Let Your Life Speak

Let your life speak,
not by the words you use
but by the actions you take
with everyone you touch.
Let the journey take you
beyond here,
the everyday problems,
moments of anger
while teaching you
the value of reality,
and what God wants for you.
Let the mysteries engulf you
as each destination comes closer
to your reach with compassion.
Remember it isn’t the final goal conquered,
but how you reached it with dignity,
faith, inner strength, and
without fear.
Gather your lessons in a basket
and touch them,
feel their hurt,
their humiliation,
their doubts,
their triumphs
and their joy.

Witness the opportunities for each obstacle.
Allow yourself to savor each past moment
then place the basket in a safe place
and live each moment anew.
Let your life speak loud
with laughter, love,
and a deep understanding of what is important.

Learn to unlearn old behaviors

in order to make way to new lessons.

Let your example say to the world,
“I am here to love, learn and give back
as I walk in the footsteps of the Divine.”

Tenderness of Time

tenderness

Some years are pretty uneventful with life changes.  You go through the daily routines, family issues, keeping the same jobs, everyone is healthy, same friends, and life is pleasantly stable.  But, there are some years that come in like a massive tornado storming through everything and twisting your life around.  This week has been the anniversary of such a year.

In a year’s time I’ve lost loved ones to misunderstandings and family gossip/issues.  I’ve cleared up my friends’ list and stuck with deleting those who didn’t really show me the utmost love and respect.  I got engaged, had a granddaughter come live with us, died in the hospital for a snippet of a moment, fell deeper in love with my fiancé, acquired him as a house mate with a bunch of animals, had to sell my car, awakened to many different possibilities, and had my last child graduate from high school.   I have seen my dearest of friends endure difficult life transformations; my children make painful choices; dealt with stressors of mental illness and destruction; and even made friends with a neurotic cat I thought hated me.  A year has brought me closer to many who I wouldn’t have been closed to before.  I have met amazing souls.  Most importantly I have made peace with me.  I’ve forgiven myself for a lifetime of self-deceit.

I have had several other things happen this year: personal ones that have deepened my faith, spirituality and belief system.  I have entered into the wise years of midlife with some acceptance that I know nothing of what I was able to articulate for most of my life.  I know zero…zip…nada.  I’m okay with that.  I am learning to keep my mouth close to those around me of things I feel, but my ears opened to the things I can share.  My heart has been broken, healed and enlarged because of such acceptance, conviction and awareness.

I am empowered by a few things: the surrendering of pain, the consenting of change, and the reward of letting go.  It isn’t easy!  I am still very human and learning is a constant complex forte.  I am selfish with my time, even now that it seems to move quicker with a little one in tow, and the solitary moments of having Divinity visit every morning.  I am trying to find balance where there seems to be a disproportion.  But, it is all a matter of perception.  I have always wanted this moment and this life. I feel gratitude embracing me when I step back to realize I have received everything I’ve manifested in my dreams.

A year in a life can make a huge impact.  Anniversaries of hurt and betrayal stay for a while.  The year is over.  The mourning has subsided.  I have so much more to enjoy ahead of this journey.  All hours work with the days whether we accept them or not.  Each day works beautifully within the weeks.  Each week flatters the consecutive junction of months.  And, each month gathers in triumph as the sum of a year.  It is nothing in the scope of reality.  Everything is an illusion of how we choose to live our lives.  Every lesson this year has been inspired with surrendering, love, compassion and most of all connection of self and spirit.  The greatest exercise has been in loving the tenderness of time.  Holding my granddaughter and feeling her joy, sadness, love, and spirit has been the icing of the cake this year.  What better way to begin a new chapter?  May your painful endings connect to wonderful new beginnings…always!

Crisis Mode

head in sand

Yesterday I was finally able to visit with a guest/friend who had been staying here for a week.  Our busy schedules didn’t allow for us to sit and catch up.  She asked how I was holding up with this “new addition.”  I answered her, “People normally get 9 months to prepare for a baby.  Even through adoption I had at least a year.  I had 2 hours from the time DSS (Dept. of Social Services) called me to ask for us to pick my granddaughter.  In those two hours I had to get bottles, diapers and formula.  And, then we had to get a playpen.  It was like running around without a head attached.  But, we did it.”

She listened attentively, going through some of her own emotional turmoil from the week, “I guess you go on crisis mode and just do it.”

