For Such a Time as This

LivingElysian, Yoga, Spirituality, Quality of Life

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” – Esther 4:14

I have been pondering The Book of Esther as of recent. Quite a fascinating history of the Purim Festival.

The story begins with a banquet held by King Xerxes. Xerxes ruled over 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush. In his drunken stupor, the king sends for his queen, Vashti. Sounds okay right? Wrong. The king’s full motivation is to display his queen’s beauty to his guests.

Queen Vashti refuses. Good on her. Knowing full well that the consequences for denying her king’s request could quite possibly include beheading. But she would rather face death than be exposed by the very man who is supposed to cover her. Her husband, the king is assumed to be her security.


Furthermore, what other probabilities might incur if she had succumbed to his wishes? Beheading could still be an option as a sobered up king might lose all respect for his now “uncovered” queen. I believe Queen Vashti was in a lose-lose situation and she chose the lesser of the two evils.

The King showed mercy to Queen Vashti and sent her off “never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes”. – Esther 1:19

I am not a traditionalist personally. Though I do understand the security a man provides for a woman. Our men are our covering. Single as I am, I recognize that my tribe is now my covering. I chose them as wisely as they chose me.

I also identify with Vashti having once been married to a man of debauch. How he viciously hid me from many, yet loved to show me off to those of his select. Only to one day, send me off for good, all the while shaming me. This, however, was the greatest gift he would ever give to me.

Ugh, I just called out for Chewy…again.

Anywhoo…The King was now on a quest to find a new queen.

The New Queen

“Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king. Let the king appoint commissioners in every province of his realm to bring all these beautiful young women into the harem at the citadel of Susa. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let beauty treatments be given to them. Then let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” – Esther 2:2b-4a

Of the many young women, there existed one whose beauty none could compare – Esther. Esther was a Jewish girl being raised by her uncle Mordecai. She immediately became Hegei’s favorite and after one year of beauty treatments was presented before the king. No surprise that King Xerxes chose Esther as his new queen!



Extraordinary Circumstances

This is where the story gets really exciting! Esther’s uncle Mordecai discovers a conspiracy to assassinate the king and reports it. King Xerxes appoints Haman as his highest noble. Everyone bows down to Haman except Mordecai. Out of rage towards Mordecai, Haman convinces the king to issue an edict to destroy all the Jews in the province.

The Jews are about to be wiped out and Mordecai seeks help from his niece – the newest queen, Esther.  Esther is feeling a bit timid as it is punishable by death to approximate the king without being summoned.

Mordecai compels her to stand up for her people, “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” – Esther 4:13b-14.

After a three-day fast, Queen Esther approaches the King’s throne.

When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.

Then the king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.” Esther 5:2-3

Am I the only one who sees this “gold scepter”, incident as an utterly sensual moment between a husband and wife who just happen to be King and Queen?


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Anyway, back to the story. The queen has a simple wish; to hold a banquet. Not only is Esther beautiful beyond measure, she is also quite strategic.  It is at said “banquet” that Esther exposes the motivations of Haman’s evil plan. Haman adds fire to his already out of control flame by throwing himself on the queen begging for mercy. This, of course, infuriates the king and Haman is immediately executed.

Now about that edict. The king cannot reverse an edict (lame) but he can permit the Jews to fight back. This he does.  Fight they did. The Jews not only survive, they are victorious against those who would have them exterminated.

Two brave queens; one proud, the other trusting in her God and her husband’s love. Two headstrong men; one seemingly on the right side, the other seemingly on the wrong side. One King who will have to step up.

A handful of pivotal moments that led to the survival of a race. How many times in life do we get to ask ourselves if particular circumstances have been brought to us “for such a time as this”?  Life can be boring, and I thank God for boring. However, regardless of the extent of said “pivotal moments” we all experience them at least once in our lives.

This brings me to today. The beginning of 2017 I did not expect to move into an RV, go to Hawaii or meet someone with whom I would find such a strong connection.  Yet here I am, in 2018 with more changes in my life than expected. Where will this lead? I don’t know. But I have to believe that I am here for such a time as this…

Stay Blissful My Friends – E

St. Constantine and Helen – Greece

About Helen and St. Constantine

St. Helen was born at Drepanum (Helenopolis) in Asia Minor. Married to Constantius Chlorus, their son  St. Constantine the Great, was born in 274. Helen & Constantius were divorced in 294.

