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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Once Upon a Time







As little children we often looked forward to hearing a bedtime story as we were being tucked in for the night.





In this story there were often princes and princesses, magical castles, beautiful pastoral settings with fields of flowers and sunshine sprinkled all about. Of course, there was also the evil stepmother or stepfather (or some such figure) who represented trouble but always, always the good prince and princess prevailed in the kingdom. In the end of the story everyone rejoiced and PEACE reigned everywhere.


We loved those stories because they engaged our imagination and desire for drama and also because good always triumphed over evil.


These bedtime stories which soothed the hearts of little children were truly gifts from the angels because the effect of the stories is that little weary bodies relaxed into a place of comfort and safety and let themselves drift peacefully off into the night.



When we grow up, we somehow feel we have to leave our child’s playthings behind. And so we learn to look at the world as a difficult and sometimes jolting place in which we have been planted. And we feel that there are lots of hard knocks to be endured because we are grown up.


And, because we expect that these things will happen, we invite them into our lives. And when they appear, we suffer.

We suffer because we feel someone is doing something to us…Someone is trying to get into our space…or trying to take what is ours…or trying to get us to do something we don’t feel like doing.
This place of victimhood seems to be part of what we believe is our legacy and we feel we just somehow need to endure it.


And yet, an entirely different outcome is possible.


The same loving magic of our childhood still exists and is just waiting for us to recognize it and let it reenter our lives.


This magic is the principle called Changing Our Story.

Alberto Villoldo
describes it so beautifully in his book Courageous Dreaming. And here is how it goes.


When something happens “to” us, we feel like a victim…like what is happening is beyond our control and that we have to somehow LIVE with it or, perhaps, we might choose to put up some resistance. In either case, our reaction translates to SUFFERING.

But, and this is so very important, when we change our role from victim to HERO (think the glorious bedtime adventures of your childhood), everything looks different…feels different…those beautiful moonbeams have fallen on our lives and have given us a look into what is really happening on a soul level.


If we truly believe that everything in our lives exists to teach us something (and I do), this totally changes the story of our lives. Our lives become an adventure of discovering what new wisdom and insight await us in each set of circumstances.

We believe that we are loved and guided and are being led to astounding discoveries. We become the hero who finds the gold (think alchemy) in every new challenge.


In this way, we are not only empowering ourselves to learn life’s lessons we are also comforting ourselves as we did with our childhood bedtime stories. If WE become the heroes of our stories, if we accept the challenge of discovering what there is to learn… we are left with feelings of joy and satisfaction.

Like being tucked in by someone who loves us…who has just given us the gift of the bedtime story... but this time we are giving it to ourselves.


Once upon a time…they lived happily ever after!

Not just a childhood fantasy…but a formula for dealing with life.


                                                                    Marie Helena

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Sleepwalking in Your "Night"



 
If we're sensitive and paying attention, the universe can teach us what we need to learn by tickling us with a feather. 

 If we're resistant to learning and sleepwalking through life, we require the universe to use a sledgehammer to deliver the same lesson.
 

 Gay Hendricks

 



Great artists who produce amazingly beautiful masterpieces seem to hold a profound sensitivity in their souls which informs and directs the expression of their artistry.  They are profoundly aware of this soft whispering.  This voice of inspiration  which we all possess IS the voice which silences all others...the voices of enculturation, limiting beliefs, questioning of self-worth, fear and doubt...when we recognize and embrace it.


With clear intention and awareness we can learn to discern this whisper even amidst the clamor of the world which is "too much with us".   


 

This stunning sensitivity of artists can be found in every human heart.  It may not be uncovered, but this does not diminish its power or presence.  It is the guidance of the Universe which has the governance to bring us into the blossoming of our Spirit Self.
 


I have found that this soft voice will reveal itself after we have bravely observed what it is that disturbs us and how we would like things to be different.


