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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Unfinished Symphony

Franz Schubert, prolific Austrian composer who died at the early age of 31, wrote nine symphonies, liturgical music, operas, some incidental music and a large body of chamber and piano music. He began his famous Unfinished Symphony in 1822 but only completed two movements.

The immense body of work produced by Schubert reveals to us the powerful dedication and immense energy he gave to expressing his life view through the venue of music.
And, still…given that…Schubert is most famous for his Unfinished Symphony…the composition that was never completed.

The theme of The Unfinished Symphony is singing in my heart this morning as I reflect on the connection we have with our families of origin and our ancestors.

I believe we choose the families we are born into so that we may have the very best environment to inspire us to work on the lessons we have chosen.
Sometimes those environments are nurturing and positive; sometimes they are troubled and conflict-ridden…but always they contain the impetus for us to explore and achieve our lessons and dreams.

And, now…another thread is weaving itself into this picture. The theme of The Unfinished Symphony.

Perhaps there is even more to our choice of birth family…

perhaps it is the CONNECTION we have to the dreams and desires of those who came before us.

On a historical note
I have read that when people emigrated to this country...often at the very young ages of thirteen or fourteen seeking the opportunity to make their way in the world and often coming for the purpose of making an arranged marriage…when they arrived here, they were overwhelmed with the work of finding a place to live and securing a job to support their families.

Because every ounce of their energy was being used to survive, it has been theorized that their children carried on the process of mourning their parents' loss of the mother country for them.

And so the tapestry unfolds through many lives and many generations. Which brings me to the concept of The Unfinished Symphony.

The questions presenting themselves to me are these:

Can we identify the longings and dreams of our parents…not for material goods or money…but for the character traits they wanted/needed to develop (consciously or not)?

And, if so, has the development of these character traits been begun by our parents but has now become their Unfinished Symphony?

We have so many choices in life…so many places to put our energy.

Is the finishing of their Symphony something we are especially equipped to achieve because of our understanding of their life circumstances and longings and the impetus we have experienced to carry on the dream


is it something we wish to complete?

                                                                               Marie Helena

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Trial

When I was in graduate school pursuing my Master’s Degree, I had a professor who taught an entire course focusing on one single piece of literature:  Franz Kafka’s novel, The Trial.  

 At the time, it seemed strange to me that the entire semester would be devoted to studying just that one novel.  We were required to write a definitive paper for the course about the significance of the novel.  I labored over this assignment for a long period of time but could not seem to determine what it was the professor wanted us to recognize.  Eventually, I had a discussion with a fellow student in the class who explained to me that Kafka’s novel could be read one way to make a very compelling point.  But it could also be read a second way to convey a completely opposite meaning.   

It took a real challenge to my intellect for me to take Kafka’s novel and step back and give it some perspective so that I could  see it from two completely different points of view. 
I was finally able to do it, but only now looking at my life experiences do I understand what I think the method was in my professor’s “madness“.

This morning, many years later, I feel I am finally realizing the rationale my professor might very well have had in mind.  This graduate school course exercise seems to me now to be designed to reinforce an important truth about life:  We see what we already believe or, to be more precise, what we are prepared and willing to believe about the world and, most especially, about ourselves.

It is incredibly easy to see what we EXPECT to be there
…what we already believe about ourselves and others.  The life snapshots we click on seem so real and so “rational” and so we file them away as objective evidence of the beliefs we are already holding, completely ignoring the fact that they validate and justify the life conclusions we have made to that point in time which steadfastly occupy the submerged part of the iceberg which is our subconscious.

And so, trapped in the tundra of our early life impressions and experiences, how do we emerge to free ourselves and discover what else the canvas holds?

My graduate school professor MADE us look for more and I am left with the prospect of considering whether there is ALWAYS more.  And it seems to me there is and failing to recognize that is to overlook important information that would increase our awareness of the issues that complicate our lives and our empathy for the individuals struggling through them.

What if, as a practice, we made ourselves search for whatever could prove the opposite of what we believe?

Where could this lead us?  Would it make us more empathic?  More open?  More aware?  More cognizant of vital information?  Would it source all of our actions in LOVE?

Without opening ourselves up to the possibility that there is more to the story, we may very well assign ourselves the role of existing in the small, constructed room we have built around our hearts.  We may fail to see the pain that others are enduring.  We may also fail to see the beauty, the caring, the love that is being expressed to us in ways that we do not readily recognize. 

