Tag Archives: “loving all that happens”

The Forest Cats

"When the solution is simple, God is answering." -Albert Einstein

“When the solution is simple, God is answering.”
-Albert Einstein

As Lulu stared into the stars, she knew her life would never be the same.

The day started out with the other forest cats in Lulu’s tribe arguing amongst themselves.
Who was the best looking? Who had the best lair? Who had the best stash of dead mice and birds for the coming winter?

In truth, they were all fearful of sickness or a storm that could destroy it all. Lulu quickly tired of the bickering and boasting. She wondered why she could not muster the interest to join in. They always had more than enough to feast on every winter. Everyone was unique-looking, as was their skill set at hunting and lair building. It was quite pointless. Why was the tribe always trying to be separate from each other? They were never satisfied. Their strength was in working together, using all their different talents.

“Is there more to existence than this?” Lulu asked.
Nobody heard her. She felt she was having something akin to a dark night of the soul.

Lulu became restless and started to wander off for some solitude. A pale blue flash caught her eye. It looked like a rabbit. It ran like a rabbit. It stopped and watched her with the most unusual and penetrating sapphire blue eyes. Unlike any rabbit she’d ever seen. She took off after it. The rabbit hop-skipped a narrow rutted path ahead of her. Every so often he would stop and turn back to look at her, teasing, to make sure she was following. She was, and felt a little silly with her head low, crouching, moving slowly and deliberately. He was in charge, not her. He wanted her to follow him. Lulu had every intention of doing just that.

As he ran into the nearby open field he took off at an unworldly pace. Effortlessly, he floated through the field. She tried her best to keep up, with the tall, dry field grass whipping her face. She never took her eyes off him. Then he suddenly stopped. He turned back to look at her with those magnetic eyes. She stopped in her tracks as she watched him become a tiny tornado of swirling blue light. Moments later, he dissolved from the bottom up.

She rushed to the spot only to find a typical rabbit hole. She wasn’t sure what just happened, but she was sure it happened.

She moved closer to the hole and cautiously peeked down into it. She felt a vastness drift through her—as though she were pure energy, her body gone. She stared in amazement as the entire universe stared back, drawing her further into its eternity.

“Everything is upside down.”

Words tumbled into her consciousness, as if they were not her own—but yet they were. Lulu listened, purring with excitement and anticipation. It was as if some other consciousness was downloading information into her mind, yet it was familiar.

“The others are living from the outside in. Perceiving they never have enough. Looking for happiness in more of the same, which keeps them in a state of lack. Their egos are never satisfied. There is never, ever, going to be enough to fill the emptiness inside. The only thing that fills the emptiness is my love. Through my love, you learn to love yourself—your uniqueness and the uniqueness of everyone around you. Look inside—not outside—for a love like no other. No matter how many mice and birds you have, no matter what you look like, or where you live…I will always love you.”

Silence.

As Lulu stepped back from the hole, she was purring at a deafening volume. She was suddenly aware of her surroundings, the soft dirt under her paws. She inhaled the gentle breeze, gazing up at the beautiful white clouds drifting overhead. She felt awash with a sense of comfort, a joy on a level she had never experienced. She could not wait to get back to the tribe to tell them of her adventure and bring them all to see and experience the hole!

“Come quick, everyone!” Lulu shouted as she got within earshot, closing in on the still bickering tribe. “I have to show you, everything is going to be okay, I can’t even explain it, but it will change everything!”

All being curious, they jumped up and followed her out to the field. She stood over the hole and said, “Go ahead; you have to look inside.” She waited for someone to step forward. Nobody seemed to want to look inside.

One by one the forest cats started laughing. Pretty soon they were all joined in laughing and rolling on the ground. “Look inside!” someone would shout and they’d all laugh again hysterically. Lulu didn’t understand they couldn’t see the hole.

They all wandered back to camp, enjoying the joke. Lulu tagged behind while they chanted “Look inside, look inside,” laughing anew, and never tiring of the ridicule. Finally one forest cat turned to her and said, “You’ve gone mad. I sincerely hope you do not become a burden and drain our resources.”

Lulu felt an unwavering security within herself that whatever happened, she would be fine. She didn’t understand the reaction of the tribe at all; she thought they’d be excited.

