Popular Posts

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Through the Looking Glass

The behavior we display to others when we are IN OUR POWER is usually strong, positive, considerate and compassionate.  

This behavior represents our very best self and is a JOY to behold.

However, when we are especially stressed by life's challenges or very low on energy because of certain  burdens or unresolved issues, our behavior can look very different.

Everyone experiences these times of dissonance as we struggle with the difficulties of the moment and, during these times, we may display some not-so-attractive behavior.

What a beautiful GIFT it is, then, when someone close to us can recognize that we are not at this moment our naturally bright and loving selves and may be challenging or uncomfortable to be around BECAUSE we are in pain or have overextended our energy and not listened to and honored the messages of our own body.

How wonderful to have someone in our lives recognize that when we display this kind of behavior, we are in distress...to have someone have a strong sense that  this is not the person they know us to be.

How easy is it for YOU to see through someone's moments of tumult and turmoil and connect with the beautiful soul underneath these outer (and often frustrating) trappings? 

Can you hold an image of love and caring when the words you hear seem so different?  

If you can, what a beautiful gift to extend to someone...to be able to honor their soul and spirit even while it labors under the duress of these difficult moments!

Here is Spirit's guidance to help us through this challenge:

Keep the highest/best moment you have ever had with that person strongly in your heart.  Know that this is what he is capable of and that some distress has intervened between that experience and what you are currently seeing.  Tell that person you sense that he may be encountering some stress and and offer your support if the person would like this from you.

Whenever  someone's light is not shining through, it is being obscured by unresolved pain.  We can recognize and minister to that pain by our LOVING ACCEPTANCE of however that moment is showing itself to us.

Everything that exists is love expressing itself the best way it knows how.  Sometimes that BEST WAY is cloaked in pain and a generous heart is needed to LOVE WHAT IS!

image from
Through the Looking Glass

originally published September 14, 2011

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The "Honor" System

Every person has his own unique and individual way of being in the world as revealed by his personality, idiosyncrasies and habits.

Some of these approaches to life mesh easily with ours.

Some...but not all.

And when we find ourselves encountering the approaches that are less than compatible with ours (and, sometimes, produce an ANNOYING clash) we are challenged with the issue of how to proceed.

Do we swallow our annoyance, grit our teeth and pretend to be OK?

Should we routinely "give in" or "give way" with the feeling that we wouldn't win under any circumstances anyway?

Should we have an outright confrontation about the merits of how we see things vs. the other person's point of view?

All possible ways of dealing with what feels like a disturbance in the emotions of our worldview.

There's still another approach that could shine a different light on the situation.

I call it The "Honor" System because it HONORS ANOTHER'S PROCESS.

And it does this even when someone else's approach doesn't make much sense to us or it's not what we prefer.

It's an honoring of what is important to them in their life...given their experiences, concerns and fears.

It honors the place in the evolution of their lives where they reside right now...in this present moment.

And when we honor (respect, support) someone's approach to life...we convey our caring for their sense of well-being. We remove the threat of conflict for them...the threat of having someone they may need to push against in order to defend or try to prove their point of view and, instead, by standing out of the way, we empower them to see how their approach serves them...or not.

Best of all, our generous understanding will be met with gratitude and appreciation and things progress forward smoothly with everyone freed up to evaluate their own way of doing things.

The world is full of the various colors of expression chosen by others. When we accept and embrace this variety, we participate in The Divine Matrix which ministers to and supports EVERYONE.

Best of all, honoring others is actually honoring ourselves...honoring our higher yearning to live in a beautiful peace and harmony with our fellow earth-dwellers.

image from mycutegraphics.com
originally published April 1, 2012

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Return of Ichabod

  In October 2010 (when I first began Mystic Marks Blog) I wrote a blog post entitled Ichabod's Night Life telling the story of an enlightening experience I had in Galway, Ireland.  Now...in April of 2013...Ichabod has returned  as he obviously has some work to do.

