May 31, 2010

Morgan Freeman Quote....

"I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up DOES rejoice. Still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend."

Missing a friend today.

May 29, 2010

Thoughts became words and words might become action....

A couple of weeks ago I had a conversation with a teacher at my son’s school. We talked about summer plans. She told me she thought the United States was beautiful and wrought with history. She mentioned how incredible Mount Rushmore. Mount Rushmore, huh? I began looking at photos online. I began calculating distance. And a thought came into my head. Soon I said out loud that I wanted to take a road trip to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore. Yes, see Mount Rushmore. Yes, in a car…..from Texas.

The idea was tossed around. Discussions were had. Eventually the idea of South Dakota was eliminated. Not because Mount Rushmore isn’t an incredible beauty to behold but because if driving through the country was really part of the plan, South Dakota might be a bit far to go in a week. I was open to new ideas. I am a proud member of a time share. I can use a condo in one of a number of locations throughout the US anytime I so desire.

Vail, Colorado. A condo in the mountains, streams, a beautiful downtown….and without a doubt….a spa! Okay. I can get on board with that. Besides, Vail has splendor, too, right?

I can already visualize it. Me at the pool after having a mani, pedi and facial....watching the pool, reading a book....ahhhh.

I do not remember exactly how it occurred but somewhere between my imagining a stone massage and a pedicure in Vail and my standing inside of Bass Pro Shop with my little sonshine and his father picking out supplies….the tides had turned.

You needn’t re-read that. Yes, I said Bass Pro Shop. No, it wasn’t my first time there. When it first opened and was all the rage I went to find out what all the hoop la was about. I determined back then it wasn’t my cup of hoop la. But there I stood in the store full of outdoorsmen (and women, of course). And I think people were starring at me. We were looking at…..I am not sure I can say it…we were looking at camping gear. And the sonshine and his father were giddy. Camping gear.

If you follow my blog, are my facebook friend, or (shudder) know me in real life….you know the many reasons I might be a fish out of water (yes, I meant fish out of water to be an obvious attempt at humor) when it comes to camping. I have never been camping.

Now, the Heller family does consist of a yearly ritual that began before I was born that I call camping. But, it isn’t really camping. Each July (or August…depending on which is hotter….someone picks the hotter on purpose, I think) we go to the Colorado River and do what I like to think of as camping. Admittedly, it isn’t. It is in a cabin. It has real beds. There is a full sized kitchen. There is indoor plumbing. And even a pool. But, come on….I never wear makeup or fix my hair while I am there. So, for my purpose, that constitutes camping.

Nope. Standing in Bass Pro Shop these boys were talking really camping. Tents, sleeping bags that would go on the floor of these tents….at night…with bears or whatever roams the mountains of Colorado. I asked, although, I regret it. Where does one go in the middle of the night when there is a desire to tinkle? And how does one see to get there? And where does one shower? And where does one get a pedicure in such a place? And what about my hair?

I wouldn’t consider myself high maintenance. As a matter of fact, I try real hard to stay someplace in the category of medium maintenance. But, camping? Really? Me camping? I dunno. I haven’t completely bought into the idea. As a matter of fact, I am still formulating the manipulation plan in my head right now. I am truly thinking this may be an incredible opportunity for father and son to boy bond. Who wants a woman along on a trip like this anyway? And what is happening to my dignity?

And where will I charge my droid? And laptop?

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.Watch your words, for they become actions.Watch your actions, for they become habits.Watch your habits, for they become character.Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

May 28, 2010

THE STATION by Robert J. Hastings

TUCKED AWAY in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision in which we see ourselves on a long journey that spans an entire continent. We're traveling by train and, from the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at crossings, of cattle grazing in distant pastures, of smoke pouring from power plants, of row upon row upon row of cotton and corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of city skylines and village halls.

But uppermost in our conscious minds is our final destination--for at a certain hour and on agiven day, our train will finally pull into the Station with bells ringing, flags waving, and bands playing. And once that day comes, so many wonderful dreams will come true. So restlessly, we pace the aisles and count the miles, peering ahead, waiting, waiting, waiting for the Station.

"Yes, when we reach the Station, that will be it!" we promise ourselves. "When we're eighteen. . . win that promotion. . . put the last kid through college. . . buy that 450SL Mercedes-Benz. . . have a nest egg for retirement!" From that day on we will all live happily ever after. Sooner or later, however, we must realize there is no Station in this life, no one earthly place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy. The Station is an illusion--it constantly out distances us.

Yesterday's a memory, tomorrow's a dream. Yesterday belongs to a history, tomorrow belongs to God. Yesterday's a fading sunset, tomorrow's a faint sunrise. Onlyt oday is there light enough to love and live. So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw the key away. It isn't the burdens of today that drive men mad, but rather regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today. "Relish the moment" is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24, "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot oftener. Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we go along.

The Station will come soon enough.

May 18, 2010

desiderata - by max ehrmann

(an oldie but a goodie....enjoy! PHG)

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.

