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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Primal Emotions

June 2018

There is a great divide in our country, the blatant truth of which has not always been completely transparent.  But there is no question now regarding the fierce, consuming passion of the opposing positions.

Whatever is fueling the contradictory views is sourced in a primal emotion that informs and directs all of our actions and reactions.  That primal emotion is the result of our experiences.  What we have lived and seen and benefitted OR suffered from plays a major role in the way we view the world.  Whether that experience was life affirming or full of hurt and pain, we are shaped and formed by how it made us feel.

The  critical questions in this moment are whether or not we replay what we have seen and lived through AND whether or not we decide if that path feels peaceful and satisfying to us and honors our soul.

Two primal emotions source the trajectory of all we do.  Will it be Love or Fear that lies at the heart of how we move through the world?

This is a question each of us must answer for ourselves.

                                                                                      Marie Helena

image from pinterest

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Accomplice

Hiding deep in the background of our lives there is an intriguing force exerting a very powerful influence on us. 

Like an emotional parasite, it attaches itself to a difficult moment of challenge, intensifying an issue and adding layers of complication to it.

You may wonder where this mysterious
intensity comes from...and what gives it its potency and punch?

Here's what's fascinating about this situation...

The answer to the mystery 
is the fact that WE ourselves are THE ACCOMPLICEthe energy attaching itself to our problems and making them MORE painful and MORE difficult to resolve...and we are doing this by refusing to stay 100% focused on the present moment.

This present moment has two primary levels...what is happening and how it feels to us

One...two.  Simple enough.  But somehow we manage to take the simple purity of that moment and cover it with levels which go beyond the primary experience.*

The third level we engage in is composed of the MENTAL CONVERSATION we are directing to ourselves about what is happening...

for example, 

"Oh, no, here comes my problem again.  I can't get away from it."
"I keep making the same mistakes."
"Something is really wrong with me.  It feels like I'm falling apart."

This mental commentary is then followed by the next level in which we EMOTIONALLY  BERATE  OURSELVES  for thinking these thoughts.

We may even add more levels to the experience as we write our "stories" about what is happening to us and our reactions to those "stories".

And, at the end of the cycle is MORE PAIN.

And is this last level of pain one we have brought on ourselves?

It seems as if the conversation we are having with ourselves about the pain or distress or problem and our reaction to it is evoking anxiety, stress and judgment and this emotional reaction is CONTRACTING the cells of our body, further intensifying our pain, compromising the healing process and causing ourselves considerable suffering.

Releasing these added levels of intensity and returning  to levels one and two  (the simple purity of what has happened and how it feels to us) will relieve much suffering .

But to do this we need to be consciously aware of the  process we are engaging in...and not indulge in judging ourselves when we do discover it.*

Eckhart Tolle says:
"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.  Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking."


Why do anxiety, stress or negativity arise?

 Because we turned away from the present moment and missed what  Tolle calls

 "the deeper perfection that is inherent in life itself"....the perfection exquisitely designed to assist us in completing the goals of our life journey and provide opportunities for the healing of our soul.

Instead of being a perpetrator of our own suffering, let's consider becoming a SPIRITUAL Accomplice  to the work of the Divine Universe by honoring the unfolding of life in all of its perfection and embracing the lessons it is so carefully delivering to us.

                                                                               Marie Helena

*Special acknowledgment to Ken Porter for his thoughts on the possible complex
levels of our 
  experience of physical and emotional pain and his suggestion on how to deal with this awareness. 

   image from duckmanpettho.com.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

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 19 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

Saturday, June 16, 2018

In the Evening by the Moonlight*

  There shall be peace, wisdom  
   and harmony. Mankind's hope shall
   be restored in the beauty and
   magnificent wonder of nature...
   and of life.
                       Julia Altamar


I have this beautiful, new, summery white wicker chair.  It is so comfortable and relaxing.

I love to stretch out in it and gently lean into the supportive arm rests.  It has a delicate light beige and white pattern on the cushion.  Perfect for sitting on the porch on late summer nights.

