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Saturday, June 27, 2020

The Unpacking

It’s a good start.  An important start. But it’s only the beginning.

Some kind of legislation regarding police brutality is apparently something all of our lawmakers can wrap their brains around…at least when thousands of people in every state keep marching to demand reform.

But there is so much to unpack here.  And that unpacking has to do with a heavy burden of systemic racism that lies at the very foundation of our country.  Racism that has produced unrest, unease, riots, injury, death.  Negative behavior all stemming from one primal source:  fear.

And that fear is what we must all understand.  That fear is what has sourced the negative behavior. And that fear has been deliberately stoked repeatedly to separate us even more from each other.

There are two primal emotions. Fear is one and love is the other.  The more we cultivate one, the less room there is for the other.

We have seen what more fear can do but what of this equation:  more love, less fear.

We can actually use love to TRANSMUTE fear.  We can use it in this way.

Instead of dividing into two primary parties each determined to prove the other wrong (our traditional response), we can instead...and this may seem radical and difficult and uncomfortable...

We can, instead, make an effort to uncover what is causing the fear.  And we do that through the peaceful effort of LISTENING to UNDERSTAND.  To understand another’s experiences.  The personal experiences that have shaped and formed their beliefs and life view.  The personal experiences that have caused them pain and that may have been left unhealed to rise up, agitate, compel, incite and sear the soul.

“Listening to understand” means no countering with our feelings and experiences...only listening to THEIRS.

And here’s why.  What every Individual needs is to be listened to objectively, nonjudgmentally, compassionately.  Until every person feels heard and understood.  Not countered with another’s beliefs...just heard and understood.

When people feel heard and truly understood, something softens inside them.  They leave the brittle cave they have sequestered themselves in and begin to see beyond their own experiences, their own pain.  They don’t forget the pain but rather become capable of recognizing others’ pain.  And this is a necessary foundation for the realization that we all share a common humanity.  That we are all One.

This is the unpacking that must be done.  And it must be done by everyone… for everyone.

One by one, we begin.  Stepping past our own beliefs, we open our hearts to minister to each other’s pain.

I wonder...
What if no one "argued" religion or politics...or anything else for that matter?  What if we all talked to each other to learn about what others believe and why and how their beliefs have affected their lives?

What if we all listened to what others said without feeling threatened or intimidated?  What if we had nothing to prove and, possibly, something to learn from hearing other points of view?

The world would surely be a very different place than the way it is now.  It would more closely resemble a gathering of curious scholars and philosophers than  being the hotbed it is of arguments and disputes that have culminated in unrest, injury and violence.

Why do we have a need to compel or persuade others to "see things our way"?  Why is it so threatening to us that others reject our beliefs?  Why do we need to see OUR ideas prevail? And why are some of us sometimes willing to inflict mental, emotional or physical injury on those who do not share our views?

Have we not come to this earthly dimension to learn, to experience, to discover for ourselves what there is to know?  And are we not gifted with the company and comradeship of other earth travelers who are also here to discover FOR THEMSELVES what there is to know?  Why argue with each other when everyone has been given this same calling?  Why not stay open to learning what has been noticed, accepted, embraced and assimilated by others and try to understand what they have learned that has felt so important and appealing to them?

Can you imagine the wealth of sharing and mutual support that would take place if every man clearly embraced his highest calling "to understand"...one of the most powerful and needed changes that could ever occur on our planet.
Can we help each other UNPACK the stories that burden us, creating a space for mutual understanding and shared compassion?  Can we embrace the practice of love rather than feel the fury of fear?

                                                                              Marie Helena

image on Pinterest
Briana Kranz watercolor and ink |poster

Tuesday, June 23, 2020


Resistance to the disturbance 
the disturbance.  

Vernon Howard 

The only way out of anything is through.

Whenever we try to find ways to sidestep the lessons of life we place them deeper inside us…ensuring their resurrection at a later time. And most probably, a resurrection which will be more dramatic and more painful.

We have entered into our earthlife so that we can learn the lessons we have chosen. The learning calls for courage and strength and truth. Interestingly, the more deeply we embrace the lessons, the more courage and strength and truth we have.

There is beauty in the SURRENDER. 

And wisdom awaits on the other side.

Bless your life by fully engaging in it.

                                                                                    Marie Helena


Sunday, June 21, 2020

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 20, 2020

The Password

One autumn day in Firenze, Italy an enthusiastic traveler noticed a sign posted on the Duomo, the imposing cathedral which holds a watchful eye on the beautiful city of Florence, announcing that Vespers would be held in the evening.  Excited to participate in this service, he returned at the appointed time and attempted to enter the Vespers area of the Church but was abruptly stopped by a guard who firmly announced the word CLOSED.  

Surprised, the traveler turned back but moments later decided to try once more to enter the Vespers area.  Again, the guard curtly articulated the word CLOSED.  As he glanced behind the guard, the traveler noticed that several people had already gained entrance to the area and were gathering there waiting for the service to begin.  Encouraged by this observation, he attempted a third time to gain admittance...with the same results.   

