A Gong Of My Own


Yesterday was my birthday. It is not one of those big ones, just a number. Birthdays never meant much to me because during my long dysfunctional marriage, my birthday was rarely celebrated. I suppose now I can chalk it up to his mental illness which I didn’t really have any comprehension of at the time. But whatever, that’s a thing long past, and I don’t want to give it my time and energy. I bring it up to contrast those years, with the two I have spent with Dan, who makes it a big deal and loves to shower me with attention and gifts.

This year, a couple of weeks before my birthday, he began researching gongs. I am still looking for a gong bath down here. I hear rumors, but they never pan out. I have begun to talk about buying a couple of them that are affordable, and some singing bowls, maybe a drum or two, and perhaps holding my own gong baths here. I feel confident in my knowledge of sound/vibrational healing. I only needed a gong to begin with. Dan found some that were hundreds of $$, as opposed to the thousands of $$$ that I had thought. So I began to plot ways to earn the money to buy one.

But the next thing I knew, one was being delivered to my door. A beautiful 30” symphonic gong. And a stand to hang it on. We set it up and began just fooling around with it, and the sounds it can make. I began a couple of on-line courses on how to play one, as well as other sound/vibrational instruments. While Dan doesn’t really buy into my spiritual path, he is totally respectful of it. He really enjoys the sound and playing of the singing bowls. I have owned a Tibetan bowl for a long time, and we also have a crystal one. He enjoys playing the gong as well.

So I am embarking on a new journey. A sound healing facilitator. It’s kind of ironic, because I have always been terrified to get up in front of a crowd. But I don’t feel any fear of this. I believe in it, having done so much good healing work myself through the gongs. I know with some practice I can bring that to others. I feel I can start with my two groups that I meet with regularly, my writers group and my spirit girls. I can bring them into my house and practice on them, and I’m pretty sure they will love it. I know of a couple places that I could rent space fairly cheaply, or I can just have small groups of 4 or 5 in my house. I could even do individual sound healings if I got a massage table for someone to lie on.

I’m also looking into learning different modalities of energy healing. Here in Florida, you have to have a massage therapists license to practice reiki. It’s a stupid law, reiki has nothing to do with massage, there is no manipulation of muscles or anything else, just a gentle laying on of hands as most of you know. But if I can perform a different modality of energy healing, and combine it with the gongs, I might be able to make some extra money at it, and I’d be doing something I love and believe in.

So, it seems, my birthdays have gotten much lovelier, and my life is beginning to head down a path that I am pretty excited about. The picture at the top is my gong from Dan. How lucky am I?

Love and light to all.


Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or Palmetto Bug Rampage

Last night I survived the invasion of the body snatchers. For real. At least in my slightly demented mind, I was in serious danger. Creepy aliens invading my house.

We were watching TV. I saw something crawling down my door. I thought it was a gecko. They are plentiful here. You cannot walk outside without seeing many of them. I told Dan, “Look! A gecko is on the door!” Now geckos don’t scare anyone. They are cute, eat bugs and everyone gets them in the house every once in a while. But Dan, whose eyes are slightly better than mine at a distance, said “NO! It’s a palmetto bug.”

I think my eyes were like saucers. Because this thing was big, maybe 3” long. The biggest I have seen here, in my house. And they give me the total creeps. A 3” cockroach…..He got up and began looking for it. We saw it run out from under my couch (HOW THE HELL DID IT GET FROM THE DOOR TO THE COUCH? In seconds?) Then we saw it run across the floor. Finally, Dan managed to find it and somehow got it shooed out the door, and slammed the door shut. When he sat down we were both rather shaken, lol, and felt like there had been more than one because this creepy alien kept running around. We settled back in to watch TV.

Or so we thought. Another large, though not THAT large, ran out from under the couch, across Dan’s foot. I ran to the utility closet and got out my spray can of roach killer. Because after all, palmettos are just a giant cockroach. Dan found it hiking up the bathroom door, and began to spray. Like, trying to drown him. I guess he succeeded, because it slowed down and then stopped, and Dan picked him up in a paper towel and disposed of him. I did not even ask him how, because I didn’t want to know that he squished it in the paper. I myself am loathe to pick up even a totally dead one, with a paper towel.

So now the score is humans 2, palmettos 0. We sat again, to watch TV. And again, I saw one running down the front door. Dan grabbed the can, which was down to just a few squirts left, chased him into the bathroom, and sprayed what was left onto this ugly ginormous bug, which can fly (!!!). This one began to die his slow death, and Dan put him out of his misery too. UGH. UUGGHH!!!

Humans 3, aliens 0.

