Popular Posts

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

The Gift of Will Smith

The 2022 Academy Awards were most certainly a departure from most years past where months of careful planning and protocol meticulously set the stage and formed the overlay for the event.

Yes, designer gowns and tuxedos were sparkling and glamorous as they seemed to magically appear ensconced on the famous red carpet leading to the metaphorical kingdom of OZ.  And fashion commentators dotted the scene asking predictable questions of celebrities and receiving predictable answers.  Naturally, extravagant compliments abounded with everyone happily beaming for the cameras.  

As usual, the evening unfolded with actors and their supporting artists heralded for their outstanding work and historical contributions.  A trio of female hosts engaged the audience with their wit and delightful stage presence.  It was a GLORIOUS evening of celebration.

And, then, suddenly, like life… it was also MESSY.

Will Smith’s cataclysmic moment appeared like a vortex flashing onto the scene.   

How did this moment of chaos erupt during the Academy Awards in the midst of  all the careful staging?  And, more importantly, why did it occur?

The answer to this question can be found by looking at the way we interact with each other and, most especially, by what we have experienced  after living through two years of a pandemic and now a war raging in Ukraine.  We have endured  unprecedented levels of stress. We have been unable to access our regular avenues of interaction.  We have often been alone with our depression and suffering. 

Perhaps Will Smith was speaking for the pent up distress of Everyman and giving us a stark,

dramatic portrait of pain that has been trapped in the subconscious 

and unable to breathe, see the light of day, be understood by others, and, hopefully, be healed.

It was Messy.  It was disruptive.  It was alarming.  It was dishonoring.

And…it was real.

Perhaps it was a message to all of us that we are carrying issues that cannot and SHOULD not be pretended away.  Issues, truths that must be spoken and attended to.

We are all carrying pain in varying degrees. And we all have the capacity to help others heal by listening to the messages of their hearts with whatever energy we have available to us.

It was beautiful to see Chris Rock

intuitively deal in a calming way with that impulsive explosion of emotional energy.  It was also beautiful to see friends of Will Smith attend to him after the disruption.  And it was beautiful to see Will Smith begin to express his dawning realization of what he had just revealed in such an explosive manner.

Perhaps it was one of the most significant moments of the Academy Awards as it showed us so clearly how deeply we all need to consider our pain and how we can all help each other to heal.

Glorious AND messy.

The 2022 Academy Awards…and life.

                         Marie Helena 

Image from Oscar Clipart

Sunday, March 27, 2022

The Amusement Park

By the time we leave our childhood behind and get on with issues of the "adult" world most of us have managed a trip or two to the glorious island of escape calledThe Amusement Park. 

There we stuffed our faces with cotton candy while we waited in line to take our seats on VERY scary and unpredictable rides.  And why did we do this?  Because it was FUN! We screamed our hearts out and then turned around and doubled back for more.

Maybe we loved these "wild rides" so much because there is something in our makeup that loves the unknown... mercurial adventures, precarious positions, challenging perspectives.

Which brings me in a roundabout way to an interesting occurrence I had just this week.  

While sitting in morning meditation a few days ago I experienced a very unusual stream of imagery.  I often have images popping up during meditation and, in fact, they routinely do,  but this meditation scenario was the most delightful I have ever encountered. 

Several Disney characters were whirling inside a powerful vortex, riding it downward at a very fast speed having the time of their life and shouting"Whee!".  

When they reached the bottom (as they all invariably did), they were bounced back up to the top and were each affectionately catapulted into a bed floating in space.  They were tucked into warm covers and weresoothed, comforted and rewarded from their madcap adventure by having a nice, long rest.

The all encompassing feeling of this fantasy was one of fun and delight.  The Disney characters were All IN.  They had no question of their safety...of the road they were traveling or of the loving embrace (the comfortable, billowy beds) awaiting them at its completion.  The TRUST was implicit, palpable.  Its vibration provided a powerhouse of energy for this adorable and motley crew.

