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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Missing Piece


I started reading Eckhart Tolle, author of the The Power of Now, several years ago and was very intrigued with his concept of ACCEPTING THE PRESENT MOMENT.


This seemed to me to be a difficult but powerful practice.


And I tried it. Many times.I got so far as to let myself feel the whispers of the breeze, the sun shining on my face, the children playing and laughing behind me, the scent of the blooming flowers.

Yes, everything felt fine for me in the present moment. As long as I was happy.


But, when the moments came when all was not well…when I was upset or hurt or angry... I could not do it. I could not feel the acceptance.

It seemed to me that I was being asked to pretend that what I felt wasn’t really there. And no way could I do that. So my progress with the process hit a wall.


Until the last few days.


In his book Tolle talks about the pain body, the pain we carry from our past. I believe that any pain we have not released is because our Spirit has been protecting us from feeling something too oppressive and burdensome for us and when the pain does come up and make itself known, it is because we have learned the tools and the resources we need to deal with this gift.

According to this theory, then, my store of resources and tools had enough in it to invite the pain body to make itself known. And it did. . And it did not “go gently into that good night”.

It shook my world and took me over. I began having
mega-reactions to things I thought I had gotten “under control”. (There’s a good cosmic joke there, I think.)

When things get really bad and the watchwords of the day are turmoil and tumult, it seems we are often ready to look a little further for some help.


At this point I remembered that Tolle had talked about the pain body. So I brought out my copy of the abbreviated and more-easy-to-understand Practicing the Power of Now and began to read again about how to deal with it.

There it was…the same great guidance as before. Accept what is…what you are feeling…what the other person is doing and feeling…but there was still something missing for me... and I had to find the missing piece.

And that missing piece was the answer to the question of WHY…Why is it so important to not go with the feeling of hurt or anger? Why shouldn’t I let myself feel what I obviously feel? Oh yes, my ever active mind wanted something to wrap my brain around that made sense of it for me.


And then I was blessed with the realization of something I already knew but which had been fluttering in the background…the fact that we are all on different paths…and in our own “time and space zones” about how those paths unfold.


I knew that ALL paths are to be honored. And it now made sense to me that the intermingling of these paths and the resulting messiness of the intermingling are inevitable and, not only that, but also the fact that this process is an essential and inherent part of the equation.

We are here to do our work and to support the work of others.
Now, armed with this realization, I took a look at the equation and here is what I got.

If something occurs that has affected us in a negative way, we should pause and give ourselves over to a knowingness of that fact. Not a judgment…but an awareness of what is going on. Including what we are feeling and experiencing…the fact that we are hurt or agitated or angry and the fact that the other person is doing what he is doing which is…acting perfectly in accord with the drama of his life.

According to Tolle, if we hold that knowingness as a quiet space surrounding the feeling of our agitation, the holding of that knowingness will transmute the non-peace we feel into peace.



The reason I was now willing to hold the knowingness of what I felt rather than react to it is because of my remembering of the need we all have to unfold, manifest and, yes, intermingle our paths,,,with the resulting beauty, joy and sometimes conflict and chaos that this process produces.


Now I was excited to try this new approach. And I have…several times. And it’s working.

It takes time to reorient myself and choose to do this rather than act from the default button. But the results have been wonderful. There is a distinct feeling of release and peace.
I’m just a newbie at this process. But it feels so promising. And helpful. And I will keep practicing it and feeling grateful to have found my missing piece and have so much JOY added to my life.



                                                                     Marie Helena


Friday, November 10, 2017

Let It Begin with Me




 A truly peaceful mind is very sensitive, 
very aware.

Tenzin Gyatso





Have you ever noticed that some individuals are especially conscious of the beauty they see around them?  To be in their presence is to experience the continual expression of JOY and WONDER.  They are curious, mindful souls, awake to the innocent and guileless nobility of nature...bountiful, brilliant, fragrant blossoms, the astoundingly intricate navigation of the hummingbird, the metaphor of majestic thunderheads presaging a clearing of deep emotions, the merriment and mirth of the monarch butterfly dancing its delight with the celestial scenery.  Gifts of the universe presenting us with a playground of unparalleled splendor!

