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Sunday, April 29, 2018


Fierce...a robust and often frightening word in our language.

What images arise for you as you think of this word?

Powerful, intimidating, formidable, daunting?   This has always been my perception of that alarming term, conjuring images of lions, tigers, snakes hiding in the grass.

Scary stuff.  Someone else’s stuff.  Not me.
I am not into voice raising, feet stomping, king-of-the-jungle fever.

Until...someone told me I was fierce. 

Wait just a moment...Did I get that right?  Someone was describing me with THAT word?

This unexpected depiction of me as fierce did not make sense to me UNTIL I pondered the objective I had achieved in the “conversation” in which I had participated with this individual...AND, most importantly, in the way I had achieved it.  

Something different from the ordinary had happened for me in this surprising interaction.    Instead of using my beloved intellectual approach of giving the many “reasons” favoring my position on the question at hand, I had unexpectedly defaulted to my heart

And, while responding from that new source of perception, I had naturally leveled my gaze, giving prolonged eye contact that was clearly broadcasting an impending heart message and then ever so softly whispered these simple words with power and compassion:  “This isn’t working for me.”

Fierce.. .in its intensity...though whisper soft in  its presentation.  The message gently introduced with the grace and clarity of soft eyes heralding an imminent and important memo from the heart.  Fiercely powerful.

The result of this prima volta that had entered my life?

The “fierceness” resting tranquil in the gentle softness of my open heart had delivered my message in a way that no amount of persuasion could have accomplished.

Definitely worth pondering...

After some moments of quiet contemplation I decided I liked this new personal characterization of me as “fierce”.  The beautiful heart connection I had defaulted to had delivered my message with effortless elegance and great success and it had proceeded naturally with no interference from my sometimes impatient intellect.  And so I began to practice this new intention easily finding the perfect moments for it revealing themselves to me with gracious invitation.

What a lovely awakening for my personal evolution!

THIS precious unfolding is how the heart communicates...with loving and gentle intention, profound impact, stunning success.

So quietly and beautifully FIERCE.

                                                                        Marie Helena

image from pinterest

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Back Story

One of the most essential tasks facing the news reporter is the discovery of THE BACK STORY explaining why an event has occurred.  

Therein lies the impetus...the driving force...of the action.  And it's not always readily available or easy to discern. 

Sometimes, reporters have to switch hats, becoming the investigator, the detective or even the psychologist.

What is behind or in "back" of a person's actions is very instructive...even fascinating.  That is why reporters need to be open to discovering this "bigger" story.

But why should reporters have all the fun? 

Let us suppose that we decide to become the "journalist" as we go through our day encountering family, friends,  neighbors, sales persons, iƄdividuals shopping alongside us, gas station attendants, the drivers on the road.

One thing we can be very sure of...everyone has a back story.  As we reflect on this concept, several considerations about this arise.


What joys have these individuals experienced?  What obstacles  have they encountered? What has broken their hearts?  Lifted them up?  What do they struggle with?  Blame themselves for?  Cry over (symbolically or literally)?

And, most importantly, what has transpired today...before we
encountered them?  What pain might they be feeling?  What happiness are they celebrating?  What affirmation from us could  bring Light or Joy to their hearts? 

Typically, people react to their experience of what a person says or does to them...or, perhaps, to the person's tone or body language.   In short, we react to how we "perceive" a person makes us feel.  And if it's an "ouch" that we feel, it's VERY easy to drop into annoyance, frustration...or even anger.

Two things about this. 

First...whatever reaction we choose to have to an encounter is exactly that...our CHOICE.  No one MAKES us do or feel anything.

Second, there is the question...HOW do we learn to offer a response that would be life enhancing for us (and for the other person) while we may be hearing uncomfortable things said to us?

THIS is the perfect place to put on our reporter's hat (or hats...whatever is called for in this circumstance) and go to work on finding the back story.

Unearthing this information will bring a new perspective to this moment.  And even though it might be impossible to unearth it right then,  I am betting that we can sense the emotional import of the back story and how it has affected the person with whom we are interacting. 

Now, as we sense this person's anxiety or distress or frustration, the tense tone in their voice doesn't feel personal and we move directly into a moment of concern for the person's situation.  That's a far cry from entering into the fray and making a heated moment grow even more intense.