Bebe was a quiet forest cat, older—and mostly she kept to herself. Even during the recent commotion she steered clear. Lulu watched as Bebe sauntered up to her.
“I was wondering when someone else would discover the hole,” she said purring loudly and smiling at Lulu. “The others can’t see it Lulu. I’m sorry.”
“Why?” Lulu asked. The thought never occurred to her.

“Because they purr at such a low vibration, always living from the outside in. They don’t want change—even though they are never satisfied, they believe it’s as good as it gets. What you are seeing in the hole is the universe inside yourself. When I look in the hole, I see the universe inside myself. The point being, we are seeing the same universe because we are both a part of it. As are the others. We are all One. All connected by a knowingness inside. The others strive because they resist the knowingness, but it will be there if they ask. You must have asked if there was more to life. It always answers. Eventually. If you remain open for the answer.”

Lulu thought about how this changed everything for her. She couldn’t condemn the other forest cats for something they couldn’t see. She felt compassion for the others but knew she could never go back to life before following the strange rabbit to the hole.

Winter came in like a bull. The storm destroyed everything in its path. All the lairs and food supplies were gone. The forest cats were getting sick and weak, losing patches of fur and feeling very scared. Lulu marveled at the strength of the storm and what it had done. She couldn’t help thinking some good would come from it all. Even though the suffering of the tribe was terrible and she was feeling very weak herself.

She and Bebe decided to go to the hole to meditate, without telling the others. Relieved it was still there, unchanged by the storm, they both peeked inside at the glorious universe. Then they sat back, closed their eyes and synchronized their purring. They desperately needed guidance.
Bebe whispered, “What now?”

It wasn’t long before the words flowed to them: “The storm was isolated. About 200 yards north from your camp it is untouched by the storm. It is near a stream loaded with fish for food and surrounded by a bank of trees that will provide shelter. Move the tribe there now.”

Bebe and Lulu rushed back to the camp and told everyone to follow them. The forest cats were too tired to argue or make fun of following crazy Lulu anywhere. The new camp was just as expected—only better. Fish jumped from the stream as the forest cats caught them in their paws. It was better than anything they had ever imagined. The shelter provided by the trees was natural, providing strength by having grown through many storms. The cats surrounded Bebe and Lulu, dancing in a circle and celebrating their genius.

“How did you know this was here Lulu?” asked one scraggly forest cat.
“A blue rabbit told me it would be purrrrrrfect for us.” She winked at Bebe. Confused, he walked away saying, “Lulu, you’re as crazy as you ever were.”

“As the saying goes,” said Bebe, “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” She and Lulu lay down, stretching out in the sun.

“To understand the true nature of the Universe,

one must think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”

-Nikola Tesla

The Gifts Of A Terrible Day

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet shed on the heel that has crushed it. -Mark Twain

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet shed on the heel that has crushed it.
-Mark Twain

Special note to my followers:  The very talented Cathleen Townsend, author of the recently released, ‘Dragon Hoard and Other Tales of Faerie’ has done an interview with yours truly to be released on the 17th of Dec. – Please click the link below to read: http://cathleentownsend.com/2015/12/17/interview-with-christina-barnes

Now, onto the gifts of a terrible day….

Gigi stared out over the ocean at the giant, full moon rising. The pageantry of clouds lit up, dancing slowly to the music of the evening breeze. She was ready to scream.

The same storm front had kept her in bed late that morning. It seemed cozier with the clouds, so she stayed a while longer to enjoy it. She finally arose, joyfully as usual, eager to see what the day would have in store for her. She prepared herself a ginger and celery smoothie before checking in with Gotu.

Gigi called the troop leader—her boss—Gotu. Gotu was surly, complaining about the weather and in a foul mood. He complained about everything and everyone, and he promptly assigned her a mountain of tasks that were his responsibility. So dreary and detailed they were, she doubted she would ever get through them. Gotu announced he would be playing golf and lunching with clients. Maybe if there was time they’d do a happy hour somewhere, while she covered for him, as usual.
“What a team they were!” Gotu pronounced, unconvincingly.
She felt her ears turn red as she filled with resentment.

Six hours into the first task on her list, her computer screen froze. Gigi couldn’t get it to do anything. She felt the tingle of panic rising from her feet as she realized she had not remembered to back up her work. How could she have been so careless? She frantically punched at the keyboard. But there was no magic key that would unlock the screen. The screen crashed into blackness. Six hours of work gone—poof! Gotu was going to be furious. She poured despair on top of her resentment like chocolate sauce.

