Palabras– Spiritual Oracle: Caridad

After spending a couple of weeks with my daughter, Mara Cordova, the illustrator of this oracle, I am psyched! We spent our time was sharing our creativity, critiquing in the most loving ways and being in truth about what our individual expectations are in terms of these cards and our lives in general. The moon was waxing and, along with my spouse, we enjoyed the triangle of the moon made with Jupiter and Venus. What a wonderful convergence of energies. Today, in the stillness of the waning moon, I centered and with Graciella la Gitana, my spirit guide, I pulled the Caridad card. I am excited to the point of sharing the original thumbnail sketch of this card.

©Theresa Varela

Image: There is the image of a pair of hands that are opened. They hold a beautiful flower. On the wrists are bracelets. One is a simple bangle; the other two are more ornate. There is an object at the side. It is difficult to decipher what it is.

Words: Charity, the sweetness of giving without expectation of reward because the gain is in the giving. Providing service for others is the stepping stone for liberation of the self.

Read: Sharing that which is important to one gives the opportunity for the other to reflect, respond responsibly and to in turn share what is vital to them. The ability to do so soberly without expectations is no easy feat. It can be done when one-although in anxiety- can be secure in the knowledge, that the only way to grow is to share that which is essential to them. The saying ‘you can’t keep it unless you give it away’ is only one of the lovely layers of sharing, caring, providing compassion and sincerity. Share a little love today- you may get some back.


Illness as a Second Language

Illness has a language all its own. Health care has a culture all its own. In the past, I spoke the language fluently and felt right at home in the hospital’s fishbowl atmosphere. I’ve shared a great deal about my transitions to writing and realize just how much I’ve changed. I’m not that gal in whites with rubber soled shoes, sporting a white cap anymore- for a really long time. This is where I insert a *big sigh*.

A dear friend of ours became ill about a week ago. Well, that’s not really true. We found out she was ill last week but she’d been feeling her symptoms for about a month. Finally, hauling her feverish body to the clinic, she saw her doc; he took one look at her and sent her by jet (really by bus) to the hospital. It was a few days later, in a bored febrile state, she called us. I ran across First Avenue and spent some time with her. We laughed, between awful coughing fits, about “hospitals” and “powerlessness over others,” conveniently forgetting about powerlessness over ourselves. We did lick our lips over the cannelloni and carrot cake muffins I brought- that she looked forward to munching on for a late night dessert.

A couple of days later, we returned to find her in the intensive care unit, intubated, intentionally paralyzed with medication so she wouldn’t fight the ventilator and really, just plain old, awfully sick. We met her son. He had spoken to the doctor and hadn’t really understood the medical jargon he was offered. I tried speaking with the nurse, who blushed, shook her head, and said she couldn’t explain anything to me. I was not a relative. She refused to talk to me. Forget the fact that her son was standing two inches away from me. He knows I’m a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Understood I hadn’t done bedside nursing for many years but that I had at one point. We both understood laws of confidentiality. My fellow nurse quickly drained some tubes attached to my friend, washed her hands and scooted far from our little group- whose coats filled the one chair at the bedside.

We were allowed to close the curtain and do a bit of energetic healing work for her. We were grateful for that. When the doctor came, he explained some things in Medicalese. I interpreted as well as I could. The sense of alarm, bewilderment and suspicion had already taken root.  Simple answers to regular people would have done a world of good. Too bad that hadn’t happened.  We rang our hands a bit. We whispered loving words in our friend’s ear, they say the hearing is usually turned on when the person is in a comatose state. We hugged and went our ways.

I went back the next day. This time I was without my friend’s son. She looked worse. I put on my required mask, went in and prayed really, really loudly and did some more energy healing. There was a load of medical and nursing staff there but I knew it would be useless to try to obtain any information.  One nurse asked me who I was; I told her I was a close friend. She zoomed by me to get onto her next task. I wished I could tell her that I am really “that patient’s” adopted spiritual daughter, that I have a PhD in Nursing, that we love our friend and that I promise to call her son and daughters and share everything they want because they don’t understand Medicalese…that… that…  Instead, I picked up my bag and coat, went to the bathroom and ran cool water over my face, hands and the back of my neck. I said another prayer and went home. There is no ending to this story. Yet.


Finding Your Own Seat

Lila Downs floated onstage, resplendent in her dark burgundy floral dress. White lace cascaded from the hem and trailed across the floor. Carnegie Hall was the perfect wrapping for the gift of her magnificent voice. I craned my neck in my box seat, enjoying bits and pieces of the visuals- the colorful images on the background screen and spectacular presentation of the very talented Ms. Downs. Her singing was inspiring in its sensual spirituality. But sitting behind two men, I was unable to fully immerse myself in the performance.

When we entered the tiny box, I couldn’t find my seat, number 7.  When my spouse sat in her reserved seat, number 9, I suspected that the one next to it was actually mine. We realized that another fan was in it. He’d draped his coat over the number and pointed me to another empty seat at the front of the box – encouraging me to sit there. I declined. I preferred to sit next to my spouse in seat number 7. At my insistence, the man who coveted my spot went to his- directly in front of me. I realized that the one he suggested I sit in didn’t belong to him either. It belonged to another man who came in behind us. This one turned out to be a high hand clapping, video enthusiast who kept the bright light of his camera on in an otherwise darkened auditorium- but that would be another blog post.

I can’t help being who I am and was annoyed with him for the greater part of at least half an hour of the show. This isn’t the first time someone has insisted that the seat I’ve paid for is theirs. About a year ago, we boarded the plane to Puerto Rico. A man sitting in my seat pretended it was his despite the fact I showed him my ticket. Mr. Oblivious eventually moved when I stood my ground in the aisle and stopped all passengers from venturing deeper into the plane that day. Of course, most people were pointing at me with my barking dog restricted to her crate. They never suspected that the mild mannered man was the hold up. Just as with the gentleman at Carnegie Hall, we sat close together for the remainder of an uncomfortable flight. His seat was an inch from mine.

I’ve also lost what I thought was a respected friendship when someone liberally co-opted my idea and negated my existence despite our working closely together for months. This sort of thing happens to me occasionally. In a larger way, I wonder about people who kind of create their own lives but in actuality don’t. They see something they like or want and decide that it’s much easier to take it from someone then to do their own thing.  They take a bit of this from here and a bit of that from there. Of course, we may find that we like to sing when we hear the song of another and try it out ourselves. We may write a mystery because we’ve read a whodunit that kept our eyes peeled open late into the night. But we don’t take the thing that belongs to a person- a seat, a story, a song, an identity.

Finding our own seats is a main purpose when we come onto this planet, this lifetime. What about that other person inspires you? The phrase “I want what you’ve got” is flattering. It doesn’t mean that I want to be you. It means that I’m enthused by what you do and I’d like to find my own brand of doing something as creatively, as spiritually and as awesomely connected to the universe.

I’ve been challenged to find my own seat and to be the person that I think rocks!

Let us know what or who has motivated you to take a seat or change your seat in life! Press comment and share, we all need some inspiration!