The process of speaking what we feel "in this moment" seems to open the PATHWAY to recognizing the obstacle in our heart that is preventing us from acting with the pure LOVE of accepting "What Is".   Whatever is blocking us always comes from an unhealed pain.  By giving ourselves COMPASSION for the experience we have suffered behind the pain we calm and soothe our souls, clearing away the clamor of default buttons and trigger reactions,  It is then that the SOFT WHISPER can be discerned...and it is ALWAYS the next, beautiful step in our soul's evolution.  In that moment the whisper is feather soft...and profoundly powerful.

Can you sense this exquisite expression of Divine caring or are you  

sleepwalking in your "night"?


                                                                                              Marie Helena




image from crasheconomies.wordpress.com

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Glass Slippers






If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.  Or, maybe not.

I have recently drawn what I consider to be some brilliant conclusions about my life but they were MANY years in the making. They have to do with the Divine Universe and, of course, with the way I perceive things and THAT has been mightily shaped by my upbringing and enculturation.  As has yours.  And also by the very human impulse to draw a conclusion about what is happening and attach ourselves to this belief.

For example, within my limited (very human) perception of things, I had decided that life unfolds in a very straight path.  And that path is often strewn with challenges and obstacles and also rewards. Pursuing it becomes a test in itself and becoming attached to the end result becomes a common default reaction.  And, when things do not progress in the way we desire, we draw the conclusion that we have failed… or have not tried hard enough, COMPLETELY missing the grand and even MORE glorious dreams the universe has for us and the complicated, complex stages of growth we must pass through to attain those dreams.

We can literally spend years in frustration and anxiety about how things did not roll out the way we had hoped.  Like Cinderella, we sadly mourn the loss of our glass slipper, missing the truth that the glass slipper’s trajectory is there to LEAD us to the most beautiful, most wonderful realization of what we hoped to have happen.

When we do experience these precious moments of realization, it is amazing to see how every step was there to help us become a grander version of ourselves and to also see that what we thought was transpiring was not even the true story of what was being  accomplished . Sometimes, we are focusing steadily on our projected goals.  But, sometimes, we are assisting others in their evolution which, ultimately, also helps us blossom and become more ready for what we hope to achieve.

Perhaps our life is a series of what looks like ducks endlessly following each other, steadfastly focused on the careful plans we have laid out for ourselves.  In doing so and by becoming so attached to those plans, we may miss the Glass Slippers which mysteriously seem to lose their way but most assuredly and with great artistry and grace ALWAYS bring us home.


                                                                                  Marie Helena



image from Hey Cinderella by RC DeWinter
fineartamerica.com












Saturday, November 24, 2018

The Best Christmas List of All







It's almost December and time for our Christmas to-do lists.. 
Some especially ambitious individuals have started on their lists many moons ago.  But for those of us who kick into high gear after Thanksgiving...it's time to get down.

And I bet you have LOADS OF ITEMS on your list: 

 buy a Christmas tree (and decorate it), 
 shop for presents,
 plan a holiday party, 
 balance that budget so finances will work smoothly,
 try some new holiday recipes...
oh, and clean the house (including those jobs you've left undone but now have to do because out-of-towners will be staying with you).


I'm guessing you might be exhausted just thinking about these tasks and that's nothing compared to the EXHAUSTION you feel when you start trying to complete the tasks and keep on trying...even when you are stressed
 and tired...and in need of sleep and relaxation and nourishment
In other words, when the concept of BALANCE has gone completely out of your life.
 

Just yesterday I got   a wonderful idea  about this whole conundrum of how do you get the work done and avoid feeling STRESSED to the max.
 

And here it is.

This is probably going to sound radical to you, but after some reflection I am convinced it's the answer to this problem.

The first premise of this idea is:  Christmas (and all of the preparations that go into the holiday) should be fun.  

Easy enough to say.  But, you may wonder, how can we have fun doing the Christmas to-do list when we are bone-tired...weary...dragging ourselves around?

The answer is not to do it.  DO NOT make yourself do the things on that list when you are not  IN YOUR POWER and have good energy, a  positive disposition and are ready to be in-the-flow.  
Just DO NOT do that list of tasks when your chin is on the floor.

Instead (and here comes the next premise) do WHATEVER IT TAKES  to get you  back to your place of power.  This might mean taking a  nap, relaxing, having a lovely conversation, enjoying  nourishing food for your tired body (and eating it slowly and tasting and enjoying every bite).  WHATEVER IT TAKES.

