Monday, March 29, 2010

My Body Minds

One of the best feelings ever on this planet is to be blissed-out on a massage table… having reached a state of perfect happiness within my body… completely oblivious of everything else. *ahhh* And ya know what – it’s at this time of complete mind-body balance that I feel weightless too! *whee* It’s like my essential self is floating inside the human vessel of earthbound physical matter, that is Laurie Dean personified. And I become aware that the infinite expanse of universal energy, which unites all life, is really my inner being – connected to outer space (totally liberating sensation!) It’s the coolest thing, and starts from the moment my massage therapist makes physical contact… thus completing a somatic circuit, I guess, yet allowing a sense of having a boundless spirit. *astronomical*

No matter how tense and stressed out I am prior to a massage, this whole Zen thing happens with great regularity (every time, thank you very much!) *endorphins* But actually, it did take me a while to learn how to turn my brain off, and focus my awareness deeply inward. Get this: for the very first massage I received – a 30-minute Swedish style, when I was 30 years old – I kept my eyes open during the entire session! *sheesh* This central nervous system organ, AKA brain, sure does think highly of itself. *pun* And tends to launch “think attacks” at the most unsuitable moments… like late at night, or while driving, or – hello! – on the massage table. *futile* Here’s how it works: my body receives signals via the nervous system, regarding actions that my brain associates with the thoughts that it’s cogitating on… and being the good body that she is… minds the messages her smarty brain is sending… and voila, tension builds up in all of the muscles which are prepped for action – but really have nothing to do (massage time, remember!)

Anyway, now my body minds the therapeutic touch of massage too, and totally relaxes whenever that contact is made. As the recipient, I become free from the internal grip of muscular tension, and my soul soars, while my tranquil body remains still tethered by the physical connection of my massage therapist. As the giver of massage (Licensed & Nationally Certified) I remain free from emotional attachment to my clients, while facilitating the flow of universal energy through the conduit of human contact. *serenity* This bona fide interaction between the dimensions of mind/body/spirit/behavior can be dynamic, profound, and subtle… all at once! *awesome* And inspires me to share this poem, which I wrote in 2002, for a friend who was experiencing heartache (he’s all better now!)

Always I Am

I am
The summer prairie.
Blue sky of
Colorful flowers, prairie grasses,
Of space, time,
And always changing, yet
Ever present
Around you.
in my soft meadow
With me,
Roots seeping
Deeply homeward.”
Embrace from within
Yours, mine.
Hands hold the
With pulsing force
Molten core that is your
Self –
Preciously kept treasure of

Have a fabulous week… I’ll be back here Monday ☺


Monday, March 22, 2010

Small Town Vibe

You can rush the logistics of a High School reunion out on the Web, but you can’t rush the High School reunion spirit. *matter of fact* Especially this “All Years” reunion sponsored by my High School Alumni Association… graduates from 49 years of classes (1958-2007) were invited to the weekend-long event that kicked off with a Sock Hop on Friday night. *pun* It was held in the old Jr. High gymnasium, and of course we went… lots of golden oldies to Swing dance and Hustle to… but what is most interesting to me is how I felt about being back inside that little old gym. In 7th and 8th grade I was focused on schoolwork and trying to figure out the whole social thing (though it really wasn’t much of a scene)… combined with learning how to cope with having a locker, a different classroom/teacher for each subject, changing into a gym suit, and taking a shower with all the other girls in my P.E. class (it was mandatory!) Those were the good old days? *sigh* On the bright side, here’s the place where I first learned how to dance with a partner – at the Monday evening “Fortnight” dance classes (not always with the boy of my dreams, but he didn’t know I was crushing on him anyway!) It’s where sweaty palms were abundant – however back then no one I knew was a germaphobe yet – and the entire room reeked of preadolescent spirit (nod to Kurt Cobain, RIP).