Constantine out of great honor and respect, granted his mother the imperial title “Augusta,” after he became emperor,

St. Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in 313 when he became the sole ruler of the Western Roman Empire. This guaranteed religious tolerance for Christians. It is believed that St. Helen, who was a Christian, may have influenced him in this decision. He also extended the provisions of the Edict of Milan to the Eastern half of the Empire. Christians could finally practice their faith without fear after three hundred years of persecution.

It is said that there are more churches than people in the village of Vothonas, where we were staying. This is easy to believe as one walks through the town. We passed more churches than we could count. Consequently, the cave house we were renting was across the street from what is known as “The Big Church”.

On the morning of May 21, 2017, while lounging, we heard what sounded like gunshots! I hit the floor (my natural reaction from living in the ghetto!)

My brother and I ran to the front of the house to see what was happening. It was a Church Celebration in honor of St. Constantine and Helen! We watched as several hundred participants walked in honor of these saints. It was a touching moment. I was honored to be able to see it up close and personal.


Love and Tolerance

For many years, Love and Tolerance has been my code. This sometimes means being tolerant of the intolerant. It may sound passive, but serenity is disrupted when one succumbs to anger and resentment.

Nowadays, in the U.S. there seems to be a lot of intolerance. Surprisingly, most come from the Christian community. Maybe this is fear based. No community wants their right to be taken away. God forbid that Christians might be persecuted in this great nation.

However, we must not let fear motivate us. Lest we succumb to the atrocious behaviors of historical intolerance.

Love, tolerance, unity, and empathy are not political policies. They are God-given emotions and behaviors first. (1)

I believe love and tolerance start within our homes, our neighborhoods, and our communities. Last month, the U.S. pulled out of the Paris Climate Control Agreement. Many were wailing gloom and doom projections. On the other hand, state and local governments were committing to hold to the agreement regardless.

Commitment from the grass roots! Sometimes political battles are lost. But the commitments don’t have to be. Thus, we can apply the practice of love and tolerance even if we don’t believe our government is.

Love, tolerance, unity, and empathy are not political policies. They are emotion and behavior first. How can you see yourself applying these values within your home and community? Talk to me…and stay blissful my friends – E

Owning Your Sh!t

I was guiding a Yoga Class the other day and we found ourselves in Dandasana. Dandasana is the Sanskrit word for Seated Staff Pose. I decided that we would hold this pose for a bit, “Dandasana is commonly used as a transitional pose.” I continued, “But tonight, I think we should take a moment and consider Seated Staff Pose. You see, I cannot do fancy inversions or wrap my leg around my neck. I can, however, do Seated Staff Pose like a boss. Watch me!” “Impressive!”, one of my students exclaimed.

“Well, how do you feel about your Dandasana?”, I asked. I heard crickets. “Come on now,” I pressed, “Own your sh!t”!

You see, whatever we do, whether great or small, we have earned the right to own it! I am not a “great” Yoga instructor. But I give 100% to my students. I cultivate and nurture the memory of each moment I get to spend with them. I feel the same in my other hustles: Virtual Assistant/Blog Writer.

The Benefits of Owning Your Sh!t

  • By owning your sh!t, you get to know the real you. Accepting your darkness as well as your light is pretty damn powerful. Your Darkness – Own it! Your Light – Own it!
  • We get out of our damn way. Most of us eventually find that we are the ones holding ourselves back.
  • You learn, to be honest with yourself and accept other’s honesty.
  • We begin to love ourselves fully, deeply. What’s not to love? You are an effin’ badass! Accept it. Own it.

E – How do I own my sh!t? I am so glad you asked!

Stop Blaming Others

Really, we all succumb to this ridiculous behavior at one time or another. Well, stop that sh!t. When it comes down to it, we make the choices we make. If you felt you were manipulated, guess what? You made the effin’ choice to be manipulated. Own it!

