Sunday, March 31, 2013


Once, a fairly long time ago, a Catholic friend of mine was pregnant with her third child, planning her first natural birth- and dismayed to find her baby was breech. She had never had a cesarean, and was feeling rightfully panicked. I told her, "I will light a candle for you", and she stopped, shocked, and said, "but we light candles!"

She couldn't comprehend that as a non believer, I might light a candle too!

Why might I light a candle? Even if I don't believe that light is going straight to heaven, I do believe in what light symbolizes. Light has long been a giver of hope. The warmth of a fire in the dark of night warms our bones, and protects us from what lurks beyond. It eases our fears in the dark. Our first experience in this life is light after 9 months of near dark. When bad times end, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and when life ends, many who have a near death experience report seeing a light, whether physical or hallucinatory, and feeling a sense of calm.

When I light a candle, I hold hope in my heart for all who I light it for, whether it be friends, family, or myself. It is a small action, but sometimes just knowing we're being thought of, and taking a small effort- such as lighting a candle, above and beyond pure thought, mediation, or prayers alone, can be very uplifting in spirit.

My friend went on to have her first birth which wasn't induced. Her baby turned just in time. She was able to breast feed for the first time. Was it a result of my candle? Probably not. Did she feel happy and maybe a little calmer knowing a light burned for her? Absolutely.

I light and hold a candle for all of you today, and a few extras for those who need, well, a little extra light.
Breathe, and be happy.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Zen in music

This song ALWAYS mellows me out. It's like a mantra. You don't have to believe in Buddhism or mantras to find the benefit in replacing the negative with positive. Calm down. Deep breaths.

Planting roots

I have traveled a lot. I've lived in 7 states, 3 countries, and visited more. I've driven across every mountain range east of the Ozarks. I've lived in mountains, flat lands, coasts and deserts. While this has given me many chances for fresh starts- I find I am the same person, more or less, wherever I am, and I am weary to still be traveling on.
I'm tired of putting in the fresh start effort. It is no longer a new me, but discovering who are the new you.
Don't get me wrong- I will forever love meeting new people, and I am forever growing, but dammit I need a base somewhere to branch out from, rather than just creating a road map.
In ready to put down roots. That isn't just a metaphor. Do you know how many times I've literally planted asparagus and not lived in the place long enough to take it to harvest?
I'm tired and I'm ready to make a home.
Today I signed the membership book at our local unitarian universalist church and it felt good. Cathartic even. I like the people. I like the mission. I like that they except my weird pseudo Buddhist-atheist mix without question. That no one thinks it's weird I hunt ghosts. That it's awesome I'm an environmentalist.
I'm ready to be home somewhere. I will be moving one last time- to buy a home here somewhere. It needs to be perfect because I can't move anymore. I'm tired.
I will always hop in my car last minute and drive cross country to see a friend or meet a new one, but I need somewhere to rest my head when I'm done.
Welcome home.

I understand

I was discussing today with a couple twitter friends about how if someone is venting/upset that it isn't always appropriate to say, "me too, here's my story". Yet, I find myself sometimes doing this. It's usually an attempt to commiserate and empathize. I also have a coaching/counseling background and I don't want to force that method on someone either, unless they request it.
I know often these people don't want advice or empathy and my story may have no bearing on what they are feeling right now. They really just want to be heard. I'm trying hard to work on listening without sounding too much like a shrink, and without also stealing their thunder. Additionally, if I don't know how to respond, I often crack jokes. Some people don't get my humor- others enjoy it; I am never sure where the line is. As someone with a chronic illness I also get so damn tired of people trying to fix me, when I often just want to rant rage and be heard.
Things I can say:
I know
I understand
I'm sorry
That sounds frustrating/maddening/difficult/etc
What can I do?
I'm here if you need me.
These are all things I can offer.

