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Friday, March 29, 2019

Hot Pink Gloves and the Boomeranging Bands






Last Monday I sat waiting in my podiatrist’s office for his nurse to take an impression of my feet for a new set of inserts for my shoes.  I have cuboid bones that randomly like to “relocate”, launching parties of misalignment, inviting my knees and sacrum to go rogue and join in the fun.  Needless to say, my visits to the podiatrist (though wonderfully philosophical) are serious and necessary.  So, on this day, I was expecting a rather scientific procedure coming my way when in walked the doc’s nurse waving hot pink rubber gloves in the air which matched none of her attire and, therefore, seemed incongruous and rather hilarious.

It wasn’t long before I could see how perfectly they suited her persona because she immediately launched into a vaudeville routine as she began the work of preparing me for the impression.  As she delightfully performed for her audience of one, she made a point of warning me that the black elastic bands she was about to use to secure my plaster booties have been known on occasion to boomerang off the walls.  As if to highlight their adventurous nature, the black cords sported a blue bauble on them and I was struck by how prettily they accented the hot pink gloves even while I could hardly keep from laughing as every comment she made seemed to outdo the humor of the previous retort.

Now, mind you, I was supposed to be sitting still and relaxing during this procedure and this was no easy task since the doc’s nurse was so funny and entertaining.  After she finished her work on my feet, she ceremoniously took an elegant Shakespearean bow at the doorway and invited the doc back into the room, announcing him as the next act with an excellent vaudeville-worthy introduction.

OMG, I thought...what great fun this was!  The energy...the delight...the unexpectedness of it all.  I found myself wishing I could program my entire day in this exhilarating vibration and then wondered...why not?  Of course I could do this.  The routine performance of our daily tasks usually feels like punching a notch on our to-do beltYou know...that heavy belt that grows more cumbersome as the day progresses.

Where are our hot pink rubber gloves?  Our boomeranging black elastic bands? Our Shakespearean bows?  The FLOURISH of our imagination?

Tomorrow I awake with a new Shakespearean mantra:

The game’s afoot.  Let us have pomp and circumstance!



                                                                             Marie Helena







image from moziru.com





Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Magic of Flow


People are seldom happier, says psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, than when they’re in…flow. You know the feeling…you are blithely unaware of time passing…or the knee that’s been acting up…or even the sound of a dog barking in the background. You aren’t noticing anything but what is directly in front of you. There is no To-Do list hammering at your brain nor any worries or concerns. Only the joy and bliss of doing something you love.

Perhaps your flow comes from getting lost in the paradise of nature…or from teaching a child how to pass the ball…or from tinkering with a recipe…or creating a painting…or dancing Zorba style. Whatever it is that brings you to that fascinating place is a Divine gift that you have recognized and received.

We are beginning to find out how very important it is to regularly put ourselves into the entrancing and magical splendor of flow. When we are there, our highest selves are shining. We work tirelessly. Our creativity abounds. We are indulging in one of the greatest states we can access as humans.

What fires our desire to move into flow? Joy…and…Love. The Joy we feel and the love we give to ourselves by indulging in something that is so wonderful and satisfying to us.

When we love ourselves enough to make time for flow, we are building a supply of love that overflows to others. What a beautiful gateway to opening our hearts and sharing the bounty of the talents and gifts we have so joyfully cultivated!


                                                                  Marie Helena

Friday, March 22, 2019

The Flower in My Hair








Ever since a rather serious encounter with a rogue candle resting on the kitchen counter, I have been a dedicated convert to the battery operated version of this venue of light.  I have several colored lights arranged on a wall bookshelf, all beaming in a luminous, verdant, brilliant shade of green.  To me, that beautiful color represents the luxury of stability and safety. 

Recently, I realized that there was something else I wanted to bring into my life as a subtle yet constant reminder that I aspire to keep transforming into a more glorious version of myself.  And so, one of those magical green glowing tapers has now been transmuted unto a rotating color bearer gently flashing rose, ivory, lavender, blue...reminding me that I aspire to embrace the ever changing face of life:  the surprises, the perplexity, the compression and the expansion, the pleasures AND the pain.


And, in that willing embrace, I aspire to allow myself to fully feel the power and impact of each moment and let my body entrust to me, as I am ready to receive it, the message and accompanying inspiration of the moment.


For this same reason, I have begun wearing a flower in my hair each day.  Whenever I pass by a mirror and glance into it, I see a lovely offering of nature tucked into the wisps of hair surrounding my face, bringing a freshness into my consciousness and the lovely scent/ reminder of the beauty of an open heart.


Simple gestures...the gentle arrangement of candles and flowers.  Simple but also profound for they signal a tender aspiration to connect more deeply with the challenge and joy of returning to the love-filled creature Who (underneath our earthly disguises) We Truly Are.


I believe the impulse to RETURN to this place of pure radiance is present in every human heart.  What is your very special way of inspiring and directing your cosmic journey?


                                                                                          Marie Helena


image from pinterest

Sunday, March 17, 2019

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


image from pinterest

Saturday, March 16, 2019

A Tender Place




I believe there is a very tender place in every human heart.  A place where unconditional love and compassion resideThis is a gift we come into the world with but, sadly, gets clouded over from the limiting experiences we undergo.  As a result of this, it is sometimes difficult to access this beautiful oasis because we have all been scarred by emotional debris and are in varying stages of doing the work of clearing it out.

I believe there is a way to access this place...a way to help ourselves and to help others connect with this beautiful resource and that is by letting them know the emotions we are experiencing in our body.


