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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

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 experiencand 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 ...

Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Observer


IF you could set aside for a few moments ALL of the difficulties associated with the pandemic and IF you could step back and view this experience as a flashpoint in time, I believe you would be looking at an intensely fascinating  experience on the earth plane.  One which you, no doubt, could have never imagined nor  willingly chosen.  But here it is.  And we are left to our own devices regarding how to navigate this “chapter” in our history.

Several issues demand our attention.  First and foremost, we must ensure our safety.  Interestingly, the debate which rages on regarding how to do this is not resolved.  Secondly, there is also the issue of how to concurrently be our brothers’ keeper.  Another quandary being heavily debated.

Already, on the first two primary concerns there is contention with no universal agreement on how to accomplish these goals.

And, while we passionately debate what is needed and important, more questions emerge from the gravitas.  What is the soul view of this pandemic?  What are we meant to learn from it?

IF we can set aside our own personal and distressing experience of the pandemic, we can begin to see the picture of a planet being shaken to its core.  The picture of everyday human life being halted while this scenario unfolds.  The picture of our being directed to social distance, to disappear behind our masks for solitary  contemplation of the ways in which we have participated in  the current state of the grand experiment of earth.  The catastrophic picture of the effects some of our choices have brought about.

If you were a Hollywood writer/ producer  looking for an epic story to portray on the big screen, this could be it.

Can you as the OBSERVER “see” the message of this film?  Can you feel the responsibility of understanding its significance?

The pandemic is not just a random occurrence.  The profound and beautiful Intelligence of LIFE itself is speaking through its machinations.  And it is speaking in a devastating way.  And so there must be a devastating message behind this unfolding.

History will ultimately record the story of this cataclysmic chapter in our lives.  Our children’s children will read about it.  But WE have a ticket to ride.  Our souls have volunteered for duty.  And It is only the strongest  spirits who walk the earth at this time.

As an individual participating in the pandemic which has taken over all of our lives, have you yet understood what the planet is trying to say and have you joined with others for the common purpose of healing all passengers on this gripping voyage? 

Take a moment as the Observer and see what you can discern.  You came here for a reason.


                                                                                                    Marie Helena


image from pinterest

The Modern Observer Group

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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Dreaming



The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.

 Henri Bergson



Quantum physics tells us that our consciousness constructs what it is we see before us  Therefore, what we are willing to conceive of and entertain is what we will experience.


Do you wish to stand before a landscape of beauty and vibrance? 
Do you wish to see individualgenerously sending and receiving love in every moment? 
Do you wish to sense Divine intelligence treasuring all of creation?


What are you prepared to comprehend? 


Is it the gift we have been given to live in this magical playground on earth?  
Is it the exquisite design of nature and all of her inhabitants? 

Is it the beauty of every human heart which has the potential to see the world through eyes of love and feel the happiness this brings?



Can you still dream your child-self's dream of being loved sodeeply and so dearly that everything you encounter and experience is a gift for your journey?  


                                                Marie Helena  


image from jefusion.com 


Saturday, October 10, 2020

Holding Our Light















Everything changes when you emit your own frequency rather than absorb the frequencies around you.

                                                      Barbara Marciniak


We are all aware of what it’s like to “feel the vibe” when we encounter someone who is struggling with some upsetting emotions.  It is so easy to absorb that vibration. 

Suddenly, there it is surrounding us, cloaking us if we let it. And it’s hard to escape, difficult to be unaffected.  But what an awesome opportunity to hold our own light, even in the face of what might feel heavy or negative.  To emit and sustain our own beautiful frequency.  

What if we were to hold space and clarity for our own intention and vibration?  What if we were to see ourself in a luminous spotlight...an emanation that moves when we move...that goes where we go...beautifully illuminating our corner of the world?    

This SPOTLIGHT is a physical expression of our BOUNDARY.

From this vantage point we can view all the many other spotlights around us, each shining on other persons. We can be an OBSERVER as each individual lives his life...writes his own story.  And, most importantly, we can clearly see the difference between their spotlights and ours.

When we are able to hold our own light, it does not matter what kind of situation we encounter.  It is irrelevant because it is not ours.

We are not held at the mercy of what is going on around us. We are Creators… not reactors and not victims.  We create the space in which we wish to exist and we choose to sustain it. 

And, in doing so, we demonstrate for others the beauty of PRIMEcreation.  In this space, we also grow in strength and spirituality and are more able to extend compassion to the individuals in the spotlights where it is needed.

We are here to learn and practice the holding of our light until it becomes an effortless and ongoing sharing of unconditional love.

And everything changes.


