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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

On the Way to the Light

There is a vase of flowers sitting on my desk.  Baby white carnations. 
 In a very tall, (actually, too tall) glass vase with a square opening. The interesting thing about the arrangement is that most of the flowers peek out the top a few inches and a few of the flowers, the shorter ones, are actually under the water.

The carnations crowning the vase are expressing their joy and enthusiasm, coexisting together, sharing their “home”, brushing one another’s petals…making the bouquet even more radiant.. They look like love expressing itself.

The carnations under the water level seem to be nourished by the liquid around them which is clear and translucent and seems to be holding some mysterious message. It’s as if they are exactly where they need to be and are getting just what is required for them at this moment in time. Their stems touch the bottom of the vase just as do the taller ones…each flower is grounded, regardless of its placement.

I can’t help but feel there is a lesson here.

On our way to the top of the vase where we shine in all of our glory…we may well need to stop and be nourished by the water of others’ kindness. We may need to be open to receiving the care often given to us with such love and compassion.

I think sometimes we don’t recognize that we need to be immersed in the water or even that someone is providing it for us…but it is life-giving and so powerful…a step  on the way to the Light.

Perhaps, like the flowers, we need to pause in our day, experience our thirst, let ourselves be satiated and recognize who is sustaining us with this beautiful gift.

originally published November 6, 2010

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Beyond the Words

I  always start to lose focus when I think I understand what I'm hearing rather than feeling it.
Mark Nepo

There's a reason why we have a left brain and a right brain.  They both have work to do. The left brain is logical...it grabs the meaning...makes sense of things...understands.  The right brain, on the other hand, is feeling- centered, emotional, intuitive.

Sometimes we make the mistake of thinking that logic (the left brain) is ALL that we need.  Like in conversations, for instance.  Once we get the idea of what someone is saying or even just hear the drift of it and fill in the blanks ourselves, we think we have truly gotten the message.

Not so.

We have heard the facts (or, perhaps even assumed them).  We have heard the sequence of how things transpired.  We may have even heard the end of the story...at least to this point. 

But what we have not done is FELT the message being sent to us.  That takes right brain work...and a little time...and an investment of our heart energy. And we are not going to make this effort if understanding others is not our
priority...if we are consumed with what is transpiring regarding our own agenda...and if we are not tuning in to the emotional states of the individuals with whom we are interacting. 

And, if any of these conditions is true and we are not really perceiving the emotions of others, we are missing the opportunity to participate in the exquisite experience of CONNECTING with them through our understanding of their heart.

The giving of a gift engenders joy and appreciation and connection...and connection is one of the greatest pleasures we experience.  Feeling cared about... listened to...honored in that way...is beautiful and so soul satisfying.

When we give our full attention AND invite our heart to respond, we open a precious pathway of mutual caring and consideration. 

Listening beyond the words someone speaks and really taking in the emotional impact they represent creates the most beautiful environment for the expression of compassion and empathy...in both directions.

Put on your metaphorical headphones...
open your heart to someone's emotional music! 

Choosing the intention of listening BEYOND THE WORDS may be the most wonderful gift you ever give to others and yourself!

image of girl with headphones from colourbox.com

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Amusement Park

By the time we leave our childhood behind and get on with issues of the "adult" world most of us have managed a trip or two to the glorious island of escape called
The Amusement Park. 

There we stuffed our faces with cotton candy while we waited in line to take our seats on VERY scary and unpredictable rides.  And why did we do this?  Because it was FUN! We screamed our hearts out and then turned around and doubled back for more.

Maybe we loved these "wild rides" so much because there is something in our makeup that loves the unknown... mercurial adventures, precarious positions, challenging perspectives.

Which brings me in a roundabout way to an interesting occurrence I had just this week. 

While sitting in morning meditation a few days ago I experienced a very unusual stream of imagery.  I often have images popping up during meditation and, in fact, they routinely do,  but this meditation scenario was the most delightful I have ever encountered.