Now the traveler moved aside and began to calmly assess the situation.  He theorized that the guard could tell he was obviously not Italian and, of course, did not recognize him as a member of the congregation and that this could possibly be the reason why he was barred from entering.  He pondered further and came to the conclusion that there must be a password that needed to be used to gain admittance.  Persevering once more, the traveler then approached the guard a fourth time and, when he heard the word CLOSED loudly proclaimed, he quietly said “Vespers”  and was immediately admitted to the area. 

I so LOVE this story because I adore metaphors and there is a magical mega-metaphor here:  the PASSWORD which helped the traveler gain entrance to the Duomo’s Vespers.  After I heard the story of the traveler’s adventure, I immediately started pondering situations in my life that felt stuck and unsatisfactory and...dare I say with the curt and dogmatic voice of the Duomo guard...CLOSED.  I wondered if perhaps the problem with these stuck situations was that I had been using the wrong “password” in response to them and, when we don’t have the right password, we don’t get in.   

How well we know the importance of passwords in our contemporary culture where we must have dozens of them to gain entry to the online field of play.  And consider, too, how often we hear from our compatriots the voicing of a common lament, “I FORGOT my password!”

We need passwords for everything...passwords that WORK and that we can remember and  I am wondering if it is the low vibration of some of our “passwords” that may be keeping us mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually STUCK in situations that are uncomfortable and upsetting to us.

When we are embroiled in an argument, for instance, and tempers flare and we find it impossible to speak calmly about the issue, the password we are using may be I am right and I’m going to show you why.
When we try repeatedly to accomplish a goal pushing steadily forward an our self-appointed schedule but encountering roadblock after roadblock resulting in the claiming of our victimhood, our password may be  things never work out for me.

When we try to solve a problem from a very limited and ego focused perspective with VERY unsatisfactory results, our password may be nobody cares how I feel.

The way we can tell whether our “passwords” are the right vibration is by looking at the results we obtain and the way we feel about them.  If things work out comfortably for us and we have a peaceful feeling about the resolution, we have undoubtedly used a higher vibration password.  And the reason this is so is because we are designed to be Creatures of LOVE...to generously extend that love to ourselves and to others, to honor our journey and others’ journeys, too.  And when we choose to do this, we feel peaceful, satisfied and happy.  When we choose otherwise, we harbor a sense of dissonance and dissatisfaction.

There is a beautiful, divine plan afoot here.  Once we ascertain and embrace the “password” which is in harmony with our souls, we feel the comfort of being at home with ourselves.  If, instead, we settle into lower vibrations, things don’t feel right in our world.

If you have any issues in your life which feel stuck, unresolved, CLOSED, perhaps you might consider choosing a high vibration password and then enjoying the fun of seeing how you have so easily and gently and comfortably transcended whatever was causing you distress. 
Esso intende essere.

Touching home base can be AMAZING!

                                                                                  Marie Helena

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Always Something MORE

There is ALWAYS more to the story.

No matter what we think we know about something that has happened, there is ALWAYS more to the story.  Always something MORE that explains a person's motivation for what he does, has done or is considering doing.  And it is ALWAYS a story of how he has been affected by what has already transpired in his life.  What is happening in this moment is contingent upon what has already been.

Imagine the trillions upon trillions of events that are occurring because someone's need has gone unrecognized or unfilled.  Or...perhaps the need has been generously and magnanimously met and this gift of caring has, therefore, helped shape and form an even greater effort of love

WE are all a part of this human tapestry.  Everything we experience is contributing to and shaping our world view and the world view of others and, extending even further....into the formation of the universal consciousness.

Nothing is lost.  Every choice - every effort, every decision not to choose to act - is playing a role and joining with other variables to produce a new occurrence.

What place do we hold in this process?  What do we bring to contribute to this cosmic brocade?  How well do we understand our role as co-creators?  And do we acknowledge the subtle, powerful and fascinating influence we have the power to bestow upon each other?

                                                                                                    Marie Helena

image from exalted-beauty.blogspot.com.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

The Hundredth Monkey

Just days ago the United States seems to have reached a point of critical mass regarding the fear, confusion, unrest, and assault that have abounded in our country for years.  With no resolution.  And now there is fresh outrage from police violence and the indifference of federal government leadership.  So much so that it’s been difficult to even imagine a way out of this chaos.

Accusations have been hurled from every side.  Disregard is evident  for the rule of law.  Violence has been perpetrated under the guise of law enforcement.

But look closely.  What appears to be complete and unending disaster is holding the promise of profound transformation.  The proof of this is in the hundreds of thousands of people protesting PEACEFULLY for days on end throughout the country.  The explanation of what is happening lies in the concept of the hundredth monkey.

Ken Keyes, American personal growth author, explains the 100th 
monkey theory in his book of the same name.

Here is the story in his own words.

“The Japanese monkey, Macaca Fuscata, had been observed in the wild for a period of over 30 years.
In 1952, on the island of Koshima, scientists were providing monkeys with sweet potatoes dropped in the sand.  The monkey liked the taste of the raw sweet potatoes, but they found the dirt unpleasant.