We need to step out of our own limited experience and open ourselves up to the mystery and wonder of the myriad of ways that people respond to life.

I have heard this profound truth expressed before. I have even recognized myself at times as bound to my currently operating beliefs.  But I have not been moved to transcend this practice until today as I, with great curiosity and excitement, recall my graduate course in Kafka.  

I wonder how many things we experience in life failing to understand the power of their significance.  

It seems worth the effort to move past our already formulated, sometimes cursory assessments and open ourselves up to the mystery hiding in the corners of our lives.  The great thirteenth century mystic Rumi advises us to “sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment.”

Following Rumi’s guidance will undoubtedly lead us to some new wisdom.  Perhaps THIS is the real TRIAL awaiting us.  Will we eventually reach the point where we can see beyond the boundaries that we have constructed for ourselves through the necessity for our survival or by the world itself moving through its own evolution?

                                                                                          Marie Helena

image from pinterest
Imprimer à partir d'aquarelle mode Illustration par Mysoulfly ...

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Follow the Leader

I am intensely intrigued with the concept of  Surrender
To be more precise, I  am speaking of surrendering to whatever the present moment brings.  
 Even if we don't like what is showing up...and it is not what we expected
...or even requested.

  Many spiritual writers discuss the folly of RESISTANCE to "What Is" and how resistance will up the ante, creating more intensity in the situation we find ourselves in...possibly making things even more difficult and distressing.

On the other hand, I find it ultimately to be true that what is showing up in our lives
is there to further our soul's evolution.  
Sometimes, it may take awhile for us to discern the wisdom of the gift we are being given...but it is ALWAYS there and we can choose to recognize the lesson, acknowledge it and integrate it into our lives.

It's pretty clear to me that the most direct path to finding peace in our lives is to embrace life as it unfolds for us.  (Special emphasis hopefully noted regarding the words "FOR us".)

After a good deal of study and reflection on this subject I have found a way to do this that feels comfortable, though challenging.
I call it  FOLLOW THE LEADER. It is based on lessons I have learned from Eckhaart Tolle and Dr. Betty Sue Flowers.

And here is how It goes.

First, I consciously choose to "be the space" for what is happening.  I observe what is happening.  I do not try to interfere with it or point the outcome in my direction.  I am a non-judgmental observer of "what is".

And, as I do this, I consciously choose to  let the experience LEAD me instead of trying to steer it in the direction I wish it to go.

When we hold the very strong belief that we are loved and affirmed and supported by the Divine Universe, we are able to stop trying to direct the flow of what is happening and, instead, ride the sometimes soft, sometimes undulating and sometimes turbulent waves as they carry us through to our next adventure (step to enlightenment).

But we must ride the waves with curiosity and interest and, most of all, faith in the good will of the Divine Universe to help us grow in love and abundance.

Once we get the hang of it, we find that when we abandon our pressing need for control and instead FOLLOW THE  (Divinely inspired) LEADER, life feels much safer and more mellow and that is  because it is most definitely a Divine Truth that LOVE is ever-present and is designed to  honor, enhance and heal all of creation, including any burdens we are carrying in our heart.

And that is why we must SURRENDER any aspirations we may have to BE the leader.  Instead, we need to become aware that the Divine Universe is designed to graciously and gracefully LEAD US to our soul's desire.

Whatever there is for us to know... Whatever lessons there are for us to learn... will ultimately be delivered to us as we hold space for the message of the moment.  And THAT is the beauty of Surrender.   

                                                                                Marie Helena.

image from art-clips.blogspot.com

Friday, September 28, 2018

The Unfolding

One of the most beautiful gifts we have in our lives is experiencing the natural flow of things....

The Unfolding.

The rhythm and music and pace of whatever it is that we are witnessing...experiencing...enjoying...and, most importantly, learning from.

This unfolding, if left untouched, is a work of art unto itself.  It carries the truths of the universe, some easy to embrace, some more challenging.  If we interrupt  the unfolding, we lose our chance to take in the special meaning.  If our egos try to influence the flow to move in our direction, we miss what is being presented to us.

A good reason to be an observer and a witness to life and, thereby, a receiver of information about the absolute perfection of the Divine Universe!


                                             Marie Helena

Monday, September 24, 2018

Escaping Your Monkey Mind



Does this sound like your morning routine? 

"There goes the alarm. 

