Friday, February 20, 2009

The Green Donkey

I thought this story was worth posting again. I love you Karen!

This is the true story of what Deepak Chopra would call a "Whopper". Something so touched with the hand of God that it seems almost impossible to believe, and yet, there can be no doubt to those of us that are believers!

My best friend died on May 15, 2004 from breast cancer at the age of 45 after a 10 year battle with HER-2 Breast Cancer. We had spent 40 years weaving the fabric of our lives together in a dance that was just magical. Ours is a long story of love and friendship. It is hard to relay in a few words the significance of this miracle, but I will try.

We were both Transformational Healers, which is a form of energy healing …or laying on of hands. We work as conduits for God to work through us and ignite the healing that we all are capable of. She became interested in this because of her cancer and I was always searching for new spiritual avenues and she led me to it like a horse (donkey) to water. (Another whole whopper of a story!) Anyway.....

In the spring of 2002 Karen began having massive head aches and was feeling “"weird”". We were headed off for a little R & R weekend in New York state and having a grand time …just the two of us tooling around in the car. She became very serious at one point and told me she thought her chemotherapy may be causing these "weird" symptoms and she was struggling as to whether or not to go off the chemo and just let God work. I told her this was a HUGE decision and one not to be taken lightly. I am a big believer in asking God to give us a sign when we need an answer to an important question. Because this was a VERY important question, I told her she needed to ask for a sign that would be unquestionable. Something so “strange” that it could only be seen as a "sign" from God. I then said, "How about a green donkey"? She giggled and agreed that a green donkey would be the sign she needed to let God heal her rather than continue on the chemotherapy. The whole rest of the weekend we searched for a green donkey. We found yellow pigs and purple cows, red dogs and even a green we tried to rationalize that a horse is almost a donkey, but we knew it had to be a "Green Donkey". We spent the next afternoon in Woodstock, NY going through every store searching for her sign, but never found a green donkey.

A week later the headaches she was experiencing became much worse and she called her doctor and he scheduled an MRI . During this same week …her father passed away from Alzheimer’s. It was a heartbreak to her very close knit family but had been expected. On the morning of his funeral… she received a phone call from her oncologist that he had the results of her MRI and the cancer had spread to her brain, thus the headaches and "weird" feelings. She went through the whole day of her fathers funeral …and told no one except her husband what she had found out that morning. She had courage beyond human strength. She made it through brain surgery, massive radiation… and lived two more years. She passed on May 15, 2004 surrounded by her whole family.

What follows is what I said at her memorial service (which 700 people attended)...notice the part about the “green donkey” toward the end.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Karen for over 40 years and calling her one of my best and dearest friends. But I know I am just one of countless best friends that Karen had…there was something about her that just made you want to be close to her and know her better. It reminds me of the song by the Carpenters.

On the day that you were born
The angels got together
And decided to create a dream come true
So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair of gold
And starlight in your eyes of blue.

That is why all the girls in town
Follow you all around.
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you.

To Karen’s family…she was a mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a cousin…but for the vast majority of us here today….she was our friend. A friend of the truest sense…one that was there for each of us no matter what was going on in HER life. Remarkable, selfless, trustworthy, sincere, kind, compassionate, spiritual, beautiful are words that can only begin to describe Karen.

Besides being a friend…Karen was a teacher…she taught me more about strength and courage than I ever wanted to know. When my son deployed to Afghanistan in Oct, she came to me one day like an angel sent from the Lord…. She held me and cried with me and instilled in me the Power of Now and gave me strength that I did not know I had. If I can take one tenth of her strength and live the rest of my life than I will be happy.

I will miss her human presence more than I can even imagine at this time... her spirit while she was on this Earth was immeasurable. What I look forward to from this day forward is how she will guide, love, and watch over each of us in her new found strength in SPIRIT.

And so I say to you my dear Karen…Godspeed to you on this new journey you have undertaken. I know Daddy was holding your green donkey… and that now you know all the Divine Order that is so hard for us to understand here on Earth. I giggle at the thought of our next life together and I ask you Sister Karen to hold down the abbey until I get there.

When I returned home from her service, there was a message on my answering machine from my son Quinn, who was in Afghanistan, serving in the US Army. He had NEVER, EVER called during the week since his deployment in Oct. of 2003. This happened to be a Tuesday night. This in and of itself spoke volumes to me…. I was sad I had missed his call, but I knew he was OK and surely sending me some love from afar, even though he did not know of Karen's death yet (at least on the physical plane). Karen had given me extreme comfort about Quinn's deployment and the first thing she said to me whenever we spoke was, "How is Quinn doing?"

