Monday, February 10, 2014

Wishful dreaming?

They say our dreams are where we 'work out' our real life issues or even past life issues.  It's where our brain processes what it cannot when we are conscious.  Our 'thinking' brain is turned off when we sleep. our subconscious takes over.  When we remember our dreams, they can give us clues or even solutions to our day to day problems and questions.

Ever have really vivid dreams that you could swear were real?  Until you wake up and realize that they were not?  There is a message in those dreams for you.  About you.  Your beliefs.  Your life's purpose.  The things you need to 'work out' in your life.  It's a clue to help us heal and grow as humans.

Ever have those life-like dreams about the same people or certain people?  Ever wish they were real, because they seem very real and the story that plays out is one of an outcome you'd like to achieve in 'real life'?

I do.  Not all the time, at least that I can remember, but it fascinates me when they tend to occur.  Last nite being no exception.  Yet it was completely unexpected.  At least in my conscious mind.

Almost 8 years ago, my best friend of more than 20 years and I had a very traumatic break up.   We were both in crisis for different reasons and had been drifting apart.  We were both lost in our own pain and emotional turmoil and, for different reasons, unable to see the forest through the trees. It tore at our relationship. We made choices that made sense at the time.  One of them was to end our relationship on a physical level. We agreed to walk away from each other and from our friendship.  It was not with love though.  It ended badly and with open wounds, misinformation, incorrect assumptions, and misguided judgment.  Negative energy hung between us. We failed to recognize WHY we were where we were in our lives and in our relationship with each other.  We assigned a human label and 'reason' for it because it was easy. It was too painful and overwhelming to go deeper and do the 'work', so we just walked away.  Issues unresolved.  We both had 'work' to do to heal ourselves and our situations.  In doing so (or choosing not to do so), we are where we are.  Neither of us really knowing what or where that is for the other person.  I think we both thought we'd find that healing and find our way back to friendship but maybe that was just me...

We do run in similar circles.  So there is a nebulous awareness of how the other is doing.

The thing is, our spirits seem to be not willing or able to let it go.  Our spiritual bodies know our work together is not yet done, but our physical and mental bodies are not there yet.  Maybe they never will be in this lifetime, but that's something only time will tell.  Our physical bodies and our emotional bodies need to come back to the table.  The energy begs of it.

How do I know this?  Because I have these recurring dreams.  About us.  Not often, maybe once or twice a year.  I had one last night.  Quite unexpectedly.  I did not go to bed thinking of her.  In fact, she was not on my mind at all.  That's one of the interesting things.

They all have the same theme.  It's like watching a movie.  The setting may vary, but the characters are always the same.  The premise is always the same.  The 'remote viewing' is always the same.  It's as if our spiritual bodies are floating together, above our physical bodies, watching, talking, communicating, encouraging our physical bodies to do the same.

Our physical bodies are just that.  In a 'real' world setting. Often, it's an outdoor venue like a park. Last night, it was a store.  It was late, we were both shopping and bumped into each other in the same aisle. Some friends who were with us were encouraging us to speak to each other after just happening to be in the same place at the same time unexpectedly, and others encouraging us to just walk away, feeding into the old, incorrect information and stagnant negative energy.

The prevailing energy I sensed was that we wanted to be friendly, reach out to each other, to talk, but were resistant.  Maybe because we were not alone.  Maybe because we were afraid.  Maybe because it would be hard and we didn't have the time.  I didn't want to pursue it first.  I had been asked not to all those years ago, and I was trying to respect that, yet I desperately wanted to.  She wanted to reach out, but was afraid. All the while, our spiritual selves were having the healing conversation we have long needed to have.  At least, we began to.

Then, I woke up.  I had a smile on my face.  I thought, for a moment, it was real.  I thought I was there, we were there. That we were talking.  We were healing. We were having the much needed conversation the Universe is waiting for us to finish.  Except it wasn't real. I was in bed. We were not in a store.  We were not anywhere near each other.  It was a dream.

Or was it?

I wonder what her dreams were of last night.  I wonder if she, too, has ever had a similar dream.  I wonder if our spirits really do sometimes get together while we sleep and try to work out our 'issues'.  I wonder if her awareness is peaked the same time mine is.

I wondered why this happened last night of all nights.  Then, I looked at the calendar.  Today is her birthday. A day I celebrated with her and for her most of my adult life.  We always had such silly good fun. I hope she gets her favorite cake and feels loved and appreciated.  I can still send love and light and healing, even if she has blocked my energy.

Intention creates your reality.