"Feels like I just got to sleep.  So much to do today.  Did I sign that permission slip for the kids' field trip?  Oh no, I didn't put the wash in the dryer.  The car needs gas.  Oops... I forgot to return that call to the repairman."

And, so goes not only our morning awakening ritual...but often our whole day.

Most of us tend to spend the majority of our time in the frenetic energy jungle called MONKEY MIND (also known as the beta brain state).  It's  how we navigate the day.  

But...this is NOT the place where the really powerful brain action occurs.

There are, in fact,  FIVE WAVE PATTERNS in our brain:  beta,  alpha, theta, delta and gamma.

Beta is the state of constant mind chatter. 

Alpha brain waves are slower in frequency (when you are close to falling asleep, reading, or watching TV or are entranced with a project and lose track of time). 

The Theta mind state (slower yet) occurs when you are in profound relaxation, meditation, entering sleep or ready to awake.

              Moving downward,

Delta occurs when you are dreaming or in deep meditation.

     And, finally,

The Gamma state houses high level information processing, creativity, insight and holistic perception.  (This is a super-beta state, the most rapid in frequency.  We are still learning about Gamma as it has only recently been discovered.)


It's obvious, then, that if we end up spending our days multi-tasking in monkey mind (the beta state)...running from one frantic errand to the next...we will NOT be accessing the tremendous resources of our brain.  

And that is why relaxation, deep breathing, quieting the mind and meditation are so important to our health and happiness.

And this doesn't mean "finding" the time; it means "making" the time to do something that is so vital to our sense of well-being.

There is much to be learned about how to access these slower states of frequency.  Mary Rivas has a short, 50 page book entitled  

Brain Power:   Boost Your Health, Happiness and Spiritual Growth With Practical Tools That Supercharge Your Mind Powers  (available on Kindle).

Rivas writes in a warm, engaging, compassionate style, helping us become more acutely aware of our inner world and she explains in clear, direct language how to access it naturally or with an assist from technology.


And, in case, you are mulling over my comments and suggestion during the night and find yourself unable to sleep, here is a suggested escape route from those pesky monkeys dancing in your brain.

Hilary Tindle,  M. D., an internist at the Pittsburgh Mind-Body Center,  says if you are too wired, your brain turns into overdrive and "this turns on a complex flurry of neurotransmitters involving several areas of the brain.  Your mind buzzes with activity making it nearly impossible to fall asleep."

Distracting yourself by concentrating on a non-emotional task
can decrease activity in the brain.  Here's  a great diversion that will do the trick reported by Liz  Krieger in her article on "Deeper Sleep" in Oprah Magazine:

Count backwards from 300 by threes.  The basic math of this task engages your brain and you cannot focus on anything else, thus helping you wind down and relax.

(By the way, I tried the 300 by threes counting trick the last few nights and it worked perfectly every time.)

So...if  the maddening, mischievous  monkeys  are holding court way too often in your cerebral hemisphere...

consider the BEAUTIFUL WISDOM of learning how to supercharge your mind powers by paradoxically  s-l-o-w-i-n-g down the frequencies of your brain.  

Invest in learning about this astounding capability and practice the art of relaxing your body and simultaneously enriching your life.

                                                                                     Marie Helena

image from simplesitting.blogspot.com
"Taming the Monkey" Source: http://www.projectevolution.net  

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Eat, Pray, Love, TRUST

 During the last week I watched one of my favorite movies…yet again.

I  simply cannot get enough of this compelling drama and, if you haven’t discovered it yet, I highly recommend you make this connection.  

It’s based on a 2006 memoir by American author, Elizabeth Gilbert and its title is: Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia.
At the end of the movie the title character gives a deeply felt expression of the philosophy she has developed in her life.  She calls it The Physics of the Quest and it goes like this:

If you're brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting which can be anything from your house to bitter old resentments and set out on a truth seeking journey either externally or internally and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared most of all to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself then the truth will not be withheld from you.

This truth seeking journey that Gilbert describes is no easy task.  Especially when you are jolted out of your comfort zone by a totally unexpected and undesirable occurrence.  Trying to make sense of the why always seems to prove a futile and hopeless task.  And the reason is that the “sense” of the SURPRISE is not something that comes from a place of intellect.  The mind CANNOT save the day.  Try this and you will see how much energy and time you will have wasted.