And it is not only nature that sings to these perceptive creatures.  They easily discern every gesture of love and good will of being expressed to and around them.  And, having recognized these gifts-of-the-heart, they cannot help but laud their elegance and grace and the engagement of the souls which are sourcing them.

Conversely, when these glorious individuals encounter dissonance and distress, they immediately open their hearts, ministering to the unhealed pain that is being manifested.  They are patient and receptive while the troubling emotions are expressed, releasing their iron grip upon the chambers of the heart.

These sages see beauty in and through everyone's journey, however it is being expressed.

This is the gift of Peace… a recognition that all is right with the world and with everyone in it. A recognition that each of us is following a path of our own choosing, a journey we have willingly embarked upon for the purpose of gaining experience, insight and wisdom through life in this glorious, precarious dimension.

When we fully comprehend the nature of our earth school sojourn, every action and reaction we feel or witness, every emotion we or others express, every event we experience becomes a thing of beauty… The story of the odyssey of our souls.
Though it is often difficult to ascertain the significance of what is unfolding in, around and through our lives, there is concord and serenity in the recognition that each of us has the opportunity to create experiences that enhance our wisdom.  And each of us can choose how we want to respond to our own "adventures".

The beautiful gift of Peace comes from awareness and understanding of the nature of our journey.  Once we fully recognize this fascinating opportunity we have chosen to experience, we cannot help but acknowledge with great sensitivity and appreciation the evidence of every grace-filled moment.

How lovely to imagine a world of "peace"ful earth dwellers!



                                                                                   Marie Helena                                                                                                                                               



Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.*


                                                                                         

 *song by Jill Jackson Miller and Sy Miller
  image from mymospot.com

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Elegance in Action: The Do Over



Have you ever felt regret about the way you have handled something
and later found your way and wished you could recapture the moment and relive it? Have you ever felt it was too late to make things better?

Do not lose heart over this small misstep for there is a distinct and clear path of recovery and reconciliation....but it requires courage and character - the DO OVER.


Visualize the tension felt by you and another when awkward or uncomfortable comments somehow slip into the conversation. Both of you are unsettled and uneasy. You both feel stuck in the emotional mire. However, things do not have to remain this way.


If your companion is agreeable, what a wonderful thing it would be for you to REDO the moment…to (re)tread lightly and with grace over the highway of ill considered words and actions...to leave footprints of love over the mismanaged issue...to choose a Higher way of acting and put right what has been left in frustration and distress.


The gentle nudging of a door...a respectful and reverent entrance…an honoring of the guest within...a window thrust confidently open to let in the beautiful air of caring and concern.

And an inspiration... to everyone watching.


That's you...asking for the opportunity to bring light to the issue at hand...that's you looking at the big picture and, in particular, the other person's position...that's you DOing things OVER with beauty and grace.



                                                                                          Marie Helena

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Tea by Special Invitation Only



We design our lives by making conscious choices. 
  
If we do not purposefully choose the direction in which we wish to go, the body will react to whatever emotions we are experiencing. 

And,  if those emotions are fear-based or anxiety-ridden, that is what the body will express.
 

We CAN, however, bypass this avenue of default by choosing to keep our bodies in a state of bliss.  If we engage in something that is truly joyful to us and we sustain that state of being, the body will do its healing work, undeterred by emotional obstacles.

And to help us stay continually in that beautiful place of bliss we can allow

Higher Self to take over the Heavy LiftingWe do not need to know or understand what is needed for our greatest good.  All that we have to do is express that intention with the knowingness that the Divine Universe will guide us to the most perfect way to achieve our goal.
 

If we find ourselves experiencing the lower energies of fear, anger, judgment or self-doubt, we can respond by acknowledging their presence, thanking  them for visiting and informing them that  they will NOT be having tea with us today
so they either have to transform themselves to a higher vibration or leave the premises.
 

