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Friday, February 24, 2023

Changing the Default Button

Eckhart Tolle has become a well-known guru of Living in the Moment. 

Tolle's book, The Power of Now, instructs us regarding the importance of releasing our fear and anxiety about the past and what the future may bring and concentrating solely on what is occurring in this moment. Quantum belief says that time is an invention of man and that, if you change the present, you've changed everything (what you have already done and what you might choose to do in the future). If quantum belief is correct (and I believe it is), we are not bound to our past choices, decisions and actions. What those past choices, decisions and actions represent is the opportunity to learn from experience. (Of course, if we don't get the lesson, then we get another opportunity to "seize the day".)

The mindset we bring to the present moment is critical to what it brings to us. Somehow we always find what we are looking for. If we are looking for the difficulties we anticipate to be inherent in a situation, we will be able to find them like flashing neon lights. If we are open to learning new truths or experiencing new insights, they will be there. Our choice of focus will be borne from our most basic view of whether the universe is a friendly place to be. Let's say we recognize that the concept of a friendly universe is not and has not been our default button. Rather, we have been disappointed and hurt and have come to expect disappointment and hurt in order to protect ourselves. Now, let us imagine, we wish to change what we have realized about the way we view the world.

Enter Abraham Hicks and some very simple, very practical advice.  

"If all you did was just look for things to appreciate you would live a joyous, spectacular life."

The more we practice finding the beauty and love in everything around us, the easier it is to do so. It may not come naturally at first, but what a great way to begin to see the world's color and passion and light. If we notice the delicate flight of the hummingbird, the roses scenting the air and the insect colonies building their fortresses, we can be delighted in the gorgeous setting of the Play of Our Lives. If we can find love in someone's action (even if it is in the intention and not the behavior), our life view starts to change. We begin to expect positive things to happen. We expect beauty and goodness. We expect love and, in expecting love, we begin to radiate it. The giving of love lifts our hearts. Then, experiencing our Present Moment feels like a gift...waiting to be opened and reopened whenever we desire.

Live in the moment and let that moment bring you an appreciation of all that surrounds you...the beautiful, miraculous, intelligent world we take for granted. Revel in its beauty. Savor its sweetness. Honor your LIFE and the joys awaiting you!

                                    Marie Helena 

Monday, February 20, 2023

Holding Space

The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.  Thomas Merton  

It seems so perfectly reasonable to want others to be like we are…to treat us the way we treat them, to see the world through our eyes, to react and respond in the ways we find most fitting. How comfortable that would be…How perfectly relaxing…How delightful not to ever have to deal with comments or with behavior that makes us feel uneasy. 

The reason we interact with the world in the way we do is because our behavior is the product of our experiences.
We have done some suffering and some learning and have come to some conclusions about the way we choose to live. And we are weary from the battle and desire to coexist peacefully with others in this very personal world we have created for ourselves.

The problem is that the same work we are doing for ourselves…that same task of making sense out of our lives and experiences and making mistakes and finding new ways of responding is also the work of every other human being.
 And we are, all of us, on our own journeys about how we learn the lessons and what directions the path we choose will take us. Thus, the great variety in human behavior.

It is so easy to question why someone can’t see what we see or do what we do…and to be annoyed and irritated by this. But if we expand our vision past the feeling of the moment, we can see the maze of life journeys unfolding and intersecting each other…each in its own rhythm and pace which may very well not be a match for ours.

If we look to the example of a person very dear to us whom we love and care for…we can probably recognize that we want this person to do what is best for him/herself…even if it is not what we prefer.   Love prompts that understanding, that acceptance, that behavior in us. And, if we view this loved one as a microcosm of the world, it is clear that loving everyone is wanting everyone to do what feels best to them…as each individual navigates their life lessons and journeys…not on our time line and schedule but on theirs.

We HOLD SPACE for them while they do this and send our blessings.
  And when we hold space for another person, we support them but do not interfere with the work of their journey. We respect and honor others as they find their way and do not force them to behave as we would like them to.  If we use the beautiful example of the way we, hopefully, treat someone we care for as a microcosm and extend it to the macrocosm of the world, we will be emitting a powerful and transforming message of LOVE as we send our blessings to every fellow inhabitant of this glorious universe.  

Just as I choose to bring into my life
the experiences I desire,
I also practice
the Art of Allowing

HONOR THE PATHS of others.

