Popular Posts

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Resistance








Resistance
to the disturbance

is
the disturbance.


Vernon Howard




The only way out of anything is through.


Whenever we try to find ways to sidestep the lessons of life we place them deeper inside us…ensuring their resurrection at a later time. And most probably, a resurrection which will be more dramatic and more painful.


We have entered into our earthlife so that we can learn the lessons we have chosen. The learning calls for courage and strength and truth. Interestingly, the more deeply we embrace the lessons, the more courage and strength and truth we have.


There is beauty in the SURRENDER.

And wisdom awaits on the other side.

Bless your life by fully engaging in it.




                                                                                    Marie Helena

Sunday, March 19, 2017

What's Behind the Blarney Stone?





According to Dictionary.com, the BLARNEY STONE is a stone in Blarney Castle in the southwest republic of Ireland said to endow whoever kisses it with the gift of the gab and skill in flattery.


What a great year it is for me to consider the question of what’s behind the blarney stone! I just took a trip to Ireland a few months ago to visit my daughter who is living in Galway for a sabbatical year. And I got to enjoy the delightful…no, make that DELICIOUS ways of the Irish as evidenced by my encounters with the Irish taxi drivers.

THEY certainly have the gift of gab. And they’re not just talking to hear the sound of their own voices. Their gift is their beautiful, heartfelt interest in the lives of others. They really want to know about people. How they are feeling…how they are enjoying the day…what’s really in their hearts. And, in return, they open their hearts at the first inkling of interest.

They seem to intuitively know how much information you would like to have and they are happy to provide it. No, not just happy. This heartfelt sharing is like breathing to them. This is probably why I felt so at home there. I, too, share a desire to do this heart connecting.


One taxi driver in Dublin told me about his family history, including the legacy of his father and his grandfather. Interestingly, he was not of Irish descent but he fit in so beautifully with Irish ways he could have been mistaken for Irish. (Probably he was called to live there because Ireland resonated so appealingly with him.)

Other taxi drivers discussed their children when I asked about them…giving me not only the statistical details but also commenting on their strengths and virtues and how they also drove their parents crazy.
As for the question of flattery, I’d have to take exception to the inclusion of that word in describing the Irish. Yes, they are given to dramatic descriptions (another reason I loved them so much). And, yes, they seem to love to use language to express themselves but the message of the Irish seems to be that they are sincerely, authentically connected with life…its joys and its hardships…and they have been deeply affected by both.

They do not opt to do a superficial dance with the encounters of life…they immerse themselves deeply. Sometimes they are delighted, sometimes confounded; sometimes they are sad, other times outraged but always they deeply connect with their lives. They ACKNOWLEDGE what is happening to them and around them. At times the pain, I believe, is overwhelming and the attempt is made to quell the suffering by frolic and gaiety, dance and drink.
But so often the Irish find the happy note, the joy, the inspiration in the moment and celebrate this discovery. There is a strength to the Irish that buoys them up and helps them rise and meet each day.

What they really have to teach us, I think, is to be unafraid to embrace the flow, to acknowledge it, to speak our truth about how it feels, to deal.


And so, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I salute this courage and fearlessness and invite them to inspire us to remember the beauty of dancing Irish eyes and engaging Irish hearts and let that awareness linger just a little longer and inspire us to deeply connect with each and every moment of our day.


                                                                                                       Marie Helena


When Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring.
In the lilt of Irish laughter

You can hear the angels sing.

When Irish hearts are happy,

All the world seems bright and gay.And when Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, they steal your heart away.

lyrics by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff, Jr.
music by Enerst
Ball


                                                                            

Friday, March 17, 2017

Irish Taxi Drivers




“Hello, luv…good morning to you…and are you here on holiday?” This is the beautiful way I was greeted nearly every time I stepped into a taxi in Galway, Ireland.

I had just returned from a trip abroad to visit my daughter Rachel on sabbatical there and I truly must say that the taxi drivers in Ireland so warmed my heart. I was able to sit up front with them in what we would call the driver’s seat here in the U.S. as the steering wheels there are placed on the right side of the car and so I got the wonderful opportunity to ask a few questions and learn so much about their lives.


I heard about pride in their families, about their wives and children (names, ages and personalities), about how the college aged kids were driving them to the “poor house” and how they had learned to step out of the fray and, thankfully, let their brilliant wives negotiate with their teen aged daughters. I heard about last night’s christening celebration that threatened to turn into a brawl until the taxi driver stepped in and told the offending party to get his priorities straightened out. I heard many comments about the recession and how it had dampened somewhat the spirits of the Irish. (I can hardly imagine what they were like before!) And, when I mentioned that I was visiting my daughter but leaving soon, I heard the comment, “Not to worry for we’ll be keeping an eye on her.”

The sense of living life in the Present Moment and embracing it with such passion are so strong in Ireland it is truly amazing. If I had known what I could find there in the open hearts of the Irish, I would have gotten myself to the Emerald Isle long before this.