Close the Book

You know that story about your failures that keeps playing in the back of your mind? Tell the narrator to shut the f*ck up! Time to move on to another story. The one that tells you that all people make mistakes. It is part of being human. Replaying that bullsh!t over and over just makes us useless and wastes precious time. Time, you will never get back. Stop playing the victim and step into the victor’s role!

Accept What You Deserve

Yeah, that’s right. You deserve the best friends, relationships, careers, home spaces, and self-love. If you don’t believe that, you’re a voluntary a$$hole! Some people like being a$$holes, I don’t. Do you? Be honest with yourself, because if the answer is yes, you know where you need to start. Go from being an a$$hole to being awesome! It’s your choice – own it!

Recognize Your Good Sh!t

While you are taking a good look at yourself, acknowledge the good sh!t. You know you have some! Pay attention to your actions. Write down a list of what good you have to offer the universe. You know you got one! Do you unconsciously serve coffee to someone every day? That may be a little thing to you. But on the grand scale of things, if you give 100% to that cup of coffee, you are a Java Rock Star! Kind of like my Dandasana pose.

So, Own Your Sh!t…And Stay Blissful My Friends – E

Are You Ready for a New Year?

It feels to me that many of us are finishing off 2015 by the skin of our teeth. I myself have had a rough end to a rather challenging year. Thankfully, we get to start a new year in just 5 days! I might have a few ideas to consider as we begin 2016…


unsplash morgan sessions
Source: Photo by Morgan Sessions



Have we challenged our minds lately? Are we ready to step this up? Might there be a class or educational advancement you have been putting off? Time to let go of fear and hit it head on! A funny thing about getting back into studying, it makes you crave more. At least, that is the effect 2015 has had on me academically.


Is it time to build a habit of prayer, meditation, church or temple attendance? For myself, I am setting in motion my 21-day stay at an ashram in Hawaii.

What are the desires you have for your spiritual life? I miss singing in the church choir. The sweet sound of lifting up God in worship and praise!


The first part of January is always the busiest time of the year for most gyms. Most of us start out fierce and with good intentions, only to fizzle out in the middle of the year. Maybe just starting a walking program at work. I have been known to walk up and down the stairs at work during lunch to get a little exercise in. Some employers offer a workout space for their employees. There are a few good online Yoga programs you can use first thing in the AM in the comfort of your own home.

Do what works for you! Aaaand, don’t forget the bubble bath to soothe those tired muscles!


If you are working on the above items, you have already started working on your emotions. But if you have become a recluse, due to the cold weather, it might be a good time to meet up with a close friend for coffee and a chat.  Call your mother.  Call your father.

Talk to your significant other. You may be surprised at how much time has passed since you last enjoyed a productive conversation with your other half!


Some of us have no other choice but to reflect on last year and plan for the next. This is usually the season for performance reviews. But if you don’t have this option, do your own SWOT analysis. A SWOT is a review of:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

When you inventory these items, you will know what to keep doing, stop doing and start doing more. It is a rather simple process. You can also use this tool in the Mental, Spiritual, Physical and Emotional aspects of your life as well.


Another business that flourishes at the beginning of each year is home organization! Time to start re-arranging your surroundings for better functionality. Wabi-Sabi is a good discipline to study.  It might save you some money as well. Wabi-Sabi is basically the art of seeing the beauty in imperfection. But if you feel you must take action in changing your home, a book on Feng Shui might be a good start.



More and more of us have become aware of what Narcissistic Personality Disorder is. We are able to recognize it in the people we have been close to. We now also realize the effects of continuing our relationships to such toxic people.  Friends of mine have told me how they have chosen to cut things off with their narcissistic family members. I myself have had to do this. But we get to do this in love, by sending  them off with a blessing instead of a curse. The result is being comfortable in our own skin!

Then we get to appreciate and focus on the good, solid relationships we do have. I remember a woman I know crying over a slight by her narcissistic father following a monumental accomplishment she had just made. Later, she called all her supporters and apologized for spending so much of her energy on his negativity rather than their support. “I felt like an asshole.”, she despondently expressed to me. Narcissists have a way of bringing out the worst in most of us…

When we let go of the toxicity, it no longer clouds the positivity with all its drama and chaos. We remain focused. “Focused”, now that sounds like a power word for 2016! Stay  Blissful My Friends – E



The Elysian Life Part II.