She decided to leave the computer off and go to lunch. A break would do her good. She spied a cute little place she had not noticed before and thought she’d be adventurous and try it. She found a nice table with a view of the ocean. She plunked down in her seat, helped by the weight of the world on her shoulders. She observed the surrounding guests enjoying the tasty-looking dishes in front of them as she waited for her server. And she waited. She noticed a server on the other side of the patio. He was deeply involved in an animated conversation with a table of eight celebrating patrons. Surely someone would notice her sitting there with no menu, utensils or water.

More time ticked by when a whir of activity and loud voices behind her got her attention. Two of the staff were quarrelling as a glass crashed to the ground and shattered. One of them caught her staring at them, his eyes wide.
“Have you been helped sweetie?” he said, with a big, insincere smile.
Gigi raised her hands, palms up, presenting her empty table as she returned an equally fake smile. He hurriedly brought her a menu. No greeting, no water, no silver. He was gone in a flash to continue the heated discussion, now in a hushed voice. His opponent turned and walked away from him, surrendering his hands to the sky and shaking his head. Her server threw his towel down and came to take her order.
“Mediterranean salad,” Gigi blurted out before he could leave again.

The beautiful salad arrived—no silver, no dressing and nothing to drink. She looked around for him, but he was nowhere to be found. More angry and frustrated than hungry now, she pushed the salad to the center of the table, and got up and left.

With a frozen computer and no energy or inclination to start over, Gigi dubbed the work day “over.” She dragged herself up to her favorite spot on the cliff.
“I have accomplished nothing today; the day has been a total waste,” she told the ocean. She went to this same spot on the cliff often. She enjoyed sitting and meditating about her day, although today she was not sure it would do any good. It had been a terrible day. Gigi sat quietly as she thought about the day, how she had started it filled with joy.

Her stomach growled. She thought about the waiter. Her anger rose as she replayed the scene in her mind. She thought about times when she had been consumed by a conflict with someone. She admitted she was not very good at focusing on much else during those times. She thought about it and decided he’d done the best he could—he was very, very upset. After all, it had nothing to do with her—she was just caught in the crossfire.

Her mind wandered to Gotu as she took a deep breath. Gigi exploded, “How dare he dump all his work on me?”
She felt her teeth clenching and her lips lock around them. Her heart raced as she thought about her six hours of vaporized work. Nobody to blame but herself for that.
“But he threw all of his responsibilities on me while he went off to play!” she yelled at the moon. He was always doing that. He felt entitled as the troop leader to do as he pleased. She simmered in thought. She had done his work for him for so long. He probably didn’t even know how to do it himself. After all, he never had. He just looked like a troop leader. He bragged and threw his weight around; he knew how to schmooze. She thought about how much she had learned by doing his work for him. The tasks were things she never would have learned had he not had his attitude of superiority. What a gift, she decided. With all her knowledge, she would start her own troop!

As she felt the gentle breeze blow through her, her emotions became small clouds drifting through her sky of joy. They were not all of her, as she had felt earlier in the day. Yet they were all a necessary part of her. She realized each emotion, no matter how unpleasant, taught her something about herself. She needed to love and accept each one as she asked herself two questions: Why was the feeling present? And what did she need to understand to make it go away? She felt gratitude for her anger, despair, resentment and frustrations. They were replaced with compassion and an empowering enthusiasm for her new path. Tomorrow was now full of inspiring possibilities!

Her stomach growled a long rumble as she took a deep breath. She released a soft sigh and a little chuckle at the wonder of it all. Yes, this day was a gift after all.

These pains you feel are messengers, listen to them.

-Rumi

SKYVAC 1.1

"Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim." -Nora Ephron

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”
-Nora Ephron

Lola sat on one of the intake ramps of the SKYVAC 1.1. She sipped her wine as she stared at the culprit, the murderous intake facilitator. She was a failure. All she could feel was the intake sucking her dreams out of her. She felt all her fear and anxiety rush in to fill the void. Ten years of her life a waste—a failure. The test cities, New Delhi and Beijing, wanted nothing to do with her now.

