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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Unfinished Symphony

Franz Schubert, prolific Austrian composer who died at the early age of 31, wrote nine symphonies, liturgical music, operas, some incidental music and a large body of chamber and piano music. He began his famous Unfinished Symphony in 1822 but only completed two movements.

The immense body of work produced by Schubert reveals to us the powerful dedication and immense energy he gave to expressing his life view through the venue of music.
And, still…given that…Schubert is most famous for his Unfinished Symphony…the composition that was never completed.

The theme of The Unfinished Symphony is singing in my heart this morning as I reflect on the connection we have with our families of origin and our ancestors.

I believe we choose the families we are born into so that we may have the very best environment to inspire us to work on the lessons we have chosen.
Sometimes those environments are nurturing and positive; sometimes they are troubled and conflict-ridden…but always they contain the impetus for us to explore and achieve our lessons and dreams.

And, now…another thread is weaving itself into this picture. The theme of The Unfinished Symphony.

Perhaps there is even more to our choice of birth family…

perhaps it is the CONNECTION we have to the dreams and desires of those who came before us.

On a historical note
I have read that when people emigrated to this country...often at the very young ages of thirteen or fourteen seeking the opportunity to make their way in the world and often coming for the purpose of making an arranged marriage…when they arrived here, they were overwhelmed with the work of finding a place to live and securing a job to support their families.

Because every ounce of their energy was being used to survive, it has been theorized that their children carried on the process of mourning their parents' loss of the mother country for them.

And so the tapestry unfolds through many lives and many generations. Which brings me to the concept of The Unfinished Symphony.

The questions presenting themselves to me are these:

Can we identify the longings and dreams of our parents…not for material goods or money…but for the character traits they wanted/needed to develop (consciously or not)?

And, if so, has the development of these character traits been begun by our parents but has now become their Unfinished Symphony?

We have so many choices in life…so many places to put our energy.

Is the finishing of their Symphony something we are especially equipped to achieve because of our understanding of their life circumstances and longings and the impetus we have experienced to carry on the dream


is it something we wish to complete?

                                                                               Marie Helena

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Trial

When I was in graduate school pursuing my Master’s Degree, I had a professor who taught an entire course focusing on one single piece of literature:  Franz Kafka’s novel, The Trial.  

 At the time, it seemed strange to me that the entire semester would be devoted to studying just that one novel.  We were required to write a definitive paper for the course about the significance of the novel.  I labored over this assignment for a long period of time but could not seem to determine what it was the professor wanted us to recognize.  Eventually, I had a discussion with a fellow student in the class who explained to me that Kafka’s novel could be read one way to make a very compelling point.  But it could also be read a second way to convey a completely opposite meaning.   

It took a real challenge to my intellect for me to take Kafka’s novel and step back and give it some perspective so that I could  see it from two completely different points of view. 
I was finally able to do it, but only now looking at my life experiences do I understand what I think the method was in my professor’s “madness“.

This morning, many years later, I feel I am finally realizing the rationale my professor might very well have had in mind.  This graduate school course exercise seems to me now to be designed to reinforce an important truth about life:  We see what we already believe or, to be more precise, what we are prepared and willing to believe about the world and, most especially, about ourselves.

It is incredibly easy to see what we EXPECT to be there
…what we already believe about ourselves and others.  The life snapshots we click on seem so real and so “rational” and so we file them away as objective evidence of the beliefs we are already holding, completely ignoring the fact that they validate and justify the life conclusions we have made to that point in time which steadfastly occupy the submerged part of the iceberg which is our subconscious.

And so, trapped in the tundra of our early life impressions and experiences, how do we emerge to free ourselves and discover what else the canvas holds?

My graduate school professor MADE us look for more and I am left with the prospect of considering whether there is ALWAYS more.  And it seems to me there is and failing to recognize that is to overlook important information that would increase our awareness of the issues that complicate our lives and our empathy for the individuals struggling through them.

What if, as a practice, we made ourselves search for whatever could prove the opposite of what we believe?