                                        Marie Helena


    

image from ArtHearty

Easy-to-practice and Fun Watercolor Painting Techniques

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Let the Waters Settle




Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and the stars mirrored in your own being.

                                                            Rumi

The energy we are now experiencing from Covid 19 is immensely bold and powerful. Whipping its way around the planet...pulling back... then lashing forward again with renewed impatience. Nearly helpless, we watch the DRAMA and struggle to make sense of it, hoping to tame the gravitas of this adversary.

But it will have its way. And it will not desist until we have heard and held its message. Some of us are listening and some of us are not yet capable of this. The veracity of life is speaking. And we must open our hearts to hear her.

The ISSUES and corresponding questions are clear. They have always been clear but we have not been willing to acknowledge the effect of our choices. And now we must move in that very direction.

What has influenced our disregard for our Brothers and Sisters when the resources of the earth have always been enough to care for everyone? When ALL of earth’s inhabitants could live and prosper in this paradise of natural opulence?

Why have we continued to seize and squander this gift of our planet even while enduring the resulting malcontent of “never enough”?

We are out of alignment. This is our problem. Profoundly out of alignment with Who We Really Are.

We have forgotten the story of love from which we were created. We have agreed to the forgetting but now it is time for us to remember and return.

We are being shown the way. Let us be amazed at how the Universe is doing this. Every time she moves, she calls out to our hearts, hoping to retrieve them from our compromising measures.

Let us pause and consider what is the true source of happiness in our lives and what is the true source of our pain.

Returning to Love will quiet our souls and quell the dissonance. And, while we make our way there through the intelligence of our hearts, we Let the Waters of Covid Settle. And they will. They have awakened us and, one by one, we are arriving. A tempestuous but ultimately joyous journey.


                                                                                                  Marie Helena


image from pinterest

Turbulent Sea by Frederick Judd Waugh

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Voices Buried Deep in the Soul



















In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic Congress is struggling with great effort to pass legislation that will provide for the welfare of our country. And it is so desperately needed to keep us safe, healthy and functioning.  But there is an even deeper need that we must all consider during these unsettling times.  An unmet need that is buried deep in the souls of our countrymen and that is sourcing the pain responsible for our widespread dissent.  


We can all play a role in solving this crisis.  And it is difficult work that we must do.  We must access our best self so we can see beyond our own concerns and discern and understand the longing of each individual to be heard and understood.  Just as we would wish for ourselves.

We cannot pass legislation to meet that very human need.  We cannot legislate the answer.  We can require individuals to observe our laws but we cannot make them feel a certain way.  What we can do is address the problems that trouble the heart, offering it compassion and validation.


Here is where we can all make a profound contribution.  


Because we are imperfect and we all come from backgrounds which are dysfunctional to some degree nearly everyone has been raised in an environment where we have been subject to the voice of authority.  From our families, from the community, from schools, religion, government and business.


We learn to acquiesce, to go along, to “suck it up” and somewhere in the middle of this process we lose our own voice.  It becomes muted, distant, and eventually irrelevant.  Consciously, at least.  But, unconsciously, the voice that is not heard still suffers greatly and, because it does not recog nize its own power, it is susceptible to fear.  And it responds to the stoking of that fear. It even joins in the celebration of that fear for now in that celebration it is finally being heard.


When someone is not being heard, it is because there’s no one to listen.  Have we all stopped listening?
Do we listen only to the reiteration of our own ideas?  Are we failing to extend to others the response we so much want for ourselves?  To be heard.  To be understood. To be validated for the feelings of our heart.  


Those who have not been heard and understood and validated harbor a growing sadness which can transform into anger, fear, and, eventually, intolerance.  We cannot give to others what we do not have   We can only project the negative feelings in our heart onto others.  It is a tight circle of dysfunction.


What is the answer to this pattern of behavior which has existed for so long? 


We need to evolve into a new dimension.  We need to leave this practice behind.  It is the old way and we are redefining ourselves, reinventing ourselves in every moment. And we are being profoundly called to do this during the pandemic which has shown us so clearly our practices that are detrimental and need to be released.


In this moment we are on the cusp of a new world.  The lessons we are learning from observing our own behavior are sourcing the transformation into a new dimension.  Those lessons are here for a reason.  They are a profound gift.  They guide us to a higher version of ourselves.  A way to break free from the accumulated dissonance and frustration.


Educator Arleen Lorrance describes her moment of epiphany regarding release and transformation.

“It came in on me loud and clear that I was the only one who could imprison (or release) me, that I was the only one I could do anything about changing. So I let go of my anger and negativism and made a decision to simply be totally loving, open and vulnerable all the time.”


What would the world be like if everyone made a decision like this? What a beautiful dream!

