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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Divine Flight: A True Gift

When I was a young girl, my mother taught me how to open a pair of scissors and use one of the blades to scrape along the side of a thin grosgrain ribbon to make it curl. This technique worked beautifully and by spending just a few minutes on this project I could produce a gift that was literally covered in a flurry of tumbling ribbons.

As I reminisce on these beautiful moments of nostalgia, a thought occurs to me about what those ribbons represent.  As delightful as they are with their curls resting lightly in waves of frivolity, those lovely ribbons may also be a reminder to us of the many layers of meaning...and even the strings...we perhaps attach subconsciously to the giving of our gifts.

Perhaps the "ribbons" we fasten so carefully to our packages are metaphorical scouts for us, meant to capture some information we are seeking:

Will the recipient be happy/comfortable to receive a gift from us?

Will he like our choice of gift?
       Have we chosen well?
       Do we understand his preferences?
       Have we been original/creative?

All of these questions (these "ribbons") may be attached to the gifts we are giving and, interestingly, they are all about US.

Are we also giving a gift to ourselves?  The gift of information...possibly of answers we are seeking?

We are often very anxious to learn how someone likes a gift we have given and, even more basically, if he has even received it.  Once we know the gift has been acquired, we are naturally eager to learn the details of the recipient's response.  

Interestingly, these details help shape the image we hold of ourselves and which we are continually refining.  We keep pretty busy trying to figure out how we are being perceived in the space of our relationships.

But what if we were to consider the gifts we give in an entirely different way? What if they had nothing to do with us… and everything to do with the recipient?

I wonder just what that would look like.

Perhaps we would be a holding a warm, affectionate feeling for someone we are close to.  And, from that beautiful place of caring, we would be inspired to give him an object or experience that would delight, inspire, celebrate or comfort him.  We would trust our intuitive sense of this possibility unfolding.  And we would also trust that the recipient would intuitively know how best to enjoy or utilize our inspiration.

Then, fully and sacredly grounded in that sense of knowing, we would RELEASE the gift and with it the need to have knowledge of its delivery and our attachment to being aware of how the gift was received.  We would consign our "inspiration" to the Divine workings of our beautiful Universe.

Now the gift becomes a beautiful impulse which we have brought into fruition and, with a loving thought, we have sent it on its way.

No need for it to "report back" to us with further information.  No assignment.  No conditions.  No strings.  Once we dispatch this jewel, we leave the playing field and let it take its own  Divine flight..

A true gift.  An exquisite place of unconditional love!  And, released from their assignment, our ribbons are now free to simply adorn the stirrings of the heart.

                                                                               Marie Helena

GIFT       Something given voluntarily without "payment" in return

image from pinterest

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Fatima's Laughter

I have this lovely group of friends… individuals that I used to work with… who like to get together a few times a year to celebrate our birthdays. It's always a convivial affair...we catch up with each everyone's latest escapades and adventures.  There is much merriment and lots of affectionate teasing (especially by the guys) which are enjoyed by all.  And, amid all of this friendly chatter, there is always one particular moment I so look forward to...the delight of  "hearing" one of my special friends arrive... and that is because I can recognize her glorious bursts of laughter before she even enters the room.

Truly, my friend Fatima cannot contain her JOY.  It pours out of her like liquid grace, SPARKLING with tiny diamonds of delight.  And I am filled with gratitude to catch the happy sparks as they flutter by.

Our delightful Fatima is completely taken with life...
so present...… 
so interested in what is going on around her. 
And not only interested, but CELEBRATORY!!! 

When I hear her laughter in  the offing, I cannot wait for Fatima to arrive.  It is so lovely and engaging to be around someone so radiantly interested in and appreciative of everything around her.  I think she must have been one of the first in the heavenly line to receive Curiosity and then must have promptly snuck eagerly into the aisles of Joyfulness and Delight

I am not sure why I have the good fortune to know this memorable character who graces my life.  But I do recognize her spirit as a special GIFT.  She is a reminder to me of the charismatic connection we can all enjoy with everything that crosses our path.  

There is ALWAYS something beautiful to behold...
to be fascinated with...
and to enjoy. 
Just by reason of its very existence...its availability.  

We live on a verdant, lush planet of infinite possibility. We are surrounded by fascinating individuals, each with his or her own preferences, experiences, values, feelings.  Everyone has a story to tell.

Fatima is listening...And seeing… And appreciating.  She is present.  And, best of all, she is ENJOYING the ride.

Fatima will not miss "the party".  Not with that glorious curiosity and boundless appreciation.  She IS "the party".

 Have you discovered YOUR invitation to this glorious event?