 I begin by giving you the blog about Ichabod's first appearance.  Following that I describe how he has come back into my life.

Ichabod's Night Life

It was a windy night in Galway, Ireland. I was visiting my daughter Rachel who is on sabbatical there and I was sleeping in her guest bedroom. Rachel’s apartment house is located on a peninsula on Galway Bay. It sits literally in the middle of the harbor and, if you look outside of her window, you can see sailboats of all sizes lined up and moored to the docks.

On this particular evening I was awakened by the sound of someone apparently working on a boat in the middle of the night. There was a persistent clanging, actually two different clangings…and it felt like one was agitating the other. My daughter had told me earlier that she slept with earplugs because of the harbor noises, but I didn’t feel a little background sound would make a difference to me. I was wrong.

That night I tossed restlessly for hours, growing a strong frustration that vibrated every time I heard another sound. I could hardly believe that someone had decided to work on his boat at this hour. The logic was beyond me. I went to the window of the bedroom and parted the curtains. The boats were sitting in the water, magically illuminated by the mooring lights. The scene was breathtakingly beautiful…and there was no one to be seen working in the area. Confused, I looked further and discovered that the wind was willfully whipping the branches of a very tall tree against the night sky.

So, I thought…it’s the wind I have to deal with and decided I would try to use my consciousness to slow it down. (I had read on a couple of occasions that it is possible to move a cloud so I thought I would try changing the wind speed.) I was finally able to slow it down enough so that I could get some sleep but decided I needed a better plan as I am not yet practiced in the art of cloud/wind transport.

We checked the anticipated wind speed for the next night and, sure enough, a very windy evening was in the offing. I decided to see what resources I could call up because I did not want to go the ear plugs route.

Remembering a very important lesson I had learned from a book called Courageous Dreaming by Alberto Villoldo I decided that I had to change my story about the clanging. The first night it had represented a series of constant intrusions into my night of peaceful sleep. Now I decided to call up my imagination and create a new story. In this scenario the clanging actually was coming from a phantom sailor called Ichabod. I was asleep on the lower deck of a boat with several sailors. Every night the phantom Ichabod made an appearance on the top deck and proceeded to adjust the masts and moorings, clanging away as he worked. Everyone on the boat knew Ichabod and held a great affection for him. Ichabod’s appearance each evening signaled that all was right with the world…and with the clanging reminder of his presence, everyone slept soundly. Including me.

The next morning I ecstatically celebrated the beautiful way I had been able to “dream” myself into a peaceful place.

Telling myself a new story has become for me a new way to deal with the challenges that present themselves in my life. And it’s not always easy. And sometimes I forget to do it. But, oh, when I can remember this lesson and make it happen, I am overjoyed with the knowledge that I can change the way I perceive my reality. I was over the moon about Ichabod. Rachel, too. She has even adopted him as a guest in her harbor home.

In creating this story I followed Villoldo’s advice to create my story (or dream) by flying to the level of eagle which is spiritually based. I framed the sound as a peaceful resonance and that is what it became.

If you have a story in your life that is bringing you suffering, I invite and encourage you to call on your power to paint a picture that will soothe and comfort you, delighting your soul and bringing you the peace of Ichabod.

The Return of Ichabod        April 2013

Today I am realizing that many kinds of "clanging" can appear in our lives. 

 Last week I injured myself significantly during a near-fall.  I am not even sure what happened but I think I missed a step off a very small ledge (about 3 inches) or somehow stumbled in the garage while carrying out bags of trash.  I never actually fell but I was propelled forward faster and faster for several steps and stopped myself from falling by thrusting my hands on the garage wall.

The fallout from this experience was significant to my body.  I was afraid I could not make it back into the house but after a little while I was able to do this.  My body shook for nearly an hour and the pain has been very well-defined.

Several days later I am still dealing with the physical (and emotional) repercussions of the experience which seem to be substantial.  My muscles have been jolted and traumatized and the experience has awakened the memory of an automobile accident I had over a year ago.

