Namaste Beautiful, Bountiful, Memorable, Mystical Expressions of Life & Love!
I greet you in the appreciation of whoever you are with special honorings this week for mothers, teachers, literacy, music, children’s books, and the infinite circle of family, faith, and Love!
Happy Mother’s Day! Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! Happy Children’s Book Week! For me, they all go together like peas and carrots (Forest Gump!).
Yes, there is much to celebrate this week and, as always, I will *try* to be brief. Yet, I simply must share this inspiring tidbit from magical, mystical, mentor Mr. Rogers. His soft & simple style says so much of what’s in my heart this week with this story:
“When I was a boy, one of my closest neighbors was Mama Bell Frampton. She was my grandmother’s age, and she loved children. She not only had a front porch, she had a back porch that led right to her kitchen. Every time I needed a treat, I’d knock on her back door and she’d welcome me. “Come for toast sticks, Freddy?” She knew me well.
I would have been about five or six when Mama Bell asked if I would like her to show me how to make my own toast sticks. Well, that was quite a day. She let me put the bread in the toaster and the butter and jam on the toast, and she even let me (ever so carefully) cut the toast into four long “sticks”. Seems like a simple thing, but sixty-five years later, I can still feel it ~ that neighbor’s trust and my own pride at having made those first ones on my own. When I hear “Love your neighbor as yourself,” I often think of Mama Bell because I think she really did love me. She just somehow sensed what I needed in order to grow.” ~ Fred Rogers
I love this telling for so many reasons; it speaks to the power of mothers/grandmothers, teachers, community, memories and (always!) Love. It also demonstrates how freeing empowerment can be. To empower, knowledge & hands on experience are second only to the creative, open, divine flow of the heart’s wisdom, in my book. If you explore your good memories, don’t you find this flow of Love & trust somewhere in the experience?! Perhaps, in the “bad” memories, we find a lack of trust & Love? If we can allow memories to be un-judged or held in the affirmation of divine order, they can further root our empowerment. We all need to be heard, our lives to be validated. Fred Rogers said, “I find out more and more every day how important it is for people to share their memories.”
This week has taken me down ‘memory lane’ with my dad, my son Jeremiah, and as I write this, with my mom, other moms I’ve known, and the standout teachers who made such a difference in my life. I find more and more a willingness and necessity to let the negative memories fade away with gratitude for the purpose the people and experiences played in my journey. Perhaps this is because I see how negativity, bitterness, resentment, eats at my father in his final days as he re-tells some of his stories. I sat and read to him for about an hour from the GHB Voice ~ the handwritten newspapers he generated as a youth with his brother and cousin. Truly one of the biggest treasures unearthed in the ongoing cleanup of the old family house and store downtown, these papers provide a fascinating window into the life lived on the ranch by my father in the 1930’s. His creativity, diligence and devotion to the weekly paper has come back to serve him now with happy memories, chuckles, and in my estimation, a form of integration of his years lived. Notes and details from childhood, some (or most?!) long forgotten have resurfaced to nurture my father and to delight me.
In my Mother’s day musings this year, I find myself going deeper into what it is to be spiritually parenting my father … yes, caretaking the physical needs of him & his ranch including getting more help so I can stay balanced in all other aspects of my life ~ but also holding that unconditional mother Love for him when he is still so often negative and heavy to be around. In some ways, he has softened greatly, in other ways, he rails hard at the loss of his functionality. The quote of the week from my dad: “If I can’t feel good, I’d rather be dead.” Simple, somewhat humorous, yet profound. With congestive heart failure, not only has my dad lost his physical oomph, he literally has lost heart for living. He also told me this week he doesn’t believe in the soul …. whaaaat?! So again, I held unconditional Love and respect for his viewpoint and I gave him a full dose of my own. I continue to care for his outer needs and send his ailing hearts lots of light and unconditional Love for the soul I recognize even if he does not. This is the only way I know to spiritually parent ~ with a mother’s Love.
Do you know the origins of Mother’s Day? It came as an honoring of mothers who had lost their sons to war. We have a celebration page on the New Thought Families website that gives lots of the history including the Proclamation written at the time that begins:
Mothers’ Day Proclamation
Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be of water or of tears! Say firmly: “We will not have questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of carnage for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy, and patience. We women of one country will be too tender to those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.” (See ALL HERE!)
As mentioned last week, I released a music video with 15 year old Jeremiah and I singing God’s Spot in conjunction with our New Thought Families Mystery May. Check out the NEW narrating voices on this month’s daily Play & Pray Calendar! In juxtaposition to the 2008 version posted in last week’s blog and on the site, here is the current version of Jeremiah and I singing ~ the same heart of Love, just more grownup voices (at least Jeremiah’s!)
Both versions of the God Spot music video are featured this month as part of Mystery May ~ do share in our lovely voices there and the oh so inspirational, anonymous audio, The Mystery. As I continue to mother the websites and our nonprofit, Creative Spirit Families with baby steps, more live and online offerings are being birthed and nurtured. Our Free Shelf is packed with ‘mother’ offerings and! We are giving an additional Laurie StorEBook away each day this week in celebration of Children’s Book Week! This is the 96th anniversary of the annual celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading. Children’s Book Week: May 4-10, 2015 — Hence! In addition to this week’s Free Shelf celebrations of reading, singing & mothers, we are posting another free Laurie StorEBook each day this week! Sign up/in for all our freebies:
So whether you join me in celebrating mothers, parents, teachers, children’s books, memories, Mr. Rogers, the Mystery, or anything else this week, thank you for being with me in this not at all brief appearance. As always, I trust if you were called here, some bit of it served your heart and will enable you to better serve the hearts of others. So it is in the Circle of Love, Life, Family, Time. I am grateful for you. Namaste, Mystery Blessed & Expressed!
PS Yes Blessed!
Our upcoming live event face to face Circles of Love include: