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Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Intersection

The term intersection usually refers to a place where two streets cross each other.  In the intersection, it is very important that certain guidelines be observed by all parties approaching it to ensure that traffic moves easily and safely.

As I reflect on the concept of an intersection, I can see that these convergences occur much more frequently in our lives than when we are traveling. Intersections occur every time we encounter another person and, in these moments, our mental/ emotional state is especially important as we take in what is occurring in the course of action.

Naturally and, of course, importantly, our first reaction/response to what is happening in the intersection will center on what we are feeling.  Our first responsibility is always to take care of ourselves. But it seems there is an additional way we can help ourselves in this instance and that is by making a very important assumption about everything the other person is saying and doing.

And here is what I think that assumption should be.  Regardless of how any verbal or nonverbal communication from another might feel to us, we need to assume the other person is ALWAYS acting from the highest intention he is capable of holding in that moment.  And, as a side note also present in the situation, the other person’s perception of what is the fairest and most authentic and even most generous response to us may well be (and often is) VERY different from ours.

And that is why we often don’t GET that the words or behavior of another is well-intentioned.   Sometimes even very generously intentioned.  We hold ourselves hostage, chained to the emotional default reaction rising up in us that our previous experiences have produced during similar circumstances.

I realize that I am suggesting that we act on something that we truly may not be seeing or perceiving in this moment...and, that is, the loving intention of the other to the best possible degree he can manage it.  Holding the belief I am suggesting calls for a beautiful sense of trust from us that everyone is always trying to act from the generous impulse to be a loving person.

I truly believe that this is how we all enter life. With joy and celebration...with excitement and gratitude and appreciation.   However, our earth school experiences often offer significant detours from this loving path.  Consequently, we all carry wounds and scars waiting to be healed. 
As we attempt to heal those wounds, we all find our own ways of making sense of things.  And, because we are unique individuals, the sense we make of things may be very different from what others envision.  There is also the fact that we have not walked in their shoes and are, therefore, not cognizant of the extent of their pain or the factors complicating their lives.  Nor have they walked in ours.

Each time I pause and gently ask another person to help me understand what his reaction meant, I am humbled by the explanation I receive of the beauty of what was intended in that moment.  A beauty that is often not visible to me because of my own emotional reaction to something that has triggered my distress.

As a result of this I am now choosing to hold the strong intention of assuming the beauty of what is sourcing the words or actions of another and I am also intending to offer compassion and understanding for any distress he is experiencing.

I am convinced that underneath the words we speak and actions we take towards each other there is always a beautiful, loving child wanting to interact with the glorious world around him with grace and fervor and delight.  And I very much want to feel and appreciate the innocence of this tender caring.

This profound awareness offers me a new guide ensuring a measure of ease and safety as I move through the interweaving and intersecting of what may appear to be a view so different and dissonant from my own.

Perhaps we can ease the intensity of all of our human INTERSECTIONS by remembering the intentions sourced by our always loving hearts. 💗

                                                                               Marie Helena

image from Elizabeth Elkin's Painting a Day: trueartgallery.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The Stage of Our Soul's Making

My sister remarked to me the other day that I was so fortunate in having GUIDANCE...from the Divine Universe.  And she meant...to help me get through the moments in life which feel so difficult and heavy.   Like when you're wearing  the lead apron you get when you're having an X-Ray at the dentist's office, only this one is full-body and there are three or four of them stacked up on you.  I'm sure you know what I mean...the times when you feel blindsided and without the resources to "get up offa that thing" as James Brown sings it.


My sister and l talk about this Guidance a lot and we both KNOW that EVERYONE has it from all kinds of sources, BUT many are not aware it is there moving through our thoughts and inspirations and circulating all around us, offering loving support, grace and direction.  This seems to be a well-kept secret and it shouldn't be for it is the BEST NEWS out there. 


All it takes is having the INTENTION to receive and opening your heart channel which will alert you when these beautiful messages are coming in.  And they come in from the strangest places...an email message, a random comment, the lyrics of a song, a new thought that seems to spring from nowhere, a horn honking outside exactly when you are contemplating taking action.  It's a glorious, on going celebration of the Ultimate Help Desk...your Divine CONNECTION to the Love that rocks the Universe.

This morning I got one of these wonderful messages and it has showed up before for me as a soft whisper but today it is drum-rolling itself so I won't miss it.  And here it is:

When life feels H E A V Y and it seems so difficult to get through it, make the simple switch from Living the "HEAVY" to Watching Yourself do the "DANCE".  In this moment, consciously be Who You Truly Are...and that is your Soul.  Ranjna Sharma, coach, trainer and Soul Guide from Delhi, India, says "It is not the Soul that is Living in the Body... it is the Body that is living in the Soul."  It is your SOUL who is the executive spiritual administrator of the show you are living.