Especially, do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann c.1920

May 17, 2010

Our Deepest Fear

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we subconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

(Marianne Williamson, author, from A Return To Love, 1992)

Process Island

Today isn’t the first time for me to realize the thoughts in my head are somewhat unique. This is the reason I often refer to those in counseling, recovery and insight based living as “my people”. They get me. I get them. We are on an island unto ourselves. We have our own thoughts, behaviors and language. We often endure the same warped sense of humor and issues.

The truth (my truth) is that everyone, even those who are not indigenous to this island, have difficulties, deficiencies, strengths and weaknesses; however, distinctive to those who inhabit the island might be the knowledge of and fun we have with said issues. Thus, the idea I hold of the inhabitants living consciously. It seems to set us apart from the normies on the mainland.

There is nothing more exciting to me than when I meet other islanders on the mainland. Perhaps, I am speaking the native island language and see another nod their head in understanding. My people! Frustration follows when I share pearls of wisdom from the island and the mainlander looks at me cross eyed or has the audacity to be so out of touch with inner healing they question said insight as if they don’t know who I (think I) am.

Problematic to my situation is that I live among the mainlanders. One caution I offer to those who visit the island or desire to move to the island after a visit: Normalcy is not what insight offers. While, it may seem that seeking help and involving oneself in soul searching might provide one the fast track to mainstream living, it does not. The trade off for self-investigation is the elimination of ignorance. Once you become an islander you will always be an islander. You can move back to the mainland but you can never unlearn the life and language of the island.

Some days the information seems to be a burden that sets me too far apart from those who haven’t stepped off the mainland. Would I trade the information in for my ignorance and ticket off the island? Not today. But, I could change my mind tomorrow. Choice is another luxury on the island….but that is an entirely different topic.

Back to the island, it’s the weekend!

May 12, 2010


"Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand how little chance you have in trying to change others."

Well, okay. After about three days I have given up. I have beat my head bloody trying to figure out the what, the how, and the whys of my current disgruntled state. I am frustrated again with someone I can’t change. Candidly, they are my “them”…they are my “they”. You know the one….you probably have “them”, too? The one person you lump entire extreme facts into when you shout out loud or in your head “they always”, “they never”. Yep. They is the one.

I have written about this character many times. I have written of good times and of bad. I have been frustrated in the past with “they” and I have been disappointed with “them”, too. Each time I come away a bit surprised…and surprised that I am surprised.

Life has been rapid firing change in my direction lately. Surely, it will stop. Apparently, not until the lesson is learned….so today I am openly seeking answers to questions that I need answers to….even the ones I don’t know I need. Today I am overtly sucking it up. I shall give into “them” being "them" and maybe even let go of “them” just a little more.

And I will hold fast to one of my all time favorite quotes that has proven to be true over and over again, “Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.”

Okay, but do I have to like it?

May 09, 2010

Mother's Day

Today is mother’s day, the first one without my mom. Tomorrow will be six months since she passed away. Six months can go so quickly. I think of her every day. I suppose I always will. Today instead of being grateful for the time I had with her, I was very sad about the prospect of her not being in my life anymore. I understand the concept of moving on. I understand the idea of gratitude. But, today, I was simply sad. I never imagined I would spend this day visiting her at a cemetery…nevertheless, there I sat on that cement bench. I hope that my life will honor her memory. I hope that I can be half the woman she was. I aspire to be the kind of mom she was.

I miss not having "home" to go to. I miss her greeting me when I would get there. I miss her answering her phone with her television on too loud in the background when I called. I miss her laugh. I miss her smile. I miss her love. I miss her faith in me. I miss her love for my son. I miss sharing exciting news with her. I miss her opinion. I miss her direction. I miss her answers. I miss her being the glue that kept our family central. I miss everything about her.
This weekend was the perfect time for us to get together to learn how to bake kolaches. We had talked about doing it for so long my sister finally set it in motion. And it was great. Several family members got together at my brother and sister-in-laws house and were taught by one of the greatest Czech women I know, one of mom’s favorite cousins. If I can achieve making the dough, I think I can do it on my own. The best part of the day was probably being with those who really do mean the most to me….the women that meant the most to mom. I felt like I was part of something much bigger….an entire culture…a tradition and a rich heritage. It feels good to know I come from somewhere.
"If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people." ~ Tich Nhat Hanh

Hanging on my mom’s refrigerator for more years that I can remember was a photo copy of a page from a book of prayers. I have it hanging on mine now. I think today is a wonderful day to share it:

“There is a woman I want to be, Lord….

She never doubts your existence or strays from your ways. She never fails people or herself, or you. She is an ideal wife. A perfect mother. A neighbor and friend everyone loves and respects. Yet she is all this without sacrificing her own dreams. I keep thinking this woman will turn up some day, God. Wearing my clothes. Wearing my face. But somehow she eludes me. I catch only glimpses of her. I see just enough of her now and then so that I don’t despair entirely. Lord, dear patient Lord – thank you for showing me at least these fragments of the woman I want to be!”

She was. Happy Mother’s Day Mom. I miss you.

May 06, 2010

Take Action, Texas!

It is time to take action regarding Appropriations for Substance Abuse.....We need people present at the meetings listed below AND/OR to write letters that will be there to show your interest on the date of the meetings.

