Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien: For Paris, The City of Light

Paris has always represented joy, music, art, laughter, elegance. The museums, the cafes, the patisseries, the shops… And, always, the lights. Paris has long been known as the City of Light. And one thing we know about light, is that it can never be extinguished by the dark. One of the reasons Paris has been called the City of Light is because the Age of Enlightenment was started there. Around the 18th century, the Age of Enlightenment was a philosophical movement that espoused individual liberty, freedom, reason, and, ironically, religious tolerance. I say ironically, because this heinous attack has been claimed by a group of radical extremists. Throughout history, the darkness has always attempted to extinguish the light, and has repeatedly failed to do so. During WWII, the Germans occupied Paris in 1940, attempting to crush it’s spirit then. They did not succeed. In 1944, the Allies and the French Resistance drove the Germans out of Paris, and the Parisiennes reclaimed their city.

I have always been moved by music, I believe music speaks to our hearts. The reason the Edith Piaf song spoke to me regarding this tragedy, is because it is an anthem of new beginnings in the face of pain. That no matter how many times our hearts may be broken, we have the courage to love again, dream again, find joy again. Paris has always been the city of lovers, the city of joy. In the days, weeks, and months to come, as we all mourn, tend to the wounded, bury the dead, may we all choose to live from the light and joy in life that Paris, and places like it, represent.

There will always be the hate-filled crazies that are just looking for an excuse to kill something. People, animals, nature, anything. That is the signature of the dark. Hatred and violence. The signature of the light is love. Love, laughter, and joy.

And as for me, here’s what I don’t regret, both for myself, and for humanity: I don’t regret living from an open heart, even though I have been hurt. I don’t regret being sensitive, being alive to life, both the good and the bad. The alternative to being sensitive is to become numb, shut down. And that is not an option for any of us. So, like Edith Piaf, I regret nothing. Today, I stand with the people of Paris, and with who they have always been. Free spirits, sensitive, enlightened, philosophical. I light a virtual cigarette, have a virtual cup of coffee in one of the cafes, with Edith Piaf playing in the background, And with joined arms and joined hearts, we rebuild. The world stands with Paris today, and for as long as it takes to heal. The light will prevail. It always does. We will continue to live from that, and regret nothing. Blessings, Judith

It’s Hopeless

imageWe all know I can’t cook. Whatever cooking gene I was supposed to be born with, I am lacking. Every now and then I see something that inspires me, a new gadget or utensil that makes me think, well, maybe this time…. Uh, no. I’ve tried everything. They tell you that “with this one simple time-saving item, you will be able to produce a fabulous meal that your family will rave about”. Yeah, right. They lied. Take the crock pot. That’s supposed to be goof proof, right? Not for me, evidently. This week I made pork chops in the crock pot. The recipe said to cook them on low for 6 hours. I was worried. 6 hours seemed excessive, but what do I know? But just to be safe, I turned them off after 5 1/2 hours. They looked and smelled wonderful. They were the consistency of beef jerky. Seriously. We gave them to Elvis, our 100 lb German Shepherd with fangs like a T-Rex. He managed to work his way through them, with some effort. So, basically, it’s hopeless. ( Although I did see some beautiful purple cookware the other day. If my cooking is going to be lousy, at least let it be lousy in pretty cookware. ) I should probably just give up, while we all still have teeth.

The Men In My Life and Gratitude

I was reflecting today on the important men in my life, and was overcome with a feeling of extreme gratitude. I came to the planet as an alpha female. At no time in my life did any of these men, past and present, try to suppress or squash my alpha-ness. Rather, it was valued, it was encouraged, it was celebrated and leaned upon. With a mother with mental illness, and three younger siblings, my father trusted me completely, from a very early age, to handle the day-to-day things a normal fully functional wife would handle. He made me feel strong and competent. I don’t recall feeling overwhelmed by my teenaged life. I embraced the autonomy I had. My mother did some things, and the things she couldn’t do, I did. My dad let me know in many ways that he was proud of me. He told me a number of times how strong he thought I was. He had meaningful conversations with me about life, his work, and listened to my perspectives on things. His belief that I could handle anything infused my already existing inner alpha with oxygen.

Then we have my ex-husband. My ex-husband is in hospice care at this time. He is eighty five. ( Yes, significantly older than me.) I met him when I was 24. Describing him is difficult, but for the purpose of this blog, I would like to focus on the positive. He was a successful restauranteur when I met him. Charismatic and driven, he saw things in me, that alpha personality, among others, and immediately set out to teach me the restaurant business, while acknowledging my spirituality and psychic ability. Like my father, he also made me feel that there was nothing I couldn’t do. I soaked it up like a sponge, expanding and growing into a level of empowerment that became a way of life. Running two restaurants with him? Piece of cake. Orchestrating black tie fundraisers and benefits? No problem. Having forty male employees? Easy. I was exposed to a level of business training that many people would envy. And throughout it all was this man who completely believed in me, in my strength, in my abilities. He was a big believer in the power of the mind to create reality. On a slow night he would say to me, “We need more customers. Fill this place up.” Or, conversely, if we were really busy, and people were lingering over their coffee and we needed the table, he would say “I need table four to open up. Get them to leave.” If any of his friends were there, and they were going through a tough time, he would plunk them down at our table with me, look at me, and say ” They’re having a hard time. Help them.” And walk away. He trusted my psychic abilities completely. In the eighties, he pushed me to have my own radio show on an all-talk radio station. It became extremely successful. He was so authentic, and such a force of nature, that people gravitated to him. There was a steady stream of celebrities through the door, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Farrah Fawcett, Don Rickles, Liberace, Ryan O’neil, and so many others. He joked, laughed, and talked with all of them. What kept people coming back, besides the food being amazing, was the way he made people feel: nurtured. Probably the most important thing he taught me was that. He said to me one day: ” Listen to me. People don’t come in here just because they’re hungry. They could make themselves a peanut butter sandwich at home. They come here to be taken care of. It’s not just about the food. Remember that”.

Those twelve years we were married helped to shape me into the woman I am today. Even the challenges taught me things about myself, about my courage, my fierceness, that I have drawn upon to help others to heal. Divorcing him was just one more exercise in personal empowerment. Which brings me to the man I am married to today.

This month is the 13th anniversary of meeting my husband. He is the first male Empath I have ever been in a relationship with. Add to that that he has more testosterone in his little finger than all of the other men in my life combined, and you have a pretty irresistible combination. He is also an alpha. An alpha with an insane sense of humor, and an off the charts I.Q. The beauty of that is that he is not threatened by me. He is not threatened by anybody. And he makes me feel like superwoman. That I can do anything. Except cook. Or clean. Or do anything involving doors or directions. Anything else, yes. He is amazing to live with. A gift from the Universe. I have hit the soul mate lottery. He was definitely worth the wait.

So today, I’m feeling grateful. Blessed. One of my Power Animals is the Mountain Lion. She is always with me, wild and free, living in my heart. She has taught me so much. I am grateful that none of these men tried to cage her, or tame her. They saw her beauty, her magic, her wildness, and they loved her for who she is. In a misogynistic culture, somehow I’ve managed to manifest men who didn’t see just my gender. They saw my spirit, they saw my heart. And they valued me, and everything I bring to the table. They nurtured that, and encouraged me to fly, even when that flight meant leaving one of them behind. They will live in my heart forever. I thank them all for accepting me and loving me exactly as I am, an alpha warrioress of spirit. Blessings, Judith