Can you see the drama of your life through the Soul's Vision?  Can you see that YOU are playing the scene your soul has written?  This life which seems SO vibrant, SO real and, sometimes, SO very difficult is the product of your soul's intention to experience, grow and learn.  So while you live the "play" your soul has created, do not fail to appreciate your skill and art and complete immersion in the "production" for the YOU of today is a GLORIOUS present expression of your soul's longing to "DANCE" in the Universe. 


It's a magnificent expansion, a blossoming of Life itself.


THAT is what all of this heaviness is about...the opportunity to step up and step into our soul script and bring in our exquisite creativity to choose how it all plays out,


We are not alone on this Stage of Our Soul's Making.  We have the Guidance of Love in its many forms and the joy (and appreciation) of  Observing Ourselves  address the many adventures of life in this dimension.

                                                                                  Marie Helena

image from www.dragoart.com

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Primal Emotions

June 2018

There is a great divide in our country, the blatant truth of which has not always been completely transparent.  But there is no question now regarding the fierce, consuming passion of the opposing positions.

Whatever is fueling the contradictory views is sourced in a primal emotion that informs and directs all of our actions and reactions.  That primal emotion is the result of our experiences.  What we have lived and seen and benefitted OR suffered from plays a major role in the way we view the world.  Whether that experience was life affirming or full of hurt and pain, we are shaped and formed by how it made us feel.

The  critical questions in this moment are whether or not we replay what we have seen and lived through AND whether or not we decide if that path feels peaceful and satisfying to us and honors our soul.

Two primal emotions source the trajectory of all we do.  Will it be Love or Fear that lies at the heart of how we move through the world?

This is a question each of us must answer for ourselves.

                                                                                      Marie Helena

image from pinterest

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Accomplice

Hiding deep in the background of our lives there is an intriguing force exerting a very powerful influence on us. 

Like an emotional parasite, it attaches itself to a difficult moment of challenge, intensifying an issue and adding layers of complication to it.

You may wonder where this mysterious
intensity comes from...and what gives it its potency and punch?

Here's what's fascinating about this situation...

The answer to the mystery 
is the fact that WE ourselves are THE ACCOMPLICEthe energy attaching itself to our problems and making them MORE painful and MORE difficult to resolve...and we are doing this by refusing to stay 100% focused on the present moment.

This present moment has two primary levels...what is happening and how it feels to us

One...two.  Simple enough.  But somehow we manage to take the simple purity of that moment and cover it with levels which go beyond the primary experience.*

The third level we engage in is composed of the MENTAL CONVERSATION we are directing to ourselves about what is happening...

for example, 

"Oh, no, here comes my problem again.  I can't get away from it."
"I keep making the same mistakes."
"Something is really wrong with me.  It feels like I'm falling apart."

This mental commentary is then followed by the next level in which we EMOTIONALLY  BERATE  OURSELVES  for thinking these thoughts.

We may even add more levels to the experience as we write our "stories" about what is happening to us and our reactions to those "stories".

And, at the end of the cycle is MORE PAIN.

And is this last level of pain one we have brought on ourselves?

It seems as if the conversation we are having with ourselves about the pain or distress or problem and our reaction to it is evoking anxiety, stress and judgment and this emotional reaction is CONTRACTING the cells of our body, further intensifying our pain, compromising the healing process and causing ourselves considerable suffering.

Releasing these added levels of intensity and returning  to levels one and two  (the simple purity of what has happened and how it feels to us) will relieve much suffering .

But to do this we need to be consciously aware of the  process we are engaging in...and not indulge in judging ourselves when we do discover it.*

Eckhart Tolle says:
"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.  Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking."


Why do anxiety, stress or negativity arise?

 Because we turned away from the present moment and missed what  Tolle calls

 "the deeper perfection that is inherent in life itself"....the perfection exquisitely designed to assist us in completing the goals of our life journey and provide opportunities for the healing of our soul.

Instead of being a perpetrator of our own suffering, let's consider becoming a SPIRITUAL Accomplice  to the work of the Divine Universe by honoring the unfolding of life in all of its perfection and embracing the lessons it is so carefully delivering to us.

                                                                               Marie Helena

*Special acknowledgment to Ken Porter for his thoughts on the possible complex
levels of our 
  experience of physical and emotional pain and his suggestion on how to deal with this awareness. 

   image from duckmanpettho.com.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Inchworms, Turtles and the Finishing Line

We all know about the tortoise who won the race. And the inchworm who edged his way to success.

Something in their “stories” gave them the persistence and tenacity to complete the tasks they set out to do.

Perhaps the tortoise and inchworm had an innate impulse to go the distance.

Perhaps they very wisely balanced their lives and conserved their energy so they could call upon their reserves of wellness and vitality when this was most needed.