I hope you enjoyed the tranquil first part of this series. I pray it spoke to your heart. That being said, sh!t is about to get real. Do you want an Elysian life? Are you prepared to do your utmost to attain it? Below are four more suggestions to help you get there!

Quit being a Whiny B!tch

Sh!t happens. Most of the time, we cannot control these circumstances. So let it the f*ck go. Really, you will feel peace and serenity once you accept the things you cannot change and then move on. When you whine about your situation, you not only hold yourself back, you also suck the energy out of the people around you. How effing selfish!! There is an old song written by Johnny Mercer that goes like this:

“You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between
You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium’s
Liable to walk upon the scene”

Really, it works. Try it. You will thank yourself. Your people will thank you. I know for a fact. I was once a chronic complainer. I complained about anyone and everyone around me. As if that would change them or the circumstance. It didn’t. It only caused me to be more miserable and people to avoid me at all costs.

Do you want good relationships? Then accept other people with as much love and tolerance you can muster. This could be difficult at first. Keep going. Practice, practice, practice…not being a whiny b!tch.

Stop Sabotaging Your Life
Why does it seem that the world is against you? Well, let’s take a look at the common denominator – YOU. Human beings tend to excel at shooting themselves in the foot. Stop. Take a pause and evaluate your motives, before you act or not act. Playing the victim or martyr role is not attractive at all.

Do you do any of the following:
• Shrink in the presence of others?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

• Avoid emotions so as not to “rock the boat”?
Express yourself! If you have to curse, then curse. But get it out. Your feelings are valid. YOU are valid.

• Find yourself gossiping?
Well, stop that sh!t now! You don’t make yourself look better by making others look bad. This poor behavior is so evident and it defines us as such. I know I don’t want that label. Do you?

How do you know when you are sabotaging yourself? A simple gut check will suffice. All you have to do is take the time to evaluate. Slow-it-down. If you are still not sure, contact a trusted friend and get their take on it. Someone outside of the situation can give you their vantage point.


Get Off Your @$$ and do Something.
“Procrastination is a crime, that only leads to sorrow. I can stop at any time. In fact, I will tomorrow.” – Unknown

Do you have dreams? What actions have you taken lately towards your dreams? Dreams are as good as the measures you take to achieve them. If you are still dreaming, well then Wake the F*ck Up!! Time to do something.

Fear is the number one issue that paralyzes us. It is okay to feel fear. Acknowledge this fear and then move forward. With each item you check off your to-do list, the fear begins to shrink smaller and smaller. Then you experience fearlessness. You become a fierce tiger in this jungle we call “life”! Now go get yours!

Shit gets done in the conscious world

Be Spiritually in Tune With Your God.
Spirituality begets the Elysian Life. In part I, I posed this question “But do we need it to be sunny all the time to have an Elysian Life? The answer, of course, is “No.”

When you are in tune with your God, it is easier to overcome the above setbacks in your personal development. Knowing that your God loves you regardless of your past behavior and hindrances, gives you the confidence to move forward and let go of all of them.

Relying on The Most High, will create the fearlessness you need. You will understand the feeling of being comfortable in your own skin. You will know that under all circumstances, you can live the Elysian Life.

Stay Blissful my friends. – E

The Elysian Life Part I.


A warm summer sun is a delightful thought as we feel the cold of a snowy evening here in Northern Colorado. But do we need it to be sunny all the time to have an Elysian Life? This question is as metaphoric as literal.

The word Elysian is defined as “Blissfull” or “Delightful”.

What is a Blissful life to you? Is it knowing  your day will begin with a cup of coffee and end with a bowl of sweet ice cream? Meditative walks in nature? Your surrounding family and good friends? Your career even?

I believe we define our own bliss. My bliss is knowing that I am comfortable in my own skin. That under any and all circumstances, I remain at peace with myself and with others. My bliss is also in inspiring others to find their bliss…Their Elysian Life.

For many years, I knew no peace. No bliss. Just utter chaos and no direction. I lived without much purpose. Thank God for Spiritual Awakenings and wonderful teachers.

