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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Hiding in Plain Sight

 

July 14, 2020


We have sixty-six pots of New Guinea impatiens in our back yard.  They are a brilliant shade of fuchsia, especially cultivated for us by a local greenhouse.  The lovely impatiens adorn two fountains and a hot tub which border a central area of white summer tables shaded by dark green umbrellas.


Our grassy European courtyard has an interesting history.  It began years ago with a single pot of flowers and a hammock.  Several trips to Europe changed all that.  We fell in love with the enchanting outdoor caf├ęs and decided to replicate their ambiance in our own backyard.


On our front porch there are  also bountiful flowers displaying their summer dresses.  They abound in purple, white, rose, and fuscia accented by their rich, dark green leaves allowing only enough space for a sojourn on a white wicker chair to inhale the intoxicating beauty.


Every flower in our front and in our back yard is gorgeous...fresh, vibrant, and more beautiful than ALL of the other summers they have inhabited.  MORE beauiful!  More everything!


And, this, right smack in the middle of a terrible pandemic, the corona virus.  Right when thousands of people are falling ill and our hospitals are overcrowded and our medical staff members are exhausted, some even overcome by the virus from which they’ve worked so hard to save others.


What a paradox!  Such beauty and brilliance and vibrancy In the same landscape as the devastating virus.


I believe the incredible display of beauty and well-being and vibrancy seen in our flowers

is a significant message to us.


The flowers and their foliage are simply being Who They Are.  They are untouched.  Unaffected by any attempt to persuade them to bloom in a different color or less gloriously or at a different time of the year.  They are simply who they are and they are quite brilliant.  And beautiful. Untampered with.


We, on the other hand, in our great experiment of incarnation on earth have willingly consented to experience “limitations” and we are finding ourselves in a drama of mammoth proportions.  We are undergoing sadness, disbelief, distress, profound suffering.  And, while we pass through the very difficult stage of this metamorphosis, the magnificent flowers are there to remind us of the beauty of simply being Who We Are...Creatures of Love.  We have gotten ourselves lost in the quagmire of ego, fear, separation, and scarcity thinking.  And some of us have carried it to massive proportions.  To make a point.  To ourselves.


There is no peace in this place. There is no joy. There’s no satisfaction.  Only the trauma of trying to keep up, the trauma of trying to be better than.  When all along all we need do is return to our natural, loving disposition, to our beautiful, loving hearts. 


Even while the pandemic rages on, we are being given a  reminder...the promise of what life can be.   From the flowers.  A simple gift tucked into our day.  Hiding in plain sight.

                              

                                  Marie Helena



Image on Pinterest:

White wicker chair

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Yes! We Have No Bananas!



 As a young child I remember so enjoying singing the first lines of a delightful song:

"Yes! We have no bananas.

We have no bananas today!"

The song tells the story of a fruit store run by a Greek gentleman.  Whenever he was asked about some item he did not have in the store such as bananas, for example, he always began by saying, “Yes, We have no bananas.” 


The lyrics to this song are light-hearted and paint a vivid picture of the fruit market and its owner.  I’ve included them at the end of this blog post so you can enjoy them.


However, a very important reason for me to remember the No Bananas song is serious.  I cannot even recall how I came upon it…and it’s possible I dreamed it up when I was trying to help someone solve a problem…but I know that I have used this story in my life many times to help me get perspective and have shared it with others so much that it’s become an integral part of my philosophy. 


And so it is my pleasure to share it with you now.


Let’s pretend you go into a fruit store and ask the clerk for some bananas.  The clerk replies that he is sorry that he has no bananas, but he does have apples, pears, strawberries, oranges and kiwis.


You listen to his list of available luscious fruits and answer, “That’s great.  But I want bananas.”  He replies, “But we have NO bananas.”  You answer, “I don’t care that you don’t have bananas."

 

"I came into this store to buy some bananas and that’s what I want."


So you ask what is the point of this story…and it’s this:


Often in life we identify something we want from someone (not a physical thing but rather a satisfying or comforting emotion).  


It’s something we would really like to have in our life so we approach the person and either ask for it or drop hints…but…we never get the “bananas” because the person doesn’t have them.  


