Leaving Facebook

I have left Facebook, at least for now. I keep hemming and hawing about it. But for now….

I sit in the silence thinking of Ramana Maharshi’s words, “One cannot see these places unless it is destined.”

Destiny means that if you want to travel to a certain place, you cannot, unless you are destined. And if you are not, no power on earth can get you there. In other words, surrender to your destiny is the highest form of prayer.

My third book, Bigger Than The Sky, will be out on September 5. It is a beautiful and moving book, if I do say so myself. I can say that because it was my destiny to become friends with a man named Peter.

The book is about my online connection with him. His openness led to that field beyond right and wrong about which Rumi speaks.

I hope you know that I am always available to you in silence.


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Don’t Forget Your Hat


This chat is off the cuff, off the radar, off the charts private. Keep it under your hat. I like it that you wear a hat, by the way. Leonard C. always wears one.

Here’s the deal. No one reaches full potential until they die. Not only that, no one appreciates them until they do. I am speaking of both literal and psychological death. “The price of kissing is your life.”

I make no secret that I miss Papa Jeff in my life, as so many of you do. But he went quickly into the Absolute. Pretty neat trick. And now that he has rejoined the stars, his work catches fire.

It’s lonely in my life despite my many Facebook Friends. I suffered the domino effect of death. The daughter fell and then the spouse. Now I have a quiet house. Quiet am I like a mouse. Snuck some verse in on ya. Wanna cookie?

Things come and go. People come and go. You’ll leave and probably forget your hat. If you do, that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. It just means you forgot your hat. See, that’s the thing about death. You can’t come back for your hat.


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The Free Ride

Being human is not a walk in the park. Squirrels are everywhere. No, wait, I don’t mean that. Let me start over. Being human is not a picnic. Ants in your pants. No, that isn’t quite right, either.

Being human is not something we signed on for. At least I don’t remember filling out paperwork before they let me climb into the uterus and grow like a watermelon.

If you have paperwork pre-birth, shoot me a copy because you might make it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

“Fetus unnamed as yet, signs on for 9 months of uterine growth, followed by a slip sliding away into the arms of someone waiting to spank the bejeezus out of ‘em….”

And it often feels downhill from there, not to mention you have so many lightyears of paperwork ahead of you.

Death and taxes are certain. Everything else is pretty “iffy” and you can quote me on that.

Why am I bothering to write this drivel?

Because one of my best friends has given us all a good cry and now we need a good laugh. I have it on high authority that he is laughing, too.

See, there are no worrywarts in heaven. Isn’t that good news?

Down here, everything has to be pre-certified and pre-approved, excluding zits, pot bellies, receding hairlines and gum surgery, etc. and so forth.

I vote for amnesty for us all.

At least being human gets you that famous free ride around the sun. (Wear sun screen.)

Vicki Woodyard

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A Golden Boy

Let us all turn to the page “Why Did This Happen?” in our hymnals….

We are all mourning the loss of Robin Williams. We are not mourning his celebrity but his genuine humanity. Like Princess Diana did, his death opened everyone’s heart chakra a bit wider. These things are destined, the machine of the ego being unable to stop them from happening. To all those who say it will bring attention to the matter of suicide, I say that has been done before. Education has not been able to put a stop to it. I prefer it bring attention to the fact that everyone has an inner battle between darkness and light. They are bigger than the ego. The best and the brightest succumb.

Why did his death move us so deeply? I have been reading what different celebrities had to say. Also what his neighbors and friends said. The commonality is his humility and heart. We all knew he was one of the good guys. How do we know that? Because we are weeping his loss.

Because we feel for his children and the legacy of sorrow they now have to bear. Because he stood with Superman, Christopher Reeve, when he was paralyzed. Because he was a golden boy with a thousand toy soldiers. Because he stood in line with Jerry Katz at The Improv and Jerry saved his name on a piece of paper….he was as human as the next guy and as mortal as they come. We will not see his likes again. I am sure grace rained down on him as he was called on stage “up there somewhere….”

Robin Williams

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The Child Within is the Only One That Knows

We are always on the brink, if we but knew.
It’s bad or it’s good.
You would if you could.
But you can’t.

Grace is always total.
One hundred per cent real,
but here’s the deal.
You must be chained to your actual
condition and know it.
Don’t blow it.

Screaming, wounded, humiliated,
guilty, sorry, hollow, terrified.
Is that how Jesus died?

A question arises but
there are no surprises.
Just you and your sorry surmises.

Vicki Woodyard

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Phoenix rising….

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The fans are blowing nonstop now
drying up the ruined life
broke down and on the side of
the path.

The water stains reveal a sign
of grace stamped with His Face
fixed on the Father.

Hot air compressed
released and it is done.
All is won.
Not by doing but by being
that which is freeing.

Vicki Woodyard

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Some idiot is trying to pass herself off as Vicki. Oops! It’s Vicki. Somehow she keeps creeping into my essential Self and taking over. Oh, I speak for you, too, huh? If you are honest, you have to agree. Your ego is running interference in the flow of your life. That is its nature and it’s a hopeless one.