Several Disney characters were whirling inside a powerful vortex, riding it downward at a very fast speed having the time of their life and shouting "Whee!".  

When they reached the bottom (as they all invariably did), they were bounced back up to the top and were each affectionately catapulted into a bed floating in space.  They were tucked into warm covers and were soothed, comforted and rewarded from their madcap adventure by having a nice, long rest.

The all encompassing feeling of this fantasy was one of fun and delight.  The Disney characters were All IN.  They had no question of their safety...of the road they were traveling or of the loving embrace (the comfortable, billowy beds) awaiting them at its completion.  The TRUST was implicit, palpable.  Its vibration provided a powerhouse of energy for this adorable and motley crew.

So, here's the thing.

The vortex in my meditation feels like earth school.  We've all experienced the WILD rides of life when it took us some time to
B r e a t he, take it all in,  restore our equilibrium, gain perspective and choose our response, hopefully learning from the lessons being presented to us.

The Disney characters bouncing back up to the top and landing in a comfortable bed feels like a message that we are always looked after and deeply appreciated for our sojourn on this planet.

And the fact that the characters were all having such an exciting, fun time feels like guidance on how to look at earth school as an exercise in curiosity and wonderment because it's all an illusion.  Real as it may seem, earth school is the vortex playground for trying on various personas and life situations to see what we can make of them...and learn from them, all the while sending the vibrations of our new wisdom out for everyone to energetically tap into.

When WE (our Spirit Selves) watch the glorious adventures we have designed for ourselves as earth dwellers, the story of our lives becomes truly enchanting!

roller coaster image from clipartist.info
Disney characters image from childcoloringpages.net
pillow image from wikihow.com


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

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.
originally published June, 2011

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Special Delivery

Messages of beauty and love and inspiration often enter our consciousness through the written word. 

Often this occurs, for example,  when we read our email, the Internet, Facebook or LinkedIn discussions.
When we encounter something which INSPIRES us or fills us with JOY, why not consider copying the message and printing it...perhaps even in a beautiful font using color and a lovely image...and sending it on to someone to let them know you are thinking of them?  This gesture which may seem so small can be immensely profound in the emotional payoff it provides.

This afternoon I had a lovely chat with a young woman who told me this beautiful story.  For a very long time ALL of the mail she had been receiving was filled with bills or bad news.  I had not been aware of this, but a few months ago because of a deep-hearted conversation we had I began to send her messages of inspiration and encouragement every day through the mail.  These were clips from beautiful selections I read on the Internet and copies of my blog posts.

Today when I visited with her I was thrilled to see that she was radiant...glowing...so strongly in-her-power.  She told me that she had been reading the messages every day and saving them in her carefully arranged notebooks and commented that whatever message she received was always something she needed to hear THAT DAY. 

This is, of course, how SPIRIT works...bringing into our consciousness what we need to learn or remember.  Of course, we have to NOTICE how these messages arrive and, in this case, the messages arrived via the US mail...SPIRIT's special Love Language for this wonderful person.

She explained to me that the GIFT of the messages was that she had learned to RECEIVE.  Every message was filled with Hope and Love and they opened her heart.   She began to EXPECT the love offerings and trust that they would come...she acknowledged and enjoyed them... and they helped her with other life transformations she was in the midst of undertaking.

Sending the messages to her is a small gesture in the grand scheme of things but LIFE CHANGING in the big picture.

Love, in every expression, always works miracles.

image from inmyownstyle.com


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Witness

Sometimes in the morning we awaken with the most beautiful of intentions about how we will walk through our day in the image of grace and love. 

Hope runs high in our hearts about the wonderful way we will navigate all interactions.  But sometimes our unresolved emotions...still perking on the troublesome hot plate of our experience...spontaneously  flare up before we have been able to answer with conscious intention.

We find ourselves tense or agitated.  Old, unreleased pain colors the words we choose.   Our lovely intention now feels like just so much trouble.

And there goes our beautiful resolve...down the tubes.  Sad.  We had hoped today would be a new beginning.

