) and I want my visits to go well.

But it’s hard to define “well” when my mother doesn’t know who I am, and when she seems to deteriorate in between my visits. I try to slip into a zen state when I interact with her.
Sometimes (as with my meditation practice) I fear that I have made a mistake. I fear that I’m veering out of a meditative state. It’s challenging to make conversation with my mother. After complimenting her on her haircut, kissing her hand, and noting that her cough didn’t seem too bad, today I found myself asking “What are you thinking about?”

Oops.

That’s certainly a question I try not to ask myself when I’m meditating. I’d slipped out of my zen state, but my mother stayed right where she was. “It’s hard to tell,” she answered. Closing her eyes, she drifted, or meditated, or noted the thoughts passing through her mind.

Or not.

It’s hard to tell.

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Why haven’t I been blogging here?
I’ve been taking care of our puppy.
And one puppy can make a late-in-life mother very tired.


But I vow to blog more in the new year…

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Puppy Power

October 3, 2012 · 2 comments

It’s amazing what one little puppy can do.

Months ago we’d arranged to adopt a puppy sired by our cousins’s wonderful dog Koji. We had no idea just how much we’d need this soothing, sweet golden retriever we named Charlotte aka Charlie. She is really boosting our spirits.

There’s nothing like a puppy’s soft face against your cheek. Her belly is beautiful. Her puppy breath divine.

We are very happy puppy parents.

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