Now there's something that people used to love to do...sit on their porches at the end of the day, sipping a light summer drink...nodding and smiling as their neighbors passed by on their passeggiata.

And it is not surprising why they engaged in this lovely ritual.  


As the soft evening breezes wane and the trees gently flounce their leaves, there is a soothing quietness, a stillness...a nocturnal signal that resting time has come 

A few delicate yet ambitious insects decide to ignore nature's curfew and make their rounds circling overhead.  You can barely hear their wings in motion but it's a delight to witness their sense of ambition.  

Before long the ultimate, sparkling "herald" of the night arrives in full majesty as dozens of ladylike lightning bugs flash their joy throughout the landscape, agreeably sharing their flickering rainbow radiance.

The gorgeous scent of summer...fresh, dew laden grass...rises fragrantly in the air.

And, all of this wonderment and beauty is merely a prelude to the liquid grace of Mother Moon Herself sailing serenely in the night sky. 

From my white wicker chair I gently rejoice at the exquisite fullness unfolding before me.  Only ONE breathtaking example of nature's peace, wisdom and harmony...

When will we recognize our greatest teachers?

                                                                      Marie Helena

*Title borrowed from a song of the same name,
   In the Evening by the Moonlight
     music by James Bland
     lyrics  by Nina Simone

image from layoutsparks.com

Monday, June 11, 2018

Inside Out*

Inside Out is a delightful and thought provoking animated movie about the range of emotions that inhabit our control center.  Joy, Fear, Anger, Sadness are prominently featured in the starting lineup . But it is eye opening to see how many of these adorable animated creatures actually line the corridors of our psyche. 

 Some of them are expected tenants of our subconscious. Some of them are surprising visitors we thought had exited our life story long ago.  All of them feel authentic and relatable.  It is easy to identify with them and feel compassion for their plight.  And, perhaps, that is the greatest gift of this motley crew.  We cannot help but embrace and enjoy them, be amused by them and comfort and console them...a reminder that we must also give that loving warmth and acceptance and consolation to ourselves.

Watching Inside Out has made it easier for me to recognize the subconscious stars of my own movie.  Where I might previously have become bewildered and annoyed at the unanticipated appearance of some old, bothersome energy that had not received its full attention and release from me, now I rather quickly envision a colorful character for this moment and give it free rein to express whatever it is feeling.  Whatever this might bring...sadness, tears, even jumping up and down in anger.

I find this practice very healing.  Like exhaling and taking a relaxed, soothing, long, deep breath.  And amusing, too, as my animated character expresses all of the emotions trying so hard to be released.  With passion and power.  She is adorable.  I send her love.  When her story is fully heard, she settles down and, after a while, sighs and relaxes.  This is where some other character who populates the scene comes forth to gently introduce a new perspective...and it is received and considered by her because she feels the love and caring.  

What a brilliant approach this movie gives us for dealing with our difficult moments with creativity and delight and so much fun.  By choosing to give a voice to whatever energy we are harboring, we become the inspired director who finds the perfect space for all of the vibrant characters waiting off stage to have their moment, moving them from the inside out into the Light.

                                                                               Marie Helena

image from pinterest 

*Inside Out is a 2015 American 3D computer-animated comedy-drama film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and 
  released by Walt Disney Pictures. 

Friday, June 8, 2018

A Late Night Call and the Cat Face Piñata


Yesterday was my BIRTHDAY

 I received many beautiful gifts...including a scarf sent from Paris, books by Alan Watts, yellow roses.

I had an Italian dinner outside with my family observed overhead by a smiling, white and pink cat-faced piñata just waiting to reveal her treasures.

Yes, it was truly a lovely day.  "And" it also contained a very special spiritual gift...the role modeling of a solution to a challenging problem...a solution I have been in avid pursuit of for some time.

Here is the BACK STORY about this amazing gift.

I received a phone call the night before my birthday shortly before midnight...the cusp of my big day. 