                                                                       Marie Helena

 Take as a gift whatever the day brings forth.


image from pinterest

Saturday, September 24, 2016

More Coffee?

If you are one of the many earth dwellers who crave their coffee fix each morning, you are well aware of the comfort of having someone bring you this "ambrosia" and check on you occasionally to see if you desire More CoffeeReceiving this VERY welcome attention feels so wonderful...someone tuned in to what feels important to you!  And, as the star of this production, you get to "Say When" you have been satiated.

The amiable person checking on you and pouring your coffee clearly wants to know when you have satisfied your desire for this daylight delight.  He is practicing a very simple ritual… but an important one of great substance.  We all have a curiosity to know when we have "filled a cup" to someone's satisfaction...whether it is coffee or some other important thing he is seeking.

Sometimes, words give us the information we are seeking.  However, on a grander scale… beyond a simple cup of coffee...there are times we do not hear expressed in words a response indicating that someone has received what he truly desires.  In these cases, we need to look in different places for our clues.  

Consider the example of someone who is trying to share with us something deeply important to him.
  Something he feels very emotional about. In this moment, the speaker has a deep desire to express his feelings and, equally, a deep desire to have those feelings acknowledged. 

But we sometimes miss these moments.  How often do we respond with only a passing comment, expressing our reaction in a few brief words and then moving quickly on to the next topic on our agenda? 

And, when we move abruptly away from someone's deep emotional moment and move instead to our concern,
do we miss the chance to affirm someone's deep sense of angst or joyful elation?  The opportunity to be with someone while that individual processes a significant emotional experience.  And the profound and exquisite opportunity to affirm and honor the existence of those emotions and the importance of their expression.

How can we know when we have entered that sacred moment and stayed in that beautiful place until someone's metaphorical cup of coffee has been filled?
  By carefully witnessing someone's emotions and reactions…his nonverbal behavior.  By really observing a person for a moment or two we can tell when we have truly met him in the space he is inviting us into.  We can see the parade of emotions moving through him as he responds to our attention.

And that is when we intuitively know he has received his fill of the metaphorical coffee he is seeking.

Do you make a practice of fully entering into an emotional space you have been invited by someone to join?  And do you stay there until you see the sense of comfort and gratitude that appears on his face when he has been truly heard, understood, celebrated or given compassion… whatever that particular moment is calling for?

Have you truly recognized the beauty of these sacred invitations?  

Perhaps we all need to see the significance of helping people fill the spaces in their hearts that want to be recognized and affirmed.  How many of these unanswered invitations  have contributed to the fear and pain and even the violence in the world?

                                                                                              Marie Helena

image from pinterest

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Divine Creatures


We are such beautiful creators, bringing into our lives whatever we give energy to!  Sometimes we flow in a beautiful space of peace and joy and gratitude and the things we focus on in that moment enter into our lives with elegance, beauty and exquisite timing. In their own unique wrappings, possibly not ones we could have imagined.   

Sometimes, though, we knock around in a space of frustration and annoyance, paradoxically angry with the world and the people in it for reflecting us to ourselves (a small bit of cosmic humor from the Divine Universe).  

When we finally awake to this strange but divinely inspired strategy, the “pesky” people around us no longer appear to be villains.  They are all very clearly delivery persons with very specific assignments.  (Perhaps we could even imagine them in their spiffy delivery uniforms.)  They have something to tell us.  A message about ourselves.

And the question is:  Are we listening? 

If we ARE listening…if we are able to see the lucid reflection of ourselves being beamed right to us, life transforms from a nest of annoying, varmints buzzing around to yet another inspired scenario (which, perhaps we do not feel quite up to perceiving...but the Universe knows our beautiful souls and senses our readiness whether we can feel it or not).

The message here is:  We are so loved that we keep getting the gifts we are “ready” for on a soul level.  They WILL keep coming.  For our learning.  For our edification.  For the spiritual evolution to be experienced on the earth plane.  There is no hiding Who We Truly Are...Divine Creatures catapulted into a world of adventure designed to WAKE UP and ENJOY every moment of this awesome experience.

When we do learn to see and appreciate what is being revealed to us about ourselves, we cannot help but be totally entranced at the existence and operation of such a mystical intelligence
   And, when we eventually grasp Who We Truly Are…and revel in the brilliance of it…we begin to create from a place of JOY!  And, (here’s the magical part), because we are focusing on our JOY, we get MORE of it!

The Divine Gift that keeps on giving!  How beautiful is that!


                                                                                          Marie Helena

image from pinterest
painting by Marc Allante

Friday, September 16, 2016

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

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Author of Our Stories


Everything in your story is constantly changing, including the story that you tell yourself about who you are. 

             don Miguel Ruiz


The bedtime stories we tell our children are so appealing to them because they resonate with their hearts. There is adventure in them...challenge, victory.  By the end of the story ultimately, peace prevails...and joy...two things we all long for.  