The following are the talking points that should be covered when you take action..... Note: The following talking points are meant to provide general guidance regarding suggested messaging for the DSHS teleconference. We encourage members to tailor their testimony to their own work and experience where possible.

Talking points for participants in DSHS teleconference regarding exceptional item requests:

1. Introduce yourself, and briefly describe the services provided by your organization (i.e., prevention, treatment, residential).

2. The membership of ASAP strongly supported DSHS’ exceptional item from last legislative session that would have increased funding for substance abuse treatment and prevention services. We sincerely appreciate DSHS making substance abuse funding a priority during that session.

3. We understand that the state faces a difficult budget situation, and that funds will be extremely limited across the board.

4. We would respectfully urge DSHS and budget writers to keep the following in mind as it makes budget decisions and sets priorities heading into the next session. (Note: pick one or two of the following topics to include, and use personal experience during explanation.)

a. Current funding for substance abuse treatment and prevention services does not meet the demand for those services. (If possible, cite personal experiences regarding unmet need and/or lack of providers in your region.)

b. Studies have shown that expenditures for substance abuse prevention and treatment services are offset by savings in other areas.

c. The legislature began to acknowledge this fact in 2007 when instead of spending scarce resources to build additional prisons, it instead made treatment services available for certain individuals in the criminal justice system.

d. In 2009, the legislature included an adult substance abuse treatment benefit for Medicaid enrollees based upon a finding by the Legislative Budget Board that the anticipated expenditures would be more than offset by reduced medical care expenditures. This conclusion was based actual results already observed here in Texas.

e. Numerous studies have also concluded that targeted, evidence-based prevention programs provide significant return on investment for the state by improving education performance, reducing utilization of our criminal justice system, and reducing health care expenditures due to reduced drug and alcohol abuse.

5. We appreciate DSHS’ support for substance abuse programs in this state. We understand the budget situation facing policymakers, and simply request the this agency keep these points in mind during the budget process.


Region 1 City of Amarillo Health Department 1000 Martin Road Amarillo, TX 79105 806-351-7220 Department of State Health Services Conference Room 201 1109 Kemper Street Lubbock, TX 79403 806-744-3577

Region 2/3 Department of State Health Services 1301 South Bowen Road, Room 2208 Arlington, TX 76013 817-264-4500 Tarrant County Health Department Sara Josephine Baker Classroom 1101 South Main, Room 2412 Fort Worth, TX 76104 817-321-5300 Wichita Falls County Public Health Department 1700 Third Street Wichita Falls, TX 76301 940-761-7805

Region 4/5N Department of State Health Services 1517 West Front Street, Room 257 Tyler, TX 75702 903-595-3585

Region 6/5S Department of State Health Services 5425 Polk Street, Suite J Conference Room 4-A Houston, TX 77023 713-767-3000 Galveston County Health Department 1207 Oak Street, Board Room LaMarque, TX 75568 409-938-2401

Region 7 Department of State Health Services 1100 West 49th Street, K-100 Austin, TX 78756 512-458-7404 Department of State Health Services 2408 South 37th Street Temple, TX 76504 254-778-6744

Region 8 Department of State Health Services 7430 Louis Pasteur, Room 228 San Antonio, TX 78229 210-949-2000 City of Laredo Health Department 2600 Cedar Avenue Laredo, TX 78043 956-795-4901

Region 9/10 Department of State Health Services 401 East Franklin, Suite 210 Second Floor Conference Room El Paso, TX 79901 915-834-7675 Ector County Health Department 21 North Texas Street Odessa, TX 79761 432-498-4141

Region 11 Department of State Health Services 601 West Sesame Drive Rockport Room Harlingen, TX 78550 956-423-0130 Department of State Health Services 1233 Agnes Street Corpus Christi, TX 78401 956-423-0130

May 02, 2010

NBA Playoffs

Round One is over and the Spurs move up: The Suns! I will never forget the playoff game I went to in Phoenix a couple of years ago when Tony Parker and Steve Nash collided and it bloodied Steve's nose. The Phoenix fans came unglued and were chanting "die, Tony, die". Yep. Playoff time is rough. I am ready for the action!

Go Spurs Go!

Change Quotes...

Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes - the ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo. You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing that you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things.

Moving forward!

May 01, 2010

Deepish Process Thoughts

I love quotes. Sometimes a few words or sentences pack a are some I have gathered recently....I find them good for generating thought for journal work:

"Don't mind criticism. If it is untrue, disregard it. If it is unfair, keep from irritation. If it is ignorant, smile. If it is justified, learn from it."

"There are moments in your life that make you and sets the course of who you are going to be. Sometimes they are little, subtle moments. Sometimes they are big moments you never saw coming. No one asks for their life to change, but it does. It's what you do afterwards that counts. That is where you find out who you are."

"The worse thing about being lied to is knowing you weren't worth the truth."

"Just when the caterpillar thought life was over, it became a butterfly."

"When people can walk away from your life, let them walk. Your destiny is never tied to the people who left."

Get to writing!