Remember, this is our territory and WE get to decide which vibrations visit and which get to stay.
 

We need to do whatever it takes to place and keep ourselves in the   
EXQUISITE STATE of JOYFUL FLOW...
listen to enchanting music, 
read beautiful words,
drink in nature's glorious offerings

...do whatever produces this bliss for us 
and we will present our body with the perfect state for healing and rejuvenation.

What a Beautiful Opportunity to direct our energy flow for the purpose of achieving radiant health.

   
                                                                                  Marie Helena



image from conceptart.org
 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Mum's the Word



 
It’s almost Halloween and I am a holiday junkie.  

The front porch is filled with scarecrows, corn stalks, bales of hay, a black cat and some very big (and I mean big) pots of chrysanthemums in purple, wine, yellow and white

 And though I love the color and texture of everything on the porch, the really big deal for me is putting my face right into the flowers and taking in their essence… the touch and smell and coolness…in other words, their vibration!


I take breaks during the day to go out and do this. It connects me with nature’s bountiful gifts and beauty. It lifts me out of my everyday tasks and says, “We’re right here…just waiting for you to enjoy us.” Yep, those flowers are smiling. I know it. They love to have someone get right in their faces.


Which reminds me…I am also addicted to hugging trees. I have a particular tree in the neighborhood that lets me feel its roots straight down into the earth. I used to look around before I approached the tree, but, naw…I don’t look around anymore. I just see that beauty and go for it.
I hug bushes, too. And have been for many years.

Although I am no gardener, I think that this is exactly the kind of  high
  that gardeners feel when they do their thing. Now here’s a really interesting fact I learned recently about plants and gardeners.

If you  are raising plants that you will eat, when you tend them with personal, loving care they
produce for you whatever your DNA requires.



Now that’s mind blowing. And it sure tells you that the universe is alive and wanting to spread its goodness everywhere. 

So have at' em...pumpkins, flowers, trees...the whole works.  They're just waiting for your perceptive eyes and glowing attention.



                                                                       Marie Helena

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Cutting Edge: The Calling



A few weeks ago my podiatrist shared a fascinating anecdote with me during a routine office visit.  We love to have our chats together and. on this particular day, I found myself immensely inspired by something he told me. 


It seems the doc was having a meal alone one evening in a restaurant when he was invited by an acquaintance to join him and four other friends at another table.  Now the interesting thing about this is that the five gentlemen who were sitting together were all very conservative in their beliefs and my podiatrist leans way in the other direction.  


The subjects discussed by the group during the lengthy conversation which took place  that evening were religion and politics...a red flag zone if ever I'd heard one
.  But the doc told me that just as the conversation opened, he announced that he does not argue religion or politics.  He just discusses them in order to understand others' points of view.  


 
I was intrigued as I heard his no arguing stipulation and wondered how the conversation had evolved after he made that statement.  With the most delighted demeanor,  the doc informed me that the conversation that ensued (with him on one side and the five gentlemen on the other) had been enlightening and stimulating and gentlemanly in tone.  And, as the doc departed the gathering one and a half hours later, he was informed by group members that he had presented thoughts and ideas they had never considered before.  




Wow...I thought.  And WOW again!


What a profound result had occurred that day from the very sincere declaration of the doc, "I don't argue religion or politics." 



I wondered...
What if no one "argued" religion or politics...or anything else for that matter?  What if we talked to each other to learn about what others believe and why and how their beliefs have affected their lives? What if we listened to what others said without feeling threatened or intimidated?  What if we had nothing to prove and, possibly, something to learn from hearing other points of view?



The world would surely be a very different place than the way it is right now.
  It would more closely resemble a gathering of curious scholars and philosophers than often being the hotbed it is of arguments and disputes that sometimes culminate in unrest, injury and violence.


Why do we have a need to compel or persuade others to "see things our way"?
 
Why is it so threatening to us that others reject our beliefs?  Why do we need to see OUR ideas prevail? And why are some of us sometimes willing to inflict mental, emotional or physical injury on those who do not share our views?  