We have the opportunity to become this new dimension where everyone’s voice is heard, understood, and considered.  Where there is  no need to fear anyone.  Where we care for others the way we care for ourselves.


Ghandi showed us the way to this new and beautiful universe:

Be the change you want to see.

                                                                     
                                        
                                                                                Marie Helena



image from pinterest
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Saturday, September 26, 2020

The Business of Healing







In the last several months, a vast amount of our collective energy in the United States has been engaged in a battle of opposing value systems.  Each party is hoping to Introduce legislation to further its goals.  And, failing that and, as a back up plan, there is a bitter battle ensuing over the issue of  the majority rule in the final arbitration of the Supreme Court on pending cases and those which will reach this level of jurisdiction.


The premise behind these actions is the philosophy of Might Makes Right.  And it is true that the party in power can legislate laws to compel obedience upon threat of penalty.  This is theory X:  heightened supervision, external rewards and penalties.  As, for example,  theory X parents can be certain their children are following their rules As Long As they can control their children’s activities.  


Fear rules.  Order can theoretically be compelled.  But, ultimately,  the heart is the source which drives behavior and, ultimately, it prevails.  It may take quite a while for it to finally speak and be heard.  But it will be heard.  And it must be heard for all lasting change marches to this Divine drummer.


The changes that we are all trying to achieve through legislation will not endure.  Ultimately, they will only be sustained through the healing of hearts. 


Which brings me to the business of healing.  The human condition appears to be a journey we all undertake to “remember“ Who We Truly Are.  And, on this journey, we all undergo difficult and painful experiences which color our view of ourselves and the world...and each other.  Our work is to find our way back to alignment with the love from which we are sourced.  The brilliant, beautiful love.  The Divine intelligence.  And to do this we all need to heal.  Every one  of us.  In both political parties.  And, most especially, President Donald Trump because his actions affect so many.


How do we go about this healing especially in the midst of such turmoil and suffering?  I believe we begin by asking ourselves this question every time we feel inspired to act:  What Would Love Do?


Our first instinct may be to fight righteously for our cause.  And understandably so.  But the problems we face are so overwhelming at this time that we need to move beyond our usual reactions and step into a greater version of ourselves.  By moving into love.   By understanding that the actions we all take are sourced by our experiences.  And that we all need love and compassion to confront and accept our pain and to grow beyond it to create a world where that same love and compassion become the norm for our interactions.


When we incarnate, we do so with brilliance and purity and light.  With reverence and respect for all life.  With delight for everything we encounter.  It is only after we are shaped by the cares of the world that we are shifted off that path.  We encounter the travails of life on earth.  We become lost in confusion...tethered to uncertainty.


And we must all find our way back to the essence of pure love from which we made our entrance into the adventure of life on earth.


We begin with caring and concern.  For ourselves and others.  We pray for each other.  We feel compassion for others’ painful experiences.  Love then softens our hearts and makes our lives so much easier.  Love finds a way.  And, when it does, we experience the joy and peace of true alignment.  


We do not have to know the way to repair the troubles of the world.  We only need to know that love knows.  In this difficult and perilous time,  let us all engage with open minds and hearts in the so important business of healing.



                                     Marie Helena 





image from pinterest 

Vanessa Saunders

Angel of silence inspirational art 






   

Friday, September 25, 2020

In the Evening by the Moonlight













  There shall be peace, wisdom  
   and harmony. Mankind's hope shall
   be restored in the beauty and
   magnificent wonder of nature...
   and of life.
                       Julia Altamar



I have this beautiful, new, summery white wicker chair.  It is so comfortable and relaxing.

I love to stretch out in it and gently lean into the supportive arm rests.  It has a delicate light beige and white pattern on the cushion.  Perfect for sitting on the porch on late summer nights.

Now there's something that people used to love to do...sit on their porches at the end of the day, sipping a light summer drink...nodding and smiling as their neighbors passed by on their passeggiata.

 
And it is not surprising why they engaged in this lovely ritual.  

                            

As the soft evening breezes wane and the trees gently flounce their leaves, there is a soothing quietness, a stillness...a nocturnal signal that resting time has come 

A few delicate yet ambitious insects decide to ignore nature's curfew and make their rounds circling overhead.  You can barely hear their wings in motion but it's a delight to witness their sense of ambition.  

Before long the ultimate, sparkling "herald" of the night arrives in full majesty as dozens of ladylike lightning bugs flash their joy throughout the landscape, agreeably sharing their flickering rainbow radiance.

The gorgeous scent of summer...fresh, dew laden grass...rises fragrantly in the air.