An 18-month-old female named Imo found she could solve the problem by washing the potatoes in a nearby stream.  She taught this trick to her mother.  Her playmates also learned this new way and they taught their mothers too.

This cultural innovation was gradually picked up by various monkeys before the eyes of the scientists.  Between 1952 and 1958 all the young monkeys learned to wash the sandy sweet potatoes to make them more palatable.  Only the adults who imitated their children learned this social improvement. Other adults kept eating the dirty sweet potatoes.

Then something startling took place. In the autumn of 1958, a certain number of Koshima monkeys were washing sweet potatoes -- the exact number is not known.  Let us suppose that when the sun rose one morning there were 99 monkeys on Koshima Island who had learned to wash their sweet potatoes.  Let's further suppose that later that morning, the hundredth monkey learned to wash potatoes.


By that evening almost everyone in the tribe was washing sweet potatoes before eating them.  The added energy of this hundredth monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough!

But notice: A most surprising thing observed by these scientists was that the habit of washing sweet potatoes then jumped over the sea...Colonies of monkeys on other islands and the mainland troop of monkeys at Takasakiyama began washing their sweet potatoes.
Thus, when a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind.

 Although the exact number may vary, this Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon means that when only a limited number of people know of a new way, it may remain the conscious property of these people.
But there is a point at which if only one more person tunes-in to a new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness is picked up by almost everyone!”

From this we deduce that
The hundredth monkey effect is a hypothetical phenomenon in which a new behaviour or idea is said to spread rapidly by unexplained means from one group to all related groups once a critical number of members of one group exhibit the new behaviour or acknowledge the new idea. 

The “new idea” in this scenario is most certainly not the concept of protest.  This has been a familiar theme throughout our country’s history.  What is new and different and surprising and remarkable is
a common (and what appears to be unspoken) agreement among ALL of the people protesting:  The choice of a PEACEFUL protest as a course of action.   A truly beautiful, heart-centered decision especially in light of the blazing and incendiary emotions that have been unearthed on every side.

Over the years there have most certainly been trail blazers who have courageously spoken their truth about racial injustice and who have fought for fairness and peace.  Their words and actions have been heard and witnessed and embraced by many individuals.  In their efforts to find justice they have wisely understood the source of true power.  They have realized that the power, the promise of change resides in love and it is in LOVE that we will ultimately  find the grace and generosity to begin to understand the problems and the pain of all individuals who inhabit the earth.

That beautiful wisdom cultivated by these heroic figures and their insight and trust and commitment
have inspired the hearts of growing numbers.  And now we have reached a point of critical mass.  And the wisdom has taken hold.  How truly amazing it has been to see so many protest peacefully as ONE.  Almost beyond comprehension given the volatile nature of what has been transpiring.  And given our history, almost unimaginable.

Yes, some violence has erupted but not from the peaceful protestors.  They are too powerful
vibrationally to have their efforts halted by those intending to disrupt and destroy.  The peaceful protesters are here to rebuild and they are doing it skillfully with an open, loving heart as their inspiration.

We have not yet fully understood the majestic design of our glorious universe which waits patiently in every moment to help us when we make the decision to evolve.  But we most certainly have now caught a remarkable glimpse of how we can open our hearts to work together in miraculous ways to make a better tomorrow...for everyone.

"Collective awakening is the hope of our planet.”
- Thich Nhat Han

                                             Marie Helena


Image from
46 Best 100th Monkey images | Monkey ...pinterest.com

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

We are Beginning

You can either choose to try and go against the reality of what other people in your life feel and experience (and have a very difficult time with it)...

Or you can take a moment to simply accept the situation as it is and CHOOSE what you want to do about it (which puts you back in a positive and grounded place of power in your life).

                       Christian Carter

We’ve been living with the Corona virus for many days. It has been exhausting in every way. And I wonder if we have now grown weary of witnessing and calling out the hateful behavior we see that 
has produced so much pain and suffering on our planet.

Are we ready as a nation to CHOOSE what we want to do about it?

It looks that way to me.   

As I watch the news reports of the many peaceful protests that are occurring simultaneously, I feel a new sense of hopefulness.  The choice of a peaceful protest as a course of action is a truly beautiful, heart-centered decision.  It leaps with great courage right past the prejudice, the injustice, the moral outrage because it understands where the true power is.  

That power, that promise of change resides in love and it is in LOVE that we will find the grace and generosity to begin to understand the problems and the pain of all individuals who inhabit the earth.

And there are layers upon layers of pain. Of misunderstanding. Of confusion.  Of retribution.

It is going to take a brave and  generous collective spirit to look deeply into our hearts to discern how we may have participated In perpetuating the problem and how we can help to heal the injustices that have ravaged so many.

Walking peacefully even in the face of the frightening pandemic, even sometimes in the face of possible assault and arrest signals the immense strength I am describing. We can see it.  It is here. We are beginning.

Marie Helena