Guest Article on the Spirit Path – Goo Be Gone
copyright, Maggie Viale

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by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted

Note from Neva: I met Maggie when I was in Los Angeles, pursuing a lifelong dream of acting in Hollywood. I left that dream behind when I realized it was out of alignment with my soul’s joy to live there.

Maggie and I have remained friends and kept in touch since then. She recently co-authored and edited a book of inspirational stories …. two of the stories in this remarkable book are my own, in fact. I encourage you to read Happiness Awaits You

Today is always the first day of the rest of our lives

Thanks, Maggie, for sharing your words of wisdom with me this morning and for allowing me to share with others here.

Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2009
Southampton, Bermuda

Today is the first day of the rest of my life

No, really, I mean it this time. I’m starting over. I’m going from a cocoon to a butterfly. But the cocoon still has sticky trappings and old life goo. Where did I misplace my Goo-Be-Gone?

All of the lounge chairs by the pool are taken, every last one. I find a hard metal table and chair and plop myself down. So-o-o, I guess the Universe is telling me to sit upright and write, letting go of the book on India I’ve immersed myself in as easily as a slip back into dreamtime on an cloudy Monday morning.

India. I think I’ve left my heart there.
It captured me so and in the pre-dawn Bermudan light my heart aches like a sixteen year old girl who’s first real beau just said goodbye. Do you remember the indescribable pain as genuine as a sword piercing the heart of illusion?

Today’s illusion is palm trees and clear colbalt sky tinged with angel wings whispers of transparent white lace. The fragrance of jasmine blooms omnipresent, and yes, it’s true the beaches shine a delicate, glimmering pink, remnants of dissolving coral. The waters of the Atlantic are my detoxing bath. I swim, I snorkel, I see life beneath the sea in colors more vivid than a Van Gogh painting. I am in heaven. Bermuda is a haven for rich tourists and the occasional affluent land owner.

But my heart is in India. I long for the land with the missing ingredient: the spiritual soul. India, where women, dogs and holy cows all shift and muzzle through garbage heaps. Scraps, a morsel of burnt naan, a rotting carrot, food for protruding bones and eyes with half stares and full acceptance.

In Bermuda, tourists complain.

“This trip to Paradise has stressed out my wife and I enormously. We had nothing but problems with the airlines, we weren’t able to sit together, and then we had to wait fifteen minutes for our ride. Stress. This island is nothing but stress.” The overweight gentleman shoves aside his fat-crusted steak and glares at the waiter who runs to his side. “My glass is at low tide, can’t you see? Another round for us all.”

Another round of life. Another spin on the karma wheel, another attempt to get it right, And whatever is right?

I’ve struggled and planned, hoped, prayed, fasted, and dreamed. Then there are moments like this, and I wonder, what’s it all about, Maggie? Or do I address this to God, Goddess, All that Is, my Higher Self, an Angel or to what or whom? Fifty-nine years on this planet and I still have questions. I drift back to the only things that has always made sense to me – at least in this past decade anyway:

Life is meant to be enjoyed.

We are all in agreement in this game of life, choosing to experience different roles, poverty, riches, emotions of laughter, always swimming, and swimming, through tidal waves to acceptance and Joy.

Every moment we can Be, with a capital B, in true Joy, capital J, we are living life whether it’s discovering a scrap of burnt naan in garbage, or swimming the azure waters of paradise, or smiling inwardly at an obnoxious American tourist who has forgotten, it’s only an illusion.

We are here, now, in this moment.

The gooeyness of the cocoon dissolves. I’ve joyously reclaimed my Goo-Be-Gone. Today. This day. This very moment is the first day of the rest of my life. But wait, what is that I feel? A prickyness on my shoulder blades. Could it be, my yellow butterfly wings are emerging?

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