I know the ash cloud over Europe is generating havoc for travelers all over the world, but for me, it’s one of the few things I have no complaints about.  Thanks to the lovely ash cloud Jerry’s business trip this week was canceled. 

No, Jerry was not scheduled to go to Europe.  As per usual he was scheduled to go to meetings in Tokyo.  Yes, I know the ash cloud is not over Japan.  But as luck would have it, key attendees at this week’s have been grounded in the U.K. until further notice.  Since these folks are unable to attend in person the meetings have been rescheduled and Jerry will be home for at least another week. 

So sorry if this sounds a bit insensitive, but considering how much my husband travels, I say “Yay for the ash cloud!”  

I first heard about Eckhart Tolle about a year ago.  Actually I’d heard of him way before that because of Oprah and all, but I didn’t know what this whole “Power of Now” was all about until my family member starting talking to me about it.  My dad was first one to start talking about “being present.”  I had no idea what he was talking about so I just tuned him out.  Not having to listen to the lectures of one’s parents is one of the benefits of being 43 and living away from home. 

The next family member who started talking about Tolle was my youngest brother John.  I gave John slightly more attention than I did Dad, but otherwise wrote the whole thing off.  I just figured this was another one of those new agey things my brother and his wife were into. 

The family member who actually got me to stop and think was my brother Harlan.  The idea of Harlan actually reading–an entire book no less—got my attention.  When he told me how simple the whole thing was and how it changed his whole perception on life I decided to give it a try.  

I got about 100 pages into A New Earth before I put it down.  Where was all the simplicity everyone was talking about?  The book made absolutely no sense to me.  This Tolle fellow actually suggested that people stop thinking so much, which seemed incomprehensible to me.  How could one simply not think?  If anything I felt like I didn’t think enough.  I put the book away (or rather, I removed it from my e-reader) and went back to reading vampire novels. 

It wasn’t until a few months later when I had a revelation.  Whether provoked by what I had already heard and read or simply something I discovered on my own I will never know (and Tolle would probably say it doesn’t matter anyway) but in the very un-dramatic moment it happened something inside me clicked. 

I was at home washing dinner dishes and as per usual I was fretting about a work thing.  Anyone who knows me knows that I always have a work worry.  Work worries are a constant thorn in my side.  They keep me up at nights and ruin entire weekends.  I hate them!  And that night as I was doing dishes it suddenly occurred to me that I should stop thinking about work all the time because it was a real drag.  And so I did.  I simply turned the work thoughts off.  It was amazing! 

Granted, the thoughts would eventually start creeping back in, but when I noticed them I would turn them off again.  I kept this up for a few weeks and then started mentioning it to my brothers.  “That’s what Eckhart Tolle is talking about,” they said. 

So I picked up the book again.  Well not really.  I picked up a copy of The Power of Now because I found out that Tolle wrote that book first and I always like to go in chronological order when possible, even with self-help books.  And suddenly the whole thing made complete sense…not thinking so much…concentrating on the present moment…even the concept of being present.  It all made complete sense to me and I’ve been practicing it all ever since. 

It hasn’t been a complete transformation.  I have a long way to go. I won’t bore you all with all my thoughts on being present and acceptance.  I’ll save that for future postings that people are free to ignore.  My point is at least now I know what all the hoopla is all about. 

abundance angel Someone emailed me this picture yesterday.  The email said it was an abundance angel and if I forwarded her on to more people I would be rich within real days.  “Hm, nice sentiment” I thought as I hit the x button and prepared to ignore it so I could try to focus on real email.  It was while I was trying to get through a particularly long winded diatribes from the trade association which sound like “blah blah blah” to my 9am Friday morning mind that I stopped to check my bank balance and realized, hey there’s more money in there!  Unbelievably I had forgotten that it was payday!

My mind went back to the abundance angel.  “I think she’s trying to remind me of something.” I thought as I forwarded the email on to a few friends.  I struggled a few more minutes with the “blah blah blah” report before I stopped again to check my online paystub.  That’s when the abundance angel struck again.  I not only forgot it was payday; I also forgot that in this last pay period I had maxed out my 401k contributions and for the rest of the year my net pay will be higher! How handy is that to have in December? 

Thank you abundance angel! 

red cliffThis is probably not a good thing to admit but Jerry and I frequently stop at The  Liquor King, our local liquor store, on the way home from work.  The owner, a lovely man who we affectionally call "King" because we don’t know his real name and probably wouldn’t know how to pronounce it anyway, often has some great things on discount.  The other night we got a bottle of Red Cliff for $4.99. 

Red Cliff is a cola based liqueur that tastes like spicy fire.  And it ought to since it’s 65 proof.  It came with a little tag of recipes like the Red Cliff martini (one part Red Cliff, two parts citrus vodka) and the Red Cliff All American (one part Red Cliff, one part bourbon — wheeee!) 

Jerry has discovered it is rather tasty mixed with cheap ass orange juice from Grocery Outlet.  I mixed it once with a cup of chamomile tea and it knocked me out for the night.  I also remember having some pretty wild dreams that night and would like to issue this warning: Too much Red Cliff will make you feel like jumping off a cliff the next morning.