So often, when we are triggered or affected by an assumption or a comment made by others, we react with stony silence or a counterattack, drawing the conclusion that we have not been supported or understood.  We feel alone… and sad… and uncared for.  But the reason we feel this way may be that we have not clearly communicated in a very primal and pure way what we are physically experiencing in that moment


When we choose to engage with another in a moment of upset or distress exclusively in the mode of this-is-what-you-did-to-me, we miss the opportunity to avail ourselves of a resource of great power that has the potential to bridge the chasm that we are feeling between ourselves and another...and, that is, the sharing of the raw emotions we are experiencing


What if when we feel upset or attacked instead of moving immediately into an expression of blame or hurt feelings, we were to take a breath and softly and gently describe the feelings that are taking hold of our body?


For example, we might make a comment such as "In this moment I feel my heart racing and my chest feels tight and I don't know why."

For some beautiful, and, I believe, spiritual reason, the nonjudgmental description of the emotions we are experiencing in that moment has an intense, transformative effect on both individuals involved in the conversation. The person describing the feelings being experienced accesses what lies beneath his surface default reaction of protecting and defending themselves. The person who hears the feelings described experiences the sharing of sacred information.  And both are transformed in that moment because they have together entered into a journey of exploring the pain that is occurring without the heavy armor of accusation, guilt and recrimination. 


In order for an experience such as this to take place, both individuals need to be prepared for it and agree to this very different response to conflict.  Perhaps an understanding can be reached during a peaceful moment to speak to each other in this manner when feeling deep distress.


There is something so intuitive, so powerful that occurs when we truly feel the stirrings...and sadness...of the human heart.  That beautiful, tender place in each of us rises up effortlessly in this epic moment for the purpose of understanding and soothing the emotions being revealed with such deep authenticity.

Whether we are the person expressing the emotions revealing themselves in our body or the person hearing them expressed by another… in this interaction, we enter into a sacred covenant of understanding and compassion, helping to heal ourselves and helping to heal another.


As simple as a soft, gentle step away from the usual fray we engage in and into a space of Divine interaction, offering and receiving the tender grace of a kind and loving heart.


                                                                              Marie Helena




image from pinterest.com

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Messenger Does Not Rest


Can you imagine for a moment the existence of the most determined, dedicated, conscientious  message delivery system?

A system which NEVER fails to perform its appointed duty...

whose byword is The Messenger Does Not Rest Until the Message is Delivered...

That intricate, universally reliable message delivery system already exists...in the human body.  And we are in this moment in possession of this powerful instrument of operation

We are constantly receiving messages from the body, our home base, but often they do not register in our consciousness other than as the annoyance of a fly that needs to be waved away. 

We can easily miss the clues being telegraphed to us.  And that is because we are not AWARE of the glorious network of signals which are constantly in operation.

To pick up the signals, to hear the message takes a deep faith in the beautiful intent and design of our earth vessels and a persistent curiosity and desire to search out the meanings being transmitted to us.
 
If we are somewhat tuned in, we may at least be aware of the first level of communication...

we may have a sense that something does not feel right...we may experience an agitation, a fluttering, the start of a headache.

If we push past the signal, continuing on with whatever is preoccupying us, it will RETURN...most probably in a new and different disguise.  

It will be a little stronger...a little louder.  And if we fail to recognize its "tapping" because we have attached ourselves so fixedly to an ego need, we will be setting  ourselves up for a more intense, more distressing announcement.

We can choose NOT to answer the ringing of this bell but the visitor will not go away.  

Oh no, this visitor has a message to deliver despite the rain, sleet and snow of our distractions and he is not going ANYWHERE. 

The messenger is trying to get our attention...to deliver a message about something we need to recognize about ourselves...something which is not serving us well and which is contributing to the disintegration of our emotional and physical health.


NOW the messenger may become an illness or catastrophe - SOMETHING WE CANNOT IGNORE. And, when this occurs, his duty is complete.  The message has been delivered.  Our personal radar is flashing warning signals.  And now we have to DEAL.

Our message delivery system honors what is true and real.  The body does not lie.  We can rationalize our way past this information but the body will not be fooled by this strategy and will persist in making contact.  Ultimately, we HAVE to recognize the message.

Here is the really wonderful thing about our message delivery system:

The message that is being delivered is there to HELP us...experience radiant health, rev up our energy, become centered and find peace.

The delivery of that message is a SPECIAL GIFT to help us achieve optimum health, joy and happiness.

If we pay close attention, we can more easily discern these special deliveries. 

Do you hear that tapping?  Is there a messenger knocking at your door?



                                                                                                 Marie Helena


image from torch-relay-run,gif

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Loving the Distance



 












Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.


                                                                               Rainer Maria Rilke

         
                                                                                                             
To see the other "whole against the sky"...


How beautiful and loving to truly "see" and "know" another sans the heavy trappings of our own unmet needs, conditioning and ego!  How transforming...how triumphant!



And not the easiest task
when mired in the heavy density of earth school where we struggle so to come up for the air of feeling in control, satisfied, vindicated, "in the game" and winning.


Rilke is suggesting in his beautiful poetic way that we choose a view much more vast than just taking care of ourselves.  He is asking us to look much further...to reach, to stretch our souls up into the infinite distance where we have the clarity of seeing the view of each soul traversing its own terrain.  And it is a stunning picture...it is magnificent.  It is a work of art creating itself in each moment...the story of all of our journeys.


That work of art is subtle and sensitive...intricate and winding...powerful, chaotic and peaceful.
.
.teeming with the stories of all earth dwellers trying to find their way. And the paths...and landmarks...and back roads vary greatly but they make sense to the traveler and THAT is what we need to honor in ourselves and in all others.  In that honoring is birthed the exquisite gift of understanding and  empathy...and the life-changing, mystical experience of Loving the Distance!




                                                                       Marie Helena

image from scamp.ie
Scamp:  The Irish Illumination Blog
 (from Brian Fitzgerald's sketchbook)