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Friday, September 23, 2022

Who Writes the Story?

Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, tells us that RESPECT is one of the greatest expressions of LOVE...and that, if we love someone, we respect that this person is a good artist and can write his own story. 

Ruiz further says that  this person was, in fact, BORN to write his own story and if we respect him, we do not try to write his story for him.

What is even more important is that imposing ourselves in someone else's story is a blatant example of our lack of faith that the other person is capable of learning for himself what there is to be learned and applying those lessons to his life.  The consideration of how and when and if he does this is not In our job description.


I do believe that we can communicate to others in a gentle, positive, loving manner any suggestions that we may have about the turmoil they may be experiencing BUT that is it...just SUGGEST...not expect and not punish if someone does not wish to embrace what we are envisioning as an answer to a dilemma.

We are NEVER in the place of knowing all of the factors involved in how someone's life is playing out and  to act as if we are and to envision what we think is the perfect answer is to exalt ourselves and fail to honor the other. 

It represents the giving of affection with CONDITIONS, falling short of a truly loving response and indicating a lack of respect.

Truly understanding our place in the world and the place others occupy is a challenging task for us.  It requires clear boundaries for ourselves and others  but it frees everyone involved to make life choices in an atmosphere of support and caring.

Expressing our faith in everyone else's right and ability 

to listen to the guidance of his own heart...

to  decide issues for himself...

to experience the consequences of his choices and to learn his own lessons when and if he chooses..

is a most beautiful and pure expression of love and caring.  

It also frees us to use our energies for the selection, welcoming and experiencing of our own adventures.

                                      Marie Helena 

image from tootsiegrace.blogspot.com

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Deconstructing Anger

Rough edges...
gruff sounds...
a voice growing in intensity  

Oh, dear....Where can we hide?

Most of us feel like "leaving the building" when the vibration of anger explodes in our midst.  Whether it is our own fiery voice we hear or someone else's, this is not a fun place to find ourselves and we wonder what happened to bring this on?  How did things escalate so fast?  

And, in the face of this growing tension, it is so very difficult to get our bearings, to take that deep breath, to step away from the fray and summon a glimpse of the bigger picture.  But this is exactly what is needed in the heat of that moment for what is transpiring has many possible layers to it and it takes a clear head, a centered consciousness and a calm, compassionate heart to embrace the significance of the event.

Psychologist Phillip McGraw tells us that anger is a masking defense, called out to front the troops which are harboring hurt, fear or frustration.  Where anger feels hot and aggressive, the emotions "behind the scene" are actually full of pain...and vulnerability but they are lacking the courage to directly speak what has caused their siren call.  And that is because the angry person (whether it is ourself or another) has not experienced the trust that it is safe and it is important to name the feelings that are flooding his soul.  

And so anger, instead, emerges as the front guy and anger takes the hit, eventually encountering a counterattack, distressing emotions or even remorse at a later moment.   And all of this drama is not productive because it isn't even the real issue.  But what it does do is bring  our awareness to the fact that there is someone needing love and attention...and, most of all, needing understanding that their heart is unprotected.

The most powerful elixir in this moment is to have someone bravely dance right through the emotional maelstrom of the anger and lovingly embrace the tender heart which is longing  to be heard.  Unconditional acceptance in a safe environment as this soul speaks its truth the best way it knows how.  

Deconstructing anger...cutting edge.


                                        Marie Helena                                                                                                        

image from Pinterest.com

Friday, September 16, 2022

A Chariot of Compassion

The death of Queen Elizabeth has swept the British into a symphony of intense sadness and grief being experienced in what looks like a unified field of emotion.  Waves of grief and melancholy rock the nation symbolized by  unending queues of mourners and thousands of bouquets of commemorative  blossoms lining the gates of Buckingham Palace.

Centuries of tradition have provided
the British with a “chariot” of compassion to carry their intense feelings of bereavement.  And they are united here in this endeavor.  United in a very special way…a unification that does not naturally occur between the opposing political parties of their nation or between the opposing  political parties of any nation which always seem to be locked into a battle for power and supremacy.  

Which gives rise to the question…
Is it our nature to engage with others so that we emerge the victor?  Or is it our conditioning that encourages this quest for power?

And let me pose yet another query.  Is it possible that our true nature is what we are seeing expressed by a nation united in grief…a coming together for a shared moment of compassionate experience which transcends the passing and petty profits of emerging victorious in favor of the ideal of caring for the common good?

The answer to this question I think can be found by observing what each occurrence produces. 

I believe there are two things engaging us in life. There is “love” and there is  that which is “on its way to love”. 

What we see occurring in the expression of grief by the British nation to me signals “love”.  On the other hand, the battle for power throughout the world and resulting disregard for others, prejudice, racism, violence, etc.  must, therefore, be what is “on its way to love”.   It is not love but it is meant to find its way there because love is our true nature and love is how we ideally enter the world…invincible and ready to engage everything we see.   The dysfunctional and destructive behaviors we see expressed  come from fear and they have  a long way to travel because painful experiences line their  boulevards.  And that pain needs love to mitigate its suffering.  And it is not simple or  easy to express love when we encounter this behavior but we can access it when we open our hearts to the pain experienced by others.

The United States does not carry a tradition of external royalty as the British do which could help bring us together in a common expression of caring and love.  What we need is a spiritual vehicle which will inspire us to share this universal aspiration.

If our Past conditioning has  somehow encouraged the formation of opposing forces and the resulting negativity of survival of the fittest, could the Present conditioning of a world that is now emerging… transcending our past instincts of survival and blossoming now into a much better version of ourselves encourage us to find expressions of our true nature?  Have we forgotten that, despite appearances,  we are always moving in a forward trajectory?

