Saturday, August 19, 2017

Safe travels Piper (aka Pipey) ..

Piper - October, 2016
We said goodbye to our beloved Piper on Thursday, 8/17. This precious little girl had walked this Earth with her mama (and my partner) Joannie for 16 years, 8 months and 2 days. She has left an incredible hole in our hearts and in our lives. I have been talking to Ahnung and asking her to greet Pipey.

Sweet Pipey ... you are deeply, deeply missed.

This morning, after my morning meditation .. the following come to me from Ahnung and Piper.

Keep on Walking

God sent me to walk with you.
Our path has come to a fork.
My work on Earth is done.

We have walked this Earth together.
Side by side.
I am with You.
I am above You.
I am below You.
I am around You.
I am with You.

We are One.

I thank you for loving me enough
to set my spirit free
from a body that has served me well.

My body may no longer be with you.
My spirit is always with you.
My spirit is IN you.

Our cells are One.
Our Heart is One.
Our Spirit is One.

Your work continues here on Earth.
I will be watching over you, as you have watched over me.

Listen.
See in new Ways.
Speak a new Language ..
one without physical touch or sight.
You will hear me.
You will feel me.
You will sense me.

Keep walking.
One day at a time.
One step at a time.

The time will come when you will reach
another fork in the road.
The time will come when your work will also be done.
And when that time comes ... I will be right by your side, as I am right now. And together we will walk this new path, cross over, and you will join me in this amazing new world.

Until then, sweet Mama, keep walking.
Your work is not yet done.

Ahnung and Piper


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Papa visits me in my dream ...

I had a dream last night. It was so real. It was the afternoon Papa died. Friday, Dec. 20, 1968. I had just turned 4. It was surreal. I could sense Papa leaving his body. Energy is the only way I can describe it now. The room was filled with amazing, beautiful, light .... radiating energy. I wasn't afraid. I don't think I was in my body either. I was with Papa and I could see the hospital room.We were everywhere. We could see everything. My mother was crying hysterically. I was quietly sitting in the corner. I was wearing a short-sleeved white blouse, red bottoms. We could see everything happening in the room, yet we could also see everything outside. In one instance Papa and i were in the room; in the same moment we saw the St. Louis arch, the magnificent Mississippi River.

My adult logical mind can't make sense of my dream. Surreal. I tell myself to let go of that logical mind. Just Be. Embrace the experience.

I was with Papa. Energy. Light. This sense of being everything and nothing. Observing physical form, bodies in the hospital room below us. No fear. Nothing. Everything.

Then I was back in the hospital room. Panic, crying, screaming was around me .. Mama, doctors, nurses. In my dream, even the 4 year old at that moment felt calm. I wasn't afraid. My Papa was still with me. I just couldn't see him. I just knew.

I woke up feeling so connected with my Papa.

Did my Papa take me with him for a brief moment the afternoon his spirit left his body? Did he want my 4 year old body to know he is still here - for the little girl to not be afraid; that he will always be here; that he will always be watching over me.

I closed my eyes again wanting to fall back asleep. To return to my dreams; to return to Being with my Papa again in the most amazing Way.

I couldn't fall back to sleep. As I got out of bed I thanked my Papa.

Some day we will be together again. Till then, I will feel him with me in every molecule and atom of my Being.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Honda Element (Ahnung mobile) moves on ...

In 2004 I purchased my Honda Element. I walked into the dealer in Burnsville, MN looking for a new vehicle. The sales man asked me what I was looking for, my lifestyle, what was important. I described to him what was important ... I had 2 dogs at that time (Shadow and Shen). My dogs were my 'kids'. He walked me over to an orange Element on the sales floor. I remember thinking, that is the ugliest vehicle. He could tell by my expression how much I disliked it. He told me, 'let me just explain why'. He proceeded to show me how the seats in the back folded up so easily to create a large cargo space, how it would be so easy to just wash out the vehicle and spray it down ... this one happened to have heated leather seats and a DVD player (a Bug's Life was in the player .... he smiled and said, your dogs could watch movies!). After a couple hours I was driving out of the dealer with my new orange Honda Element! I figured the 'ugly' boxy look, and the orange would grow on me!! I needed a vehicle that day! Let's just say it didn't take long for me to fall in love with my Element, both the look and the color and the ease in which the seats lifted up so my pups could have lots of space!

