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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Very Special Grace of the Tulip

During the spring and summer months of the year I love to keep a tall, clear, glass vase of beautiful cut flowers on the counter in the kitchen. 

I pass by them frequently and they never fail to bring me joy.  There is, however, a particular flower that not only reveals to me its color and shape and exquisite design, it also impresses upon my heart the mystery and glory and the wonder of  staying-in-the-flow. 

This lovely flower is the tulip and watching it work its magic is almost mystical.

The first time I noticed that tulips have this special quality, I was amazed at what I witnessed.  Unlike all other flowers... when they are cut and placed in a vase of water, tulips do not stop growing.  Their life force is so strong that they continue to lengthen and expand and, as they do, they form a lovely arc over the vase.

This beautiful tulip dance reminds me of the grace of surrender (trust in the perfection of the moment), of the beauty of bliss, of the sheer joy of being alive and  B R E A T H I N G.

Nothing...not even the experience of being separated from its root...prevents this blossoming forth.  You will not see a freshly cut tulip sadly grieving the separation or losing its vitality because circumstances have rearranged its life.

This flower seems the physical incarnation  of  the beauty of a soul which trusts and embraces "what is", holds space for it and continues to radiate wonder.

                                                                                        Marie Helena

image from www.kathleenpequignot.com
Kathleen Pequignot Fne Art:  January 2005

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Pathway

As we make our way through earth school we are all faced at times with encounters of pain we have not yet released in our livesEckhart Tolle, popular spiritual writer and author of The New Earth, calls this entity The Pain Body.  

We all have one.  And they all kick and scream when they are triggered.  As Tolle explains, "Any negative emotion that is not fully faced and seen for what it is in the moment it arises does not completely dissolve.  It leaves behind a remnant of pain."

Recognizing the  existence of this vexatious energy has given me a huge assist in learning how to deal with my own pain body and the pain bodies of my compatriots (that would be all earth dwellers). 

How often do you suppose we "swallow" our negative emotions?
Fairly frequently I would guess and for a myriad of reasons.  We may be uncomfortable expressing our emotions.  We may not feel safe speaking our truth or have trouble finding the words to expess it.  We may feel afraid of being vulnerable, especially if we are co-dependent and are affected by the opinions of others.

So there we have it...the PAIN BODY (negative emotion that has not been dispersed) pushed down somewhere in our psyche just waiting for a chance to be "heard".


And just what does happen when someone's pain body makes an appearanceDrama, for sure, and often significant chaos.  And, here's what creates the chaos.  When someone's pain body begins to carry on (with judgment, accusations, etc.) the outburst often compels someone else's pain body to join in and intensify the situation and before long we have a full fledged confrontation .

And so it goes.  One person accuses someone of causing a problem and that
individual counters with...

"Are you KIDDING me?  You say it's MY fault.  YOU started it."  
Sound familiar?  Have you ever heard these words expressed in the heat of the moment? Said them yourself?

In this moment in time...when a person has been triggered by a psychic connection to some unhealed hurt and, thereby, captured by his pain body, it is not easy for him to get any perspective
regarding what is going on:  to step back, B R E A T H E,  let himself really feel the emotion and eventually recognize his reaction is out of proportion to what has just occurred and is the remnant of an unhealed episode in his life. 

And if someone else's pain body joins into the battle, it's an even greater problem. 


But there IS a way to help someone who has been overcome by the pain body and that is to NOT REACT to what is being expressed.  And it takes a strong consciousness to recognize what is happening, step back, remain neutral and not join into the frenetic energy of that moment.

Right now calmness, centeredness and compassion are needed
and, when they are given, they are the perfect balm to help soothe the turbulent emotions being expressed.  This new energy of quiet, neutral awareness, recognition and acceptance of the show of suffering begins to defuse the chaos and the calmness begins to spread to everyone involved in the situation .


This is the power that consciousness brings to our lives.  Being able to see the soul view of what is happening introduces grace into that moment and grace expands exponentially when it appears.

It is utterly amazing to witness the effect
this beautiful, patient expression of compassion has in helping someone recognize, accept and express his pain. 

Being  a part of someone's healing moment also inspires us
to view our own pain body with perspective and encourages us to give that same beautiful compassion to ourselves.

Recognition, acceptance and expression of the The Pain Body is the physical and emotional PATHWAY we can take to clear our hearts and souls.  And we can be so very helpful to others when we recognize that something very painful is triggering their negative emotions.  What is needed most in that moment is the acceptance that flows from love.