She had invented the SKYVAC 1.1. It was a sophisticated vacuum cleaner for the sky. It was intended to float above the world’s cities with the dirtiest air, quietly sucking in polluted air and expelling clean and filtered air out the other end. Thinking she had considered everything, she had forgotten the birds. Curious birds were sucked in too. Not good. Now she had P.E.T.A. on her back. The self-flagellation continued to chatter in her head as she stared at the intake. How could she have been so stupid?
Lola thought aloud, “Who decided it was a failure?”
“Everyone,” she answered.

Something nagged at her though. It was that “don’t toss the baby out with the bathwater” thing. The rest of SKYVAC 1.1 worked perfectly. She looked heavenward.
“Some help for the bird murderer, please?”

It was all Lola could think of, as a tear rolled down her cheek. Everything sucked everything.
She took another sip of wine and watched a small bird land on the rim of the intake. A moment later, a larger bird landed on the other side of the rim, scaring the little bird off. Lola froze. Her mind raced. She was able to picture exactly how to make the SKYVAC 1.1 into a giant bird! It would have giant flapping wings that would scare the birds. They’d never want to come near it in the first place! She had to do this! She prayed they would give her another chance once they saw it.

A few months later, the ArgentaVac 1.2 was born. Named after the largest known pre-historic bird ever to exist, the Argentavis. It had a wing span of 25 feet and weighed about 200 pounds. She invited the reluctant and doubtful clients to the hanger and was grateful for another chance.

Their jaws dropped in unison as she rolled the concealing screen to the side, revealing the enormous bird. They were speechless; she couldn’t tell if they loved it or hated it.
“Say something,” Lola said under her breath.
Beijing smiled and nodded in the affirmative, saying, “This is brilliant, it will work!”
Pretty soon New Delhi was smiling too. “This will be something tourists will come to see—and it will not only clean the air, but it will help our economy too!”

Lola let out the breath she’d been holding. She breathed deeply and smiled along with them.
Word spread quickly, as orders from dirty cities all over the world poured in. Everyone wanted the spectacle of the giant bird flying over their city, cleaning the air and delighting children. It wasn’t long before it was ironically nicknamed the Bird Fart. F-resh, A-ir, R-elease, T-ransformer.

One evening, as she lay in bed, she thought about her supposed “failure.” She was sorry for the birds that were lost. She saw the whole story in a way that boggled her mind. Birds had ended her life as she’d dreamed it would be. Then, birds also led her to an inspired new and better life, for everyone. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes. It was not a failure after all, but merely a direction correction. She never would have come up with the ArgentaVac 1.2 had the SKYVAC 1.1 not been such a ghastly experience. What if she had quit then and there?

As she lay there thinking, it occurred to her that the most significant lesson in all of this had been when she had surrendered and asked for help. Then she watched the answer come to her, as if on the wings of birds.

“Remember your dreams and fight for them.  You must know what you want from life.  There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure.”

-Paulo Coelho

The Forever Coma Bomb

“We can no longer believe the media’s message of fear. Fear is an unconscious response that creates more negativity. Challenges and difficulties are a natural part of life, but when we meet challenges with negativity, we create more suffering for ourselves.”
-Eckart Tolle

Taffy was addicted. A 24/7 news cycle kept her informed of all the horrors of daily life. She thought being informed and ready—just in case disaster struck close to home—was the way to go. She always got a kick out of the college students who couldn’t identify a photo of the Vice President. She didn’t want to be ignorant like them. She knew every candidate who would, could, or might run for President. She knew every political gaffe and every conspiracy theory. She thought it gave her the ability to hold intelligent conversations with her friends. Even though they found the news depressing. Sometimes they disagreed and got into a fight.

Then there was the barrage of pharmaceutical commercials. While disturbing and often unclear as to what the ailment was, she was so grateful to be informed. She had a whole list of things wrong with her. She didn’t even realize it until she saw the commercial for the cure. She had to ask her doctor, to see if the drugs “were right for her,” as the commercials advised. Taffy was actually afraid to find out.

She had mountains of survival food that wouldn’t spoil for 30 years. She had triple padlocked doors and bars on her windows. She lived in a state of fear for all that had not happened, but might…

One morning she sat down with her morning coffee and punched the remote for the news. Nothing happened. The screen was blank, except for a faint, bluish light. It illuminated the ghostly logo of the news channel burned into the screen. Nada. Zip. She was sure it was a terrorist attack. She sat—feeling she had prepared for this moment—yet she had no idea what to do.