No. the “sense” here comes from the HEART and it emanates from a very basic, cardinal place…a place that MUST be accessed to gain THE WISDOM OF LIFE…the place of TRUST.

This means giving up control of understanding the reasons for the SURPRISE and it’s no small task..  It’s easy to feel like you are free-falling…and hopeless…uttterly lost on this quest.  And the reason is that the knowledge being sought does not reside in the intellect (our usual plan of attack to gain information); it is a soul knowledge and we have to develop FAITH that it is here and operating.   (This may easily be the most important part of our earth journey.)

Two days ago I received a message on my email that was channeled from an Ascended Master, El Morya Khan, entitled A Simple But Effective Remedy.and it spoke to my soul.  It gave me deep comfort.  I printed out a part of it…the part which felt so very important... folded  the paper and placed it under my pillow (a variation of sleeping with books under my bed).  
I would like to share this passage with you.  Perhaps it will bring you the peace it brought me. Perhaps it will resonate with your heart.  Perhaps it will help you see more clearly the Light that we are and the beautiful way that we can awaken to this wonderful truth.

It is as if you are being asked to climb a mountain, but you have no idea what you will find at the top. And that is fitting. You do not know -- and we cannot describe that for you. The reason we cannot describe it is because what you are experiencing now in every moment has been very uniquely designed by you for one reason only: To bring you, a sovereign Being of Light, into a full realization of that Light that you carry within.

That is the truth. It is the one and only reason that you are choosing any course of action that you are taking at this time. But how you choose to awaken will be unique to you and you alone. And whatever that course of action might be at any given moment, it is perfect, absolutely perfect for you right now, in this moment.

We know that is a difficult answer for you to accept. And it does not seem to do much to alleviate any worries, fears, or concerns you might have about what you are choosing to experience. We understand that as well.

But we ask you to trust this process. Do not have expectations how things ought to unfold and do not berate yourself if things do not turn out as you think they should. Do not come to conclusions regarding “success” or “failure” as you cannot see the whole picture.
 “Success” or “failure” are terms bound to the Earth plane; from where we observe you, such terms are irrelevant. The only measure of “success” on the higher planes is the degree in which you allow the Light to flow unencumbered through your being.

Having embraced this message through my heart instead of my intellect it seems to me that -

If we choose to positively embrace what is given us and honor it as a Divine spark offering us guidance on our life path, our journey promises to be the amazing adventure we have dreamed of!

In the beautiful Italian phrase of Elizabeth Gilbert spoken at the end of Eat, Pray, Love as she finally finds the message of her life:  


                                                                                                                                                 Marie Helena

image from en.wikipedia.org

Monday, September 10, 2018

A Heart Connection

Ask questions from your heart and you will be answered from the heart.

- Omaha proverb

If your mind wants to know something, it will go after information as a lawyer does and seek answers to the 5 W’s:
the who. what, where, when and why of an occurrence or event.  You can almost feel the courtroom scene coming into view as these sharply clipped queries flood the metaphorical witness stand.

It’s as if the mind (disguised as a lawyer) has a theory regarding what has occurred and is out to find the corroborating evidence to make its case.  Whenever we, as the witness, sense the “lawyer” approaching us, it is no wonder we so easily withdraw or become defensive.

But no deep value comes from the crisp, pointed tactic of interrogation.  Rather,  the “defendant” moves away from the possibility of a resolution,  feeling threatened by the cold logic of stand alone facts being revealed. 

There is always so much more to the story than the  lawyer’s 5 W’s.  There is always the possibility of unresolved experiences, unhealed pain, misunderstandings and troubling emotions lining the landscape of the event which help explain what has occurred and which need to be considered in understanding how the event has unfolded and how it has impacted someone’s life.

It is not an inquiry from the mind which brings forth this important, sensitive, enlightening  information.  It is a gentle, compassionate invitation from the heart to try to hear the feelings that have been evoked in someone.  

It is the attentive and caring gaze that will help someone feel understood, affirmed and supported and that will help bring forth this information to the Light.  The soft, sweet music of a genuine, loving inquiry will elicit the possibility of an authentic and brave response.

Being understood and cared for can empower us to bravely see what is showing itself in our emotions for our attention and healing.

A loving sense of compassion for someone’s pain, a gentle, caring question about what this feels like and holding space for the answer to reveal itself are what invite the power to ultimately receive these so important messages from the heart.   

                                                                          Marie Helena

image from pinterest