So, here's the thing.                                      

The vortex in my meditation feels like earth school.  We've all experienced the WILDrides of life when it took us some time to 
B r e a t he, take it all in,  restore our equilibrium, gain perspective and choose our response, hopefully learning from the lessons being presented to us.

The Disney characters bouncing back up to the top and landing in a comfortable bed feels like a message that we are always looked after and deeply appreciated for our sojourn on this planet. 

And the fact that the characters were all having such an exciting, fun time feels like guidance on how to look at earth school as an exercise in curiosity and wonderment because it's all an illusion.  Real as it may seem, earth school is the vortex playground for trying on various personas and life situations to see what we can make of them...and learn from them, all the while sending the vibrations of our new wisdom out for everyone to energetically tap into.

When WE (our Spirit Selves) watch the glorious adventures we have designed for ourselves as earth dwellers, the story of our lives becomes truly enchanting!

                                                                                                  Marie Helena

roller coaster image from clipartist.info
Disney characters image from childcoloringpages.net
pillow image from wikihow.com

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Why My Soul Craves Chocolate

Last night close to the moment when Lady Midnight sweeps onto center stage adorned in her ebony velvet gown I found myself wandering through one of the groups I belong to on Linked In. 

 I decided to see if any fellow wanderers  were out and about in this particular neighborhood of cyber space.

It wasn't long before a fellow group member answered my call.  I proceeded to ask my newfound correspondent how the day had gone and where beauty was to be foundwithin it.  I finished my request with the comment:  My soul craves connection.

The answer I received to my request for evidence of beauty was a delightful description of an encounter with a giant frog perched on a window panel next to a front door at eye level.  My cohort commented to me that the frog appeared to be a happy amphibian

His coloring was soft and soothing - a velvety grass green.   His toes had little suction cups and his eyes blinked as if smiling and saying "hello".

I myself was smiling happily at this description when I noticed a postscript to the message:

...Oh, by the way - maybe your soul is just craving chocolate - :)

Shortly after this interchange... this delightful, random "moment"...I happily and 
sleepily turned in for the night.

During the wee ours, in the midst of my deep sleep, some level of my consciousness sprinkled all of these elements into the mix...my late night wandering, my newfound cyber friend, the darling frog perched on the window pane, the longing for connection and the "chocolate" of my soul.

As a result of my nocturnal processing, I feel it was no accident that my cyber friend responded to my search for roaming night owls within MINUTES of my request.  We were MEANT to connect in this way.  

The frog perched on her window panel undoubtedly came to bring her a message but I think he came for me, too, because she described him in answer to my question, "Where did you find beauty in your day?"

And there is beauty also in the symbolic meaning of the frog (Intuition, creativity, transformation, metamorphosis) which, I believe, was meant for both of us as encouragement and inspiration for our spiritual journeys.

My cyber friend saw the frog (in all of its awkward glory) and then helped me see it through her eyes.

And now to my cohort's comment:
"Oh, by the way - maybe your soul is just craving chocolate."

 Chocolate, I find, has a strong, symbolic meaning of love, passion, care and a happy life.  It is a great simple gift that surprises us...

Like the frog at eye level blinking a hello while he balanced himself adventurously with the suction cups of his toes...

Like the beautiful bonding and camaraderie that developed between my cyber friend and me in just a few moments of full-hearted attention...

Like the wondrous possibilities of connection that the institution of Linked In provides.

I think my new friend was right.  

My soul DOES crave this "chocolate" sweetness.

These moments do constitute the beauty of the day and they telegraph LOVE...through the frog's smiling eyes, for example, and his encouragement  for transformation and celebration of intuition.  (We are both writers who ."listen" to the messages of the universe).  

Finally, the lovely bonding of the late night cyber travelers (the pure joy of human interaction) was, in itself, a sweet surprise.

We are all so lovingly "LINKED IN".

Oh, yes, my soul does crave "chocolate" in whatever clever surprise the Universe delivers it to me.     : )

                                   Marie Helena

   image from birdfood.ie

Saturday, March 19, 2022

The Performance of Our Life

“The more love we feel for ourselves, the more we allow the creative energy of the Universe to flow through us.  

