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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Old Fashioned Wisdom



Many of us have been very fortunate to spend special time with our grandparents or members of the older generation who instructed us in the lessons they learned in their lives...lessons that were packed with practical, OLD FASHIONED WISDOM. 

These lessons imparted a beautiful work ethic to us. They embraced the value of generous love and compassion AND of self-discipline.  They also instructed us in many skills needed in caring for the home and family.  Many delicious recipes, for example, were shared in those old-fashioned kitchens.  Generous instructions were doled out about the secrets of preparing meals for the family.

One of the most interesting and significant pieces of wisdom imparted by our family angels is the importance of blending ingredients well when baking
The RITUAL of holding a large mixing bowl and wooden spoon or spatula and lovingly blending the batter was an important activity for them for this investment of time and energy produced a delicious gift for all to enjoy...a heavenly, scrumptious offering straight from the oven that gave us the wonderful enjoyment of physical satisfaction but also conveyed the joy of feeling loved and cared for.

 Interestingly, the old-fashioned wisdom of "blending well" with conscious, loving attention extends much further than the kitchen.  It is a wonderful LIFE MANTRA for human interaction.  Because we all have our own unique view of life and our own "recipe" for how to navigate it, it is natural that we often find ourselves surrounded with differing ideas about how to decide on a course of action.  Where someone might prefer the aggressive approach of "chopping" through the ingredients, another might prefer "meandering" through the territory...possible even "tiptoeing" over the terrain. Sometimes we have what appears to be wildly differing views of how to approach something and this seems to be the most important time to consider and honor all of the "ingredients" of that moment.

And we HONOR that moment by not only patiently explaining our view of the situation but also, and equally important, gently working to understand what each individual is perceiving and suggesting. 
When we continue to try to understand the feelings and thoughts and needs of others and we also receive the benefit of others trying to understand us, a beautiful "blending" of the differing views always emerges.  An unfolding...a compromise which somehow meets the needs of all individuals involved in the interaction in a new, unanticipated and creative manner.

It feels like the Divine Universe is witnessing our common compassion and is leading and guiding us to a beautiful blending of all of our interests and needs.  The generous impulse to take the time to patiently "blend well" the ideas and thoughts and feelings of all individuals...the loving desire to meet the needs of everyone involved...always produces an answer that is perfect-for-that-moment!  The gifts we receive from the "grandparents" in our lives are more bountiful than we might realize.  Old fashioned wisdom for kitchen...or conversation.... pouring through our beautiful memories connects us with the precious heart wisdom of all generations.

                                                                                       Marie Helena

image from the graphicsfairy.com

Friday, June 19, 2015

Inchworms, Turtles and the Finishing Line

We all know about the tortoise who won the race. And the inchworm who edged his way to success.

Something in their “stories” gave them the persistence and tenacity to complete the tasks they set out to do.

Perhaps the tortoise and inchworm had an innate impulse to go the distance.

Perhaps they very wisely balanced their lives and conserved their energy so they could call upon their reserves of wellness and vitality when this was most needed.

And perhaps they were so fortunate as many of us are to have a very special inspiration figuring predominantly in our lives…the masculine energy that is holding so strongly the image of our success…despite all odds.

That kind of special faith and support is often personalized in our father or father figure or someone close who is inhabiting that role for us…sending us light and energy to help us stay the course…to dig deep inside us to find the reserves of strength we need.

Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid did that for Daniel-san.

Miyagi always held a
knowingness of the power and goodness of Daniel-san. He instilled a strong sense of honor in the young man and taught him that it is the way he conducts himself that determines whether he has successfully run (and completed) the race.

On the occasion of Father’s Day this June 21 let us take a moment to thank all of our real life and symbolic fathers in appreciation for their precious gift of faith in our goodness and strength and in our ability to navigate life with courage and honor.

And a special shout out for the very masculine preference for lightness and humor in this very challenging work. As Mr. Miyagi tells Daniel-san,

Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything.

                                                                                         Marie Helena

image from www.listal.com

originally published June 12, 2011

Monday, June 15, 2015

Forgiveness...or Understanding?

One of the strongest messages we grow up with and continue to hear throughout our lives from all sources of authority is the importance of forgiveness.


Forgive yourself!  Forgive everyone!

But what if there is nothing to forgive?

What if everything everyone does is merely a forward or backward move or perhaps even a filibuster in the dance of their life, all depending on the stage of their evolution?

What if everything they do has NOTHING to do with us and everything to do with their journey?  A journey which is based on their experiences, their personal growth, their unresolved issues, their unhealed pain.  Given all of these variables, it is truly impossible for us to judge or evaluate the choices they are making.  But, for some strange reason, we seem to think we can interpret their actions and that is our ONLY point of reference...ourselves.

It's pretty easy to do this...we all do it most of the time...It's our 

habitual response but it causes SO MUCH TROUBLE!  We can end up feeling hurt or angry or sad and depressed and what they are doing is NOT ABOUT US!  We are the subject of the scenario because we happen to be in the picture at this time; we are the scenery and setting for the playing out of someone's latest life challenge.  What if we really GOT that and, therefore, NOTHING felt personal?


There would be nothing to forgive.  For ourselves or others.  We are merely the playing field where someone works out the latest step in his evolution with any accompanying banging and clatter and others do the same for us when we are engaged in one of our "adventures".


I know it's pretty radical to expect everyone to see this...especially when our emotions are embroiled and our egos feel challenged.  But how wonderful it would be if we could navigate our lives from this trekking star:  Nothing to forgive.

We are ALL doing what we came here to do:  use the resources of earth school to finally get the Big Picture of our lives.