Have we not come to this earthly dimension to learn, to experience, to discover for ourselves what there is to know?  And are we not gifted with the company and comradeship of other earth travelers who are also here to discover FOR THEMSELVES what there is to know?  Why argue with each other when everyone has been given this same calling?  Why not stay open to learning what has been noticed, accepted, embraced and assimilated by others and try to understand what they have learned that has felt so important and appealing to them?



"I do not argue.  I discuss so I can understand."  


 
Can you imagine the wealth of sharing and mutual support that would take place if every man clearly embraced his highest calling "to understand"...perhaps one of the most powerful and needed changes that could ever occur on our planet!



                                                                                Marie Helena





image from pinterest.com

Monday, October 16, 2017

More Than the Magic



Several years ago I found myself watching a PBS special presentation of Andre Rieu - Live in Dublin.  

For those of you who haven’t heard of
Andre Rieu – he is a violinist/conductor/showman of world renown who usually gives concerts only in Europe but on that day I realized he would be appearing in the states that spring in Detroit.  I was elated to learn this because I had seen several of his concerts on PBS and, in fact, owned several DVD’s of  the concerts and nearly all of his CD’s.


Andre Rieu's music and the enchanting way he presents it speak to my soul.  The camera work  on an Italian production I’ve seen, for example, was amazing - simultaneously capturing the soulful artist center stage, the sweep of an enraptured European audience amid the beauty of an Italian piazza in the moonlit night and a close-up of a grandfatherly gentleman listening to Andre with emotion-filled eyes and a tear sliding down his face.  The thought of being a part of all this was compelling.  Just as I made a mental note to call about tickets the next day, I heard the TV commentator remark that the concert had been sold out, but that a local university was holding a block of tickets for its contributors.


I noticed the number of available tickets was rapidly decreasing each time the concert was interrupted by the broadcasters to make a sales pitch for contributions.  Suddenly, someone was saying there were only ten tickets left and I realized that if I didn’t act now, I would lose this glorious opportunity.  I picked up the phone and suddenly found myself making the $250 contribution to the university, ensuring my attendance at the fabulous concert.

My impulsive decision amazed me.  I had often wondered if  I could be so moved that I would spend the kind of money concert tickets usually cost.  And, here I was, making a $250 contribution to get me to that moment.  God bless the magic that moves us out of our every day lives!


The Andre Rieu concert in Detroit I so anxiously awaited that spring was held at the stately Fox Theater When I arrived that evening,I fond it teeming with people streaming into the lobby.  As I found my seat I was mesmerized by the ornate and delicate beauty of the theater’s ceiling.  I was thrilled to be sitting up so high.  Meanwhile, I had been muttering periodically to myself about not having remembered to bring binoculars, but I put that concern aside when Andre and the Johann Strauss Orchestra took the stage, individually marching up the center steps with great ceremony to the strains of “Entry of the Gladiators”. 

Dressed in ebony tuxes and elegant, iridescent gowns, the members of his orchestra looked ready to play for the Queen.  The audience members at the Fox Theater that night numbered five thousand and you could feel the anticipation and excitement in the full house as the maestro raised his violin.  Behind him sat his talented orchestra, heavily favoring violins and cellos, but the evening would prove they were very capably balanced by the brass and drum sections.

As usual,  the maestro immediately struck a warm and convivial note with the members of his audience, including them in his commentary and especially in his musical pranks which were sprinkled throughout the evening.  He and his orchestra and performers were treated to several standing ovations.  Three female soloists (two from Brazil and one from Holland) were flawless in their presentations.  I could not believe the fabulous acoustics in a theatre of this size. As they performed, the obvious delight of the maestro, the orchestra and soloists hung rapturously in the air.  At one point, Maestro Andre passionately proclaimed the Strauss family responsible for the best waltzes ever written, as he proudly introduced “The Blue Danube”.