Since how we see and feel about ourselves is how we see and feel about other people, feeling more love for ourselves is the most mutually supportive focus we can  have.”             

                             Arnold Patent                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          


This very interesting quote reminds me of a favorite saying of mine... 

You can't give what you ain't got.

And it's a physical reality.

Even if we aspire to be loving toward others, we won't be able to give that loving, generous, thoughtful attention and energy  to others if we don't feel that way about ourselves.

And here's a big part of the reason why this is so.

There's a very popular character who tends to show up quite often in our life, perch on our shoulder and stream into our consciousness.  That character's name is the VOICE OF JUDGMENT.  

And he is a very busy fellow indeed.  He waits for us to make a misstep and then jumps right into that opening with a litany of how we have screwed up once again.  

Now the next thing I am going to say might sound strange to you.  

This character needs to be paid attention to...but not in the way we usually do this. 

Not by shrinking our self-esteem and cowering under his words.   Not that way.  

We need a DIFFERENT approach. 

We need to give this annoying voice ALL of the air time and space he needs.  Let him get it all out.  

Embrace the message.  

Literally BECOME the character...as if we are on stage and this is  

The Performance of Our Life.

When we really commit to this, an interesting thing happens.  Some PERSPECTIVE begins to enter the picture.  

While we are being "the voice of judgment" with primal passion and conviction and and living it to the nines, there is a part of us that can clearly see this character is over-the-top with his lengthy list of our wrongdoings and failures. 

And we begin to feel some compassion for this character who has lost touch with the big picture...the truly authentic picture that embraces our humanity, our occasional missteps and less than beneficial choices and that encourages us and supports us on our journey and knows us to be the beautiful, loving spirit we are.

And when we begin to see the theatrical intensity of this diva voice...it is not long before we are sending love and compassion to this character who has lost his way and is tripping over some very heavy expectations that are sourced in the opinions of others who have influenced our life.

But now it is WE who are making the call and We Can See far beyond the limitations and restrictions of experiencing the blame game.

And by loving this voice, embracing its expression and extending it compassion, we are truly loving ourself, filling up the bounty of our soul so that this same loving view can spill over onto others,  empowering "the creative energy of the universe to flow through us."

                    Marie Helena

image from digital-polyphony.com

quote by Arnold Patent courtesy of Houston Vetter, balancedlivingmagazine.com                                                                                                                                                                                                  


Thursday, March 17, 2022

What's Behind the Blarney Stone?

ording to Dictionary.com, the BLARNEY STONE is a stone in Blarney Castle in the southwest republic of Ireland said to endow whoever kisses it with the gift of the gab and skill in flattery.

What a great year it is for me to consider the question of what’s behind the blarney stone!  I just took a trip to Ireland a few months ago to visit my daughter who is living in Galway for a sabbatical year. And I got to enjoy the delightful…no, make that DELICIOUS ways of the Irish as evidenced by my encounters with the Irish taxi drivers.

THEY certainly have the gift of gab. And they’re not just talking to hear the sound of their own voices. Their gift is their beautiful, heartfelt interest in the lives of others. They really want to know about people. How they are feeling…how they are enjoying the day…what’s really in their hearts. And, in return, they open their hearts at the first inkling of interest.

They seem to intuitively know how much information you would like to have and they are happy to provide it. No, not just happy. This heartfelt sharing is like breathing to them. This is probably why I felt so at home there. I, too, share a desire to do this heart connecting.

One taxi driver in Dublin told me about his family history, including the legacy of his father and his grandfather. Interestingly, he was not of Irish descent but he fit in so beautifully with Irish ways he could have been mistaken for Irish. (Probably he was called to live there because Ireland resonated so appealingly with him.)