                                                                                          Marie Helena

image from wallpaperswide.com

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Opening Act


Just be a witness to whatever thoughts come in and you will begin to realize the veil that cloaks the mind.

Kwai Chee Low


One of our preoccupations that we find so easy to do is focusing on the words and actions of others.  And why wouldn't we...as those words and actions play a part in our lives.  We listen and watch and try to discern their meaning.  We ask ourselves why someone has reacted in this particular way.  Sometimes we seem to sense emotions the other is carrying that he himself is not even aware of. 

It's all part of our journey, learning to navigate what is happening in our lives. 
And these skills of observation and discernment can also be used to perform a task of even greater significance:  witnessing the thoughts that pass through OUR minds.  Witnessing them as an observer would, a third party, an objective reporter.  Instead of becoming embroiled in the emotional twists, turns and loops of the thoughts that arise in us, we can choose to "take note" of them instead.

When we objectively observe the landscape of those fractals of energy racing through our mind, we are amazed to see the "VOICES"  being expressed there.
The sound of "voices" we have been exposed to all of our lives...voices of those in authority, our family, friends, politicians, educators, supervisors, rule makers, religions, society, culture.  Those voices represent the many individual paths that have unfolded for myriads of individuals and collectively for countless groups.   Paths that serve THEIR purposes.  Paths offered with the intention to guide and educate others regarding the pitfalls these individuals and groups have experienced...teaching the lessons they have learned.  It's all so confusing...like little children we hear these voices telling their stories...and those stories heard and assimilated over and over eventually become our beliefs.

But the critical point here is that we must see the influence all of this well intentioned "info"mation has on us...how it can COVER and CLOAK the authentic, pure impulses which emanate from our true, loving nature.  Our impulses which, when recognized, embraced and treasured, genuinely lead and direct the actions of our lives.  These experiences are OURS...they emanate directly from our hearts...they feel uplifting, beautiful, joyful.  And they are often very different from the clutter of the "voices" which may be emanating from lessons not learned, pain held within, unhealed hurts.  The lessons being presented to us by others may be their view of self protection.  Subconscious messages...be sure you have the last word...leave before you are left...Everyone is out for himself.

When we are objectively able to identify  the voices being played and replayed in our minds, we can choose to bypass their influence and tap in, instead, to the pure, gentle, loving wisdom of our hearts.

 The "Opening Act" is designed to get our attentionNotice the hoopla, the cymbals and drums, the jangle of converging perspectives.  See it as an INTERESTING PARADE of impressions and beliefs you have adopted along the way.  Then prepare yourself for the engaging joy and beauty and bliss of listening with complete devotion to the messages of your own heart.


We can get to the deep essence of each engagement by witnessing, recognizing and acknowledging our mind's chatter and, then, afterwards, in silence and honoring, discern what feels beautiful and right to us.

                                                               Marie Helena

 image from carolgearing.com

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Mystery of Your Next "Opening Night"

It is always a great adventure to attend the opening of a new show on Broadway.  By the time we arrive for the evening's performance we have undoubtedly already heard a great deal of advance publicity about the event to take place.  We know the story of the play and may even know the basic plot lines.  We certainly know who is starring in the play. And so, looking forward to this particular experience, we enter the theater and take our seats with great excitement and expectation regarding what we are about to behold.

And it's delightful and fun...relaxing and entertaining...to experience the show.  It's exactly what we were looking for.  (How cool is that!)  All we have to do is buy a ticket and find our way to the special seat reserved for us.

Simple, easy, delightful and, most importantly, PREDICTABLE...and, therefore, a ride-the-high experience of fun and relaxation.  One we occasionally get to enjoy. 

But our attendance at earth school also includes additional experiences which are more COMPLEX adventures...productions where we have no idea what is about to unfold (even though we think we do), productions where we do not know the plot or the story and where we may not even know WHO will be co-starring with us in the production.

These complex adventures are called daily life and they are billowing with unexpected turns and twists, surprises, difficulties and, often, challenges that test our mettle and require that we are centered, grounded and creative in our processing of them and in the integration into our lives of the lessons they carry.

The secret to navigating these kinds of adventures is to hold NO EXPECTATION about how they will unfold other than the certainty that the Divine Universe senses our strength and readiness to move forward and learn yet another of life’s challenging lessons when the moment is right.

And here is exactly where daily life orchestrated by the Divine Universe is more fascinating, more complex, more creative than the best Broadway show for our "lessons" must be discerned through the literal occurrences that are happening to and around us.  Tucked into those daily interactions are metaphors, the seeds and promptings of the next lesson awaiting us in our personal evolution.  But we must search for their meaning.  We must recognize and explore the metaphor...follow it to its symbolic conclusion.  And, if we are diligent and committed, we will clearly be able to see the guidance we are being given.

But this moment of discovery only happens when we are READY.  When we want to step up to the Next, Grandest Version of Ourselves.  And when we trust that the Divine Universe is always there for us.  Loving us… Affirming us… Leading us into a deeper realization of our Divine Nature.

Our greatest adventures occur in our daily life when we enter them with no expectation of what will transpire.  (And, fortunately, then, we experience no disappointment or dismay that our "expectations" did not occur.)  Instead, we choose to approach them with a completely open heart...willingly watchful for new life lessons...asking ourselves, "What are you here to teach me?"  We observe the process of life unfolding  FOR us and, in that unfolding, we discover the lessons we require to move forward in our desire for spiritual fulfillment.

Adventure, excitement, mayhem, mystery...all leading us ultimately to our soul mastery!  Watch for the clues.  Stay tuned for your next "Opening Night"!   

                                                                                             Marie Helena

image from info@pdxfilmfest.com