Little children sleep so peacefully after hearing a loving narration such as this because The Divine Universe is leading us back to the realization that we truly are Pure Love and that our essence is bright, bold, beautiful, expansive.  The guardians of our lives… parents and parent figures...are meant to live the role of gentle reminders to us of our awesome nature.

As we grow and mature, we take over the role of the parental figure as storyteller to ourselves. 
But, sometimes, we forget the truth of what we felt so strongly as children..the joy  of our  invincibility.  We  forget Who We Truly Are.  And, often, our stories begin to show evidence of disappointment and self judgment because the world tries to inflict its own values upon us and, in trying to satisfy others, we override the innate clarity we possessed as children in knowing so clearly what "music" made our hearts sing.

And, so, we are sometimes left with stories mirroring the expectation of others and the pain of our compliance
because we do not recognize our worthiness, our endowment in the Grand Experiment to return to Who We Truly Are.

Don Miguel Ruiz reminds us that the stories we tell ourselves...the stories we, therefore, live...are constantly evolving, reflecting the changing image we hold of ourselves.  If we subject ourselves to the burden of meeting others' expectations, that is what our stories...and lives...will reflect.  And they may well hold unconscious anger and deep resentment.   Conversely, if we are open to the many clues The Divine Universe provides us with and we honor its guidance, we come to clearly see that true happiness does not result from following the perceptions and value systems of others but rather from  listening to the guidance of OUR OWN HEARTS.  And, when we do, we experience a deep sense that all is right with the world and, that is, because all is right in our own hearts.   

We are meant to be the authors of our stories.  The acceptance of this wisdom transforms our stories with the alchemy of love, returning them to the beauty and joy and simplicity of our childhood innocence and wisdom when we possessed the clarity of knowing what felt right for us and the boldness and courage to bring it into our lives.

Can you clearly see the stories you tell yourself? 
And, can you recognize that these stories proceed from the beliefs you hold, regardless of where you got them?

If your beliefs are not bringing you peace and joy, perhaps they are not truly resonant with Who You Truly Are.  Can you consider finding a story that brings you to this beautiful place? And, are you willing to see if that new story truly fills the longing of your heart?

                                                                                           Marie Helena

image from glogster.com

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Road to Amazement

Oh, how we love to be in COMPLETE CONTROL 
of our lives. 
The technical and artistic designer.  
With a strong, persistent vision. 
We LOVE to construct our experiences.   Place them in a box of our design.  
We can see them in our mind playing out beautifully.  Just as we imagined.

In this picture there is precision and polish.  Everything works just as we envision  it.  Stimulus...response.   Action...reaction.  
It's our story and it's a work of art
But...are we missing something?

Is this picture we have so carefully planned going to help us create the life we want for ourselves?

Whenever we are strongly attached to an experience playing out just as we have conceived it...

and someone agrees to say the lines we "write" for them...

and agrees to be contained in OUR vision of the world...
we get what we prefer and we are comfortable.


We miss the excitement of something new and unexpected entering the scene.

We miss the challenge of having to create our response IN THAT MOMENT...the challenge of testing ourselves to see how we can call on the influence of new things we have been learning.

We miss the glorious opportunity to see different aspects of the persons with whom we are interacting.

We miss the opportunity to learn something new or gain a new way of viewing things.

We miss the ENERGY of a brand new moment expressing itself with twists and turns and full to the brim with the promise of awareness, excitement and challenge.

In short, we are stuck in the groove we have been digging for a long, long time...and that groove is called  Having It My Way.


Jesse Nichols George says, 

*When we let go of our attachments we set things free to be so much more.  If we try to restrict people and relationships to be a certain way we miss so much of what they have to offer; when we let them be themselves, WE CAN BE AMAZED OVER AND OVER AGAIN."

Here's a thought...  

What if the "program" we create for the experiences in our life was blank?  
No predictions or hints of what is to come... no plot points.
Just a tabula rasa, a blank page waiting to be created by the information and emotions of the players revealing themselves in each moment.


Life would never be static or boring, would it?  

There would always be something new to consider...enjoy...watch for.  We would never have to travel to a Mecca for something new and exciting.  

OUR LIFE and the way we live it would be the new, exciting thing.

If we allow...no, let's make that  INVITE,  ENCOURAGE and  DELIGHT IN the scenes which  are WRITING THEMSELVES (even in this moment), we will undoubtedly have a front row seat to the evolution of our awareness, joy and wisdom!

                                                                                  Marie Helena

image from casualtext.wordpress.com