How did I find this bliss?  Not on my own. I found good people who were more than happy to share their “secrets” with me. Now I must pass them on to you!

How to attain the Elysian Life

Keep it Simple

It seems the happiest people don’t have a lot of stuff. Stuff includes material items, chaos, time, even friends. Though everyone benefits from friendships.

When you look at having too many material items, you will find that the more you have the more you stress over. This can be the same with friendships. A good inventory of your friendships will help you find which friendships are quality and which are more beneficial as acquaintances.

Setting your own personal boundaries in this area is not only beneficial, it is empowering. Knowing that you are not necessarily cutting people out of your life, just acknowledging their place in it. With much love, blessing, and peace.

Taking an inventory of your material items and your current “projects” is also valuable. Too much of anything will certainly cause a lot of unnecessary drama in your life

Service to Others

After you have sorted out the material items in your life, you might find yourself giving things away. This is good.

In addition, now that you have trimmed a good portion of your time, you will find yourself with a little extra. What to do with it? Give some of it away…for free. Whether you chose to volunteer at your church or place of worship,  help a non-profit or do random acts of  kindness. The United Way is a good start to find something.


Living with Gratitude

I know, I know, nothing new. But this is the truth! By keeping a gratitude journal and counting your blessings, you will find a much better attitude toward life and other beings.  Just trust me on this one. Keep a gratitude journal for 21 days and if you are not happy with it, you can have your miserable old life back. Something tells me you won’t be asking for it.

Letting Go of  Expectations

This one can be quite difficult. We all have our ideas of how things “should” be. Then there is reality. We fight this battle trying to reign supreme in how we want things to be in our lives, whether it is family, work, our communities.

I once, so infuriated with a co-worker complained to another and he asked me this simple question “Did you expect something else from her?”.  True, I did even though I knew her personality.

During the holidays, expectations can be at their worst. This is the best time to let it go.

I remember one Christmas Eve when my family all met up with each other at  my grandfather’s home. I was in my first year of sobriety and the first thing I did was take a swig of my grandfather’s eggnog as he was telling me about getting the eggnog free from the food pantry “Course I had to add the booze myself!” he exclaimed. Straight to the sink I went and spit that out completely!  He apologized, but I just laughed.

Then walked in Aunt “B” and cousin “Jo”.  Aunt B had been hitting the Tequila and Vicodin and cousin Jo was definitely on Adderall. So Aunt B is talking really slow, cousin Jo was talking really fast. I expect that around 4 am the next day Aunt B was going to ask cousin Jo “What the Hell did you just say?” Not taking this lightly. I just accepted the situation. As long as I felt safe, I just sighed and smiled. I then proceeded to lovingly, laughingly watch my little nieces and nephews open their gifts. It was a great holiday!

There is Nothing New Under the Sun

I will end this week and begin next week’s blog with this. Nothing I am sharing is new. People have been doling this wisdom out for centuries. Since I have experienced such a grand transformation in my life, I feel the need to pass these little nuggets along to you. I hope you will find them as helpful as I have over the years. Stay Blissful my Friends – E

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. – Ecclesiastes 1:9

Are we Ready for a Poetic Crossing?



move east
Photo Source:


The concept of the Poetic Crossing is quite fascinating. I don’t necessarily have a desire to write such poetry (though I won’t rule that out completely).  I am rather intrigued by the philosophical background which touches my inner spirit. To get to my spiritual interpretation, I feel the need to explain what a poetic crossing.

I came upon the term “poetic crossing in a small piece of an interview I was reading one day and though my interpretation differs slightly with that of the interviewer, we were close enough.

The most current description I found was from an article posted in the Georgia Review in the fall of 1976 [1].  It is a fairly dry, yet profound reading and after much time spent interpreting the author’s representation and leaning on my eldest son’s assistance, I found the interpretation that worked best for me.

My Interpretation:

A written (poetic) word that intervenes in the to-and-fro movement between metaphoric beliefs and an expression of pity or compassion.