                                                                                      Marie Helena


The Pathway Photograph by Ian David Soar - The Pathway Fine Art ...
image from fineartamerica.com
The Pathway Photograph - The Pathway Fine Art Print

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Batten Down the Baffles

Outside my window there are three bird feeders hanging on the limb of a tree.  Two of them are holding steady, shimmering only slightly with the passing breeze.  The third one is waving furiously from side to side...yet all three are in close proximity to each other.  I am sensing there is a strong message here and am patiently waiting for it to make itself known.

Looking more closely now I see the reason why this was happening AND the message it is bringing home.  My original view of the bird feeders primarily showed me the large, circular baffles at the top.  What I couldn't see before was that the turbulent, blowing baffle was missing the attachment underneath to the large tube of bird feed. That baffle had nothing to ground it when the wind whipped by.

And, therein, I believe, lays the message of the weather-beaten baffle.  We cannot successfully take on the wind (the challenges that so strongly test our mettle) without being centered and grounded.

When we try to move forward in life without the soul's conscious intention to truly learn to love ourselves and others and are motivated, instead,  by a desire for power or gratification, we lack the tools necessary to navigate the challenge.


It is ESSENTIAL that we learn to Center and Ground Ourselves by:

Caring for our bodies and emotions
Trusting in and connecting with the flow of the Divine Universe to help us 

            reach our soul's desire

 Holding ourselves in high esteem (knowing that we share in God's Divinity)
Extending that honoring to others.

When we center and ground ourselves in this way our "anchor" protects us from falling prey to the storms and provides us with the patience, wisdom and tenacity we need to navigate the oh-so-windy adventures of earth school.

Batten Down the Baffles and you will have all that you need to deal with your earth school "adventures", ultimately riding out the storms with grace and ease and emerging from them a more beautiful version of yourself.

                                                                                                 Marie Helena

image from www.wikihow
How to Deter Squirrels from Bird Feeders: 8 Steps (with Pictures)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Heavenly Interventions

Sometimes we feel truly stuck in a disagreement. We can see things from our perspective so clearly and we cannot understand why others are so rigid in their perceptions.

Egos (ours and others’) get involved; hurts are resurrected and it becomes very difficult to find our way to a harmonious solution to the problem.

Here is a method I happened upon (Divine Inspiration, no doubt) that has helped me immensely whenever I felt myself unable to move from my position in a dilemma .

Whenever I have an unresolved conflict with another, I deliberately choose to do something positive for that person…perhaps it’s the giving of a gift (often the method I choose)…but it can also be a compliment or a supportive action.

And it’s not that I feel like doing it. In fact, emotionally speaking…I usually do NOT feel like doing it.

But I have come to realize the immense power in taking this step.

This action cuts through the static of what is occurring and
affirms the beauty of the relationship I have
with another.

These gestures have NEVER failed to lessen the tension and somehow change the nature of the conflict. Reminding someone that he is cared for and giving a special symbol of that caring somehow breaks the stronghold of hurt feelings and bruised egos. It gets to the center, the core of our caring.

After I take this step, issues seem to correct themselves. It’s really fascinating to watch this occur.

On one particular occasion I bought flowers for someone with whom I had an ongoing conflict. On the way to the store to buy the flowers, I remember mumbling to myself that I didn’t feel like doing this, but I have learned to listen to these HEAVENLY INTERVENTIONS.

When I presented the flowers to the person locked in the conflict with me, he asked if this was for his “good” behavior. I answered that I had just felt like I wanted to bring flowers to him.

Moments later, he came to my office, stood at the door with a very emotional look in his eyes and softly said, “No one has ever brought me flowers before.”

Wow! So very amazing! What a response! Such beautiful wisdom so readily available to us when we open ourselves and receive the inspiration!

I now have a reputation with others for buying gifts when I am experiencing an unresolved conflict. When my daughters and I have a particularly spirited discussion they will often ask if this means they are going to get a present from me.

Smiles all around. They are acknowledging the LOVE that exists between us and enjoying how it occasionally gets manifested.

In the end, affirming our underlying love and caring for another at a time of discord can be a challenging order but it is ALWAYS a very effective step to take to bring a calming presence to an uncomfortable situation.

The Divine Universe (our Eternal CEO) always knows the best way to return to peace.

Unresolved CONFLICT
sometimes masks
the Beautiful Bond
I have with another.
I bring this Joy
to the LIGHT
and watch the issue
fade away.

Mystic Marks: Bookmarks for the Soul

                                                                                                  Marie Helena

originally printed July 16, 2011

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spiritual Warriors

 Earth School is not for the faint of heart.

Everyone who has chosen this path has, on some level, accepted a huge challenge: experiencing the density and duality of the third dimension including navigating the many obstacles placed in the path of learning our soul lessons.

Yes, we are - all of us - Spiritual Warriors.

Now for the good news. We are not being left alone in the dark.