And, while we are learning how to gracefully include this loving gesture into our personal repertoire, let's give ourselves special consideration for our own back story as it reveals itself in the moments of our life.

The effort to look beyond the obvious seems like a wise investment.

Whenever we are able to take into account the BIG PICTURE

 (that's present moment awareness AND the consideration of the many interweaving threads that make up a back story),

we are able to move effortlessly into the beauty of Compassion...a wonderful choice that is always available to us.

                                                             Marie Helena

image from ifanboy.com

Friday, April 20, 2018

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

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Bella Luce

To speak wisely, one must listen humbly.

- Si Yo Tanka
  (John Two-Hawks), Lakota

In our fast paced, frenzied world of Instagrams, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook, the “listening” we do is usually along the lines of a lightning fast “gotcha...and let me tell you what I think about this”.  Snappy repartee, glib retorts, occasional one-up-manship… for sure.

Soul Satisfying?  Hmmmmm.  Not so much.

It’s often pure and simple gamesmanship. No table board necessary.  Just grab your iphone or other techno gadget and “Go”.  Who can answer first?  Who has the best story?  Who gets the most hits?

And, there is a place for all of this fun but the Authentic human connection that Si Yo Tanka is describing is a very different enterprise. 

It takes an INVESTMENT of time and energy,
the creation of a safe environment,
and a real desire to hear and understand the emotions that will, hopefully, reveal themselves.

So often in conversation we automatically fill in the blanks.  We hear a part of what someone is saying and then, relying on our own world of experience, assume we know the rest.  But everyone’s story is unique to them.  And it is shaped, forged, shimmered and frosted with an array of EMOTIONS we might never imagine.  Emotions that reveal so much about the rock, the wave, or even the precipice each individual is resting on.  And anyone who truly wants to tell us their story is most profoundly in need of some deep listening, some compassion...a true heart connection.

When we give this gift of compassionate listening to others, we “speak wisely”.
Our silent acknowledgment itself “speaks wisely” for in taking the time to listen deeply we affirm the  individual’s profound significance. 

By our actions we say:
I am here for you. 
You are important to me. 
I want to understand what you are feeling. 

And, In so doing, we strengthen and ease the way for him or her to do the difficult work of addressing the issues weighing on his emotions:  

Moving through the dissonance of the moment,
Ascertaining and accepting the body’s message, 
And holding space for its wisdom to reveal itself.

Listening to another in this way is truly humble.  There is no need for the ego to intervene and direct the drama.  Only the precious opportunity to express the caring and concern of a fellow earth traveler who believes we all share common challenges and we all hold the strength, power and beauty to find our way through them.  That strength, power and beauty in others often show themselves more readily when we make the time to acknowledge their existence.

We are all fellow travelers and sometimes we encounter caverns of darkness.  The deep, humble listening of Si Yo Tanka that we give to each other is a gift of grace lighting the way to someone’s peace and transformation. 

Bella Luce!

                                                             Marie Helena

image from pinterest

Sunday, April 1, 2018


Now that the beautiful blush of spring is finding its way onto the universal earth campus, there will be a myriad of opportunities to indulge our awakening senses. 

Gazing at the beautiful blossoms gently emerging on the branches of welcoming trees.  Spying the sprightly, chattering birds returning to their home bases.  And lazily watching the cottony clouds roll by. Rolling in a soft, billowy fashion… Drifting… gently drifting...quietly finding their way.

Just contemplating the drifting clouds feels like a meditation to me.  And I wonder if it has to do with the very concept of drifting.  That word feels like ease to me.  Sprezzatura... the Italians might call it...effortless elegance.

Does the effortless elegance I perceive here manifest itself to me because the clouds have aligned with their nature and are simply...and profoundly... being who they are? 

What if we, like the clouds, were to align with OUR nature:  Divine beings playing on our verdant, lush planet of infinite possibility?

If we could recognize our magical playground, perhaps we would find it easier to embrace our self-designed challenges and gently direct ourselves into a reframing of what feels like difficult circumstances from our earth school view. 

Perhaps then we could move on to envision and embrace the gentle changes, the shifts in behavior, which could incrementally bring us into alignment with our Higher Selves.  In the most loving, harmonious way. DRIFTING  back into the beautiful beings we truly are.

                                                                                   Marie Helena

image from pinterest