We actually saw 3 more of these what appear to be man-eating creatures, but they were running so fast to hide under the furniture, and the fact is we were out of spray now, that we just silently prayed that they wouldn’t find their way into the bedroom as we slept. We made a note to get to the hardware store first thing in the morning for more spray.

Luckily, we were both exhausted because Dan’s daughter and two grandsons (ages 7 and 9) came in from Denver yesterday and we were so busy all day with them, that we fell asleep easily. Well, easily after we came to the conclusion that there was no place open at 11 pm where we could run out and get another can of roach killer.

So we managed to get a good night’s sleep. When we woke up and started moving around, we found the other 3 monster cockroaches dead on the floor. One in the bedroom, one in the living room, one in the bathroom. I’m taking a guess that the bug spray on the floor killed them as they ran through it. Dan picked up one and opened the front door to throw it outside, and there, stuck in the door jam, was the first one, the one Dan managed to chase out the front door, the fucking monster creepy crawly man-eating bug thing, his head squished in the jam and his big crunchy body sticking out into the doorway.


But, humans 6, roaches 0.

And now we have another can of cockroach spray. We are ready. We haven’t seen one since. Thank God.

My apologies to anyone who thinks I am cruel, or Dan. Especially those who don’t live with these creepy things on a daily basis. Just for the record, they usually don’t travel in packs. Usually you get one maybe every couple months, and they are usually on their back, legs up in the air, when you find them. NOT f-ing racing around your living room like they are on speed. Actually, they are like a cockroach on steroids on speed.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the damn grasshoppers that are eating all my plants. No? Enough about bugs for the time being. Just know that the tropics breed HUGE bugs. HUGE. Here is a picture, in case you don’t understand the level of creepy-ness these creatures have.


Love and light to everyone, except the damn palmettos.

Revisiting The Past

The past revisits us occasionally, doesn’t it? Things pop up unexpectedly to remind us of our successes and failures of a lifetime. Some things are a pleasure to remember: summer days of our youth, love and contentment with our families, summer vacations at sea or on the beach. Others things from our past don’t evoke such pleasant memories. Instead, they remind us that we made bad choices, that we were hurt, that others were hurt by our actions. That the outcomes were not what we actually wanted.

Those memories can’t be forgotten though, can they? They have to be learned from. I mean, they are lessons for our lives, right? So, did we learn the lessons? I keep asking myself that.

It’s often just a momentary, fleeting memory that draws the past into the present. They don’t last long, and I can usually just flagellate myself for a second over a stupid choice I made, and then get on with my life. I believe that I’ve learned many of the lessons of my past, because I can say that I presently have the life I always wanted. Oh, it’s not without its own set of lessons, of discomforts but none of them presently can cause me to take a dive into self-pity, or regretfulness. I’ve made bad choices in the past, and hopefully learned from them. Feeling like my ability to clearly evaluate a choice I have to make is much sharper, much more in alignment with my true self, than it was even a few short years ago. I guess time will tell if my optimism is substantiated, but sometimes you just know. That’s how I feel now, like I just know that things will continue to rise, if I stay on this path.

So the point is, reminders from a past we are not particularly proud of don’t have to drive us backward. They can, actually, drive us forward to remind us not to make that mistake again. Just stand back from it for a minute, look at it objectively, not with a subjective personal view. We do the best we can from our state of consciousness at the time. I mean, seriously, I was conservative at one time. But when I began to learn to open my heart, and feel compassion, I couldn’t possibly maintain that perspective. I am still fairly conservative fiscally, but the things I think are worth spending money on have changed a lot. I’ve made choices in men that were not in my best interest. Choices that wasted my time, or drove me down, choices that didn’t honor myself. Like most people.

So, when I glimpse a memory, or a voice, a picture, from the past that might tweak my sensibilities for a moment, I generally just continue on the path that has led me to the place I am at. I don’t respond to it if I know no good will come from it. I just note it, and remind myself why it is in the past, and don’t delve into it, unless it somehow presents new information which allows me to understand myself better. Forward, in the present moment, is the only direction in which I can move if I want to continue rising.

Which I do. One of my favorite books is Rising Strong by Brene Brown. The universe conspired to put it in my face on a day when I was, as I paraphrase Brene, down on the floor with no idea how to get up. Literally. I’d spent the day in tears, and late in the day saw Brene on Oprah’s SuperSoulSunday, in an interview about the book. I had it on my kindle before the show was over. I began to learn that day, how to rise strong, and I continue to learn. It’s work, but it’s very satisfying to be able to look at those times when we think we’re down for the count, to see the memories as something that helped us grow, not as something that beat us down.

I’m not sure what inspired this post, but it seems I had something to say. Which is not unusual, lol. So here’s to cherishing our memories. The good ones, and the not-so-good ones that taught us important lessons. Here’s to rising, always rising.

Love and light to all.