Other taxi drivers discussed their children when I asked about them…giving me not only the statistical details but also commenting on their strengths and virtues and how they also drove their parents crazy.
As for the question of flattery, I’d have to take exception to the inclusion of that word in describing the Irish. Yes, they are given to dramatic descriptions (another reason I loved them so much). And, yes, they seem to love to use language to express themselves but the message of the Irish seems to be that they are sincerely, authentically connected with life…its joys and its hardships…and they have been deeply affected by both.

They do not opt to do a superficial dance with the encounters of life…they immerse themselves deeply. Sometimes they are delighted, sometimes confounded; sometimes they are sad, other times outraged but always they deeply connect with their lives.  They ACKNOWLEDGE what is happening to them and around them. At times the pain, I believe, is overwhelming and the attempt is made to quell the suffering by frolic and gaiety, dance and drink.
  But so often the Irish find the happy note, the joy, the inspiration in the moment and celebrate this discovery.  There is a strength to the Irish that buoys them up and helps them rise and meet each day.  

What they really have to teach us, I think, is to be unafraid to embrace the flow, to acknowledge it, to speak our truth about how it feels, to deal.

And so, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I salute this courage and fearlessness and invite them to inspire us to remember the beauty of dancing Irish eyes and engaging Irish heartsand let that awareness linger just a little longer and inspire us to deeply connect with each and every moment of our day.  

                                                                                                       Marie Helena

When Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, 'tis like the morn in spring
In the lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing.
When Irish hearts are happy,.

All the world seems bright and gay.And when Irish eyes are smiling, 
Sure, they steal your heart away.

lyrics by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff, Jr.
music by Enerst

image from pinterest

Thursday, March 10, 2022

The Music of the Soul

Always do what makes your heart sing, what makes you feel good. That  RESONANCEspreads to everyone around you.

         Suni Pele Nelson

What is the most commanding thing you can do to make the world a more peaceful, generous and loving place for its inhabitants?
Add to the Joy by joining the chorus of those who have found the music of meaning in their life and unselfconsciously delight in expressing that melody!

Whatever it is that makes your heart sing...

the moment when you are lost in time and place...
where you have found the voice of your soul,
YOUR signature contribution to the collective consciousness,

Take that GIFT and GIVE it to the world...

By CHOOSING what gives you pleasure
ALLOWING yourself the time to cultivate your art.

SING your SONG...for the crickets, the birds, the squirrels, the sun
                          ...for everyone around you

And you will gift them with the beautiful lyric of a happy heart
Which is LOVING the moment
              TRILLING its pleasure
              SCAMPERING through an isle of delight
              FLOWING its LOVE to the Universe!


THIS is the RESONANCE of world transformation!  

 THIS is the sunshine which melts the pain.  
THIS is the music which rewrites the narrative of the heart.
Not the judgment...not the cries of the critics...not the anger nor the horror.
They intensify the suffering.

It is LOVE joyfully expressing itself that RESONATES, bringing Light to the Darkness.

It is the simplicity and beauty of a singing heart that makes the difference.

Where is your song?  Have you sung it today?

Marie Helena

image from christinecrook.squarespace.com

Sunday, March 6, 2022

THE CUTTING EDGE: Who's in Charge?

Ever have the feeling you are standing in a lineup with a bright spotlight glaring at you, just waiting for someone to take aim and tell or show you what you have just done wrong?  This state of anxiety may be occurring because of our co-dependency…because we are dependent on the good will, opinions and even the moods of others.  And we know that eventually someone is not going to be happy and that not-happy feeling will get expressed in body language, attitude, tone of voice, style of speaking and /or verbal expression.  So MANY ways for someone to communicate their displeasure!  And if we are co-dependent, we will feel vulnerable to all of them even if we have nothing to do with the reason for their appearance.  If we are in the vicinity, we may, nevertheless, end up feeling guilty or responsible and, for sure, worried and unsettled.  And that is because co-dependents think they must keep everyone satisfied and happy so they can feel feel safe and protected.  And that is a VERY vulnerable place to be.  

Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Human Needs tells us that safety and security are very basic to our welfare.  So it is no wonder that, if we have missed some important steps in our personal development, we may become very vigilant, always on the lookout for evidence of trouble (waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop) and jumping into action whenever we sense someone is distraught.  What a heavy price to pay to secure self-protection.  So unpredictable. And unrelenting.