One example the author used was taken from Wallace Stevens’ poem “The Snowman”. Further perspective regarding “The Snowman” was pulled from Wikipedia and I actually concurred with the writer’s thoughts.

snowman photo by Adam Excell via Unsplash

“Stevens has the world look at winter from a different point of view. When thinking of winter, one might think of a harsh storm. One might also think snow and ice to be a nuisance. Stevens wants people to see the opposite view. He wants the world to look at winter in a sense of optimism and beauty. He creates a difference between imagination and reality.” [2]

Global Poetic Crossing

It is difficult to avoid the topic of politics in this exceptionally unstable segment of history. But looking at everything going on around the world, are we globally heading toward a Poetic Crossing? Is it time to view our world differently? Might we be ready to be optimistic and see other nations in all their beauty instead of the harshness that is displayed in the media 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? I wonder if we even have a choice. It amazes me to no end how frightening this option is to people around the globe. And I ponder the fact that our fears are far greater than the actual results of such a crossing over.

National Poetic Crossing

Pretty much the same as above; with the addition of our extremely differing political parties, racial/ethnic backgrounds, regional cultures and passionate causes. We shout at each other (sometimes using the same rhetoric, yet with different circumstances) but we don’t listen to the other party’s argument. We have begun to look at anyone unlike us as something unattractive or as a nuisance.

I remember reading a magazine article back in the 1990’s about an experiment between Christian Pro-life women and women who considered themselves passionately Pro-choice. Before the event was to take place, each side had to write an opinion about the other. Not surprisingly, both ends of the spectrum used the word “Nazi” to describe the other. Sounds pretty darn spiteful to me.

The first activity had two women from each party (Pro-life/Pro-choice), sit on the floor opposite of one another. They were instructed to look into each other’s eyes but not say a word for a specific stretch of time. Before the time was up, just about every woman there was sobbing and hugging. They had begun to see each other through God’s eyes, as God’s creation. They experienced a manner of Poetic Crossing.

Do I see this happening at a greater level in this nation? At this point, I see no other way to go. Many say it cannot happen. But there is always faith. It seems at this time, there is far too much fear of the unknown. But we are not in control of the universal/spiritual realm. Bottom line we are not in control of God’s will.

Community-Wide Poetic Crossing

“I don’t like alternative people” – Quote from Rid of Me

Many of our communities run the same way they have for decades. We possess generational prejudices, traditions, and clashing lifestyles. We are diverse. What would happen if we were to start viewing each other in optimism and beauty? What might happen if we saw how we could use each other’s cultural/spiritual gifts, skills, and knowledge to improve the way our communities function? I believe that there is so much opportunity for efficiency in adopting such practices in our neighborhoods. Will it be perfect? Not at all. But I believe it will be better.

Many successful companies have implemented such culture. So have religious organizations. Every New Year’s Eve, religions from various nations join together in prayer. The event is called the International Hour for Peace. All differences are put aside and each religion joins together in unified prayer.


Personal Poetic Crossing

Of course, such a crossing would have to start within us at an individual level. Can we look upon things in a manner of compassion rather than hanging on to the beliefs that have been so ingrained in our thoughts that we have no possible way of looking at other truths?

“Festinger’s (1957) cognitive dissonance theory suggests that we have an inner drive to hold all our attitudes and beliefs in harmony and avoid disharmony (or dissonance)” – Simply [3].

Are we ready to cross over from this fear of disharmony? Am I? Are you? I hope so. Because when we have truly crossed over, I believe we will experience authentic bliss.

“Let’s cross over” – Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)

Stay Blissful My Friends – E

  1. From the Georgia Review Fall 1976
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Honoring the Dead

Today is November 1 – Dia de los Muertos. It is also coincidently the anniversary of the death of our family icon, Edward Leighton Sr. commonly known as “Pop”.  Our family is no stranger to loss and unlike Pop and our grandmother Sophie, the family members we have lost have been far too young.

For the past few years, I have participated in my own tradition of honoring these lost ones. My father is included in this group. Of course, the loss of my father was devastating. I was not prepared to mourn, to let go. Today is a different day. I can truly celebrate my loved ones and what each one meant to me.

Northern Lights: up to 15% Off

Last night in typical Halloween fashion, the hubby and I watched horror flicks. In one particular movie, everyone was so terrified of death you would think they were going to keel over dead from fear itself. I no longer identify with this particular fear. I have, in the past suffered from panic attacks and so I understand it well. But that is not part of my life anymore. I have learned to accept, even appreciate all of life’s terms. Everyone will encounter these seasons from conception through birth, growing up, maturing, and finally death.