This vehicle has been through so much with me. When I got involved in the animal welfare community in 2006 it became the vehicle that helped transport animals. When I went up to Red Lake Reservation in 2008, it was the vehicle that transported my beloved Ahnung (along with 17 other dogs/puppies/kittens) back to the Twin Cities ... it is the vehicle that has transported more animals to the next stage of their journey in finding forever homes. It has been the vehicle where Ahnung and I spent many hours ... where her energy infused the space ... it was the vehicle that took us up to Grand Marais (along with Legacy, who joined us in 2011) for our trips after we learned she had cancer. It is the vehicle that transported Ishkode (aka her chosen pup) in 2013 after she had transitioned to the spirit world.

Ishka as a puppy (2013)
I had planned on driving the Element (my Ahnung mobile) until it died. It had 180,000 miles and was an amazing vehicle. I would have purchased another Element, however, they no longer make them anymore. The next vehicle I had thought about was a Jeep Renegade ... yeah, i had come to love the boxy look! But it would have to be many years, in my mind, as the Element was probably going to last me until 300,000+ miles! Well, as Ahnung always does ... she communicates with me. One morning my friend posted on Facebook she was looking for a used car. She has a small business, Tiny Tails, where Ishka spends a few days each week as she gets the most amazing care, daily pack walks and so much more! My friend also comes to our house and helps with our pack of 5 dogs when we need help (Ishka, Legacy, Mister, Missy and Piper). With the exception of Piper (16.5 years old) she takes the big dogs out on pack walks. I honestly don't know how she does it!!! I only take them for walks, one at a time!! :). Anyway, when I saw her post on Facebook, I had this image and thought pop up. It was like Ahnung was talking to me ... The Honda Element needs to go to Tiny Tails! Ahnung was telling me it was time to let go, for the Element
to move on to the next part of her journey ... and so there have been many tears as I have said goodbye to a vehicle that been symbolic on such a deep level and has represented my connection to Ahnung, transporting so many rez animals (including Ishka), and my work in the animal welfare community in Minnesota. Last week I purchased a red Jeep Renegade Trailhawk. Yesterday, I said goodbye to my Element and she has now moved on to being the Tiny Tails mobile! It makes me sooo happy to see her continue her work helping an amazing small business and friend. I am also happy Ishka will continue to get to ride the Element. Ishka also broke in the Trailhawk yesterday, named 'Starfire' (after Ahnung which means star in objiwe, and Ishkode which means fire in ojibwe).



Here's to new adventures with Starfire and the Tiny Tails mobile!!!! And thank you Abra and Tiny Tails for providing my Honda Element (formerly the Ahnung mobile) with a new home and purpose!!!


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Ahnung visits in a dream


 I don't often dream of Ahnung. When she visits my dreams, however, they are powerful. Last night she appeared. She was laying down, resting, yet in a 'watching over' mode at the steps of what was an old historical structure, like those in Greece. Big boulders. She was resting at the top of the steps. In plain sight yet hidden. In my dream I wasn't looking for Ahnung, or anyone. I wasn't lost. I was simply leaving this structure. Something nudged me to look behind me. I saw Ahnung, resting, 'watching me'. I remember the calm that came over me. This connection; this deep connection of two souls. When she saw that I saw her she stood up and walked towards me. Slow, intentional pace in Ahnung fashion. She paused momentarily when she got to me, then she kept walking. Then in my dream, out of no where, Ishka appeared. She was next to Ahnung. I momentarily panicked ... i thought i have to get a leash on Ishka or she will get away. Ahnung kept walking. Calm. Ishka by her side. Their souls were also connected. White light and energy flowed over me as I watched them .. worry went away. I didn't need to worry about a leash, about anything. Ishka kept 'following' Ahnung ... she walked next to Ahnung, on her left side. She was a smaller version of Ahnung. They were now both asking me to follow them. In my dream it felt like we were One. Ahnung guiding us. There was an amazing calm, a trust ... in meditation this morning i reflected on this powerful dream ... there was no separation of this world and the spirit world ... Ahnung IS with us. She is always with us. And she clearly brought Ishkode ('fire') to keep the flame inside of me going.

Miigwech Ahnung for the gift of visiting me in my dream; miigwech for Ishkode'; miigwech for the reminder our souls will forever be connected.