And, all of this wonderment and beauty is merely a prelude to the liquid grace of Mother Moon Herself sailing serenely in the night sky. 



From my white wicker chair I gently rejoice at the exquisite fullness unfolding before me.  Only ONE breathtaking example of nature's peace, wisdom and harmony...


When will we recognize our greatest teachers?



                                                          Marie Helena


*Title borrowed from a song of the same name,
   In the Evening by the Moonlight
     music by James Bland
     lyrics  by Nina Simone



image from layoutsparks.co

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Coloring Outside the Lines














As little children we were often gifted by family and friends with coloring books.

These books had very distinct pictures of people and places and things. The guidelines, no doubt, helped us learn about the many aspects of life and told us what to expect from our surroundings.


We were instructed by most of our supervising adults to color carefully inside the lines …and we learned to do so. This served us well for a time…but life proved to be much bigger and bolder and more complex than that original coloring book.

Coloring inside the lines is a careful response to what we have learned to expect. Stimulus…and reponse. Coloring inside the lines is often our goal. So precise, so clear…so easy to understand.

And we often carry this preoccupation over into adulthood into the world of interpersonal communication…anticipating that the people in our lives will fulfill our expectations. When they do, we know exactly how to proceed…what “colors” to choose, what the “picture” should look like.

But… when the people and circumstances and events in our lives don’t look like the pictures in our coloring books (our images of them), we can’t use this childhood process.

Coloring inside the lines won’t work because the people, places and things won’t stay inside them.

And this is not a bad thing.


In fact, it’s a wondrous, challenging thing. Admittedly, sometimes it is very, very difficult…and sometimes very messy. We have to color outside the original lines. We have to see what boundaries will fit each picture (and try to honor and respect them) and we can’t determine that ahead of time. We have to watch where the borders are each moment for they are constantly moving. We have to see how the whole picture itself looks and how it meshes with ours.

To put this in human terms:


If we have a certain image of someone or something and then we see that based on what is happening, the image we have is not holding, it is very natural to be distressed.  But the problem isn’t with the person or thing or circumstance; the problem is the fact that we are holding onto our old coloring book with a very structured mind picture we have created.

In doing this we are missing the opportunity to see what really exists in this LIVING work of art.

We are missing the opportunity to learn something new from each other.

We are missing the opportunity to be brave and adventurous...to engage in life and be fully present “in that Moment”.



If we only color inside the lines, we are missing out on one of the most profound and moving opportunities of life.


Let's redefine our creation to include the bold and bright colors that rush headlong into each other alongside the soft and gentle hues that open channels of converging energy with their loving interactions.


All are brilliant and beautiful.  All tell the story of how we come together and, sometimes, stand apart.


Perhaps the ENGAGEMENT with this colorful, messy, ever moving picture is an ART unto itself.  


                                                                                      Marie Helena

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Proof Positive

5, 2014



Earth Life is such an interesting combination of the fascinating and the mundane.

And, often, we place our consciousness on those everyday tasks and responsibilities…cleaning, cooking, earning a paycheck, paying our bills (and our taxes), keeping up with the news and the neighbors.



What we often take for granted is the fascinating, the miraculous, the wondrous phenomena thatsurrounds us and quietly anchors our everyday life.


I am talking about the body…that same body that can get tired and feel aches and get a cold. We can become so caught up with these body sensations that we miss the message right in front of us.


And that message is:

The body is a work of art...a masterpiece.
This wonderful body that can process emotions…sadness, for example, that permeates our every cell and takes that sadness and changes it into chemicals that move through the body and release themselves through the shedding of tears.

This wonderful body that can harbor an embryo and nurture it so carefully on a beautiful heavenly timetable so that a fully developed infant is born with all of the chemistry and growth patterns intact to help it become a mature adult.

This wonderful body that can produce super-human strength through its resource of adrenalin, aiding a grief-stricken mother to lift machinery that weighs many times her weight to save the life of her child.


This wonderful body that can do all of this and much, more more has the capacity to heal itself...IF we don’t get in the way.

But it’s so easy to do that…and so human to get lost in the duality of our life and the problems we have taken on.


It is our work to see beyond the mundane and our suffering and to trust in the sacredness, the gift of life.  

It is our work to keep our hearts and emotions clear by acknowledging our feelings, accepting them, valuing and not judging them and speaking them in a loving way to ourselves and to others.

It is our work to clear the way for the body to do what it has been designed for…to provide radiant health. 


It is so very clear. There is  Proof Positive that our body has the capacity to do this if we look at the miracles that already happen.


All that we have to do is get out of our own way,
enter into the flow of life
and connect with the LOVE that governs the universe!


                           
                                                                          
                                                                                        Marie Helena