I don't know if we'll ever get the chance to finish our work together on earth in this lifetime.  I don't know if we'll ever talk and start to heal our relationship, dispel the myths and incorrect beliefs and if not re-establish our friendship, or at least be able to heal the past, separately and together, so as not to carry the energetic burden of it any longer.  I am ready, willing, and able.  I am just waiting. Patiently.

I miss her.

Maybe that's why I had that wishful dream.  Or, maybe, it wasn't a dream after all...

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Which direction is your life compass pointing? Does it spin uncontrollably?

I am exhausted.

No, it's not from a lack of sleep.  I've actually 'caught up' and slept longer and more soundly than usual this weekend. It's emotional exhaustion. It's from a crazy busy few days where the direction I thought I was going got completely spun around in an instant.  A few days where what I thought I was going to accomplish 'important' work was unexpected replaced by my accomplishing 'vitally important work'.  Ever have that happen to you?

Have you ever thought you knew which way your life was going?  You know, you were on the right track. All your ducks were falling into place nicely.  You were ticking life's milestones off your list.  Graduate from college.  Get married.  Have kids.  Establish yourself in your chosen field of work and in your community. The kids grow and go off to school, get involved in activities and you get settled into a comfortable routine of family life.  You were finally where you thought you should be.  A comfortable life.  Good friends.  Good family.  Good fun.

And then, in an instant, your world comes crashing down on you.  Your life is turned upside down and inside out.  Your heart is ripped from your chest and your spirit crushed.  You just learned your child (or someone else important in your life) has unexpectedly died.  Just like that.  You expected them to come home when you sent them off in the morning and you never see them alive again.  Can you even imagine what that's like?
I sure as hell hope you never have to.

Yes, this has happened to me.  That's not what this blog post is about.  It happened to another local family on Thursday.  A precious 8 year-old boy, Colby, lost his life to a fallen TV and AV cart at his school.  In front of his friends and teacher.  I learned of the tragedy late on Thursday evening, after an evening of ballroom dance lessons with my husband.  First from a friend, then on the news.

I was simultaneously slammed with two emotions.  Profound sadness and empathy for the family because I know what they are going through and it is hell. I wanted desperately to reach out to them.  To offer them support.  A hug.  To help them through what I know the next few days, weeks, months and years will bring their family.

I was also pissed off.  Royally.  Why is this still happening?  Why is the message not being heard?  Why the hell are schools still using AV carts with old CRT TV's on top of them?  Why do they not know the dangers of TV and furniture tip-over? It's been all over the news, especially TV tip-over.  Can people not connect the dots?  I know school budgets are what they are but flat screens are cheap and cost way less than a child's life.  THIS.  HAS.  TO. STOP.

OK.  Rant over.  Sort of.  Being that it was late Thursday night, I went to bed, knowing full well if I began to do what I wanted and needed to, I'd not have slept at all.  But not until after sending some Reiki love and light to Colby and his family and asking Meg to 'show him around' in the next place.

When I woke up Friday morning, I had planned to complete my documentation for work from Thursday. First, I posted the story on Meghan's Hope Facebook page.  Then, I contacted the journalist who wrote about the accident in the local paper, suggesting a follow up story on prevention of tip-over accidents.  I also sent emails to all the local TV stations suggesting the same.  I searched for information on safety of TV/AV carts in schools on the Web and sent emails to others who might know that information.  This led to another idea.  I wanted to reach out to the superintendents of our local schools to offer educational seminars to parents on preventing tip over in the home and safety in the schools.  I enlisted the help of my Facebook friends to get the names and contact info for their schools/districts.

Then, it was time to focus on family. I got the kids off to school and myself off to a few appointments I had scheduled.  I had originally planned to spend the rest of the day working on the curriculum and slides for a class I am currently teaching.  Oh, and I had a run planned.  None of that ended up happening.

By the time I finished with my dentist appointment, the direction of my day was completely turned around.  I had a reply from the newspaper requesting an interview.  I had phone messages from two TV stations also requesting interviews.  I ran around like a crazy woman tidying up the house for on camera interviews.  I had a gazillion email and Facebook messages to read and respond to.  I still had those letters to write!

The rest of the day was a whirlwind.  TV interview.  Telephone interview.  Write a letter to our local school principal and the superintendent of the school where the accident happened.  Eat 4 tablespoons of peanut butter, with a spoon.  Kids come home. I  explain what happened, and what was happening with me as a result. We talked about how Meggie saves lives. They thought it was cool 'she' was going to be on TV.  Her twin felt sad for Colby and his family.  My older son, while also sad, went to hide, along with the cats.  He didn't want to be 'caught' on camera.  Feed kids. Clean up after them.  Answer some email/messages. Photographer for newspaper interview arrived.  He left. Had chocolate (it was an emergency!)  Another newspaper telephone interview.  Quickly followed by another on-camera TV interview.  I was starting to fade.  It was 6 pm.  I'd been at it non-stop all day, for over 12 hours, with the exception of the hour at the dentist.