Each morning I look to my writings for guidance on how to deal with the challenges of the day.  This morning I remembered that just yesterday I had posted the Ichabod blog in one of the groups I belong to on Linked In. 

This, I believe, is no coincidence.  

I thought of Ichabod yesterday and posted his story because I needed to connect with his peace.

What is important now is to change my story about what happened to me from being the victim to finding a way to make myself the hero...to fly to the level of eagle in the face of this "clanging"...the pain, fear and anxiety.

In my first blog I recognized Ichabod as a beloved figure whose appearance signaled that all was right with the world.  Now, as I recall the role Ichabod played for me, I recognize that

Ichabod is the manifestation of God's love for us and His encouragement and support through the challenges we face in life

My beloved Ichabod, The Divine Sailor,  is waiting on deck...connecting with me by way of my memory and intuitive impulses through the stormy seas of my "adventure". 

And adventure it truly is...and THAT is the new story that is creating itself for me as I write.

The state of BARDO (when we are in extreme distress or pain) presents us with the opportunity to access parts of our subconscious not ordinarily available to us.

I now see that the state of "BARDO" IS the adventure and its many gifts reveal themselves to us when we recognize and accept the opportunity to "see" beyond the usual lens with which we view the world.

Even while I feel the physical impact of my condition, I am seeing where I have resisted the wisdom that has been trying to  present itself to me.

I obviously have work to do...but I am not alone. 

Ichabod, the Divine Sailor, sails the seas of my journey with me and, for that beautiful awareness, I am so very grateful.   

Yesterday, as I watched a program on Oprah's television network, I heard her discuss the question she asks herself each day:  Hòw may I serve?   Today,  I feel the answer to that question for me is to tell you my (eagle-inspired) story.

sailor image from superiorlabels.com

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Found in Translation

When something is presented to us in "packaging" that doesn't feel comfortable,

it's very natural to wish the presenter had  "wrapped" the message differently. 

We can get very annoyed if there are abrasive, awkward, insensitive or judgmental trappings to the message...we may even issue complaints about their upsetting delivery. 

However, neither of these options will produce the peace and harmony we are seeking.

But... what if WE repackaged the message ourselves? 

After all, we are the one who knows what didn't feel right and we are also the one who could help change its presentation.

What if we "translated" the message, giving the presenter a chance to consider our reframing and see if it still hits the mark (but without the barbs and wires it originally carried)?

We begin this process by gently and compassionately acknowledging the state of the person's emotions (I know...I know...this will not be easy when they may be breathing fire).

For example, we say,

"Are you OK?  Looks like you've got a lot going on."...offered with beautiful, heart-directed eye contact.

Then, after pausing for a few seconds...we follow this up with the gentle expression,
"What can I do to help?"

Now, we have clearly shown that we see the person is dealing with a lot and needs some support.

Our OFFER of assistance may seem strange since he may have just told us what he wants us to do (or maybe even ordered us to do)...but the fact that we are offering to help...even though he may have already demanded it...will shift the dynamics of the moment.

And the reason is that he will feel UNDERSTOOD....he will feel that somebody gets how he feels and he really needs this right now because his emotions are overloaded...he is unable to speak calmly... and now, because he feels umderstood, he has the opportunity to take a breath and tell you what he needs in a less agitated  manner.

It will take some real practice before this approach becomes a default choice for you in the face of someones's irritating and upsetting behavior.  But, this is a wonderful and highly compassionate way  to cut through the high intensity static that is coming right at you and also perform a very special act of service.

Everybody wants someone to "get" how they are feeling.  If  you can cut through the smokescreen of someone's irritation and annoyance, "see" the need behind it and offer a compassionate heart response...you will have discovered the beauty of  love FOUND IN TRANSLATION.

image from Iyanla Vanzant Facebook.      

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Dangers of Unconscious Free Falling

ALL free falling is not dangerous. 
Those moments when we are consciously in FLOW couldn't be more beautiful.  We are one with the energy that is presenting itself to us.  We embrace it.  We surrender.  There is no resistance...
only acceptance of the Now.  Perfect. 