We have all been gifted with a spiritual compass which helps us find our true north. That compass is the deep, abiding joy we feel when we act in alignment with our Higher Self.

Another way of saying this is we have chosen to respond from the perspective of Love.

Even if we do not reach the full expression of love...if we can clearly identify the behavior to which we aspire, we are poised to move with great power in that direction.

When we are out of sorts, or irritable or impatient this is an indicator to us that we are not in that spiritual alignment.

But when we choose to act from a place of peace and acceptance and compassion...it doesn't matter how difficult the circumstances are for we transcend the darkness and difficulty by introducing the Light of Love.   In this way we need not fear what challenges we find in our path for our only concern is the energy we choose to bring to the occasion.

Spiritual Warriors need only the desire and commitment to follow the promptings of their soul and they will surely be shown whatever they need to know.

originally published June 14, 2011

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Invitation to the Dance

Simplicity is such a beautiful virtue.  It has a purity and clarity to it...and a certain ease which comes when we understand the basic principle upon which something is operating. 

Let's apply that to life in earth school which can seem so full of twists and turns, complications and complexities.

But maybe it really isn't what it appears to be. 

Our souls have chosen to have an earthly experience and have designed opportunities for us to learn the lessons we have selected for ourselves.  Those opportunities include the circumstances and events in our lives and the people with whom we come in contact.  Each of these plays a part in our earth school story representing an opportunity for us to be encouraged, affirmed or inspired by what we experience. Some of these vignettes are positive and delightful...some are challenging, frustrating and even painful.  All of them provide us with the impetus for growth and change if we so choose.

Viewed from this vantage point, life reveals itself to be a number of scenarios
which attract our attention and invite us to embrace each opportunity by stepping INTO the Present Moment, navigating our way through intense circumstances, acquiring new wisdom and stepping UP to a new and grander version of ourselves.

The protocol is simple AND profound.  We need not worry about what will happen to us next as IT'S ALL GOOD.  We only need decide IF and HOW we want to rock each opportunity.

We are the designers of our multi-faceted plan We have come here to experience, to learn.  Because of our agreement in the veil of forgetfulness we may be bewildered by the unfolding of these events but, on some level, our soul clearly knows the heights we can reach.

Are you dancing with this Divine Universe in the amazing story of YOUR life?

image from Thyme Graphics

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Do You See Me?

Oprah Winfrey's twenty-five year run on national TV was designed to give the television viewing audience the opportunity to learn what Oprah always called Living Your Best Life.

To this end she invited individuals of varied talents and skills to be guests on her show... encouraging the direct, honest sharing of what those individuals have learned in their life journeys.

She always demonstrated a very powerful interest when interviewing her guests in truly hearing and understanding what they had to say. She is a magnificent listener and learner and her guests always prized and savored her attention, entrusting many of the lessons learned on their spiritual journeys with Oprah and her devoted followers and fans.

Oprah's passion to listen and learn has made her not only a compelling TV personality but also a role model to all of us.

In her last broadcast of twenty-five years...when she spent the entire show talking about the most important things she had discovered through her work...Oprah shared this thought with the audience:

Everyone wants validating. Everybody wants to be heard. Every single person you will ever meet shares this common desire:

They want to know...

Do you see me?
Do you hear me?
Does what I say mean anything to you?

What a beautiful legacy and life lesson Oprah has gifted us with...and perhaps the secret to achieving a real CONNECTION with the individuals who populate our life.

It is not always easy to focus on another...when there is so much we want to say. But, when we are the only one doing the talking, we are not learning anything new and we are the only one starring in the production of our life.

And, really, the script is always essentially the same. It is our script....the script we have learned and written.

And when we only tell our stories we are depriving ourselves of the enriching experience of interacting and communicating and connecting. There is so much to be learned from being open to others...from listening to their responses...from sharing their adventures and challenges...and from hearing about the lessons they have learned.

There is such a beautiful variety of individuals in the world. No two alike. And why would we want them to be! When we interact with others it is very possible we will hear stories that don't match our experiences... stories that seem strange and foreign to us.
In those cases, we will probably not find common ground for agreement. But what we can do is learn about what is important to others.

We can honor their feelings and try to understand them. We can listen with sensitivity and caring and we can help them "see" us and know the substance of our hearts

Just the giving of this one gift will make all the difference.
Just the generous desire to understand another's motivation, concerns, joy and pain and also to share our own story and feelings will produce an exquisite interaction.

Let's follow the wonderful inspiration of Oprah to live our best life by treasuring the gift of CONNECTING with others.

That connection will automatically happen when we make the effort to understand how others paint the picture of their lives and to share the landscape of our own.

                                                                                      Marie Helena

originally printed June 25, 2011