Where could this lead us?  Would it make us more empathic?  More open?  More aware?  More cognizant of vital information?  Would it source all of our actions in LOVE?

Without opening ourselves up to the possibility that there is more to the story, we may very well assign ourselves the role of existing in the small, constructed room we have built around our hearts.  We may fail to see the pain that others are enduring.  We may also fail to see the beauty, the caring, the love that is being expressed to us in ways that we do not readily recognize. 

We need to step out of our own limited experience and open ourselves up to the mystery and wonder of the myriad of ways that people respond to life.

I have heard this profound truth expressed before. I have even recognized myself at times as bound to my currently operating beliefs.  But I have not been moved to transcend this practice until today as I, with great curiosity and excitement, recall my graduate course in Kafka.  

I wonder how many things we experience in life failing to understand the power of their significance.  

It seems worth the effort to move past our already formulated, sometimes cursory assessments and open ourselves up to the mystery hiding in the corners of our lives.  The great thirteenth century mystic Rumi advises us to “sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment.”

Following Rumi’s guidance will undoubtedly lead us to some new wisdom.  Perhaps THIS is the real TRIAL awaiting us.  Will we eventually reach the point where we can see beyond the boundaries that we have constructed for ourselves through the necessity for our survival or by the world itself moving through its own evolution?

                                                                                          Marie Helena

image from pinterest
Imprimer à partir d'aquarelle mode Illustration par Mysoulfly ...

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Follow the Leader

I am intensely intrigued with the concept of  Surrender
To be more precise, I  am speaking of surrendering to whatever the present moment brings.  
 Even if we don't like what is showing up...and it is not what we expected
...or even requested.

  Many spiritual writers discuss the folly of RESISTANCE to "What Is" and how resistance will up the ante, creating more intensity in the situation we find ourselves in...possibly making things even more difficult and distressing.

On the other hand, I find it ultimately to be true that what is showing up in our lives
is there to further our soul's evolution.  
Sometimes, it may take awhile for us to discern the wisdom of the gift we are being given...but it is ALWAYS there and we can choose to recognize the lesson, acknowledge it and integrate it into our lives.

It's pretty clear to me that the most direct path to finding peace in our lives is to embrace life as it unfolds for us.  (Special emphasis hopefully noted regarding the words "FOR us".)

After a good deal of study and reflection on this subject I have found a way to do this that feels comfortable, though challenging.
I call it  FOLLOW THE LEADER. It is based on lessons I have learned from Eckhaart Tolle and Dr. Betty Sue Flowers.

And here is how It goes.

First, I consciously choose to "be the space" for what is happening.  I observe what is happening.  I do not try to interfere with it or point the outcome in my direction.  I am a non-judgmental observer of "what is".

And, as I do this, I consciously choose to  let the experience LEAD me instead of trying to steer it in the direction I wish it to go.

When we hold the very strong belief that we are loved and affirmed and supported by the Divine Universe, we are able to stop trying to direct the flow of what is happening and, instead, ride the sometimes soft, sometimes undulating and sometimes turbulent waves as they carry us through to our next adventure (step to enlightenment).

But we must ride the waves with curiosity and interest and, most of all, faith in the good will of the Divine Universe to help us grow in love and abundance.

Once we get the hang of it, we find that when we abandon our pressing need for control and instead FOLLOW THE  (Divinely inspired) LEADER, life feels much safer and more mellow and that is  because it is most definitely a Divine Truth that LOVE is ever-present and is designed to  honor, enhance and heal all of creation, including any burdens we are carrying in our heart.

And that is why we must SURRENDER any aspirations we may have to BE the leader.  Instead, we need to become aware that the Divine Universe is designed to graciously and gracefully LEAD US to our soul's desire.

Whatever there is for us to know... Whatever lessons there are for us to learn... will ultimately be delivered to us as we hold space for the message of the moment.  And THAT is the beauty of Surrender.   

                                                                                Marie Helena.

image from art-clips.blogspot.com