The phone rang again around 2:30 this same evening and again it was Quinn. What a joy to hear his voice. We spoke for about 20 minutes and during the conversation he mentioned that his best buddy had put new pictures up on a website of them in Afghanistan. I tucked this info into my mind to take a look the next day. I had only seen two photos of him since his deployment almost 7 months earlier.

The next morning I went with Karen's family to a private burial and then spent the rest of the day with her family. I arrived home around 4:00 and read some e-mails and then remembered I had to check out the pictures of Quinn. This is now 5 days since her passing. There was a folder named "the Month of May". I opened this and started looking for pictures of Quinn. There were around 20 new photos. Mid way down the page I noticed that one picture was titled "Donkey". In the small picture format it looked more like a green tree. I opened the picture to its full size and almost fell to the floor, for there sent from a war torn country by an American soldier was Karen's sign that she had been healed. Not on this Earth, but alas in heaven. It was a picture of a donkey with a bundle of GREEN branches tied around it. She knew that if she involved Quinn in getting this sign to me, that she would be successful. I would NEVER not look at these pictures. This is SO Karen.

Karen left behind 3 children, a husband, 4 siblings and her mom, besides the countless, countless people she touched while here. The news of this Green Donkey gave peace to her family and our community. I feel her presence with me always and thank her for her continued caring and love. I know she is still with us and just around the to speak.

Blessings to all that read this story and please pass this on as a sign of faith and healing for the world.

Lisa Sullivan

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The time is now

This past weekend I was contacted by a man in South Africa whose passion is also to surrender. Surrender to M.A.D.E. M.A.D.E. is an acronym for Make A Difference Everyday.

We have had a couple of wonderful conversations and are determined to bring the blessing of surrender to the world. Carl's focus is on world peace and my focus is on inner peace. Inner peace leads to world peace and world peace leads to inner peace. There is no failing and peace WILL prevail of that I am sure.

I wonder how many others out there are passionate about the concept of surrender? What are your thoughts? How do you fulfill the need or want for inner peace? Do you need or want it at all?

I know for myself that inner peace is a quest I will always be manifesting.

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Monster Under the Bed

Yesterday I took some time to go back and read this blog from the beginning. It brought back so many thoughts and feelings. Many ups and downs and joys and sorrows. It seems that my fears about Quinn have now faded into a landscape of my mind that I no longer report to and that is a huge relief. So much of my energy in the past 6 years has been concentrated on his safety and well being and I am thankful that all is well.

Most of you know about Quinn and his journey but today I would like to tell you about my other child, Molly, and the work she is doing to reach and help young children on the autism spectrum.

Molly works at a special school in Portland, Maine called The Reach School. She took the job two days after her brother Quinns heart attack. On the day of her interview the director said she wanted Molly to meet the little boy she would be teaching. His name was Quinn. Serendipity at its best!!! Thank you Universe.

This past Halloween molly who is amazing in her talent at creative thought and art, dressed up as: The Monster Under the Bed. As her mother, I was amazed at her ingenuity in creating this persona and it served as a great revelation at the time to me and I would like to share that revelation with you here.

Around the time of Halloween, I was going through a very rough patch which I spoke about in a post a few weeks ago. This is the time I sought psychological help, acupuncture and the time I read the book Loving What Is by Byron Katie. When Molly posted the photos of herself dressed as The Monster Under the Bed, it occurred to me like a slap across the face, or a two by four to the head, that WE are our own Monster Under the Bed. Our thoughts are the monster and just like the not-real monster under the bed that we all can remember being afraid of as young children, our thoughts are no more real than the aforementioned monster. What a revelation!

To rid ourselves of the monster thoughts that we create within our troubled mind all we need to do is look at them for what they are. Remember as a child when your parent or caregiver would come to your bedside when you cried for help, "There's a monster under the bed". The parent would get down on their knees and look under the bed and say, "No monster, sweetheart. There is nothing to be afraid of" and with another kiss goodnight we would fall back to sleep. Sweet monster.

The Monster Under the not real...and neither are the negative thoughts of mind chatter that incessantly tell you that you are in some sort of harms way. You are not. The monster under the bed is YOU and YOUR thoughts and this is something you have control over once you see it for what it is. Next time you have a negative thought looping through your mind please recall the photo up above and see the smiling face of Molly. Let her loving face replace your negative thought with a giggle. She would love that.

