"Are we the generation that will redefine aging?

Can aging be not just growing older but growing wiser?

Isn't there a little Zen in all of us?

Although 'growing old is not for sissies' this writer hopes that aging well is a real option."

Monday, April 16, 2018

Spiritual Practice in the Emergency Room

It was late Saturday afternoon and my heart had been fluttering—afib style—for hours. The last thing I wanted to do was to go to the ER on a Saturday. So I waited, took my heart meds, and waited some more. My neighbor, a nurse, came by, looked at me, grabbed her stethoscope and declared my heart was flopping around like a fish.

As my husband and I hurried out the door I grabbed my phone and ear-buds along with my med list, and by the time I was in ER they were both being used. While I lay for hours amid the cacophony I listened to my music LOUD with eyes closed hoping to drown out the reality of what was happening….it was the finest music I’d ever heard. I was wheeled along on gurneys and parked on the sides of the halls like a  slab of meat…waiting…waiting….while bells and ringers were going off and on as I wondered if my life would end at the sound of an alarm unattended to.

 I didn’t die and I was extremely grateful for all that was done for me. I was admitted to the hospital for four days. And yes….I am extremely thankful… and yet …dare I say, it was a humiliating process. As I put on the hospital gown, removed my jewelry, and repeated my name and med list I become yet another patient in Room 5.  Each time an injection was done or a new nurse came on the floor I was asked my name and date of birth. How ironic is it that when one goes to the hospital we repeat our names and birth dates over and over again—and then we’re treated—like bodies with no identities or souls. We become: the patient in Room 5 who rings the bell too much because there’s no bed for her upstairs, and she’s been here for 7 hours, and she’ll have to be guerneyed out to the hallway to wait.

Behind our heads, but never totally out of sight, one can see the heart monitoring screens reminding us that our life force is a matter of numbers. There are good numbers and bad numbers. There are the good nurses and doctors who come in to check…and then there are the bad times when no one comes in…is this the moment of death?

I know this sounds harsh. Many, if not most, of the nurses and doctors try to engage us with conversation so we don’t feel this de-humanization, but it’s as much a part of the hospital as the rules and regulations. And it probably has to be this way in order to avoid mistakes; so I’m not blaming.

Being in a hospital is a “spiritual experience”—really! We lose our sense of self/ego, and we are challenged to learn patience and acceptance. What at first feels like the safety and security of being cared for, eventually turns into the slow process of being released where the ritual is reversed in slow motion and the images of prison and freedom ravage the brain. Always another opportunity to practice patience…they say good patients are patient. Can't say I passed the test this time....

Monday, April 2, 2018

Astrological Weather Patterns

What's happening with me now? Why am I feeling like this? These are the questions we ask our astrologer or Tarot reader. I often have to remind myself how moods are like the clouds or passing weather patterns—they come and go. As an astrologer, I should be keenly aware of this as I observe the patterns of the Moon and planets continually moving through the heavens and our lives. But it’s not so easy to always remember that ‘this too shall pass.’

Late yesterday afternoon I fell into a low energy vortex and ended up on the couch unable to do anything but question the aching in my spine and the complaining of my psyche. I’ve been diagnosed with low iron anemia…and I’d forgotten to take my pills for weeks. And then there was ole Saturn and Mars squaring my Sun exactly. Saturn rules the bones, and squares bring out the tension or underlying problem…so there was the arthritis in my back and the pain. I reminded myself that I’m like a 1947 model car…what can I expect?

 I wasn’t happy despite coming up with multiple reasons for my sudden “downfall.” I lay down and forced myself to rest for 20 minutes then made myself get up and walk to the drugstore to buy iron supplements. On the walk home I popped one along with a chocolate Cadbury egg…and slowly I began to open like a frozen daffodil just cut and put into warm water. It was Easter, so one can indulge a bit, I told myself. Tomorrow I will start losing weight. Sigh…

Just as I walked in the shop at home a FB friend dropped by, and in the course of our conversation she mentioned she hadn’t seen a blog post for me in quite a while. Yes! Someone had noticed. That felt good.

Someone had missed hearing from me! Here was more warmth, like sunshine, flowing in...even better than the chocolate egg.

Spring is slow in coming this year. Snow is forecast for tomorrow. My spine aches so intensely I must lie down again, and plan on calling the doctor tomorrow.  But I’m going to return to the drugstore and buy sunglasses that will change the color of the world from mundane gray to warm amber hues. Simple solutions! Followed by the hard phone call…

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”…and God bless friends who remember us…and notice when we are missing.