Today I begin a weekly column based on a belief that every individual looks at the world through the perspective of their own window on life. Our window looks out on a world created for and with us by family, religion, ethnicity, social standing, country of origin, political leaning and education. Given the multiplicity of divergent opinions and experiences among our fellow humans, I don’t expect to hear a joyous “Kumbaya” arising in the world! We have differing opinions on many things, including how we got here, how long we’ve inhabited this planet, and what god looks like. So this view of mine, through my own window, will either challenge or reassure you. It is my hope that we will see each other as individuals and also members of the same family—the human family—sharing our views with one another.
We can find things on which we agree, or agree to disagree. That’s the way life is.
Given the criteria above, here’s a bit about me. I am of German/Scots-Irish descent (not verified by DNA testing!) raised Catholic in the mid-west in a large family. My father’s family were business owners from a staunch Republican background; my mother’s family mostly Democrats with strong labor union leanings. Home from WWII, Dad went to the office while mom stayed home and raised six kids. She stoked my love for all kinds of music in the age of radio and record players. Dad’s family, and the nuns, fed my voracious appetite for books. My politics were informed by hearing my two grandfathers’ vigorous “discussions” at a young age. My marriage to a man of middle-eastern roots challenged my world view. The death of my oldest son at the age of eleven drove me to search for answers to unanswerable things. From that loss, my last book “The Gifts of Grief: Finding Light in the Darkness of Loss” was birthed. My book in progress is an adventure story bringing together an American boy and his Iraqi counterpart. There are losses and gains throughout life. Those are the influences that formed how I see through the panes of my life’s window and taught me how I wanted to live.
I am a life-long learner. After raising my children and leaving a thirty-three year marriage, I became a Certified HeartMath® Trainer, Somatic Intuitive Training™ Practitioner, award-winning author, and grief counselor. Through my studies of psychology and history, the inner “me” became a combination of what I used to think, what I kept from that, and how I expanded my belief system to contain more than I ever thought possible. Finding a happy relationship with Lance— a fellow counselor, writer and author—fired my belief in late life blossoming. Imagine coming together with someone when you already have over fifty years of who you know you are. And then? You learn that there is more to learn.
Recent political and social upheavals have fractured families and societies, and forced me into new ways to consider solitude, creativity, energy and communication. I spend a lot of my time writing and leading workshops on the possibilities of human energies, including stress and our effects on the energy of groups and Earth herself. I really look forward to this opportunity to have a give and take with others in that essential search for what connects us more than divides us. My observations come from this great stew of influences.
My window is unique. So is yours. Let’s begin a conversation!