And, because our desire and need feel so great to us (no doubt because of empty spaces from other parts of our life), we lose sight of the fact that this person does not have what we want…perhaps because he is on his own journey and has not cultivated it yet. 


But our need for the “bananas” is so great that we have blinders on and cannot see that there are no bananas in that store.  Thus, we feel disappointed and alone and abandoned.  


The emotional need we have has blinded us to the bigger picture of what stock items (read many other luscious fruits) ARE possibly available and we stay stuck in our banana obsession.


Persistently looking for something that we know (on some level) is not there seems counterproductive and exhausting...albeit a very human reaction when we are in emotional need.


Have you ever searched for bananas at a store that doesn’t have them but insisted that bananas are what you want and must have?  


And have you ever been so upset and distressed when you couldn’t find the bananas that you missed all of the other possibly wonderful offerings that ARE available at that store?


Here’s to opening our shopping baskets (and hearts) to welcome in all of  the delights that HAVE BEEN cultivated and are waiting for us to partake of their pleasures!


                                         Marie Helena 


Yes! We Have No Bananas!

Folk Song written By: Frank Silver and Irving Cohn


There's a fruit store on our street

It's run by a Greek.

And he keeps good things to eat

But you should hear him speak!


When you ask him anything, he never answers "no".

He just "yes"es you to death,

And as he takes your dough, he tells you...


"Yes! We have no bananas

We have no bananas today!!

We have string beans and onions, cabBAges and scallions

And all kinds of fruit and say

We have an old fashioned toMAHto

A Long Island poTAHto, but


Yes! We have no bananas

We have no bananas today!"


Business got so good for him that he wrote home today,

"Send me Pete and Nick and Jim; I need help right away."

When he got them in the store, there was fun, you bet.

Someone asked for "sparrow grass"

and then the whole quartet

All answered:


"Yes, we have no bananas

We have-a no bananas today.

Just try those coconuts

Those wall-nuts and doughnuts

There ain't many nuts like they.

We'll sell you two kinds of red herring,

Dark brown, and ball-bearing.

But yes, we have no bananas

We have no bananas today."

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Follow the Energy


We often ask ourselves the question: Why can’t I make this thing happen?


Perhaps it is something we want to achieve or acquire…perhaps it is a personal change in our lifestyle, something that appears to be for the good of our health and well-being.


We struggle and struggle and still we fail. Then we end up blaming ourselves for not being strong enough to make this desire of ours a reality.


But Sanaya Roman, author of Spiritual Growth, says what looks like culpability on our part, like weakness and a lack of follow through... may be entirely something else. Things are not always what they appear to be or feel like.


What is really happening in this case is that we are trying to use our forceful will to accomplish our goal. But if our goal or the way we are pursuing it is not for our highest good, our wise will jumps in to intervene with this message from our Higher Self: This is not for your Higher Good. "Create resistance; stop; do not carry through with the action."


In this picture whatever we were planning to do and/or the way we were planning to do it are clearly not in harmony with our life path. 


According to Roman, “When it is good for you to do something you will feel a desire to do it; you will be drawn to it because it is something you love and not something you are forcing yourself to do.” 


The implications of this spiritual design are astounding. 


When we follow this scenario we stop focusing on feelings of failure and disappointment. If something is not clicking for us, we sense there is a reason…a good reason…a Higher Self reason that is protecting and guiding us. So when we hit a roadblock, when our energy flags and we feel defeated, we release our attachment to the goal with the knowingness that it is not the best path for us to pursue at this time. 


How do we then know what path is the best choice to pursue? 


We follow the energy of our day.


The feeling of vitality and interest which makes us feel engaged and strong.


We hold the knowingness that this focus is the very best direction for our journey at this point in time and that our other goals will be reached at the most perfect moment for them.


This way of thinking lifts our spirits so beautifully and moves us seamlessly into the delightful flow of energy which is filling our lives, often from unexpected places. Our willingness to hear this message and engage and respond brings us exactly to where we need to be. 


And we do not have to find this place ourselves.


All we have to do is notice what energy is entering our lives and embrace it. 