Mystic Marks: Bookmarks for the Soul

                                     Marie Helena

Friday, February 17, 2023

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, February 12, 2023

Let the Good Times Roll!

Super Bowl championship game
of the National Football League and the American Football League, is today!  This event has become an American national holiday and has frequently been the most watched sporting event  in the world.

That kind of interest and exposure and excitement delivers a huge whomp.

Watching the Super Bowl, is, for many people, the source of great exhilaration and relaxation. Its theme song is something like "Let the Good Times Roll."

And, as always, what appears in our life, especially that which whips us into a frenzy and takes center stage, carries a message for us
and.........drum roll here......like the Super Bowl itself, it's a really BIG one.

And it's also simple...but tricky to do.

Shil Bagh says, 
"Enlightenment is all about how a tiny shift in your perspective will create a major transformation in your life."

So here's the lesson of Super Bowl...

Just as you watch the game with heightened curiosity and passion and fascination...take those same qualities and point them to an object of even greater interest and power...YOU!

That's right...watch YOURSELF...and not just on Super Bowl Sunday...all day long, every day.

OK, I realize  this might take some doing because it isn't our usual way of operating.

Elaine St. James gives us some good advice about how to do this.  She says,  

"Try to get into the habit of stepping outside yourself and becoming the observer." 

And when you do what St. James suggests,  something very exciting happens.  In a quiet, impressive and powerful way.  Let me explain.  

As we go through life, we find ourselves caught in the thick of things

We are affected...upset sometimes...annoyed by what's transpiring with and around us.  

Another way of putting this is to say 

Later, when we think things over, we may wish we hadn't said or done something and promise ourselves it will be different next time. 

But when that next time comes, we enter the fray and off we go again with our default reaction.  And these kinds of behavioral habits are mega-hard to change as we walk through the difficulties and obstacles of life.

But there is a way...

a simple, quiet, introspective  way to make the changes we so desire.  

It's as simple as WATCHING  OURSELVES...becoming the OBSERVER.

Something very exciting happens in this process.  

As the observer, we become an objective witness and recorder of events  and our involvement in them. 

And, somehow, that objectivity presents us with a picture that doesn't feel upsetting or distressful...just a "noticing" that we have been following a predictable pattern that contributes to our turmoil and suffering and a noticing that that picture could easily be changed by a shift in our perception and behavior.  

There's no drama to be found in doing it this way... just a quiet insight that takes hold...with the promise of a more, calm, centered life.  And that is why the very simple action of observing ourselves is so powerful.

Life is teeming with glorious lessons for us and a beautiful one lies in wait just hours away.

So LOVE the fun of Super Bowl Sunday and watching your favorite teams (the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles) duke it out on the field (wild ride that it is)...

and LOVE even more the quiet, perceptive, life-enhancing adventure of watching YOU on the playing field of YOUR life.

                                                                                              Marie Helena

mage from article by Tony Hicks in Contra Costa Times
For Super Bowl 2012, please be quiet --I want to watch the game. 

Sunday, February 5, 2023

FIDDLERS on the Roof

In the vibrant, captivating musical, Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye and his Jewish brethren give voice so brilliantly to the longings of their heart.  

There is celebration.  There is dancing. There is toasting.  Laughter.  There is commiseration.  There is sadness.  Tears.  There is hope. 

And, most importantly, there is an embracing of reality

Tevye and his cohorts in Anatevka have found their way to this all important EMBRACE and it is sourced in their honoring of community and in the way they care for each other.

Though they live their lives steeped in the architecture of tradition, they unmistakably express themselves… they chirp, they warble, they whine, they shout.  They cantillate and croon lullabies in a metaphorical and literal manner.  They sing their joy.  They sing their misery.

They do this because SOMEONE is listening. 

In Anatevka Everyone is listening.  Listening.

There is caring. There is concern. There is COMPASSION.

In Anatevka people want to know. They want to understand. They may not agree with each other but they want to hear each other’s stories.  They are counseled by the HEART.

Is Anatevka a reminder to us of how we were created…to engage with  each other, to learn from each other, to find our way by sharing our perceptions of how to SEE our journey?

We all have a great need to be heard, understood, and loved.

Ultimately, we are all Fiddlers on the Roof in search of community, connection, and meaning.


                                     Marie Helena

Image from Fiddler on the Roof  (the musical Broadway poster)  Playbill Store

Friday, February 3, 2023

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