This is how my day has gone. Yesterday I had an impulse to make a trip to the basement to store a box of receipts from last year. I saw that there was water on the floor around my hot water heater. I called a new plumber and he changed out a part on the heater and gave me the name of a company that vacuums up water and then sets up fans to dry out the area. So they came out and did their thing.

The noise is ear-splittingly loud. Six fans and 2 humidifiers blasting away. The men left, saying the fans would have to run until Monday. I put Leonard Cohen on the player and took a brief nap. When I woke up, a circuit had already blown and I had no power in my bedroom. The thermostat read 79 degrees. So I called and the two men are here now, trying to diffuse the electric load.

I was trying to stay calm, cool and collected, the whole time seeing my vacation money winging away to pay for this sudden unexpected expense.

The men just left, having redistributed the electric load with their fingers crossed and fingering imaginary prayer beads. I have been told not to even consider using a blow dryer or the vacuum as long as the fans are running in the basement. Now if I could just get it through Vicki’s head that she is not Vicki.

Vicki Woodyard

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“I’ve lived too long where I can be reached.” I think Rumi said that. It is my growing edge. Facebook’s arm is too long and complex to suit a true pilgrim, suffering for Self-discovery and not self-congratulation or self-scourging. Take me or leave me. I am what I am.

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I have been armored most of my life. I remember when my friend and I went for a walk in my neighborhood. We were about six years old. We thought it would be funny to not come home when we were told. So it got darker and when we finally did get home, I found my mother anxiously waiting for me. She was terrified and in her desire to teach me a lesson said, “You can’t be out alone like that. Men will grab you down there!” Yes, that’s what she said, in the innocence of the fifties. Somehow that message quickly sank into my subconscious. It was to stay there until I was in junior high.

Fast forward to me having a date with a guy in 11th grade when I was in the ninth. I had a crush on him. We drove downtown. He said he wanted to go into a shop and see if he could get a tie for his dad for Father’s Day. I stood there on the sidewalk alone and was hit by a panic attack. I had no idea that is what they were called. The world overwhelmed me. I wanted to escape. That feeling drove my life and to some extent still does.

I had had one other panic attack prior to that. I was about to go onstage at the Mid-South County Fair and do my acrobatic routine. I was so relaxed that I gorged myself on taffy I had bought there. Suddenly the panic hit and I felt nauseous and afraid. I performed poorly because of that and didn’t win anything. The previous year I was was one of the top dancers. But there you go. Life had turned me into a panicky person and there was no way out.

There was no talk of agoraphobia in those days but that is what I had. My parents knew I was anxious. I remember talking to a kindly family doctor who was interested in hypnotism. He tried that on me but it didn’t work. I was not given medication; it simply was something I had to deal with.

Talented, I now was afraid to be visible. When in college, my psych professor urged me to major in it, I knew I was too “crazy” to do that. So I chose English with psychology as a minor. When I met Bob Woodyard, he felt safe to me. A foot taller and with a genuine ethical bent, he treated me like a gift beyond measure. And so I relaxed into my marriage with him.

But the agoraphobia went with me. He got frustrated because I never would socialize. There were no parties at our house, none at all. I just wasn’t wired to endure that sort of thing. I often felt anxiety coursing through my body and my only recourse was withdrawal from people.

Eventually I took to the spiritual path, which led me to Betty Bethards. She was a spiritual teacher and healer. I told her about the panic attacks and she laughed heartily. “Did they hit you when you were in puberty?” she asked. “Yes, I was about 13,” I said.

“That’s when it happened to me, too,” she said. “I couldn’t be in crowds of people because I was clairsentient. I was picking up on everybody’s energy.” So she taught me how to surround myself with a balloon of white light and that is something I now do every day.

Clairsentience is when you know people through their vibrations. It happens instantly and on a subconscious level. My antennae, unbeknownst to me, turned in the direction of sensing bad things that might happen to me. My mother was simply afraid of losing me, and to show me, she scared me into agoraphobia. It was no longer safe to be in the world.

I write all of this because everyone has their inner demons. I now know that this fear of people gave me time to want to know God. My life isn’t empty so much as rich in silence.

Subtraction is the theme of my life. I lost my family when Bob and I moved away after our marriage. Our daughter died and then Bob. Only my son and I remain.

The lessons in life come at you suddenly, cracking your ideas of yourself into many pieces. We have many selves within us. There is darkness and there is light. I write about each, so it is time for me to write about my anxiety-ridden nature.

I live in days of great peace now, a phrase I borrow from Mouni Sadhu. I learned from Peter, who knew only the present moment to be fruitful. I learned from loss, which softens you around the edges, allowing the armor to drop. I learn from wise friends who assure me that I am lovable just as I am.

We are all children huddling in the dark, hoping that the light will heal us. It will.

Vicki Woodyard

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Angel of New Beginnings

A bloody messy birth they all are,
said an angel when the mother and
baby lay together in the birthing room.
And joy masked in sweat fell beadlike
on her brow.
Where is she now?

Oh, that angel?
She is the Angel of New Beginnings,
for times when the cord needs to be

And I thought to myself that
the cord between me and the world
is being cut every day.

Vicki Woodyard

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