How can I be a better listener for you?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I really dislike when someone tells me they can't do something on a Sunday because "I go to church on Sunday."
Yeah, I do too. Unitarians welcome atheists, and people who don't fit in any one niche. I even eat brunch after. I meant in the afternoon you holier than thou self righteous douche.
It's not even the words- it is the tone. It really bothers me. That you're better somehow because you'll be at church instead of whatever obviously heathenistic thing I'd like to do. There is no need to get snippy- a simple "I'm busy" or "maybe after church" would suffice.
Just sayin'.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Patience is an action

I believe it was the awesome Heather Solos ( who once told me, "patience is an action, not a feeling."
My kids have really been trying my patience today, and by the end, I was not patient, and yelled a whole lot.
Later when I had some quiet and a chance to think, I realized I really needed, as mom, was to acknowledge how I feel, but then act accordingly- not yelling. And I forgive myself, and them, honestly. But I blew without thinking and I need to focus on that more next time.
I did apologize. I feel I was wrong.
I will strive more next time to at least ACT patient.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


I had a lot of thoughts today on the subject of forgiveness. Not in the whole, your soul will be clean and go to Heaven kind, but in the real live, between humans and myself kind.
I recently lost a friend, who decided they never wanted to speak to me again, very abruptly. I've been thinking on this a lot as this has happened to me before.
Often enough in fact that I'm thinking, it's not them- it's me.
There's a few things I need to do about this-
Accept that I'm not necessarily going to get along with everyone all the time forever. I really dislike when someone is mad at me, but there's only so much I can do about it.
Accept that other people's feelings aren't my responsibility, however I can be more aware of how my actions and words may affect others. I am trying to be more sensitive, while still being my authentic self. I strive not to purposely offend.
I was going to add- be careful about who I let in close. That's where the forgiveness thing comes in. I need for forgive myself for not always being the perfect friend. I try, and I'm damn loyal, but I'm also moody and selfish. I'm human. Also, I forgive others for bowing out. They don't actually owe me anything, and their winds just blew the other way. It's not about me. Their path is about themselves.

So, I keep thinking on this and meditating on it, and hoping for some clarity from within.
In the words of Jason Mraz- hold your own. Know your name. Go your own way.
I just hope that sometimes, our ways will line up for a while, and if I should inadvertently do you wrong, that we can forgive eachother and begin again.

Are you a Christian?

You would be amazed, if you don't live in an overly religious area, how often I get asked this question. I first started getting variations of this question when I moved to the midwest.  Conversations usually went like this:
"Oh, are you new here?"
"What street are you on"
"Oh so and so lived up there, died last year, did you know him?"
"No, I'm new here."
"Well which church do you go to? You can come to mine!"

Every. Single. Time.

Then, I moved further south, and it was straight up, "Do you have a place to worship?"

Thankfully, I attend a lovely Unitarian Universalist fellowship and can honestly say, "yes", although I'm not sure worship is quite the word for it. 

Then the other day...quite unexpectedly my boss says, "Are you a Christian, Lynn?"

Me: 0_o

My first inclination was to say, "Well I don't believe you can legally ask me that dude."

But I felt like it was asked innocently enough, and decided to go with it.
"No, no I'm not. I do attend a church however, and I have spiritual beliefs about the here and now."

Him: "Oh. I don't have much use for church anymore myself."

Well that was a relief to hear! His father was a minister and we do actually advertise as a Christian organization, so this was an interesting revelation to me.

I wonder how many others there are down here, who are just a round peg in a square hole, trying their best to get by?

Let's get some FAQ's out of the way, so I don't have to answer them again.
Am I a Christian? No.

Do I believe in an afterlife? Yes, but I haven't been able to scientifically determine what that means yet, so I largely count myself an atheist.

But don't you believe in god/s? Nope. While I do philosophically count myself as Buddhist, more as a guideline on how to live in the now, I see gods more as metaphors.

Are all your friends atheists? Some, but a lot of atheists find my mix of beliefs to be bullshit, so no, not all.

Do you hate Christians? Nope, I have a pretty live and let live approach. You let me do my thing, I'll let you do yours. I have no tolerance for hate however- if you're anti gay, pro-life, etc, we likely aren't going to be besties.

That probably covers a good beginning. I'll chat on more as I blog.