Whenever I left the taxi, I always commented to the driver my wish that he have a beautiful day. And I always received a beautiful smile and blessing in return.

Irish eyes sparkle with fun and mischief…and delight in what the day will bring. What a lovely inspiration!

I am now determined to find the “Irish” in everyone I encounter and am set on uncovering this beautiful gift embedded in every human heart!


                                                                                             Marie Helena

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Coloring Outside the Lines





As little children we were often gifted by family and friends with coloring books.

These books had very distinct pictures of people and places and things. The guidelines, no doubt, helped us learn about the many aspects of life and told us what to expect from our surroundings.


We were instructed by most of our supervising adults to color carefully inside the lines …and we learned to do so. This served us well for a time…but life proved to be much bigger and bolder and more complex than that original coloring book.

Coloring inside the lines is a careful response to what we have learned to expect. Stimulus…and reponse. Coloring inside the lines is often our goal. So precise, so clear…so easy to understand.

And we often carry this preoccupation over into adulthood into the world of interpersonal communication…anticipating that the people in our lives will fulfill our expectations. When they do, we know exactly how to proceed…what “colors” to choose, what the “picture” should look like.

But… when the people and circumstances and events in our lives don’t look like the pictures in our coloring books (our images of them), we can’t use this childhood process.

Coloring inside the lines won’t work because the people, places and things won’t stay inside them.

And this is not a bad thing.


In fact, it’s a wondrous, challenging thing. Admittedly, sometimes it is very, very difficult…and sometimes very messy. We have to color outside the original lines. We have to see what boundaries will fit each picture (and try to honor and respect them) and we can’t determine that ahead of time. We have to watch where the borders are each moment for they are constantly moving. We have to see how the whole picture itself looks and how it meshes with ours.

To put this in human terms:


If we have a certain image of someone or something and then we see that based on what is happening, the image we have is not holding, it is very natural to be distressed. But the problem isn’t with the person or thing or circumstance; the problem is the fact that we are holding onto our old coloring book with a very structured mind picture we have created.

In doing this we are missing the opportunity to see what really exists in this LIVING work of art.

We are missing the opportunity to learn something new from each other.

We are missing the opportunity to be brave and adventurous...to engage in life and be fully present in that Moment.



If we only color inside the lines, we are missing out on one of the most profound and moving opportunities of life.


Let's redefine our creation to include the bold and bright colors that rush headlong into each other alongside the soft and gentle hues that open channels of converging energy with their loving interactions.


All are brilliant and beautiful. All tell the story of how we come together and, sometimes, stand apart.


Perhaps the ENGAGEMENT with this colorful, messy, ever moving picture is an ART unto itself. 


                                                                                      Marie Helena

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

He Said, She Said


The glorious, mysterious, and often frustrating mix of energies between male and female has left mankind puzzled for centuries.  And nowhere is this more evident than in the LANGUAGE used by both.

Even given the most noble intention...to BE  THERE for the other... males and females often find their well-meaning attempts to request help and to respond get twisted and turned when the other sex tries to ascertain the meaning.

And here's why.

Men like to primarily fix things.  The mere mention of a problem by a female makes a male want to come up with the perfect solution and be the hero in her story of distress.

Women, on the other hand, just want to be HEARD.  And this translates to being listened to with great patience and compassion as they explain their plight, often weaving into the story other related concerns.  They DO NOT usually want to hear a quick fix.  What they want is to feel they are being listened to, heard, understood.  They want to know that SOMEONE
understands their feelings.

Now that's a recipe for a perpetual conundrum.

None of this is news as we have all been aware that there are vast differences between the way the sexes perceive problems and the ways they want to solve them.
 

My attention here is on HOW to navigate these waters.  And here's my thought.

The first thing we have to do is OVERRIDE THE ORIGINAL DEFAULT BUTTON...the button that makes males confusedly wonder why females  won't appreciate a great problem solving idea and females conclude that no one understands how they feel.

When that default button gets pushed, emotions start to CRACKLE and everyone is dissatisfied with the outcome of the interaction.
 

Overriding a default takes conscious intention and perhaps we can embrace this idea by the promise it offers to help keep communication misses off the radar.

The new default button is THE IMMEDIATE STATEMENT OF HELPFUL INTENTION.  

She says something like, "I am feeling sad (distressed, worried, anxious, etc.) and I think it would help me to know that you understand the emotion I am experiencing.  Just understand it...no need to solve it right now as I am not ready for that step just yet."

He says, "I can see that you are distressed (unhappy, worried, stressed, etc.) and I care about you and want to help you feel better.  I have some ideas on how to do that when you are ready to hear them."
 