Can we access the hopefulness that the Universe wants us to become stronger, more resilient, more satisfied?

Can we begin to anticipate, to expect this transformation?

If we pay attention to what makes us feel happy, joyful, satisfied, (the path to love),  I think we will be able to see our way.

Is the British monarchy here to point us in the right direction?

                      Marie Helena 

image from pinterest

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Loving the Distance

Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.

                                               Rainer Maria Rilke

To see the other "whole against the sky"...

How beautiful and loving to truly "see" and "know" another sans the heavy trappings of our own unmet needs, conditioning and ego!  How transforming...how triumphant!

And not the easiest task 
when mired in the heavy density of earth school where we struggle so to come up for the air of feeling in control, satisfied, vindicated, "in the game" and winning.

Rilke is suggesting in his beautiful poetic way that we choose a view much more vast than just taking care of ourselves.  He is asking us to look much further...to reach, to stretch our souls up into the infinite distance where we have the clarity of seeing the view of each soul traversing its own terrain.  And it is a stunning picture...it is magnificent.  It is a work of art creating itself in each moment...the story of all of our journeys.

That work of art is subtle and sensitive...intricate and winding...powerful, chaotic and peaceful.
.teeming with the stories of all earth dwellers trying to find their way. And the paths...and landmarks...and back roads vary greatly but they make sense to the traveler and THAT is what we need to honor in ourselves and in all others.  In that honoring is birthed the exquisite gift of understanding and  empathy...and the life-changing, mystical experience of Loving the Distance!

                                Marie Helena 

image from scamp.ie
Scamp:  The Irish Illumination Blog
 (from Brian Fitzgerald's sketchbook)


Sunday, September 4, 2022

Playful Pizazz

Although we are separated geographically by many miles (Michigan, California, Nebraska, Georgia, and Florida), the girls in our family stay in close touch through texting, zoom, photos and phone calls.  For even just this reason alone, I so appreciate technology.

Sometimes we send pictures of a beautiful flower we saw, a video of our dogs jumping hurdles in competition, happy moments at wine tasting establishments or even our cuisine adventures in the kitchen or at the dining room table.

I love feeling the compassion and caring and excitement of the girls and also really appreciate the sharing of ideas we have picked up along the way as we go through our daily lives.

Here are three very interesting concepts that recently found their way into our connection. The first is from my sister and it is really very practical advice. I call it the stubbed toe fix.  

My sister recently learned somewhere that the LAST time we touch something we leave an impression that remains with us…Remembered by the body.

This is how her scenario played out.

She had stubbed her toe on some furniture (and you know how much FUN that is and how long the fun lasts).  Remembering what she had heard, she sat down and gently massaged her toe for a while.  It felt soothing to her but what really made her happy was discovering that the toe “remembered” the tender loving care the last time it was touched and stayed there going forward in that beautiful place of vibration.

The second example comes from my experience. Recently, I have been  learning about how to use neural plasticity to reshape the way difficult thoughts enter our minds.

Here is how I learned it works. When we find ourselves thinking or even obsessing about some difficulty, we make a point of finding something positive about that subject before we leave it. Over time and devoted practice, our minds learn to go first to the positive reflection we ascribed to the subject whenever we happen to return to that frustrating thought.

I have been investing in this process by always trying to wave goodbye to a difficult subject by celebrating something that is life enhancing about it.  I feel better when I do it. Exiting that stage feels like I’m taking a well earned bow.

The third engaging idea is so much fun. This one comes from my sister-in-law. She read it in a book written by a doctor she knows.  He said we all have these little voices chattering away and sometimes their messages are not helpful to us or in our best interest so he suggests we give them names when we recognize them and make them behave.

“That’s enough, Susie.  You need a nap.”

“Seriously, George?”

“Been there, heard that, Delores.”

I think the point is to have fun and be playful while you recognize old energies trying to get onto the field of your psyche.  It seems easier to make a shift In your thinking if you are having fun doing it.

And all of the three concepts I am describing here ARE a positive fix…




Leave it to the girls to find the silver lining among the coffee cups and busy schedules of their day.

I wonder if their mothers taught them to do that…

                                      Marie Helena 

image from pinterest 

image from pinterest

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Beautiful Dreamer


Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.

  Winston Churchill

Winston has an epic concept there...ardent, passionate, towering, rhapsodic energy that completely sustains itself as we move in life from one adventure to the next.  No matter the quest.  Irrespective of the outcome.  With no expectations. 

ONLY the exuberance of the tinkering and imagining of our intellect. 
ONLY the pleasure of our senses dreaming the possibility and then experiencing its manifestation. 
ONLY the heart deciding to embrace, decline or defer what has revealed itself in the process.   
ONLY the stray, crucial threads emerging which lead us to our next, personally satisfying cutting edge conception.


After writing this description of the JOY of the JOURNEY I'm ready to don a cape and fly off on yet another adventure for who does not want to play the detective, the dreamer, the magician!  The ever fervent seeker of how things mysteriously circle back to us for our pleasure when we have consciously let them roam free to find their connections in the corridors of our heart!

The SECRET to sustaining the life force which always embraces the excitement, the joy AND the  turbulence and tumult of the journey is the knowledge that we exist for the purpose of EXPLORING this magical playground designed to provide us with whatever we can dream.

Beautiful dreamer, wake unto thee! 
Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee!*

                                  Marie Helena 

*lyrics from Beautiful Dreamer by Stephen Foster

top image from quoteko.com
bottom image from favim.com