The gaggle now is much more subdued – more sitting around, less tripping the light fantastic – except for hubby and me, of course… and one peppy alumna donning a vintage pink poodle skirt, complete with a ribbon-adorned high ponytail (a la Happy Days!) I know, I know, a reunion is for re-uniting with old friends… conversely, since I already keep connected with my long-time BFFs from Class of ‘75 (thank you dear Internet) we danced to at least a dozen songs and still got plenty of mingling in (even made new friends from classes of the ‘60’s and ‘80’s!) *grins* It sure does feel good to have so much fun in my old Jr. High… finally! *ha ha*

Then on to the Saturday night main event reunion dance at the local Hilton hotel (yes, it’s a small town, yet trendy enough to have a Hilton!) The set-up was awesome – all of the convention rooms were ours… a room for each decade… complete with open bar… a DJ in one… live band and dance floor in another… happy people circulating everywhere… and a ginormous hors d’oeuvre buffet for noshing the night away! *giggles* We arrived fashionably late, and as it turned out, just in time for me to find my way to the photo shoot (even a short corridor takes a long time to traverse when chatting with every 2nd or 3rd person out of about 1,000!) It’s so fun to see someone that I haven’t seen in person in a decade (last time I attended) and instantly recognize them. The years have indeed left their traces… what I like is how each person’s essence still shines through the same as ever! *sweet*

As a baby boomer (from a big family, to boot) I went to High School with umpteen classmates who also come from large families… resulting in this event having the semblance of being a patchwork of mini family reunions. *quaint* At one point (after I made my way from the ‘70s room… down the hall to the ladies room and back) a very familiar face appeared at our table… it was one of my younger cousins, whom I haven’t seen in years. He had seen me from across the jam-packed lobby, and suddenly realized there was a whole other set of relatives he hadn’t visited with yet (so we quickly got up to speed!) *folksy* Though class of ‘75 turnout was small – we represented! *rah* Everyone at our table was out on the dance floor raising the roof at some point during the evening! Being on a crowded dance floor, surrounded by old and new friends – all with a significant chunk of common personal history – is fantastic… and for me it’s a bona fide connection to my former self.

Have a fabulous week – I’ll be back here next Monday ☺


Monday, March 15, 2010

Pearls Of Parenthood

The best part of raising kids is that ours are grown up now… and everyone made it out alive! *gotcha* In spite of the times when I considered drastic measures (halfheartedly) during especially hectic situations… I didn’t off myself, rip out my hair, or ambush the annoying family on the block (who seem oblivious to their extremely high annoyance factor!) *whew*

Now having arrived (finally!) at this realm of empty nest nirvana, we do leave our newly established Eden whenever possible to attend awards events in which our young adults are honored, and we accept all the kudos that is bestowed – this is the icing on our cake, and the jewels in our crowns! *beaming* Completing the proverbial “circle of life” by developing bona fide friendships with our maturing offspring inspires feelings of wonder and delight – it’s marvelous!

This past couple of weeks has been jam-packed with family news and events:

Son number one is up for promotion from his current position as Manager of the President’s House at Columbia University in New York City. Here is an ambitious, high-achiever who, at the age of 12, completely planned our family’s summer vacation to Ocean City, MD, all by himself – and it all went off without a hitch (boogie board rentals included!) I once peeked into his 1st grade classroom (while cradling toddler son number two on my hip) to observe him so engrossed in his assignment, that he was standing up at his desk and hadn’t even taken off his jacket yet (he’s the kid who hit the ground running!)

His brother excels in the United States Air Force. He has already served a four-year enlistment, which includes a one-year tour of duty in South Korea, deployment to Iraq, and two years on the Viper West Demo Team. Ten days ago he graduated from Recruiter Training School (top graduate in his class!) He and his wife are in the process of becoming homeowners for the first time, and their family will move to Indiana next month (that’s right, our young grandsons will soon be living in a neighboring state instead of several states away!) This dedicated young man is a brave soul with a very nurturing spirit. When he was eighteen, renting a house with friends, and working two jobs (determined to make it on his own) he found two abandoned newborn kittens. Even though he was barely making ends meet for himself, he raised the kittens – first by feeding them with droppers – and still has them today! The baby book of names, that I referred to when he was born, states that his name means safe and secure. *nods*