Now this will take some adjusting on the parts of both sexes because when the female is in a distress mode (the forlorn maiden locked in the tower of her emotions) and the male is in the problem solving mode (riding up on his noble steed, equipped with the weapons needed to fend off the enemy)...when these conditions have arisen, it is not easy to change directions.

The forlorn maiden must vacate her role as damsel-in-distress and the prince-riding-to-the-rescue must vacate his action-driven energy and both must  become the calm, patient and wise communicators...at least for the first few minutes of the interaction. 

Then, knowing what each other's intentions are, the conversation will now have the chance to play out differently.  Both parties can feel understood and appreciated.

Peace reigns.
The crisis has been attended to.
 

This is not an easy formula to put into practice because it is so natural to feel that the other sex SHOULD KNOW what we need and are intending.

But, energy-wise...this is a very efficient idea because the investment of a different approach and new default button will ultimately save the emotional trauma of someone  feeling misunderstood...a perception that can persist for an indeterminate amount of time

In this way we can even improve on Mother Nature's DISTRIBUTION OF EMOTIONAL RESOURCES and, through a conscious investment of our energy, easily receive/respond to what it was that we were originally looking for and hoping to give.




                                                                                            Marie Helena

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Birth of an Addiction






Addiction is an attempt to relive the past.

               Ken Porter



Some of the moments we experience in our lives are breathless in their reach.  They satisfy a core longing, mask a painful picture or fill a pressing need and they can be intoxicating to the soul.  Often we see them as a pinnacle...an epic event in our lives and we refuse to emotionally separate ourselves from them.  We become attached to the feelings we have experienced and, because of that attachment, we consign ourselves to their remembrance. And our emotional memory of the event becomes a default during times of stress...and, eventually, births an addiction.


But it is impossible...and unwise...to continue to  try to re-experience events exactly as they occurred because we are NOT the same individuals who experienced those original moments.  We are constantly reinventing ourselves, reacting and responding to new stimuli, developing new perceptions and insights...and, hopefully, growing stronger and wiser.  We are encountering opportunity after opportunity...blocks building one upon the other…all available to us for our consideration.


If we persist in our attachment to past moments and become addicted to reliving their significance, we pass by magnificent opportunities appearing in our lives, offering us new adventures and experiences designed to help us grow even more.


What could becthe source of this addictive behavior?  What is it that might prevent us from experiencing each moment in our lives as an original scenario...one in which we are focused, alert, centered, willing and eager to address each new issue or question with clarity and compassion for ourselves and others?


The ability to effectively deal with what is presenting itself to us in this moment depends upon whether we have steadily and consistently aspired to become the next, grandest version of ourselves and have matured through our encounters, eventually remembering the nature of Who We Truly Are.  Once we have reached that remembrance, we naturally move toward expressing our loving response within every circumstance we encounter.


This is a worthy and amazing challenge...to respond originally and authentically and lovingly to every "invitation" that crosses our path.  The spiritual growth we achieve would be amazing and exponential, contributing not only to our evolution but to the evolution of all earth dwellers for everything that we do adds to the collective unconscious and becomes accessible to all.


Are you in?  Are you content to constantly replay your back story, reliving that moment of comfort or contentment...or ARE YOU READY for the starring role you have been given to be a creator and light the way for others with your original thought, tenacious exploration and curious and loving heart?


                                                                                         Marie Helena





image from Pinterest
The history of Bohn S Printing Pictures

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Leave the Playing Field: The Beauty of Surrender






Oh, the energy we consume when we set our minds to solving a problem.

Yep...we are the TOUGH GUYS...the ones who can figure things out.

And we are determined to make it work somehow.


It's so exhausting to set out to prove something to ourselves. 

It's exhausting because we may be able to tough our way through to an answer but you can bet it's not the ULTIMATE answer.  

It's the one we can access from our limited, earthbound point of view.  It's the one that takes into account all the parameters we can see...but it DOES NOT have access to the UNIVERSAL consciousness...the view which clearly shows  what is the perfect way to achieve our goal and which is the best  way to touch the lives of others.  

This is why it is so important to SURRENDER our problems...to stop trying to figure them out.  

We don't need to. 

We are confused about our job description.


We merely need to have a CLEAR AND CONSCIOUS INTENTION regarding what we want help with and then we need to LEAVE THE PLAYING FIELD and do something that brings us joy.



We are designed to discover the wonder and beauty of life. 

We are designed to re-member the ever present and ever powerful Divine force  that is supporting and loving us and just waiting to be accessed and embraced.  The force through which all wisdom flows...the force which always has our back and knows the grandest way to gift us with what we desire.


Lola Jones tells us to "Let the Divine do the Heavy Lifting."


We do indeed need to exit the playing field...to LAY DOWN OUR BURDENS with the certainty that we will receive exactly what we need at the perfect moment in time.

We are all truly meant to RELAX in faith and ENJOY the power of Divine grace unfolding.
 

                                                                                  Marie Helena




image from DragoArt.com