But someone has to be the guardian of our happiness and so we assign ourselves the task of keeping everyone happy, eliminating discord and frustration, fixing problems as soon as they appear and even changing ourselves, if necessary, in an effort to keep the landscape quiet and peaceful.   That is the approach we use to protect ourselves.  And it is exhausting.  

There's a better way.  And it's cutting edge.  The reason it is cutting edge is it only involves us.  No babysitting others and tiptoeing around their issues and concerns.  No need to solve THEIR problems.  

I have come to believe that co-dependent individuals are so vigilant about taking care of others and feeling responsible for the well-being of others because they have not yet learned that their first and most important job is to take care of themselves.  First and foremost.  Before everyone and everything else.

If we have not paid attention to our needs and not set boundaries for our involvement with others...and held to those boundaries...we have not protected ourselves and made ourselves feel safe.  Without that safeguard in place, we intuitively know that ANYONE can come into our space and disrupt things.  That is why the words and actions of everyone around us are a potential threat and why we keep occupied trying to assuage their frustration and discontent.  That is why whatever frustrating things they say or do feel personal...as if they are judging us and seeming to imply we didn't take care of them.

But this caretaking we have assigned to ourselves by default is NOT OUR JOB and in spending all of our energy on this misguided assignment, we are dishonoring ourselves.

What if we were very clear about what WE needed and preferred and we deemed ourselves worthy of this attention?  And, what if we clearly explained to others our feelings…what we have the energy for, what we choose to walk away from?  What if we protected ourselves in this way and made it our life practice to take care of ourselves in every circumstance, making changes as needed, CAPTAINing our own ship?  

Once we step up to this responsibility, it actually becomes possible and, ultimately, easier to flow with what is transpiring and envision how we may want to contribute to the outcome, free from the anxieties about others that have drained our energy previously.

The captain of a ship, the person responsible for how the ship functions, holds an empowered position.  He does not wait for others to decide what will happen next on board.  He sets the protocol and amends it as needed.  

So how do we become this empowered CAPTAIN?  By giving ourselves the right and responsibility to determine where and how we take action...or not.  By letting others know the state of our energy and our willingness or lack of willingness to act.  By granting ourselves the space to say uncomfortable things, if needed, to express ourselves and by also granting others the right to say uncomfortable things to us as they, in turn, speak their truth.

We do not have to "make happy" in every moment.  We just need to be real and act authentically, expressing things the best way we know how and accepting that others have the right to captain their ships in this some way as we do.  When everyone feels worthy of speaking their truth, it becomes very clear that just as we take care of ourselves, they, too, are doing the same.  Now their voice of displeasure or look of dismay doesn't compute to something we are responsible for.  

Just as we have decided to take care  of ourselves in every moment in our new way of thinking, we clearly see that the things they say or do are merely the evidence of them taking care of themselves, too.  Their non-verbal behavior, tone of voice, words or actions are not an indictment of us but rather they are an expression of what is happening in their lives and how they feel about it.  And we are are now free to see that.  We have protected ourselves by stepping up and into the role of assuming personal responsibility for how we wish to interact with what is happening to and around us.  There is no longer any need to constantly search for evidence of someone else's displeasure, no need to protect ourselves in this way.   These people are just doing what we are doing and we can hear that in this light because we have already spoken our truth.  This is merely their turn to speak theirs.  

It is cutting edge work to reframe a difficult and frustrating situation.  It is cutting edge work to release a habit of old standing.  It is cutting edge work to feel worthy of expressing our needs and to do so.  And it is cutting edge work to honor the declaration of the needs expressed by others.  Everyone gets to say what they need or prefer.   Everyone gets to decide their response to the declarations.

Truth speaking.  Honoring of self and others.  No more traveling the well worn path of saying yes to what feels like no.  Freedom. Independence.  Cutting edge. 

                                Marie Helena


image from pem.org