I sat down at the computer to email a friend.  I was hungry.  I was exhausted.  I was overwhelmed with all I wanted to do to get the word out.  I started to cry.  Out of the blue.  Didn't think I was there.  It hit me. Like a ton of bricks. The emotional toll of the day.  The re-living of the media blitz after Meghan had died.  The fact that it took the death of another child to bring the attention back to prevention.  My heart was simultaneously shattered all over again for Colby and his family, for Meggie and our family, and for all the children who have lost their lives to this preventable tragedy and the pain their families endure every day.  My heart was also grateful for the media who chose to take this tragedy and follow it up with a story of prevention to save lives. The emotional roller coaster that I am all too used to, and can never get off of, had taken me for a particularly wild ride this day.

Thankfully, my husband showed up with dinner!  Other than the snacks I noted, I had not had time to eat all day!  We ate quickly and were off as we were late for a dance event.  I wanted to keep on working, but I knew I needed a break and to dance out some of that energy. I responded to a few more Facebook messages and emails in car on the way to our dance studio for a party/practice session. My heart was not into dancing.  I tried.  I was just so drained.  We left the dance early. I passed out in the car on the way home from sheer exhaustion.

Saturday was also a bit of a crazy day.  My compass still pointing me in a direction different than I thought I would be going.  It began by posting the link to one of the TV interviews and responding to messages and emails related to Colby and tip-over prevention.  The other one has not yet aired. Maybe it won't.  Then I took my youngest to his soccer practice.  While there, I finally finished my documentation from THURSDAY's clients.  Thankfully, my boss totally understands and supports my work with Meghan's Hope.  I also intended to work on those slides but instead, ended up having a lovely conversation with a fellow soccer dad and enjoyed watching my son play.  They were having a blast and he was on fire scoring goals.  It made me smile.  It made me grateful.  It made me sad his twin sister was missing this same fun.

I took my son out for lunch.  We had a nice date.  Then we went grocery shopping together.  This kid loves to shop for food!  Yes, I had a gazillion other things to do, but right then, he was most important job. Then we stopped and picked up the local paper.  Our story was teased on the front page.  It was well-written. He read it in the car, he didn't want to wait the 3 minutes to get home.  He gets it.

Once home I did a few hours of follow up and catch up.  We had a family dinner out to eat.  We watched Big Bang Theory together.  I fell asleep on the couch.  :-)

Here it is Sunday morning.  I still have all those letters to write.  I am still trying to connect with Colby's family to get some resources to them and will send a card today.  I still have those slides to do (they need to be finished by tomorrow night). I need to run.  I have to do all my usual Sunday chores.  That laundry fairy I asked for has not yet appeared. Bills don't pay themselves.  Life goes on.  The kids are asking for food again!

My compass is still spinning and pointing me in different directions all at the same time but at least it's not spinning like an F5 tornado anymore.  Sadly, the media interest is gone.  The moment was seized but it is fleeting. They are on to the next tragic story. It won't stop me.  9 years and I haven't stopped.  I won't . Until people get it.  Until everyone secures their furniture and TV's.  Until kids stop dying from these preventable tragedies. Meggie wants people to listen.  I am her voice.  You are her voice.

Sometimes life has a way of interfering with your plans.  Or maybe you interfere with your own inner guidance. Your inner compass points you in the right direction. It may not be the direction you want to go or thought you would go, but it will show you the direction you should go.

You know what message I'm getting loud and clear?  FINISH THE BOOK!

Universe, show me the way.  Give me the time.  Let's do this.

Resolution to get fit? Perhaps to run your first 5k? Stuck in a training rut? Try a virtual run!