 And it still can...
 with one easy change in our modus operandi.

And it's really simple to do.  And , if you like a little fun..something colorful and new thrown into the mix...you will love this new approach.

 Here it is:

While you engage in whatever conversations or interactions are unfolding, you will also be playing a second role... as WITNESS to yourself.  Observe everything you say and do...every reaction and response you have...and take note of them.

There is a curious and creative thing going on here...you are now aware of having TWO personas.  You are the person who walks through the interactions and you are the watcher, the observer, THE WITNESS to them,

And just WHO is this witness who can observe what you are doing? 

That's the interesting part.

The witness is your Consciousness...your Spirit...your Higher Self...and just by being able to witness yourself, you can clearly see that you are NOT alone.

You may be undergoing some difficult times.  You may be tense or frustrated.  You may not be living up to all you aspire to be...but you are NOT alone.  Your WITNESS is right there with you, aware of all of your challenges and difficulties...ever present, not judging , just listening to the feelings of your heart.

There is something very beautiful about knowing

that your Higher Self is walking through earth school with you...

that your Higher Self is ever present and observing your experiment in earth school...

that this life IS an experiment in earth school where you experience
trials and challenges and limiting beliefs...

Is ALWAYS present, observing you with Unconditional Love.

Somehow this awareness instills in us a sense of peace and calm, empowering us to take a breath, relax and regroup.  Now we can find the energy to remember our beautiful intention to create our grace-filled day.

We are THE WITNESS...there to offer unconditional love and support to ourselves in every moment of our earthly lives.

 image from mementis.info

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Follow the Energy

We often ask ourselves the question: Why can’t I make this thing happen?

Perhaps it is something we want to achieve or acquire…perhaps it is a personal change in our lifestyle, something that appears to be for the good of our health and well-being.

We struggle and struggle and still we fail. Then we end up blaming ourselves for not being strong enough to make this desire of ours a reality.

But Sanaya Roman, author of Spiritual Growth, says what looks like culpability on our part, like weakness and a lack of follow through... may be entirely something else. Things are not always what they appear to be or feel like.

What is really happening in this case is that we are trying to use our forceful will to accomplish our goal. But if our goal or the way we are pursuing it is not for our highest good, our wise will jumps in to intervene with this message from our Higher Self: This is not for your Higher Good. "Create resistance; stop; do not carry through with the action."

In this picture whatever we were planning to do and/or the way we were planning to do it are clearly not in harmony with our life path.

According to Roman, “When it is good for you to do something you will feel a desire to do it; you will be drawn to it because it is something you love and not something you are forcing yourself to do.”

The implications of this spiritual design are astounding.

When we follow this scenario we stop focusing on feelings of failure and disappointment. If something is not clicking for us, we sense there is a reason…a good reason…a Higher Self reason that is protecting and guiding us. So when we hit a roadblock, when our energy flags and we feel defeated, we release our attachment to the goal with the knowingness that it is not the best path for us to pursue at this time.

How do we then know what path is the best choice to pursue
We follow the energy of our day. The feeling of vitality and interest which makes us feel engaged and strong.

We hold the knowingness that this focus is the very best direction for our journey at this point in time and that our other goals will be reached at the most perfect moment for them.

This way of thinking lifts our spirits so beautifully and moves us seamlessly into the delightful flow of energy which is filling our lives, often from unexpected places. Our willingness to hear this message and engage and respond brings us exactly to where we need to be.

And we do not have to find this place ourselves.

All we have to do is notice what energy is entering our lives and embrace it.

What an adventure life then becomes when we understand that
EVERYTHING is being done for us and for our ultimate happiness. Our only work is to watch for the signs and signals that tell us what is moving into our path right now and with a full heart enjoy every present moment of that beautiful energy surge (which is already making us feel alive and happy).

Quite a master plan…so ingenious it is hiding in plain sight.

All it takes is the faith and trust that we are loved and supported and cared for and the knowingness that everything we need will be delivered to us… and everything we experience is a lesson for our souls.

originally posted 4/18/11