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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Bringing Joy to the Light!



 

"Before giving, the mind of the giver is happy; while giving, the mind of the giver is made peaceful; and having given, the mind of the giver is uplifted."

                                 Buddha
                                                                                



Look what lands so effortlessly and beautifully on the list of simple 
(and transformative) pleasures...GIVING!

 

This pleasure is transformative because of what it does for the giver..and, of course, for the recipient of the gift.
 

The SIMPLE ACT OF WANTING TO GIVE tells us several things about what is happening within our heart.  


It tells us that we are feeling happy and that we want to generously extend that happiness by sharing it with another.

And it tells us that we are emotionally connected to someone and that we care about their happiness and well-being.

 

The act of giving itself moves the impulse into action and we intuitively feel the JOY and PEACE of extending our happiness.

 
When we generously give a gift, we raise our
VIBRATION...and the VIBRATION of the recipient who feels the beautiful energy of our caring.

 

I have also found that GIFT GIVING can perform a very practical and HEALING role for us.  

 
Whenever I experience  an unresolved conflict with someone, I make an effort to give that person a gift (a compliment, an affirmation, beautiful listening, perhaps an actual present ).   

My intention when I do this is always to remind myself of the BLESSING of the relationship that lies under the conflict.  

And it never fails to perform this task successfully.  

The very act of gift giving under the condition of disharmony somehow changes THE CHEMISTRY OF THE MOMENT. 

Both parties see each other in a new (or perhaps it is a "remembered"  light) and can now imagine a peaceful path between the two opposing views.
 

I love knowing that my ritual of gift giving can help me navigate the dissonance in a relationship and help return me to harmony with such ease and grace.


The happiness and joy we find in life always reaches higher dimensions when we unconditionally choose to give a gift...and  the gift we give to others is always a special blessing to ourselves.



                                                                                              Marie Helena



 
Unresolved CONFLICT sometimes masks the Beautiful Bond I have with another.  I bring this Joy to the LIGHT and watch the issue fade away.  

                                                 Mystic Marks: Bookmarks for the Soul






image from rgbstock.com.   

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Tale of Two Leaves





Late last December in the midst of the approaching Christmas season,  I glanced out the window one morning and noticed a strange occurrence.  I had a clear view of several bare tree branches.  On one of the branches I saw two lone leaves hanging on bravely through the cold and frost. 

There was a mild wind blowing. I could tell this because of the way the leaves were moving but there was a great difference between how each member of the duo responded to the wind.  One seemed to wave gently with each light wisp of wind, slowly fluttering with elegance and grace.  The other, subject to the same precise amount of wind, was frantically turning and twisting in response to the elements.  The vision of these two leaves performing in such diametrically opposed ways while subject to the same stimulus made me giggle.

Until I recognized myself in the metaphor.


The second leaf was a perfect match for the frenzy I had been experiencing in getting ready for Christmas, using every ounce of energy I could call up day after day to finish addressing  mountains of Christmas cards, search for the best of the Black Friday deals, make final choices about Christmas gifts and order them online,  all the while keeping a tight rein on the Christmas budget.

Hmmmm..,I thought.  Nature was showing me to myself with color, creativity and...precision. I was the twirling leaf, spinning and swirling away...laboring to meet my well-defined expectations often at the cost of desperately needed rest and relaxation.

It was, indeed, a moment of realization, reminding me of the strong sense of fatigue I had pushed back out of my awareness on a daily basis in my very powerful and strong desire to celebrate the Christmas season as I had imagined it.


Whenever we enslave ourselves to our  programmed expectations and fail to tap in to present moment awareness (in this case, the enormous fatigue growing each day), we are living in RESISTANCE to the natural response of the body and
in support of a pre-conception that ignores present moment perception.

Logically, it seems like an easy adjustment could remedy this kind of situation.  Tired body?  Exhausted?  The solution?  More rest, minimize expectations.  Why does it, then, feel so difficult to break out of our well-worn patterns of behavior?


I think the answer lies in the way we define ourselves.  Or, to be more precise, in the way we have "learned" to define ourselves.  Holding on to the picture we have been trained to paint about ourselves throughout our lives seems so compelling.  A portrait of competence and persistence... completion of the task. regardless of the cost.  An illustration of our "storybook" selves.  As if THIS is the way to satisfy ourselves.   But that is because we have become consumed with an old, enculturated image of resignation and sacrifice that fails to include the importance and significance of self-care and the courage to make it our defining parameter.


In succumbing to this "sacrificial" portrait we fail to recognize that self-care is our grown-up Christmas gift to ourselves and also to the world which awakens when it is given a clear portrayal of exquisite self-love for it is when we truly love and care for ourselves that our hearts naturally overflow with caring and compassion for others.


Since that day of revelation I have thought many times about the two leaves on the lone branch of Christmas.  I clearly see a portrait of myself in the twirling leaf but, as I contemplate the other leaf moving so elegantly in the light breeze, I call to mind several individuals whose lives beautifully illustrate their loving embrace of the "elements"...however they appear in their lives.  And I am inspired by their beautiful example of soft and supple flowing with the"wind".

Perhaps the last and best gift of Christmas!





                                                       Marie Helena






top image from pinterest

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A New Year's "Light" Show

"
After the magical days of Christmas holidayswhen pine-scented boughs and cranberry candles perfumed the air and glittering lights whispered their grace-filled secrets into our happy hearts…decorating our spaces with joy and celebration…


after these magnificent days have passed and things have grown so very quiet and restful the steady, sure-footed march of the New Year alights on our doorstep, enters our homes and slides into our hearts.