This entry is a cross post from my running blog Run Kimmy, Run!
There are many things about running I still don't know.  I had no idea, in fact, how much there is TO know.  I recently discovered a genre of racing I was previously unaware of.  It's called virtual racing. It's wicked cool.
Here's the backstory:  I first discovered it as a 'thing' a few weeks before I ran the WDW half marathon.  I heard mention of the 26.2 with Donna:  Marathon to End Breast Cancer virtual run on the Mickey Miles Podcast.  I checked it out and was impressed with the concept of a virtual run and the organization, so I signed right up!  It was an honor to run for such an amazing organization.  I really, really wish I could run the actual race, it looks awesome!  The bling was really the icing on the cake for that one although I can't wait to receive it!
Donna breast cancer medal
I was intrigued by both the experience and the concept of virtual racing, so I did a little research.
At first glance, virtual running seems like a cheap and easy way to rack up race bling, without actually having to travel to or run in that specific race.  This is fantastic as in the case of the Breast Cancer Marathon, because I really wanted to run it but it's over a thousand miles away and just not doable. Yet it is so much more than that.  It's a tremendous opportunity to raise awareness, support charities, and motivate you to reach your running goals.
Don't get me wrong, I love race bling!  Who doesn't?  That said, race registrations can be expensive, even if you just enter local ones.  Many local races don't even award medals for a less than half marathon distance, despite the entry fees, unless you place first or second in your age group.  To travel, even just to a local race, let alone all around the country or the world chasing races and bling, involves a tremendous investment of time and money.  Both are precious, and unless you are single and independently wealthy, a significant limitation to your ability to run all the races you might desire to.   
For me, although the expense needs to be carefully budgeted, the fact that training for and running a half marathon is a huge time sink is a factor.  Not to mention just driving to a race, even just for a 5K that is an hour away, because it eats up several precious hours of a weekend by the time the pre/post race eating and showering and everything in between is completed.  It takes time away from family and other interests.  When you add in the demands of work and life in general, there is little left for a serious distance runner.
Then there is the monotony of training.  You get into training ruts.  Especially in the winter months or the heat and humidity of summer.  Mother nature can be less than cooperative (like she's been for MONTHS here in the Northeast!) You lose motivation or inspiration to put in the mileage and get your ass out the door, especially in the off season or if you've been running a long time and are just plain bored.
Virtual runs can re-invigorate your enthusiasm for running by giving you a reason to run.  Even if it's just a training run.  You can also virtually run races with friends, family, and members of running clubs that are all over the country or even the word, separately, but together. Encouraging and supporting each other toward your virtual race goal.  Some virtual races even offer team challenges and medals.
So what's a virtual race and why would I run one?  
Virtual races are just that.  You run the race without actually running THE race, which is also often an actual race that you could participate in 'live' if you were able to.  You do this by either a regular walk/run,  or while training for, or running another race of a particular distance.  Many allow you to run the required/pledged mileage over multiple training runs or while running other races, within a certain time frame.  Others require you run on a specific day, like a New Year’s Day run.  There is no official mileage verification.  It's on the honor system for the most part.  You don't get an 'official' time for your virtual run, nor are you listed as a finisher in the live race results.
I thought this was a pretty isolated opportunity when I ran for the Donna Foundation.  Then, this week, I learned of the Boston Marathon World Run.  OMG! Brilliant!  After the horrible tragedy of the Boston Marathon finish line bombings last year, and the way Boston and the running community pulled together to become Boston Strong, was awe-inspiring.  The One Fund has been wildly successful and beneficial to the victims and their families.  What a wonderful way to involve runners from all over the world, even if they can't actually run the Boston Marathon.
The Boston Marathon was a historic and coveted race long before the events of 2013.  It was, and still is, an honor to 'run Boston'.  To qualify, even more so, but thousands run every year for a charity group and don't finish until long after the elite runners have recovered and are walking around for fun!  They are the heroes.  As a lifelong Massachusetts resident, Marathon Monday is a holiday and enjoyed by runners and spectators alike.
The BAA has decided to let the entire world have the opportunity to virtually 'run Boston' this year. To heal, to inspire, and to support.  You pledge your distance (I pledged 26.2 m. How could I not?), you pledge to raise money/donate to the One Fund, you print your virtual race bib and you hit the road.  You have until the day of the Boston Marathon which is on Marathon Monday, April 21st this year, to complete your mileage.  It’s a good thing, because I cannot run a full marathon, nor do I want to.  Not in one day!  You will receive a finisher certificate and a virtual medal for your participation and completion of your race requirements and goals.  More than that, you tap into the amazing energy that is the Boston Marathon.  I don’t know if this is a once and done opportunity or if this will become an annual event, but it’s definitely a unique opportunity.