It was an unexpected call (enhancing the drama) and it came from The Big Apple.  I would guess my subconscious was also involved in the planning of this moment because I had just posted a blog entitled "Happy Birthday to Me" and the caller, who had just awakened from a catnap, had set his alarm to give me his birthday greeting.

I was surprised and delighted by the call and proceeded to enjoy a lively, high vibrational (was this my first clue?), spirited conversation.  

After a little while, my friend suggested we do a three way phone call with a cohort of ours.  I agreed and thereafter, a conversation ensued ( I call it a comedy of errors in retrospect) in which my friend tried to explain to me how I could start the process and he could enter into it as a surprise

Except that I was never able to figure out what he was trying to tell me.

Round and round we went until my friend burst out laughing and said, "This is hilarious.  I am going to give up trying to control this and just let it happen."

I was astounded by the emotion he was expressing as he uttered the "C" word...CONTROL.  

This word has always signaled difficulty to me.   A problem I needed to deal with.  Work.  Hard work And, here he was laughing and calling the situation "hilarious"!  


THIS was truly a NEW VIEW for me of the concept of control...

Trying to achieve "Control" can lead to a messy, confusing production that is (if you hold on to some perspective) funny...actually, hilarious.

And this is what my friend saw in the moment and immediately released his attempt to make something happenHe backed right off and let the Universe do its thing instead.

A wise choice.  This came very clear to me very fast because we immediately found ourselves right back into our beautiful conversational flow.

I found this experience...this significant conversation with my friend...to be a very powerful gift

Suddenly, I felt myself lightening up around the concept of control.  The messiness and sloppiness of "trying" to orchestrate something is now striking me as a comedy of wasted energy and the more quickly I am able to realize that fact, the faster I can direct my life back into its lovely flow.

These days I am waiting for passing MOON beams or beams of SUN light to move things along...however the glorious universe presents the unfolding.

A lot simpler.  A lot easier.  And a lot more fun.

Nice touch for an awesome Birthday.  Perhaps that's why the "cat" was smiling!

                                                                                        Marie Helena

image from colourbox.com

originally published June 2, 2013

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Don't Push the River

EACH RIVER HAS ITS OWN BEAUTIFUL JOURNEY.. moving, flowing, unfolding in its own sacred space and time.
It may follow a straight, focused path moving forward with determination. 
It may carefully navigate earth fragments...twigs, rocks, trees, boulders. 
It may move forward in near silence, absorbing  with deep appreciation every living thing it encounters.

All  rivers have a rhythm...a wisdom that needs to be honored.  They represent the onward flow of Life itself which animates our spirit.

Listening to our river and RESPECTING its forward movement (whatever that may be) is essential for us to progress through our earthly journey with joy and ease.


On the other hand, pushing "the river" produces tension and anxiety.  


If we are feeling anxious or upset...if we are frustrated by events or circumstances that trigger us...and we choose to pretend this is not what is happening...we are pushing "the river".   

"The river" inside us wants to express itself with the freedom and grace of authenticity.  

If we deny that authenticity, we fight the natural unfolding which is so important to our health and well-being.

Like the river, we are designed to be open, transparent, expressive. 


When we deny "What Is" clearly going on because of fear or discomfort...because of limiting beliefs or unhealed hurts, we interrupt the beautiful rhythm and flow of our life. 

And when we try to force an action or reaction from someone  (or ourselves) instead of waiting for its natural expression (which comes in its own time), we create disharmony. 

And, by so doing, we not only compromise the health and well-being of the body, we compromise our emotional and spiritual progress and we surely cause disturbance to our relationships.

"The rivers" of our life must be welcomed and honored.  If we respect their flow we will feel the beautiful ease of being our true, authentic selves and encouraging others to join us in this Divine unfolding.

And so I offer you this gentle reminder...

As you move through your day and navigate the "scenery" of your life, take a deep breath,  bless the moment, remind yourself of Life's innate wisdom and DON'T PUSH THE RIVER.

                                                                       Marie Helena


image from ClipartHeaven.com