What an adventure life then becomes when we understand that EVERYTHING is being done for us and for our ultimate happiness. Our only work is to watch for the signs and signals that tell us what is moving into our path right now and with a full heart enjoy every present moment of that beautiful energy surge (which is already making us feel alive and happy).


Quite a master plan…so ingenious it is hiding in plain sight. 


All it takes is the faith and trust that we are loved and supported and cared for and the knowingness that everything we need will be delivered to us… and everything we experience is a lesson for our souls.

   

                                         Marie Helena

Thursday, May 12, 2022

The Heart Responds

Awareness simplifies the experience of life by bypassing the mind and giving a direct experience of feeling...which the mind cannot experience or comprehend.

                                 Robert Cosmar


It would seem so very admirable to invest our time in understanding  the beliefs and concepts that have been formulated and expressed over time regarding the great questions of life:


 Who created this amazing universe? 

       What role do I play here? 

What is the best way to live out that role? 

       What truly brings me joy?

       What causes suffering?


To be able to logically explain the answers to these questions could appear to be very empowering but using this method to explain the answers would include mentally LABELING concepts... and that process is confining and limiting. 


 It defines concepts according to an individual's perception and it is based on that person's influences, conditioning and experiences.  


It places the great gifts of our life into a BOX of specific parameters and dimensions envisioned by one individual.

 

But the breathless beauty and amazing legacy of life is so much more.  


And it is accessed not through logic or mental exercise or through indoctrination of the ruling of authority...the dictates of someone's interpretation...it is accessed through our  direct experience of feeling...


        through entering the Divine portal of AWARENESS...the awesome, mysterious state of complete connection to what we are experiencing... 


        the FEELING of SENSING and KNOWING  the essence of someone or something.  Not the trappings or even the ambiance...just  the purity of What Is.


And we know when we are in this beautiful place because we do not feel the oppressive weight of argument and persuasion.  When we are in this place time and circumstances and issues slip away...there is nothing but us and the experience.


And  the heart responds to the moment.  Something feels right...true..natural...a beautiful gift to us.  


This is when the true nature of life and its secrets are revealed.


They are not revealed through the mind but rather through the heart.


This amazing pathway is open to each of us...it waits for each of us to become aware of its existence.


This amazing feeling of  intensity, this fascination, this connection-to-ALL THAT IS  cannot be named...or labeled or described.  It must be experienced.


Pema Chodron tells us that when we  open our hearts in this way to all the people we meet, to all the situations we encounter, without closing down, trusting that we can do that – then  we will understand all the teachings that anyone has ever taught.

 

THIS path, the HEARTpath is the way in to the glorious experiences of life and their meaning.  


Everyone can access this Divine knowledge by opening and listening to  their own heart.


                                       Marie Helena


image from crestock.com

Friday, May 6, 2022

Drifting






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


Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Divine Feminine Energy

As we celebrate the beautiful occasion of  Mother's Day, my thoughts are drawn to the power and beauty and significance of Love as it is expressed in Divine feminine energy.  This beautiful Grace which streams so elegantly from the hearts of women.  Such an exquisite blessing.  It seems to be their birthright . . . their gift to the world.

Somehow, women intuitively know that when someone is experiencing pain, in that moment there is nothing more powerful, more healing than for that person to feel understood.  To have someone mirror back to them an understanding of the intensity of their pain or distress and how it is affecting them.

This essential longing to be understood is a vital part of the human condition.  Without this loving kindness it is difficult for an individual to move forward into an acknowledgment of what is transpiring.  And, without that acknowledgment, that acceptance, it is impossible to move through the experience to the other side. . . . to the peace that comes through Surrender.

The feminine heart holds the key to the unfolding of this process.  We are all so in need of this exquisite form of compassion.  When we receive it, we find the energy to lead ourselves through the dark night of the soul.  This precious feminine offering is the antidote to loneliness, to abandonment.  It promotes caring, a sense of safety, connection.

Because our world is changing and evolving it is wonderful to note that feminine energy is now being expressed by males as well. And, in return, masculine energy is leading by example the demonstration of the importance and value of steadfastness and devotion.

How wonderful that we can all minister to each other, sharing the precious and pleasing endowments of our earthly lives!


                                            Marie Helena


                                                             

image on Pinterest

Joyce Hicks watercolor