Saturday, June 10, 2017

Pain as teacher

For the past few weeks I have been struggling with tension headaches. I have historically not had headaches issues in the past. So this has been new.  I posted the following on Facebook,

"i have a whole new appreciation for those who experience migraines and/or chronic pain of any sort ... yup, i have had a lot of health issues but headaches has never been something i have struggled with .. then about a month ago, it started knocking on my door. I noticed it but didn't give it the attention it needed ... and as any health issue (or anything in life), when something is trying to tell you something, and you don't listen, it continues to give you messages hoping you will listen, and if you don't pay attention, it will knock you over with something that will get your attention. The headaches would be constant but sometimes it would be like my head was going to explode. Then at one of my sessions with my trainer I mentioned it to him. He asked me more questions and began pushing on points in my neck and shoulder ... talk about shooting pain to the spot in my head .... radiating, pulsing with a vengeance! I have had a shoulder injury and my physical therapist 'warned' me about the importance of my posture. How our body adjusts and compensates for minor pains and injuries ... and my shoulder injury has been a long time coming from probably poor posture and other ways of moving. As painful as it has been, the good news is i feel like i can do something about this. I have a couple lacrosse balls and they have become my new 'best friend' ... i can push on trigger points ... my trainer tells me it will hurt, and boy does it hurt. He explains the physiology of muscles and scar tissue and nerves .. i am also having deep tissue work done .. let's say that that is also very painful but I can tell the difference already. So, needless to say, it's been a kinda rough week for this household, but this morning, i actually feel a little more alive. Maybe i will actually get a walk in today :)"

When pain in the form of intense, throbbing headaches came knocking on my door, i slammed the door on its face! No, not today. I don't have time for you. She kept returning. A few times i popped a couple tylenols. It wasn't until I had my conversation with my trainer and he pushed on trigger points and showed the connection of the tightness in my neck and shoulders that something shifted in me ... no more slamming the door on Pain; no more masking the Pain; listen to Pain ... she is my teacher; she has been trying to get my attention.

Dear Pain,

You have my attention. My undivided attention. I am sorry for slamming the door on you. I am sorry for not listening. I hear you now and I am committed to paying attention. It's not easy to learn a new way of walking, sitting, and noticing the very tiny shifts in my body and my muscles. Old habits do die hard! I have a lot to learn, and in the moments when the pain is intense, I will remind myself to breathe into you, relax and imagine the throbbing hurt dissipating. You are my teacher. I embrace my role as student.

Marilou



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Grand Canyon ... and California Condors

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon with my partner, my sister and my niece. It was my first time to visit the Grand Canyon. I have seen photos. It is true .. photos aren't able to do justice to the magnificence and grandeur of standing on the rim of the Canyon, or as we hiked down the canyon.

I had the opportunity to also watch the sun rise, and the sun set ... breathtaking. And as we waited for the sun to set we had the opportunity to see a few california condors. Wow!!! These raptors are HUGE!! We were told their wings could stretch almost 10 feet!

Watching the california condors and turkey vultures made time fly as we waited for the sun to set, along with many other Grand Canyon visitors. I haven't had a chance to sit down and really reflect on the magnificence of our vacation. I hope to do that in the not too distant future.



Soaring

Leap.
Let go.
Trust.
Reach.
Dare
Do.



Friday, May 26, 2017

Reaching. Stretching.

Somehow, some way, along my life's journey i began telling myself a narrative that isn't true ... that i'm not creative or artistic .. and for many years, I also told myself I can't write. Sure, I played the piano. I rationalized that it was classical piano ... "anyone can read notes", yet I continued to pursue playing the piano, and even got a presidential scholarship in college to study under concert pianist Ruth Slenczynska. My gut knew it wasn't just about reading notes and playing notes ... then again, isn't anything in life so much more than what it appears to be on the surface? I would listen to jazz musicians and others who could just sit down at a piano without notes, improvising, creating music ... I would wish I could do the same. I honestly don't remember if I drew as a kid .... as an adult I could only draw stick people :). In the past week I have made a commitment .. a new stretch/reach goal for myself ... to challenge myself in creative ways .. to activate brain cells on the other side of my brain that have probably been dormant :). I have signed up for a Beginner's Observational Drawing class. It begins in a week and a half and I am super excited! The other day, I attempted to draw my pup Ishka.

It was an attempt of using 'grids' and drawing from a photo of Ishka on the dining room table. I thought i would post this photo and have an online documentation of my journey in developing my drawing skills :).

I am attempting to change the narrative that has been occurring in my head for longer than I can remember ... that I am not creative. I also used to tell myself I couldn't write. Fortunately, I have freed myself of that inaccurate narrative. I do believe I can write now ... in fact, writing is what has been a life jacket for me in my own personal healing journey.

So I am excited for this new creative journey ... of learning to draw; of learning to see the world in a whole new way ... to notice shades, tones, colors, light ... to explore new perspectives.

I may periodically post drawings as I embark on this journey. It will be a fun way for me to look back on this journey years from now :).