Then...when you have reclaimed your power (whenever that is)...do something on the Christmas prep list.
 

You are probably thinking THIS WILL NEVER 
WORK.  There won't be enough time. 

But here's my thought: 

If you've ever pushed yourself to do things when you DID NOT have the energy (physical, mental or emotional) to do them, then I am sure you know there is a hefty price tag on that delightful maneuver.  

And I bet this is when you develop that cold or catch that flu or get so totally out-of-sorts that nobody wants to be around you.  

Then...what good did it do to have the things on your list completed and you can't even appreciate what you have accomplished?
 

I know...I know...this concept will take some reframing of the way we usually tackle our tasks but consider this:  

How wonderful would it be to actually enjoy all of the holiday preparations...to be in such a lovely space that  it felt like you were constantly accessing the joy of Christmas and what it represents?  

How lovely also for all of those around you to engage with the happy, positive person you know you can be!
 

Wouldn't it be worth taking the leap to give this a try and then see how everything plays out?  
And, by the way, this isn't just a wonderful plan for Christmas...I think it's the best way to engage life all year round.

So start making that special list of all of the wonderful things that will rejuvenate you and move you back into that DELIGHTFUL place of joy and power and make that one THE LIST you always remember!



                                                                                Marie Helena


image from vickiblackwell.com

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Dreaming You


  

















  Whatever is happening in your life is coming from an image you hold about yourself.
  The images you send out attract situations to you.  These pictures are absolutely
  available to your conscious awareness.  You can change any situation by looking at
  and changing your vision of yourself.

                                 Sanaya Roman
                                            Personal Power through Awareness



I'm always so clumsy.
I can't cook.
I am never comfortable telling people what I really feel.
 
The descriptions we give ourselves are the source of our behavior.  Whatever we believe to be true determines the course of our actions. 
It's the biology of belief. 


And it belongs to us.  


Granted, we were influenced by our families, society and the world around us.  They all helped by providing us with some predispositions to these images but guess who made the final purchase?  Oh yes, we bought in.  And when we did that, we set a course for ourselves that would play out in a hundred different ways.


Here's the good news. 

We are NOT stuck on those checkpoints.  Even though we may think we are and give up on ourselves ever becoming anything different.


The fact is we have INDISPUTABLE CONTROL over these images and just need to choose their replacements. 


OK, maybe not JUST choose...because there is some work involved.  It includes conscious awareness, creativity, focus and follow through.  But we can handle that...we earth dwellers are constantly reinventing ourselves...we just need to reinvent in the right direction.


Instead of whining about how we are losing our touch...what if we were to SEE ourselves as bright, alert, tuned in


Instead of feeling we lack the motivation to realize our dream, we can begin to see ourselves full of joy and satisfaction, creating something beautiful for the world in physical form or in the beautiful love and compassion we send out.  

We already have the resource we need for this exercise...it's  our IMAGINATION.
 
What if...just for tomorrow...we hold this amazing image of ourselves living each moment with attention and awareness and appreciation and gratitude? And what if our new fabulous image is totally feeling JOY and having FUN exploring the glorious moments we can create for ourselves?
 
Sounds like a winner to me.  High vibration.  Open, aware, connecting with life...someone we would so love to be around.

Ooops....that's already WHO we are and we got there by dreaming
ourselvesNow watch  how THIS  delightful person attracts the most fabulous scenarios into her life.



                                                                                    Marie Helena                                                    



website for the image

1891455-2-dreaming « The New Writers

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Password






Surpised, the traveler turned back but moments later decided to try once more to enter the Vespers area.  Again, the guard curtly articulated the word CLOSED.  As he glanced behind the guard, the traveler noticed that several people had already gained entrance to the area and were gathering there waiting for the service to begin. Encouraged by this observation, he attempted a third time to gain admittance...with the same results.   