This all led me to a quick Google search to see what other virtual runs exist and it turns out this is a pretty popular thing and gaining popularity fast!  There are several Web sites and Facebook pages dedicated to virtual runs.  Many have prominent pictures of the medal you will receive to entice you.  Yes, I admit, the medal is a factor in choosing a virtual race for me.  I am certainly not alone!
With most virtual runs, you pay to register and the fees range from free to what a typical race registration might cost you.  You often get to print, or are sent via mail, a race bib and finisher certificate if all the requirements are met.  Some award you a virtual finisher's medal or even mail you a real race medal if you complete your virtual run and all the finisher requirements.  Those requirements vary with the race, as does the cost of participating.
As with any race, there are pros and cons to virtual racing.
-  You can run them from your front door or on a treadmill!
-  You can run them at any time.  No need to get up at O’dark thirty or on a weekend morning to drive somewhere to run an 8 am race.  This can be a huge time saver!
-  You can run them with friends or fellow members of running teams or clubs who live all over the place, even if you can't run together.  This can be motivating and fun.
-  Entry fees are often less than on-site races, but not always.
-  You can often use another race or a training run (sometimes multiple races or runs) to achieve your pledged mileage.  It doesn't always have to be all at one time.
-  You often get fantastic race bling!  For some races, you can opt out of a real medal and run the race for free.
-  You can support a charity both financially and by raising awareness of their work through registering and your sharing of your results on social media.  This is often required for completing the requirements to receive your medal by tweeting or posting pictures and finish times on Facebook. It is fantastic marketing for the race organizers, especially when it's offered as a simultaneous race/virtual race.
-  Registering for a virtual race can help you get out of a training rut or motivate you to get out and run in less than ideal weather or if you are in a rut.
- They foster a sense of community with your fellow virtual runners and can connect you to the running community at large where you can both give and receive support.
- They offer a way to reward yourself for your hard work of training by tangible proof of goal accomplishment with a certificate, medal, or bib for your collection.
-  It's a great way for people who can't get to or participate in races due to work schedules, school, or other obligations to still 'race' and receive a finisher medal.
-  They are on the honor system, meaning you submit photos or 'proof of time and distance' via a Web site, Twitter or Facebook page.  Unless you are using a chip timed race as your virtual run, this means there is potential that some people register, fudge their time/distance and still get the bling and finisher certificate.  For some people, they may be tempted to 'skip' the 'race' since there is no outside accountability.  While I would hope people would be honest, it is really hurting no one but themselves.
- The race bibs and finisher certificates are usually emailed and thus not as durable.
-  The fees can be the same or even higher than a typical 5 or 10K race registration and do not include the swag or T-shirt you typically would get for these on site races.
- Some virtual races require you run on a specific day and for a specific distance all at one time, rather than a range of dates to complete your pledged distance.  This is a great way to make yourself accountable to run or train on that day, no matter what the weather or your level of motivation. Kind of like a live race. :-)
-  Some virtual races require fundraising or donation minimums in addition to the registration fees. When this is fully or mostly given to a charity, you approve of the charity and their work, AND it’s legitimate, I'm OK with it, but if it's not clear where all that money goes (like maybe into the pocket of someone who may never send you that medal), you might want to choose another virtual race.  Trust your gut and be careful with your credit card information!
-  Not all virtual races offer real medals.  The ones that do, you often have to wait weeks or sometimes months to receive your actual medal in the mail.
- Your time for the virtual race is not recorded officially nor is your participation if the race you are virtually participating in is also a live race.  They cannot be used as qualifying races or times for chip timed races as there is no way to officially verify your time.
-  You miss the best parts of race day or a big race event.  The excitement, the expo and vendors, the T-shirt and swag, the fun of running with other people toward the finish line, and the after party!
- It can be addictive in a way.  You may end up spending more money to buy incentive for your training runs by filling up your medal rack!
So how do you find virtual runs?
Google is your friend, but to get you started, here are a few great sites:
Will run for bling!
It seems the option to virtually run bigger races like half and full marathons and big events that raise lots of money for charity like the Boston Marathon are becoming more popular.  It also seems the independent or smaller virtual runs are also gaining popularity.  I think this is a growing trend. As more and more people get into running and run-walk-run, virtual runs provide wonderful marketing and fundraising opportunities.  They also can inspire runners to accomplish their goals and reach for new ones.  The flexibility in race participation that virtual running gives you is definitely a benefit.  It doesn't replace the experience of a live race, nor would I want to exclusively virtually 'race', but I do think it's got it's merits.
If you complete all of the requirements of your chosen virtual run, you not only get the satisfaction of having run the miles, but also of potentially having helped raise money for a charitable organization.  Not to mention, a tangible reward for putting in those training miles in the form of some sweet race bling for your medal rack.
You do have a medal rack, don't you?
All_You_Need._._.Pixie_Dust_24x1_ allied medals