As she sipped her coffee in silence, she listened for explosions or the sound of choppers flying overhead. She knew some indication of mayhem would soon reveal itself. Crickets. The silence was eerie in what it didn’t say. She could hear the power was still on; that was good. She wouldn’t have to figure out how to use the generator she’d bought for just such an occasion. She wanted to know what was going on, but she was afraid to leave home. Marauding bands of intruders might try to steal her provisions.

The not knowing and silence became unbearable. Did the world end? Did some terrorist organization commandeer a fleet of drones? Maybe they dropped a hi-tech “Forever Coma Bomb” on every major city in the world? Was the world gone? Taffy started to cry at the horror of it all. Thoughts rushed through her mind, each more terrifying than the previous one. The world has ended.

The sound of the children’s laughter derailed her train of thought. Taffy listened in indignant amazement. A dog barked playfully. The rumble and squeak of child-sized vehicles filled the silence as they drove up and down her driveway. All the sounds competing. Barking, laughter, rumble and squeak. Totally inappropriate sounds. Taffy was in shock. How can they play when the world has ended? Suddenly, nothing made sense.

The television sparked to life, and Taffy’s attention was drawn to the image of a beautiful blonde woman. Somehow she managed to smile while talking in a hushed voice of phony concern. A flood had swept away 28 very expensive homes in another state. The good news was that there were no fatalities. Then she introduced an expert to discuss what it would be like to suffer death by flood. Such a myriad of ways it could happen, all dreadful.

Taffy wasn’t interested. She wanted to understand what had just happened to her. Nothing, she concluded had just happened. She could not stop a flood or a Forever Coma Bomb dropped by a drone. A website for donating to the flood victims popped up on the screen. She wrote it down to send a donation and turned off the TV.

Taffy sat in her epiphany. She saw with crystal clarity how she had been sucked into the misery of events she had no control over. The fear of what might happen, but usually doesn’t. Every day, 24/7. As each fear gets old, it’s replaced by a new one. It had made her feel a part of something bigger than herself, and at the same time…isolated. The Pleasure Police were always on duty. And all to sell anti-depressants. It had robbed her of her love for life. Her life—and she wanted it back. One day they might get it right…but in all the years she’d watched, they hadn’t yet.

Sounds of pure glee penetrated her walls. She wanted to feel the children’s innocence and imagination—their love for life. That love of life was all that mattered. Love. She didn’t have to prepare for love. It required no special shoes. It was always there—she just needed to be open to it. She pondered how she had gotten to this point. She had been blinded by fear. A fear that was never finished scaring her. It was all an illusion that had no benefit other than to make money for the news channels. Ads for products to help with the cure of ailments. Ailments mostly brought on by being consumed with fear.

So there she sat. Everything was exactly as it had been when she got up that morning. Nothing had changed, except that her coffee was now cold. Yet her entire world had changed. She heard the birds outside for the first time. She felt compassion for what she had gotten herself into. So subliminally being lulled into thinking she was doing the right thing. How many others like her were there? As the feeling spread through her, she felt a rightness—a truth in her realization. She thought, What if everyone could feel this way, all the time? What if we could love life—and ourselves—as is, instead of lopsided with fear? We’d have compassion and love for one another, finding joy in our differences. Together we’d make the game of life a fearless playground! There would be no need for 24/7 news. There would be so little anyone wanted to buy.

Ha! Fat chance. A wholly, unrealistic thought. So instead she decided she would just practice it in her world. She’d continue to have compassion for all the nasty things that happen. That is the duality of life. But she’d also see the gifts, beauty and magnificence that can come of all that happens. She would love life like never before. Maybe just watch the news once every two weeks, for an hour? She dumped out the rest of her coffee and headed for the beach.

Awesome

“Dying seems less sad than having lived too little.”
-Gloria Steinem

Lila tossed and turned in the poppies. Finally, after an hour of staring at the moon, she rolled over, opened her book and tried to read. But Lila couldn’t focus. Not so deep down anymore, feelings of dread struggled to the surface. She knew what she had to do, and she begged for the timing to feel right.

How had her life gotten away from her? How did she have a job she hated and a lazy, unsupportive mate? Working for Awesome Life, Corp. was depressing. They bought life insurance policies from those who were dying so they could cash them in, sooner rather than later. She was Head Field Investigator. Her job was to check in from time to time to see how the clients were doing. She felt predatory and cold.