Thank you Molly for being the bright light and teacher that you are. Thank you for reinforcing this concept for me. And please take a look at the work Molly does on behalf of pre-schoolers on the autism spectrum and donate some money if you feel inspired.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Musings on humanity

I have been doing lots of reading since the first of the year. Reading is one of my true passions and it is not unusual that I have 2-3 books that I am reading at the same time. When I leave the library I am often overloaded with more books than I can hold.

I love going to libraries and grew up and raised my children in the town of Norfolk, Connecticut which has one of the most glorious libraries on earth. Truly, see for yourself. And even though this is a nice website it does nothing for the intimate welcome one receives upon arrival. In winter there might be a fire you can cozy up next to and read your favorite magazine or a long time friend also there to chat awhile with. I raised my children across the street from this library and would often take them over to get a slew of childrens' books each week. How I loved reading to them

Ah, I have digressed.

The books I have been reading lately are books of how the human spirit can soar to new heights when put to the test.

The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom (Paperback)

Breakfast at Sally's: one homeless mans inspirational journey

Love Greg and Lauren

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey (Paperback)

My Lobotomy

These books, each have given me great insight into not only myself but the human race as a whole. How magnificent we are. The two I am reading now are Love Greg and Lauren and My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey (Paperback) Love Greg and Lauren is the true story of a women who was burned over 82.5 % of her body as a fireball came out of the elevator shaft of tower one on September 11. Yesterday as I was reading I took utter and complete awe over this organ called skin. I looked down at my own skin and thanked it profoundly for all it does to keep me alive and whole. How magnificent it is and how taken advantage and for granted it is by most of us. I slathered it with cream and implored it to keep on working just the way it has.

On my way to work yesterday, just after worshiping my skin, I was listening to the book on CD of My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey (Paperback). It is read by the author herself whose voice is very distinctive and which I have learned to just love. I could just reach through the CD player and envelope this woman with love. It is the story of how this brain scientist watched on a certain level as she herself experienced a fairly massive stroke to the left side of her brain.

When the left side of the brain is shut down, the language center does not work and the negative mind chatter which can haunt many of us is gone. Poof. Gone. What is left is the right side thinking which is open minded, filled with love, and as expansive as the whole universe. There is peace on the right-side of the brain.

She has taught me so much about why I behave the way I do (I am very right brained) and this has given me a renewed sense that I am perfect just the way I am. Although I am right brain dominant, this does not mean I don't have the mind chatter and linear thinking that goes along with the left side. Without the left side working properly, this blog would not exist. It is our source of language. But she teaches us that this voice of chatter, which goes between being our fairy godmother and the wicked witch of the west, can be silenced through choice. This has only reinforced for me the teachings of Byron Katie and the process she calls The Work.

As I listened to her story, again I was filled with wonder for another organ of our body, the brain. Again magnificent. Again in awe. Dr. Jill was saying she no longer spends time in worry. " Life is just to short and precious to spend time in this activity". I smiled as she said this and agreed whole heartily. Not one minute had gone by when I passed a house and with a car in the driveway with a bumper sticker that said "Life is Precious". Now I know this bumper sticker was speaking about "unborn" life...but I could not help but see perfect synchronicity in this moment. is is precious. Thank you skin and thank you brain.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

New horizens...letting go of thoughts

Everyday is a new chance to live a life held in the hand of the Universe. What a joy it is for me to know that no matter what, life goes on and the world keeps spinning. The small trivial things that upset me and try to take me off course are nothing real. They are just my mind weaving a story. Each time I find myself stuck in the thoughts of, "Why should I?", "Why did this happen?", "What is my purpose?", I am now able to remind myself that this is just some neurons in my brain in the continual loop of "mind chatter".

Yesterday I received the news that I will be able to go see Byron Katie for free in April when she comes to New York City. Her work along with some other great teachers such as Eckhart Tolle and Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor are giving new meaning to the act of Surrender for me.

It has all become so simple to me. My mind starts up on its rant...and I turn it off. Nothing more to it. I will no longer be held captive to this part of my brain that wants to keep running the negative thoughts over and over. Doing this has left me with more time to truly live and enjoy what is happening in the present moment.

What a journey. I am so amazed at how the path keeps opening new and wonderful horizons for me.

A must see video

February 4

To Surrender, at its core is passive,
but to get to the place where we can Surrender we must make an active choice.

To be Surrendered, or not to be.

It can often be a confusing choice especially in a world where
we are constantly asked to be in control.

The only control you really need though is your desire to turn it all
over to the Power that created all there is.

Every part of nature does it.
Why not us?

Choose wisely and feel the immense peace that passes all understanding.