Sitting next to me during the performance was another university supporter who had an injured back from a car accident.  I lent her my lumbar cushion which I had brought with me but didn’t need at this point and she generously lent me the use of the binoculars circulating within her party.

The magic continued until the last waltz played was hailed with a burst of colorful balloons from what seemed like the miles high ceiling.  I do not know what was more touching…the music or the joy of the people performing and listening to it.  I was so thankful for the intuitive leap which had prompted me to make the contribution and secure the accompanying concert ticket.


After the performance I hurried outside, hoping to get one of the first cabs I expected would be lining up in front of the theater.  As I looked around, I saw no cabs but instead what looked like a blockade of buses.  (The performance was being presented exclusively for patrons of PBS and it seemed many members of the audience had traveled to Detroit in their respective group transportation.)  Furthermore, there was apparently some sort of minor fracas going on between a policeman who refused to let the cabs double park because of the danger to patrons who might be running out in between buses and the doorman in red tails and black top hat who was trying to find cabs for the patrons.  

A few moments later the handsomely attired doorman confided to us affectionately that the policeman was causing him a great deal of trouble but he promised to help and smilingly continued to search for one of the cabs which he promised were even now circling the block.  Eventually, the two uniforms struck a compromise and the policeman promised to keep all of the buses away from the theaer entrance at the next performance.

Finally, a cab was found and I climbed into a back seat that was VERY tightly wedged behind a barrier separating me from the cab driver.  As the cab pulled away, I tried to engage the driver in some casual conversation about the traffic and endless construction and he told me in a voice heavy with contempt that Detroit was the worst place in the world in which to live.  He then announced that no one there was human.  When I asked him why he felt this way, he could only repeat his comment two or three more times and shake his head.  Feeling his pain, and because I make it a practice to be especially considerate to anyone whose pain is transforming his life force into cynicism, negativity or depression, I gave him a $7 tip for the five minute cab ride, but he seemed not to notice…or to care.

I was struck by the significance of the glorious festivities ending in this way and felt there was most definitely a lesson here.  That evening I had encountered so many faces of humanity:  the artistic genius of Andre Rieu, the joy and talent of his orchestra and performers, the elation of the audience in hearing the concert, the generosity of the woman in the next seat who lent her binoculars for my enjoyment, the jolly red-tail coated doorman, the policeman who eventually came to a compromise with the doorman regarding the “lost” cabs and, finally, the cab driver whose aura (had I been able to see it ) must have reflected the darkness of the night and of his psyche.  In the midst of the artistry, joy and exuberance of those attending and performing at the concert, here was this lonely, lost cab driver who seemed as if he had no drop of hope in the world to sustain him.

I pondered the amazing parade I had witnessed that evening and considered what part we had all played in this drama.


We are all responsible for the gifts and pain of the world.  Just that past week I had heard Carl Franklin, an international speaker with over thirty-five years of spiritual/metaphysical research, teaching, lecturing, and counseling, remark that reality as we experience it is shaped by mass human consciousness via the quantum field.  There is no speed limit here, he said.  The speed of thought is instantaneous.


In reflecting on this I asked myself what kind of thoughts and emotions have we all been projecting into the cosmos?  What caring and concern?  When have we ignored the suffering of humanity?  When have we answered its call? 
We (every one of us) helped bring the joy of the glorious and amazing music to its manifestation at the concert and, equally, we helped shape the tragic sadness of the cab driver I encountered in the night.


We have all contributed to the collective energy which produced in the same evening the higher vibrations of exquisite artistry and, simultaneously, the lower cadences of hopelessness and despair.  The concert, I feel, represents the awesome joy that is possible and the cab driver the pain that must not be left unattended.


I received more than the gift of music the evening I attended the concert of Andre Rieu, more than just the magic.  I was also given a reminder of our common brotherhood and the responsibility of adding joy and love and, most especially, compassion to life.  As always, my intuition has been my great teacher and friend…and, in this moment, a conscience for humanity.


                  
                                                                                           Marie Helena




orchestra image from galleryhip.com

cab image from chachadiaries.blogspot.com