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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Grace of an "Angel"

The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick alongside it.

D. L. Moody

I love this quote from Dwight Moody and I want to carry its wisdom to a new and beautiful dimension.  One of the most profound sources of inspiration we can experience in life is having someone show us THE WAY to what we desire.  Not with judgment, dissatisfaction or even evaluation of our efforts but rather with gentleness, calm and mastery and with no need to receive accolades or even be outwardly recognized.  

The spirit which moves the WAYshower has no need for applause. Instead, it loves to gently share what it has, fortunately, already learned.  Quietly, in a barely noticeable way, it provides what is still needed in our offering with sprezzatura (effortless elegance).  It carries the grace of an angel arriving on the scene, assessing the elements that are missing and then unobtrusively introducing them into the picture by laying the straight stick, reflecting back what we hoped for and imagined with all the missing parts now in place.

No words are needed by the “angel” to convey a message to us.  Just a gentle presentation in the perfect moment, a joining with us into the excitement of the enterprise and a soft and sweet contributing of the angel’s perception, illustrating by its very presence what needs to be noticed and assimilated.

Truly, we should keep watch for these angels among us.  They illuminate the role we can also play as WAYshowers, making something beautiful  out of every situation we encounter by infusing it with gentleness and grace.  Laying a straight stick can truly be a magnificent moment of LOVE.

                                                                                       Marie Helena

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Incomplete Response

Visualize the majestic and beautiful expression of ocean waves as they emerge in the tapestry of water, lengthening, intensifying in power, surging forward and, eventually, rolling free upon the shore, completely dissipated in quiet, calm, and peace.

Is this metaphor of waves moving completely (and exhaustively) through a powerful surge of energy a guide for us regarding how to deal with OUR life experiences?

How often is the genesis of OUR wave, the deep force of feeling evoked by overwhelming experience, redirected by us into a secret, “safe” chasm within the body, holding it hostage from completing its true expression?

And is this because we are uncomfortable with the expression of our emotion?  Is it also because we fail to recognize that our bodies need to express EVERY unresolved reaction that has been stored within the confines of our cell memory?  Is it because society tends to reward the stoic suppression of difficult moments?

Why have we learned to hold back the full, natural expression of our feelings?  Was it unwelcome in our childhood?  Have we never seen it modeled or celebrated or appreciated?  When did we begin to sense that it was unsafe to take this brave (and natural) journey? 

And, most vitally important, is this holding back from full expression of our emotions the source of ALL the disease we experience and suffering we undergo?

We have become so careful, so guarded, so afraid of this powerful, cleansing process and, in so doing, have brought upon ourselves this experience of suffering and pain.

And there is no need for it to be this way.

We are free to reconstruct society’s heritage.  We can choose to embrace the unfurling, the dissonance...the expression of how our bodies are reacting to a tumultuous moment.  There is freedom.  There is peace awaiting us.  But we must be brave and courageous and unafraid to feel whatever is showing itself to us.  In letting ourselves completely BE with these moments, we will then retain no wounds which later masquerade as illness and disease.  The body is designed to roll through every experience, every emotion.  If it is not prevented from doing this, we emerge free from trauma.

How many individuals do you know who completely embrace every emotional impulse and let themselves truly feel their revelation?  

The world needs a revolution.  It needs Way Showers.… individuals who will inspire others by fully embracing every message their body wishes to express. We can give birth to a new way of living.  It will take intention, time, dedication and re-orienting ourselves to being fully free to experience the healing power of the body when its beautiful channel of expression is not sabotaged.

There is a gentle way to be this brave.

The body is our ally.  It wants only to be heard.  We can do this by sitting or resting quietly and tracking our distress ...tracking the way it moves through the body.  With no judgment.  Only interest and curiosity.  An objective viewer observing the distress or pain.  Watching it on its journey.  Noticing how it changes.  Noticing how it gradually lessens and how it ultimately and always dissipates.  Message delivered; channel cleared.

It IS that simple.  And that profound.  The miraculous body is designed to register our deep emotions and pain AND to ultimately release them when their presence is acknowledged, felt and honored.   

Let us all recognize the exquisite wisdom of A Complete Response to what has wounded our hearts.  Let us all appreciate the relief of this courageous and gentle cleansing, signaling the release of old energies and the total freedom of the body to focus on what is now entering the field of play.

                                                                                                     Marie Helena

image on pinterest

deep in thought by tamera | Pittura Ad Acquerello 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Peaceful Co-Existence

... I can choose to observe 
    someone's process  
    as separate from my own.

              Melissa McCausland

Making sense of our life is a very big assignment.  We have to juggle many strands of influence and enculturation and, somehow, configure our personal perspective on what things mean to us.  