I used to think that Day of the Dead Celebrations were morbid. One might call this “contempt prior to investigation”. So I decided to take the time and do my own research.  Yes, there are some who have superstitions but beyond that is a deeply spiritual practice. It is a celebration as a way of remaining in contact with the memory and spirits of our dead. Spirits being “the nonphysical part of a person that is the seat of emotions and character; the soul”.[1]

It is a celebration of love and remembrance of family and ancestors who have passed over. So this day is one to participate in love, not fear.

Many set up alters and give offerings. I have a book with pictures that I set out and then light a candle beside it. Some honor the graves of their dead by cleaning and decorating them. There are those who hold all-night vigils at their loved one’s gravesites. Stories are always shared and appreciated.

And then there is the fun part; the making and exchanging sugar skulls and sweets, putting on ceremonial skull makeup and adorning oneself with flowers in the hair. Some communities hold festivals and parades.


This “holiday” has been celebrated over 4000 years and is not just a “Mexican Holiday” as most commonly believed. It is honored throughout Latin America and in many other countries.  With all this talk about cultural appropriation, I believe that everyone can revere this holiday in their own particular way. The falling leaves of autumn represent dying and of letting go. Autumn is a season that all share, so let’s just start there.

Today, however you choose to, take a moment or the full day to honor your loved ones who have crossed over.

Do not stand at my grave and weep

I am not there; I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,

I am the diamond glints on snow,

I am the sun on ripened grain,

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush,

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,

I am not there; I did not die.

– mary elizabeth frye – 1932


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The Pink Pants


Mom is on her way to the mall and asks me if I want anything. Hmm…I have been living in Levi 501’s and flannels for most of the year. “Something pink.” I reply, not even knowing what I am asking for besides color. But my mom is good at figuring this stuff out.

She returns with a really cute pair of pink pants. They actually make me smile. A sober smile at the moment since I haven’t drank or drugged for a few days. Not because I don’t want to, the opportunity did not present itself to me. My mom has also bought a pretty, white ruffled top that might be a bit too tight around the chest. I don’t complain. It shows a little cleavage, just enough that I can get away with wearing it at the age of 13.

I meet up with my boyfriend at Petit Park later that afternoon. “What’s with the pink?” he asks. I shrug my shoulders. “Cute.”, he says. We hold hands and walk through the park not saying much. It is a mild spring day in Granada Hills, CA. Not a cloud in the sky, a strong sun, yet there is a soft breeze that keeps it from becoming too hot. Though if you were in a car, the heat would feel smoldering. If you stand in the shade, you would get goose bumps from the chill. On days such as these, I found myself rotating from shade to sun as I attempt to achieve the perfect temperature.

My boyfriend and I think we are in love for eternity, or at least por vida. We have no idea of each other’s future journey through drug addiction and institutions. Right now we only want to be together. They say love is blind and it can be. When you are young it is blind to any view of the future. All that matters is right here, right now. I believe this to be a gift. For if we were to see what was actually coming down the pipeline, we might have chosen not to go on at all.

Just as the pink pants only lasted a season, so did we as a couple. Though for many years we kept getting back together hoping to renew that feeling. To our disappointment, time and distance did not allow for it to happen. It would be like covering the pink pants with patches. Though it may work, the fabric will be forever altered.

So we both learned to chase other things. Our individual addictions. We found this to be the best way to break up for good. No hard feelings. Always a loving hug each time we ran into each other. Though these accidental meet-ups became fewer and further between until 25 years had passed without an encounter.

I’ve become quite patched up over the years, inside and out. Never the same. Sometimes looking good for the wear, sometimes not so good. But always different. Growth is like that. Life is like that.

So we learn to be grateful for the journey. Even when we remember the beauty of what we looked like when we were brand new and without any obvious flaws, we can appreciate the patches. We can also thank our Highest Power for mending us along the span of our lives.

Have you held onto an item of clothing for many years? Might it be a representation of something greater? If so, I would love to hear about it.

Stay Blissful My Friends – E