And perhaps they were so fortunate as many of us are to have a very special inspiration figuring predominantly in our lives…the masculine energy that is holding so strongly the image of our success…despite all odds.

That kind of special faith and support is often personalized in our father or father figure or someone close who is inhabiting that role for us…sending us light and energy to help us stay the course…to dig deep inside us to find the reserves of strength we need.

Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid did that for Daniel-san.

Miyagi always held a
knowingness of the power and goodness of Daniel-san. He instilled a strong sense of honor in the young man and taught him that it is the way he conducts himself that determines whether he has successfully run (and completed) the race.

On the occasion of Father’s Day this June 19 let us take a moment to thank all of our real life and symbolic fathers in appreciation for their precious gift of faith in our goodness and strength and in our ability to navigate life with courage and honor.

And a special shout out for the very masculine preference for lightness and humor in this very challenging work. As Mr. Miyagi tells Daniel-san,

Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything. 

                                                              Marie Helena

Saturday, June 16, 2018

In the Evening by the Moonlight*

  There shall be peace, wisdom  
   and harmony. Mankind's hope shall
   be restored in the beauty and
   magnificent wonder of nature...
   and of life.
                       Julia Altamar


I have this beautiful, new, summery white wicker chair.  It is so comfortable and relaxing.

I love to stretch out in it and gently lean into the supportive arm rests.  It has a delicate light beige and white pattern on the cushion.  Perfect for sitting on the porch on late summer nights.

Now there's something that people used to love to do...sit on their porches at the end of the day, sipping a light summer drink...nodding and smiling as their neighbors passed by on their passeggiata.

And it is not surprising why they engaged in this lovely ritual.  


As the soft evening breezes wane and the trees gently flounce their leaves, there is a soothing quietness, a stillness...a nocturnal signal that resting time has come 

A few delicate yet ambitious insects decide to ignore nature's curfew and make their rounds circling overhead.  You can barely hear their wings in motion but it's a delight to witness their sense of ambition.  

Before long the ultimate, sparkling "herald" of the night arrives in full majesty as dozens of ladylike lightning bugs flash their joy throughout the landscape, agreeably sharing their flickering rainbow radiance.

The gorgeous scent of summer...fresh, dew laden grass...rises fragrantly in the air.

And, all of this wonderment and beauty is merely a prelude to the liquid grace of Mother Moon Herself sailing serenely in the night sky. 

From my white wicker chair I gently rejoice at the exquisite fullness unfolding before me.  Only ONE breathtaking example of nature's peace, wisdom and harmony...

When will we recognize our greatest teachers?

                                                                      Marie Helena

*Title borrowed from a song of the same name,
   In the Evening by the Moonlight
     music by James Bland
     lyrics  by Nina Simone

image from layoutsparks.com

Monday, June 11, 2018

Inside Out*

Inside Out is a delightful and thought provoking animated movie about the range of emotions that inhabit our control center.  Joy, Fear, Anger, Sadness are prominently featured in the starting lineup . But it is eye opening to see how many of these adorable animated creatures actually line the corridors of our psyche. 

 Some of them are expected tenants of our subconscious. Some of them are surprising visitors we thought had exited our life story long ago.  All of them feel authentic and relatable.  It is easy to identify with them and feel compassion for their plight.  And, perhaps, that is the greatest gift of this motley crew.  We cannot help but embrace and enjoy them, be amused by them and comfort and console them...a reminder that we must also give that loving warmth and acceptance and consolation to ourselves.

Watching Inside Out has made it easier for me to recognize the subconscious stars of my own movie.  Where I might previously have become bewildered and annoyed at the unanticipated appearance of some old, bothersome energy that had not received its full attention and release from me, now I rather quickly envision a colorful character for this moment and give it free rein to express whatever it is feeling.  Whatever this might bring...sadness, tears, even jumping up and down in anger.

I find this practice very healing.  Like exhaling and taking a relaxed, soothing, long, deep breath.  And amusing, too, as my animated character expresses all of the emotions trying so hard to be released.  With passion and power.  She is adorable.  I send her love.  When her story is fully heard, she settles down and, after a while, sighs and relaxes.  This is where some other character who populates the scene comes forth to gently introduce a new perspective...and it is received and considered by her because she feels the love and caring.  

What a brilliant approach this movie gives us for dealing with our difficult moments with creativity and delight and so much fun.  By choosing to give a voice to whatever energy we are harboring, we become the inspired director who finds the perfect space for all of the vibrant characters waiting off stage to have their moment, moving them from the inside out into the Light.

                                                                               Marie Helena

image from pinterest 

*Inside Out is a 2015 American 3D computer-animated comedy-drama film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and 
  released by Walt Disney Pictures.