This is a major task.  It takes hard work and, when we finally get a handle on how to interpret what is happening, BAM...we run smack into someone who has formed his own (and very different) picture about what things mean.  
And this new and different picture can feel very disturbing if it doesn't jibe with ours.  We have a natural tendency to want everyone to see things our way...after all, we have struggled long and hard to get to this point of understanding.

But this other person...these other individuals...have struggled, too, and they are equally convinced of the validity of their life "picture".  What may easily ensue at this point is a debate on the "correctness" of each interpretation.

But every person's path in life is unique and has been created by their individual circumstances. 

There will be differences in their perspective and ours and that is OK.  Those differences need to be honoredas the path their individual journey has taken.  And the processes used by others to draw their conclusions are a part of their sacred journey.
What IS important is to support each other by honoring EVERYONE's lifework...by seeing it as the unique expression of their vision...as a process separate from our own.

This process is an exclusive course of action which is serving a particular individual in this moment.  We do not need to argue its merits, nor convince someone to our way of thinking.  We do not need to feel threatened by another's view of life.

What we CAN do is observe it with objectivity and, if we feel inspired by what we see, we can choose to tap into that vibration and explore its possibilities as they could play out in our lives.

Everyone does not need to see things the same way even though that may feel most comfortable to us.  

We are all here to have our own experiences and adventures and to learn to process them through our hearts.  Let's try to give compassion and support to our fellow earth dwellers in PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE.

image from planetkeke.com

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Unfinished Symphony

Franz Schubert, prolific Austrian composer who died at the early age of 31, wrote nine symphonies, liturgical music, operas, some incidental music and a large body of chamber and piano music. He began his famous Unfinished Symphony in 1822 but only completed two movements.

The immense body of work produced by Schubert reveals to us the powerful dedication and immense energy he gave to expressing his life view through the venue of music.
And, still…given that…Schubert is most famous for his Unfinished Symphony…the composition that was never completed.

The theme of The Unfinished Symphony is singing in my heart this morning as I reflect on the connection we have with our families of origin and our ancestors.

I believe we choose the families we are born into so that we may have the very best environment to inspire us to work on the lessons we have chosen.
Sometimes those environments are nurturing and positive; sometimes they are troubled and conflict-ridden…but always they contain the impetus for us to explore and achieve our lessons and dreams.

And, now…another thread is weaving itself into this picture. The theme of The Unfinished Symphony.

Perhaps there is even more to our choice of birth family…

perhaps it is the CONNECTION we have to the dreams and desires of those who came before us.

On a historical note
I have read that when people emigrated to this country...often at the very young ages of thirteen or fourteen seeking the opportunity to make their way in the world and often coming for the purpose of making an arranged marriage…when they arrived here, they were overwhelmed with the work of finding a place to live and securing a job to support their families.

Because every ounce of their energy was being used to survive, it has been theorized that their children carried on the process of mourning their parents' loss of the mother country for them.

And so the tapestry unfolds through many lives and many generations. Which brings me to the concept of The Unfinished Symphony.

The questions presenting themselves to me are these:

Can we identify the longings and dreams of our parents…not for material goods or money…but for the character traits they wanted/needed to develop (consciously or not)?

And, if so, has the development of these character traits been begun by our parents but has now become their Unfinished Symphony?

We have so many choices in life…so many places to put our energy.

Is the finishing of their Symphony something we are especially equipped to achieve because of our understanding of their life circumstances and longings and the impetus we have experienced to carry on the dream


is it something we wish to complete?

                                                                               Marie Helena

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Trial

When I was in graduate school pursuing my Master’s Degree, I had a professor who taught an entire course focusing on one single piece of literature:  Franz Kafka’s novel, The Trial.  

 At the time, it seemed strange to me that the entire semester would be devoted to studying just that one novel.  We were required to write a definitive paper for the course about the significance of the novel.  I labored over this assignment for a long period of time but could not seem to determine what it was the professor wanted us to recognize.  Eventually, I had a discussion with a fellow student in the class who explained to me that Kafka’s novel could be read one way to make a very compelling point.  But it could also be read a second way to convey a completely opposite meaning.   

It took a real challenge to my intellect for me to take Kafka’s novel and step back and give it some perspective so that I could  see it from two completely different points of view. 
I was finally able to do it, but only now looking at my life experiences do I understand what I think the method was in my professor’s “madness“.

This morning, many years later, I feel I am finally realizing the rationale my professor might very well have had in mind.  This graduate school course exercise seems to me now to be designed to reinforce an important truth about life:  We see what we already believe or, to be more precise, what we are prepared and willing to believe about the world and, most especially, about ourselves.

