Downy Woodpecker

I have a Downy Woodpecker working diligently a few trees in my yard. He makes a perfectly space set of holes on the bark on the tree is the closest to the house. After he is done with his day's work, there is silence until he is back again. Watching him at work is soothing and if the symbolism is true then we are lucky he has been coming around.  If a woodpecker has appeared to you, pay attention to the new possibilities and opportunities in your life. You may need to dig deep to find your creativity, but don’t give up. Keep persevering! To reach your goals, you must be relentless and push through, even when facing the toughest challenges. If the woodpecker is your spirit animal or totem, you most likely missed out on crucial moments that could have altered your path. This animal is pushing you to right the past. The thrum of the pecking can be heard as a death rattle assuming the tree is nearing its end. I would not know seeing how its in full bloom right now. That looks like a l

Poison Fog

 Read these lines in the book What Happened to You ? about how child abuse can manifest itself: If a child experiences abuse, their brain may make an association between the features of the abuser or the circumstances of the abuse—hair color, tone of voice, the music playing in the background—and a sense of fear. The complex and confusing associations can influence behaviors for years; later in life, for example, being served in a restaurant by a brown-haired man who hovers over you while he takes your order may elicit a panic attack. But because there is no firmly embedded cognitive recollection—no linear narrative memory—the panic is often experienced and interpreted as random, independent of any previous experience. I was in a relationship with a man a very long time ago, who I suspected might have been a victim of childhood abuse. M was highly intelligent, creative and personable - traits that made him attractive to me and people who knew him socially or professionally. Yet, for me

Feeling Used

Watched Side Effects a few days ago and it brought to mind my own visits to the doctor's office over the years. No matter what the issue and what my age at the time, the pattern remained consistent. For each out of bound metric that defines "ideal" health, the doctor who suggest a medication. Had I acted on every prescription that they so readily doled out, I would be on a full regimen of drugs by now - one an hour every hour every day. That would get me really sick too and likely a candidate for various procedures as well. It's been my observation, that the desire to push new, untested, unattested pills reigned supreme at all times.  Every single encounter with a physician that I have had left me feeling that this person was most certainly not looking out of my best interests. And if I cared for my health and well-being, I was mostly on my own. I refused to take any one of the medicines I was prescribed over all these years and I am okay for the most part. Lately, d

Yellow Narcissus

Between my yard and the neighbor's there is a rather dense tree line and then a narrow creek. The trees are yet to green but there is a big clump of Narcissus is in full bloom somewhere between the creek and the trees. Every time I look out the back porch, my eyes are immediately drawn to them. The flowers are lovely and are a delight to see but they make me think of death and flowers by a grave.  Some years ago, I visited the grave of a child one of my close friends had lost their oldest close to two decades ago. We spent time cleaning the headstone and the earth around it, working together but in silence. Then we drove to the nearest Home Depot to look for perennial flowers that would bloom there even if no one was able to visit.  As I recall they were some kind of lily and in full bloom at the time we planted them. We left the place looking brighter and well-cared for. My friend used to say there were no more tears left to cry but the pain remained forever. I stood there in sile

Uneven Fairness

I was fortunate enough to work from home for over fifteen years and my run of good luck might be running out. Before the pandemic, it meant finding jobs in the local market that allowed me flexibility or something with a large, dispersed global presence. I was not able to take the opportunities that my peers in bigger cities had access to. It was a choice I made - to stay where I was for the greater good of my family even if that meant limited career opportunities. Remote work brought by the pandemic allowed me to work for companies that would have been completely out of the realm before that. I jumped in and it has worked great so far - both for me and my employers.  Around the world, I am sure there are millions of such stories. Of women, disadvantaged people of different stripes who magically had doors opened for them that had until then been out of their reach. Once in, the realized to their surprise and happiness that they were more than well-qualified for these roles that had bee

Nightmare Nightgowns

Some time back, J needed to fly very early one Monday morning for a business trip. I spent a completely sleepless night worrying about her being alone in her Uber on the way to the airport at 3 am. At times like this, I can forget that she is a grown woman, living independently for a while and capable of taking care of herself. All night long, I had images from J's childhood flash through my restless mind that could not fall asleep even though I was tired. I was anxious for her with the same intensity as when she was a child. Once she texted me from the airport a little past 4 am, I finally dozed off. In the life of every mother there are many such nights and you want them to end so you can sleep a bit. I take great care not to bring any of this up with J. The worries might not be unwarranted but there is no way for her to make them go away for me. They can only create mental constraints for her, break her stride. Thinking back, I am following in my mother's footsteps - she too

No Answers

Reading this Inc. article made me think of people I have come to know over the years. Could not think of anyone who is prone to using all the six phrases in the list consistently - some leaders use more from this set than others. L came to mind for always getting on calls with customers with "How can I help you" - and did not matter how upset that customer was when they called L, they always end up calmed down and eager to do more business with L's company. "I trust you" is a popular one - the folks that came to mind in that context were typically managers that teams liked and got along with. They were also more likely than not to ask "What do you need from me" - to make sure they were being useful and removing obstacles for the team.  I think what I have heard the least and wish it was more popular for the powers that be to say "Honestly, I don't know". There is a presumption that they do or should know. When they don't allow themse