Now the traveler moved aside and began to calmly assess the situation.  He theorized that the guard could tell he was obviously not Italian and, of course, did not recognize him as a member of the congregation and that this could possibly be the reason why he was barred from entering.  He pondered further and came to the conclusion that there must be a password that needed to be used to gain admittance.  Persevering once more, the traveler then approached the guard a fourth time and, when he heard the word CLOSED loudly proclaimed, he quietly said “Vespers”  and was immediately admitted to the area. 

I so LOVE this story because I adore metaphors and there is a magical mega-metaphor here:  the PASSWORD which helped the traveler gain entrance to the Duomo’s Vespers.  After I heard the story of the traveler’s adventure, I immediately started pondering situations in my life that felt stuck and unsatisfactory and...dare I say with the curt and dogmatic voice of the Duomo guard...CLOSED.  I wondered if perhaps the problem with these stuck situations was that I had been using the wrong “password” in response to them and, when we don’t have the right password, 
we  don’t get in.   

How well we know the importance of passwords in our contemporary culture where we must have dozens of them to gain entry to the online field of play.  And consider, too, how often we hear from our compatriots the voicing of a common lament, “I FORGOT my password!”

We need passwords for everything...passwords that WORK and that we can remember and  I am wondering if it is the low vibration of some of our “passwords” that may be keeping us mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually STUCK in situations that are uncomfortable and upsetting to us.

When we are embroiled in an argument, for instance, and tempers flare and we find it impossible to speak calmly about the issue, the password we are using may be I am right and I’m going to show you why.
.
When we try repeatedly to accomplish a goal pushing steadily forward an our self-appointed schedule but encountering roadblock after roadblock resulting in the claiming of our victimhood, our password may be  things never work out for me.

When we try to solve a problem from a very limited and ego focused perspective with VERY unsatisfactory results, our password may be nobody cares how I feel.


The way we can tell whether our “passwords” are the right vibration is by looking at the results we obtain and the way we feel about them.  If things work out comfortably for us and we have a peaceful feeling about the resolution, we have undoubtedly used a higher vibration password.  And the reason this is so is because we are designed to be Creatures of LOVE...to generously extend that love to ourselves and to others, to honor our journey and others’ journeys, too.  And when we choose to do this, we feel peaceful, satisfied and happy. When we choose otherwise, we harbor a sense of dissonance and dissatisfaction.

There is a beautiful, divine plan afoot here. Once we ascertain and embrace the “password” which is in harmony with our souls, we feel the comfort of being at home with ourselves.  If, instead, we settle into lower vibrations, things don’t feel right in our world.

If you have any issues in your life which feel stuck, unresolved, CLOSED, perhaps you might consider choosing a high vibration password and then enjoying the fun of seeing how you have so easily and gently and comfortably transcended whatever was causing you distress.  
Esso intende essere.

Touching home base can be AMAZING!


                                                                              Marie Helena





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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Down the Rabbit Hole: Turnabout Day





Alice awoke extra early that morning.  She felt excited and happy but couldn't remember why this was so.  She took her index fingers and gently massaged her ear lobes, a trick that helped her wake up more easily she had learned from her dear sister Penelope.

After a few seconds, she remembered the source of her pleasure.  It was Turnabout Day (or, as it is commonly called on the earth's surface, Monday)!

 

The "Mondays" Alice remembered from BEFORE the rabbit hole had held all kinds of unsettling vibes for people.  Everyone was always unhappy that the weekend had ended and it was time to go back to work or school.  There was always lots of growling around the subject of Mondays whether you could hear it with your ears or not.  Alice instinctively KNEW that some sounds were LODGED straight in the heart and it was difficult for them to escape even if they wanted to.

Now, Turnabout Day...THAT was another story.
  Everybody down the rabbit hole waited for THAT day because it meant there would be much gaiety and laughter and, surely, there would be surprises.




Alice hopped out of bed with anticipation and tried to remember what she had planned for her debut in the village square.  "Oh, yes," she exclaimed.  "That's right.  I will need to go down to the pantry before I leave."


Before long Alice was dressed and ready to depart, now carrying a satchel filled with special ingredients.  As she stepped out onto the road she was joined by several vibrant birds, their feathers fluffing and refluffing themselves as they twittered away in excitement.  Though Alice could not decipher the special code of the birds' twittering, she was certainly able to translate their emotional state.  Obviously. Alice was not the only one expecting to have an exciting day.


