Seventy Years of Voting

November 3, 2020–another election day in the life of this one citizen.

I have voted. That is my only power. I am grateful to live in this country.

I am grateful to my friend of many years, Flint Sparks, who offered this poem for our contemplation on this election day in the United States of America. Written by Maya Angelou and spoken by her on the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations: Read more...

COVID CONFESSIONS

Staying Safe

This Covid quarantine period of isolation somehow reminds me of my childhood during the great depression , which began the year I was born, 1929.  We had little to entertain us, and no communication with the outside world on a daily basis.  I learned then and I have re-learned now to live in solitude.  I recall the joy of reading, playing the piano, and many hours alone with my imagination.   I have come to value that solitude.    Read more...

CATCHING UP

“Catching Up”

April 1, 2020

We live in interesting times!  The social distancing required by the spread of  COVID-19 has brought many changes in our lives.  Since I live alone, the changes are minimal.  Yesterday, five of my friends brought our lunches to a lovely golf course adjoining one friend’s home.  We set up our chairs six feet apart and had a lively discussion while enjoying the beautiful sunlit day.  Blue sky and white fluffy clouds, cool weather and a good time had by all.   Read more...

Who Am I Now?

Blog Post:

October 28, 2018

I have not posted here in several years.  I spent the last three years care taking my husband, Dr. Paul Barlow, who passed away July 21, 2018.  I have been working through my grief and planning my future.

WHO AM I NOW?

 

November of 2018, I am reassessing my present reality:

In my lifetime, I have been in roles that were designed because I was born female.  I have been a daughter, a sister, a niece, a wife, a mother, an aunt, a grandmother, and a great grandmother.

 

My parents are dead so I am no longer a daughter; my husbands are dead so I am no longer a wife. My brother is thankfully still alive so I am a sister.  He has recently re-married so I am again a sister-in-law.  My aunts and uncles are dead so I am no longer a niece, but all five of my children are alive so I am still a mother.  I have three living grandchildren so I am a grandmother.  I have five great-grandchildren and three nephews so I am still a great grandmother and an aunt.

 

What does it mean to no longer be daughter, wife, niece?

What does it mean to still live the role of mother, sister, aunt, grandmother and great-grandmother?

 

Strange to me how I have chosen to express my life through these roles.  And as I am designing my last decade in this life on the planet, I look to these roles to still define me.  OR, is there another role—crone—old wise woman– that I can fulfill?

 

Where did the therapist, the consultant, the writer, the lecturer, the workshop leader go?  What happened to Dr. Marjorie R. Barlow, Ph.D? These roles in my life were part of my professional development and they are now passé.

 

So, I am back to one. One life.  One woman.  One day at a time.  I choose to be independent as long as I can.  I am trying to make the choice of relying on my children or turning to the current care of old folks in institutions.  What is the best, most loving choice I can make?  Who am I now?  What am I now?  How do I serve now?

 

Elizabeth, the Queen of England is a year older than me.  Her life has been prescribed because of the nature of her birth.  She still has a job as Queen.  Therefore, she will live out her days in some form of royal entitlement.  She gives me solace in the way her neck and shoulders also are stooped so I am feeling justified in my new body configuration!  I too, have become a crone with a widow’s hump.

 

I was born a peasant. My entitlement is my freedom of choice. I can choose.  And that is my truth.  So, what do I choose?  Answering that question is the focus of my thoughts these days.

POCKET GRANDMOTHER TACTICS

  • Notice your feelings. FEELINGS are your best guide toward success. Feelings reveal what is going on inside you and when they are negative, that is your signal to wake up. Get on track! You have lost your way.   Your emotions are your EGS—your Emotional Guidance System.
  • Face the face in the mirror. MIRROR-acles are in store when you learn to do mirror work. I strongly encourage you to look at that face in your mirror and unconditionally tell her that you love her. Louise Hay has pioneered mirror work.
  • Speak lovingly to the face in the mirror. JOURNAL into your mirror. Instead of writing in your journal, speak to the image in the mirror all that you would have written. Do this at night as a closing ceremony to the day. Do it in the morning as a way of setting up a day of joy. The reason for this exercise is to cultivate your own Pocket Grandmother, the voice of unconditional love. Practice accepting yourself warmly and affectionately. You can become the Sophia voice.
  • Accentuate the positive. DARE to go one week without criticism of self or others, no blaming, fault-finding, no negative talk, and no orders-commands-directions-requests. Just one week of taking yourself into a different reaction. This will get you some base-line data regarding those you live with and profess to love. AND, you will discover the path to your own self-love and self-forgiveness.
  • Take responsibility for your life. Join the AAA: You are the AUTHOR-ACTOR-AUDIENCE in your own life drama. You came to planet Earth to create yourself in the slow journey of one lifetime.
  • Use your power. CREATIVITY is your divine right. REACTIVITY is your ego struggling to win. Your internal Pocket Grandmother is your creative self in its full divine possibility.
  • Eliminate the negative. Don’t compare; don’t blame; and stop trying to understand why. Cherish yourself; love yourself; create yourself.
  • Claim the power of love. Self-Love and self-forgiveness will clear the way for you to create your very highest and best Self.
  • Love is without conditions. Loving others is easy when you love yourself unconditionally. As I have said before: “It is easy to love others when they ‘act right.’ The stretch into your growth comes when your love has no conditions.”
  • Get real with your internal projector. The outside world is your mirror. Those around you reflect what you are. When you don’t like them, you probably haven’t accepted yourself (for “they” will do what they do. Your reaction is the signal that it has something to do with you.) Projection is everything. It is all generated from within you. Your perceptions create your projections. Remember my scripture on this: “Whatsoever thing thy neighbor doeth that rattleth thy cage, ringeth thy bell, pulleth thy chain, or pusheth thy button, that thing hath more to do with thee than with thy neighbor. But, take heart, thy neighbor doeth thee the favor of revealing what is still within thee that needeth thy attention!”
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