It is incredibly easy to see what we EXPECT to be there
…what we already believe about ourselves and others.  The life snapshots we click on seem so real and so “rational” and so we file them away as objective evidence of the beliefs we are already holding, completely ignoring the fact that they validate and justify the life conclusions we have made to that point in time which steadfastly occupy the submerged part of the iceberg which is our subconscious.

And so, trapped in the tundra of our early life impressions and experiences, how do we emerge to free ourselves and discover what else the canvas holds?

My graduate school professor MADE us look for more and I am left with the prospect of considering whether there is ALWAYS more.  And it seems to me there is and failing to recognize that is to overlook important information that would increase our awareness of the issues that complicate our lives and our empathy for the individuals struggling through them.

What if, as a practice, we made ourselves search for whatever could prove the opposite of what we believe?

Where could this lead us?  Would it make us more empathic?  More open?  More aware?  More cognizant of vital information?  Would it source all of our actions in LOVE?

Without opening ourselves up to the possibility that there is more to the story, we may very well assign ourselves the role of existing in the small, constructed room we have built around our hearts.  We may fail to see the pain that others are enduring.  We may also fail to see the beauty, the caring, the love that is being expressed to us in ways that we do not readily recognize. 

We need to step out of our own limited experience and open ourselves up to the mystery and wonder of the myriad of ways that people respond to life.

I have heard this profound truth expressed before. I have even recognized myself at times as bound to my currently operating beliefs.  But I have not been moved to transcend this practice until today as I, with great curiosity and excitement, recall my graduate course in Kafka.  

I wonder how many things we experience in life failing to understand the power of their significance.  

It seems worth the effort to move past our already formulated, sometimes cursory assessments and open ourselves up to the mystery hiding in the corners of our lives.  The great thirteenth century mystic Rumi advises us to “sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment.”

Following Rumi’s guidance will undoubtedly lead us to some new wisdom.  Perhaps THIS is the real TRIAL awaiting us.  Will we eventually reach the point where we can see beyond the boundaries that we have constructed for ourselves through the necessity for our survival or by the world itself moving through its own evolution?

                                                                                          Marie Helena

image from pinterest
Imprimer à partir d'aquarelle mode Illustration par Mysoulfly ...

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Follow the Leader

I am intensely intrigued with the concept of  Surrender
To be more precise, I  am speaking of surrendering to whatever the present moment brings.  
 Even if we don't like what is showing up...and it is not what we expected
...or even requested.

  Many spiritual writers discuss the folly of RESISTANCE to "What Is" and how resistance will up the ante, creating more intensity in the situation we find ourselves in...possibly making things even more difficult and distressing.

On the other hand, I find it ultimately to be true that what is showing up in our lives
is there to further our soul's evolution.  
Sometimes, it may take awhile for us to discern the wisdom of the gift we are being given...but it is ALWAYS there and we can choose to recognize the lesson, acknowledge it and integrate it into our lives.

It's pretty clear to me that the most direct path to finding peace in our lives is to embrace life as it unfolds for us.  (Special emphasis hopefully noted regarding the words "FOR us".)

After a good deal of study and reflection on this subject I have found a way to do this that feels comfortable, though challenging.
I call it  FOLLOW THE LEADER. It is based on lessons I have learned from Eckhaart Tolle and Dr. Betty Sue Flowers.

And here is how It goes.

First, I consciously choose to "be the space" for what is happening.  I observe what is happening.  I do not try to interfere with it or point the outcome in my direction.  I am a non-judgmental observer of "what is".

And, as I do this, I consciously choose to  let the experience LEAD me instead of trying to steer it in the direction I wish it to go.

When we hold the very strong belief that we are loved and affirmed and supported by the Divine Universe, we are able to stop trying to direct the flow of what is happening and, instead, ride the sometimes soft, sometimes undulating and sometimes turbulent waves as they carry us through to our next adventure (step to enlightenment).

But we must ride the waves with curiosity and interest and, most of all, faith in the good will of the Divine Universe to help us grow in love and abundance.

Once we get the hang of it, we find that when we abandon our pressing need for control and instead FOLLOW THE  (Divinely inspired) LEADER, life feels much safer and more mellow and that is  because it is most definitely a Divine Truth that LOVE is ever-present and is designed to  honor, enhance and heal all of creation, including any burdens we are carrying in our heart.

And that is why we must SURRENDER any aspirations we may have to BE the leader.  Instead, we need to become aware that the Divine Universe is designed to graciously and gracefully LEAD US to our soul's desire.

Whatever there is for us to know... Whatever lessons there are for us to learn... will ultimately be delivered to us as we hold space for the message of the moment.  And THAT is the beauty of Surrender.   

                                                                                Marie Helena.

image from art-clips.blogspot.com