Company policy was strictly enforced. When anyone was asked, “How are you doing?” “How do you feel about the company?” or, “How was your weekend?” they were to reply, “Awesome!” Or they would be fired immediately. She hated it. Compensation was excellent, and she felt guilty for feeling ungrateful. Her mate was unsupportive of her quitting, as he had no intention of working, ever.

One day she was checking in to see if her young client might die soon. She was shocked to find him swimming laps in the pool. Her files indicated he should have been on life support or receiving hospice care by that time. She had not seen him in six months.
“Hi, how are you? So sorry to just pop in like this—I hope I’m not interrupting…” Lila watched him emerge from the pool with all the energy and musculature of an Olympic athlete. Giving her a huge grin, he replied, “I’m awesome!” He laughed.
Lila laughed along as if she’d never heard it before. “You look good—so healthy,” she said with mixed emotions.

“Thank you,” he said, still beaming at her. “I’ve made a full recovery since our last meeting. There is no sign of disease anywhere in my body—it’s all gone. Isn’t that amazing?”
Suddenly Lila felt a change come over her; she felt his happiness, and she actually was happy for him. “Yes, that is amazing. What changed?” Lila asked, genuinely interested.

“Well, I found myself at a crossroads without much time to choose. I fast-forwarded my thoughts to me on my deathbed, one day in the not so distant future. I wondered what I’d regret once it was all over. The answer came so fast and so simply. I was going to regret never using my gifts to make a difference for others. I worked at a job that paid well, but I hated it. My relationship was over a long time ago, and that was how I would die. In a sea of regret over the two things I spent the majority of my life doing. I would regret not living my life. Doing what gives me joy instead of doing what others think I should do. So I quit. I ended my terrible relationship where I felt used and abused, and I started my own business. I now do what I love and make others smile.”

He wrapped a towel around himself, and she followed him into the house. Her nostrils filled with the most soothing scent. She watched as he pulled a tray off of a rack and proudly handed Lila a gorgeous, chocolate butterfly, its wings resplendent and artfully decorated with tiny, ornate and delicate designs.

“This is a work of art,” Lila said, sheepishly taking a bite out of one of the wings. It melted in her mouth as chocolate and orange did a succulent dance on her tongue. Lila closed her eyes and smiled.

He continued. “I’m making more money now than I ever dreamed of, but that’s not the point. I’m doing what I love, so it doesn’t feel like work at all. But what I didn’t expect was how good I would feel about myself for taking action before it was too late. As I felt better and better, I felt a shift: I love being me—all of me, unconditionally. All my life, every person, every event, was perfect in what I learned. It all prepared me for what I needed to know, to be here now, doing this. The doctors are baffled. Three weeks after starting my business, my symptoms vanished. Sure there are some struggles, but they are small compared to watching others feel good by me sharing what makes me feel good. I feel I have a purpose for being alive—it all makes sense.”

Lila felt like a mirror was being held up for her to see her own life in his, only she didn’t like what it was reflecting. It was everything that kept her up at night. Everything she knew she had to do but needed the faith and courage to do it. Right there, she decided she would do what he did—and before it was too late. She too felt a shift of exhilaration fill her as she saw her current struggle with new eyes. She felt powerful as she thought about going back to the office and seeing how “awesome” they thought his story was.
And then she would quit.

They talked for a long time before she left with two more chocolate butterflies in her briefcase. Lila was excited about the idea of living a life created especially for her, by her.

She arrived at the office late, having spent a beautiful afternoon with someone living rather than dying. Sitting down across from her boss and his “Yes, sir” assistant, she told them the client’s story. She watched their faces drop at his good fortune. Then she told them that she would be leaving to open her own sleep disorder clinic.
“Isn’t that awesome?” she added, smiling as she walked out the door.

As she arrived home to find her mate sleeping in the sun, she calmly informed him she’d quit. She listened to him go into a rage that carried on well into the night. Oddly, she felt so utterly calm inside—like she would be fine because she was finally doing the right thing for herself. After he calmed down, she told him it was over. She realized it was a lesson that needed no further teaching. She got it.

As she wandered out to her poppy field she could still hear him. She slept fitfully for 10 hours. Life really was awesome.

“I’ve learned that making a living is not the same as making a life.”

-Maya Angelou