Alice and the birds soon reached the gathering assemblage in the village square where all of the villagers were busily inspecting everyone else's personage for evidence of creativity.  Frederick the Owl was wearing his spectacles perched upside down on his beak which made his line of vision quite cumbersome, inducing a massive amount of swaying and stumbling about.


 

Priscilla the Pig wore her frothy white apron backwards, Alice noticed, smiling at the delicate, giant bow tied so prettily over Priscilla's tummy.

 

George the Otter had cut holes in his rain cape...big gaping, raggedy holes, a clear indication that George had slept in (yet again) and had clumsily fashioned the costume just minutes before.

 


As more and more of the villagers arrived, Alice decided she had better ready herself and dug into her satchel, producing a small kitchen knife and a cob of corn which she then smeared with peanut butter from a tiny jar.  "That should do it," she exclaimed to herself.  "I will be OK as long as I stay far away from Priscilla."


As silly as this entire scene might appear to a visitor wandering by,
Turnabout Day was, in actuality, a day of grave significance down the rabbit hole (even if it WAS accompanied by great fun).  It represented an effort by ALL of the villagers to consciously change their default buttons.  The proclamation declaring Turnabout Day had occurred only after much discussion in the village hall, hours of problem solving rhetoric from the Owl Triumvirate who always took matters of personal growth VERY seriously and the resulting consensus of the villagers that SOMETHING had to be done if things were to ever have a chance of changing.

 

It seemed that every creature to be found in the rabbit hole harbored a mysterious default button that, when activated, inspired behavior that was "less than courteous and civil".  For example, Frederick the Owl became enraged whenever he was interrupted and started slinging accusations at everyone in his line of vision about their poor communication skills and disregard for others.  Priscilla the Pig was extremely sensitive and felt dishonored when others did not notice her reactions and sensitivities and try to console her.  George the Otter had an insecurity complex...he always arrived late to events and tried to sneak in.  If someone noticed George's lateness and got in his otter face about it, well, to put it simply,
it was "ON" and George had an anger issue and was NOT insecure about batting his tail around.

 

The fact is, EVERYBODY in the rabbit hole displayed some kind of unconscious behavior that did not serve them well and the entire community had decided to do something about their bad behavior and replace it with gentleness and consideration for others.  And so Turnabout Day was born, one day each week when every resident of the rabbit hole decided to do something  "different" to consciously remind himself about the behavior change he aspired to.

 

And it was really working...most of the time.  The village citizens were becoming more aware of when their default buttons were being activated,  especially on the several occasions (which shall go down in history) when several default buttons had gone off at the same time!  Oh, my, thought Alice, remembering some episodes.  I don't even want to go THERE.


 

It had all been too much to deal with and so the decision was made that ALL citizens would take responsibility for reminding  themselves to be present to what was transpiring IN THAT MOMENT..to be consciously aware of what was happening NOW and simply deal with that issue and not act out from the past hurts or unhealed pain that could spring up and surprise them. This was not an easy assignment for ANYONE but Alice was very proud of the efforts the villagers were making to bring a measure of peace to the bustling community.


Alice looked cautiously around to make sure that Priscilla was not nearby
and gingerly licked the peanut butter off of the front of the cob of corn.

 


She became very pensive.  Peanut butter always induced this state in her.  If everyone can become a better version of himself by becoming aware of his default button, Alice pondered, and...if everyone can find a more gentle way of consciously expressing himself, then the rabbit hole was destined to become more harmonious, she decided.  And, working together,  maybe they could solve whatever problems presented themselves.

...and maybe even then they could solve the problems that existed ABOVE the rabbit hole!!!

 

With that, Alice decided to join the flock of birds that were twittering their way home and, though she did not know the word/notes to the songs they were singing as they winged their way down the road, she felt a certain happiness enter her heart.
                         


                                                                                                                                                                                

                                                     Marie Helena
                                                                                         



top image from DragoArt.com.   
how to draw Alice in wonderland  characters