No...I am speaking about a different way of free falling. Instead of consciously free falling WITH the moment, we are pushing AGAINST it and falling instead (flopping, actually) by unconscious default into the chaotic space of:

On, no...
Not again...
Why is this happening?
What will I do now?

THIS mental and emotional jungle is where we land if we don't have a conscious intention to accept...to trust that the Divine Universe designs our journey to make us stronger, more aware, more resilient...in effect, to make us a GRANDER version of ourselves. And with this trust held firmly in our heart we ride the waves, we dip with the valleys, we bend with the breezes.

What we DON'T do is move into fear, anxiety and distress about what is

We make a conscious choice to see what is needed, take care of that need in the best way we know how, let ourselves totally feel the experience and then MOVE ON. 

We don't stop to mentally ruminate about what the universe is giving us...and why. We love "WHAT IS" rather than taking a simple experience and adding layers of anguish to it.

This unconditional embrace of all we are experiencing, then, empowers us, lightens us, strengthens us. And it makes our life easier. There is nothing to rail against. No enemy. 

Only the awesome gift of EXPERIENCE itself. And that is why we have become an earth dweller: to experience, to learn.

It seems the best way to navigate earth school is to assess a situation,
Identify any needs that may exist, meet them in the best way we know how, let ourselves fully feel what is happening and then..move on...open to the next experience that presents itself to us.

A bold and beautiful way to enter into the precious heartbeat of the Divine Universe and clearly hear every melodious note that is being played for us!

image from ruthmalan.com

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Sounds of Love

The Sounds
of Love...

This is perhaps the best description I can give of what I experienced as I sat in a patient's room at St. Mary's Health Care in Grand Rapids, Michigan this week. 

There was a soft, soothing tone to the voices I heard outside the room interlaced with caring and curiosity. 

What a touching experience it was to hear staff members giving such exquisite attention to everyone they encountered...patients, visitors and their fellow staff members.

It seemed strange and otherworldly to find myself in a place where EVERYONE radiated love.  I know that we all encounter special moments of feeling this beautiful caring in our lives but in this hospital it was spilling out of everyone's heart. 

Amazingly beautiful...and soothing...so very healing.

I became quite curious about this mysterious place I found myself in and commented  to staff members about how much I appreciated these expressions of caring.  They humbly acknowledged their gratitude, remarking that this was the feeling they wanted to convey. 

My curiosity was piqued and so I questioned them further, asking about the selection process that was used to hire people.  One nurse told me that she was given a personality test and when I asked about the interviewing process, she remarked that she had gone through eight interviews.

Eight interviews? Someone was going to great lengths to ensure that everyone working at the hospital was functioning from a
wide-open heart!

Now THAT is an exquisite gift of LOVE. 

And it was being expressed by every member of the hospital team...

the doctor who sat at the beside of the patient and talked with him as if they were having coffee together...

the nurse who checked on every possible need of the patient... 

the tech person who drew blood and commented, "Buddy, I hope you are well and able to go home soon."...

The maintenance worker who smiled and commented on the lovely day as she mopped the floor.

Expressions of LOVE were ev-er-y-where! 

It is very clear that the mission of the hospital is to shower everyone with love while the staff goes about their work of helping people heal.  In fact, it is obvious that this hospital knows that the giving of love is a critical component of healing.

Rhonda Byrne, author of The Power, tells us that,

"Every feeling you have saturates every cell and organ in your entire body."  

So, when patients (and visitors and staff) are continually shown love, they become immersed with this precious grace and, when we are radiating love, we receive the full force of health through our body at an astounding rate.

I am wondering what the world we live in would be like if everyone shared the mission of this hospital! 

I know that I have been profoundly affected by my experience there both as a visitor and, at an earlier date, when I received medical tests...and I am going to try to carry this grace-filled intention of offering unconditional and ongoing love into every moment of my life.

Have a beautiful day!

top image from starseeds.net