We’ve got a college graduation to attend in two months for daughter number one – a most studious, hard-working, and motivated young woman indeed! She’s already been hired by John Deere Company, and will be moving to California after receiving her degree with high honors in Agricultural Engineering from University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana (alma mater of her dad and oldest stepbrother!) And here is an experienced world traveler too… in one year she visited five continents (without mommy and daddy!) *spunky* As of Saturday, she is now a Lady of the Knights of St. Patrick… the formal ceremony was interesting and fun (we danced to live entertainment after dinner!) She has a heart of gold, and a large amount of determination… one of our favorite childhood memories is of her as a preschooler… running across the room, and after colliding with her cousin (same age) kept on going with nary a hesitation in her stride! *moxie*

The busy life of our youngest brings her back from college to our house each time she needs a place to stay prior to an important job interview in Chicago… of which she has many. She’ll have enough credits to graduate from U of I Business College after only 2 ½ years (as a James Scholar to boot!) This dynamic young lady already has internship offers from prestigious companies – and is also an experienced world traveler – her charisma is boundless, and she has a clear sense of self-awareness. In fact, the title of my children’s book, Baron Thinks Dogs Are People Too! was inspired, in part, from a remark she made while we were outside playing Frisbee in the backyard (she was 12 at the time!) Dad, big sister, and I were tossing and catching the Frisbee to one another with great accuracy… then she decided to join in the game and shouted out, “Hey, I’m a person too!” *feisty*

Moment by moment, year after year, we were present with our kids… feeding, watering, bathing, rocking, playing, teaching/learning, working, and raising beautiful people. They are human pearls shaped by our unconditional love and now each one lives as a beneficial presence in the world.

Have a fabulous week – I’ll be back here next Monday ☺


Monday, March 1, 2010

Grandma & Grandpa

Who’d of thought that being a grandma would energize me? *rolls eyes* The thing about becoming a grandparent is that I had no control over when (or if) it would happen – a stark contrast to my well planned out and prepared for parenthood (even had baby names picked out before my sons were born!)

So there we were: hubby, his two teenage daughters, and me… settling into our new home/neighborhood/school together… when son number two announces his wedding engagement and subsequent plan to adopt his bride’s two year old son from a previous relationship! *whoa* Weren’t we busy enough already? Um, that would be a yes! *grins* But since my ultimate parenting goal was to raise independent, law abiding citizens, who are productive members of society (and in this case – mission accomplished) what could I say? Wait a sec… you know me, I say stuff… I mean what could I do? If I had my druthers, becoming a mother-in-law/adoptive-grandma would have been scheduled in somewhere between our daughters’ graduations from high school and college… or when I felt more used to wearing so many hats… whichever came first!

Anyway, exactly one month to the day from closing on our house, we were attending the civil wedding ceremony that initiated our grandparenthood. And what an endearing rite it was – complete with the most adorable two-year old towheaded boy! We had previously met our new soon-to-be progeny, and it was love at first sight from the moment we peered into one another’s crystal blue eyes… an amazing and energizing bond was established… just in time for the newly married groom to leave for USAF Basic Training two weeks later!

Okay. Good thing their apartment, our house, and her mother’s condo were all in close proximity… because the official orders for my son to report for a one-year tour of duty in South Korea came before their first Christmas together as a family… but after their positive EPT result! Yes, my first biological grandson was on his way, and I was totally stoked. Still am. When I held him just hours after he was born, I felt an incredible sense of cosmic maternal legacy and spiritual energy streaming through me. Being a grandparent is the coolest feeling… all the joy, none of the direct responsibility! *happy dance*

The hardest part is living far apart, and not being able to spend time together. After Korea, there was deployment in Iraq, and then they were transferred to a base several states away. Of course modern technology helps (thank you Skype!) But whenever we get the opportunity to be present with the boys, that is exactly what we do – we totally focus our attention on bona fide interactions with them. Yeah, keeping up – they’re now ages 8 and 4½ is exhausting, but the funny thing is that we don’t feel it until after our times together (hello delayed onset muscle soreness!) *giggles*

And now after having re-upped for five more years, our son and his family will be transferred to a neighboring state. Next week we’ll be babysitting our grandsons, while their parents go out house hunting (can hardly wait!) I’ll be back here in two weeks on Monday.

Have a fabulous two weeks ☺