It’s time…to renew and redirect our energy to the wonderful life we have imagined and make the changes that were placed on hold as we made merry and felt merry and loved the "merry" of the holidays.

Now, there is a NEW JOY that awaits us and it is born of reflection and inspiration and discipline…our New Year’s Resolutions.

Much has been said and advised about NYR’s…suggestions that we examine our lives, compiling a list of every change we can imagine…suggestions that we make NO resolutions and not place ourselves under that kind of stress... even a suggestion that we only try to improve ourselves by one percent in the category we identify as “most needed” or, even better, “most desired” and, thereby, let our accumulated steady, slow progress become its own source of motivation.

This morning in the quiet moments when I found myself awakening a different thought occurred to me.

I had been searching for a simple resolution…one that would be easy to hold onto and yet would change my perspective and this is what arrived in response to my request:


As you go through the day and encounter many moments…some relaxing and some difficult and challenging…as you go through the day, just take a moment and imagine how your Higher Self would respond to what is happening. Do not put any pressure on yourself TO DO what Higher Self would do. Only IMAGINE it and TAKE NOTE.

This sounded wonderful to me…and it feels instinctively that just choosing to put myself in the place of imagining a Higher Response would do some subtle, behind-the-scene work for me even while I went busily about my day, impressing my consciousness with a more beautiful, more loving, more joyful way to navigate itand, most importantly, a way to be my own SOURCE of happiness and satisfaction.


And it actually sounds and feels quite practical, too, to become, on a continuing basis, the ANCHOR for my joy.

So I am going to give it a pop!   This means I may pause a few seconds before I react and respond to what is going on…allowing myself the time and perspective I need to call up a Higher inspiration than what would automatically appear on my default button.

It will be very interesting to take this journey and, no doubt, it will have its own BRILLIANLIGHT SHOW as I enter into this universe!

                                                                         
                                                                        


                                                                                     
                                                                                        Marie Helena

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Dolce Far Niente





In the midst of the holiday season when so many preparations are being made…Christmas trees bedazzled with shimmering lights, ingredients assembled for an array of culinary pleasures, shopping excursions planned to catch the latest sales, spotlighting of porches and roofs with illusionary reindeer…

In the midst of all of this, does it seem strange that I would wish you Dolce Far Niente... The Sweetness of Doing Absolutely Nothing!

And yet, what more perfect time to just BE in the midst of all of these treasures?

Time moves so quickly now as we hasten to finish our self-appointed tasks for the holidays and, if we don’t pause to take in the ambiance and flavor and spirit of these moments, they will be gone before we know it. We will be left with crumbled Christmas wrappings to clean up, dishes to wash from the fabulous dinner we have prepared and an exhausted body for our reward.

So let’s imagine another dimension to our celebration.

I invite you (and myself as a reminder as I write this), to not miss a single breath of this breathtaking season. To allow the brilliant red poinsettias to nourish and sustain us with their glorious color and powerful presence. To honor the trees populating our landscape outside as they abide winter’s passing and keep their spring secrets warm inside their roots for us. To enjoy the delicately flavored herbal tea and gingerbread one sip and one small and succulent bite at a time as delicate snowflakes descend outside our windows. To watch the faces of the young and young-at-heart as they embrace the magic of families gathering and the waves of joy layering the room as gifts expected (and surprised) are revealed.


Let us all fully embrace the beauty of this season, honor its festive and joyous rhythm and reverence the  MAGNIFICENT MOMENTS  being given to us!


                                                                                               Marie Helena


For our experience to feel whole, our body must be allowed to permeate our expe...rience, BE our experience, entirely. And our awareness must be released from living in our heads and allowed to flow into EVERYTHING.



Meredith Murphy
EXPECT WONDERFUL

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Forgiveness or Understanding?



One of the strongest messages we grow up with and continue to hear throughout our lives from all sources of authority is the importance of forgiveness.

 Forgive yourself!  Forgive everyone!
 

But what if there is nothing to forgive?

What if everything everyone does is merely a forward or backward move or perhaps even a filibuster in the dance of their life, all depending on the stage of their evolution?



What if everything they do has NOTHING to do with us and everything to do with their journey?  A journey which is based on their experiences, their personal growth, their unresolved issues, their unhealed pain.  Given all of these variables, it is truly impossible for us to judge or evaluate the choices they are making.  But, for some strange reason, we seem to think we can interpret their actions and that is our ONLY point of reference...ourselves.

It's pretty easy to do this...we all do it most of the time...It's our 

habitual response but it causes SO MUCH TROUBLE!  We can end up feeling hurt or angry or sad and depressed and what they are doing is NOT ABOUT US!  We are the subject of the scenario because we happen to be in the picture at this time; we are the scenery and setting for the playing out of someone's latest life challenge.  What if we really GOT that and, therefore, NOTHING felt personal?

 

There would be nothing to forgive.  For ourselves or others.  We are merely the playing field where someone works out the latest step in his evolution with any accompanying banging and clatter and others do the same for us when we are engaged in one of our "adventures".

 

I know it's pretty radical to expect everyone to see this...especially when our emotions are embroiled and our egos feel challenged.  But how wonderful it would be if we could navigate our lives from this trekking star:  Nothing to forgive.
 

We are ALL doing what we came here to do:  use the resources of earth school to finally get the Big Picture of our lives.

                                 
                                                                         Marie Helena




image from wallpaperswide.com


                     



Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Best Christmas List of All







It's 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

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Unfolding





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

The Unfolding.

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


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

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

   

                                                                Marie Helena