I turned to look into her eyes and said, “Exactly, you go on crisis mode!  And, that’s what you are going through right now.  That’s how YOU are going to get through this issue yourself.”  It’s beautiful when you come up with the words on your own.  We visited for a small amount of time moving from the week, back to a few months and then retelling a year.  I love the way that happens.   Her words echoed in my heart.  Her story opened me in places I can’t even begin to explain.  She’s a remarkable woman.  I was blessed to have her as my teacher for a little while.

As I was trying to fall asleep I thought about her comment.  Many times we give birth to new situations (often times not pleasant) and we go into crisis mode.  Our survival instinct kicks in and we take care of the matter at hand without second guessing.  I believe, unfortunately, that I work best when I am on crisis mode.  I have no time to think.  My spirit does the guiding.  If I have time to analyze I don’t always accomplish what I am suppose to achieve properly.  Perhaps 22 years in the corporate world taught me to think on my feet.  I don’t know.  I find that successful people tend to go into crisis with a subconscious awareness.  They then step back and fix whatever didn’t go right with analytical compartmentalizing.  These folks don’t go around sticking their heads in the sand every time a situation arises.

We are constantly being pulled by the Divine while shuffling our feet to Ego’s criticism.  When the crisis mode occurs we have little choice on the matter.  Four years ago when my best friend lost her husband at the age of 38 she proceeded on crisis mode like a tornado.  She took care of things rather quickly.  There’s a saying that you shouldn’t make any drastic changes within a year of a huge life event.  But in a matter of four months we packed everything and moved to another state, bought a business, and the crisis mode became a way of life for a long time.  It wasn’t until a few years later that I think she began to see the influence of those quick changes without taking time to examine them beforehand.  We all need time to heal, sit, process, and learn.  It is then that we realize the strength of spirit.  I am always surprised at the resilience of this woman!

After 3-1/2 weeks my crisis mode is finally entering the next stage of acceptance and stability.  I am making no rash decisions, or trying to guess the future outcomes.  That would drive me insane at this point. Every so often Ego visits and I have to shut down completely.  I am having to re-do and modify my personality.  What I see now is that in the process of moving forward without thinking with my head, but with my heart, I have gained invaluable lessons.  Every new adjustment, modification and change in life is a crisis of self.  There’s no difference between a birth of a baby (with 9 months to prepare), or the death of a loved one (with no time to say goodbye), or even a natural disaster destroying your home with all your possessions (without warning).  We are made to withstand dilemmas, catastrophes, and trauma.  It’s within the grace, faith and compassion that we choose to overcome these obstacles that determines our placement in the world.  And, those are beautiful opportunities every day from God.

“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters.  One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” ~ John F. Kennedy

Knowing Unknowns

There is a saying that most people use when trying to make a point about certainty, “I know it (him/her) like the back of my hand.”  I haven’t really spent too much time knowing the back of my hand to be honest.  I, mean, if it was on a picture among other hands I would know mine (I think).  I don’t know why we use this jargon.  I also don’t know anyone that well.  I don’t even know myself completely.  Who does?  Do you truly know yourself?  Or, are you ever changing, evolving, transforming and moving in a way that surprises you? It sure surprises me.

I have said in many conversations that if “so and so happened to me I would react in such a manner.”  Whenever the Universe has provided a similar event, as an opportunity to grow, I have reacted completely different.  How I think and how I react are sometimes opposites.   I can’t really say anything for certain.  My life is forever changing.  All the shifts push me to think diversely because asymmetrically things are defining everything I think I should become in order to be happy.  It is truly ridiculous to entertain an idea and sit with it until it happens to you.  I am learning not to attach myself to any clichés.  I don’t know myself that well. The balance, the symmetry, and the idea of perfection is an illusion!

Life has a way of challenging our psyche.  It pushes us to a breaking point.  It causes us to see the world in a different manner to experience empathy with our spirit.  Just when I think I know something about me that is certain there is a new lesson guiding me to expand my thoughts, reactions, and outcomes.  I believe patience is born from these moments.  We get the opportunity to expand our perceptions.

Yesterday I was going through the “catch all” junk drawer in my room.  I found a picture of me with my kids when they were younger.  My ex and I took them on a cruise in May of 2007.  Everyone in the picture looks happy. If you look closely, even through my smile, there is a sadness that yells out, “I can’t do this charade any longer!”  We are all standing in front of a field in Old San Juan.  It is the perfect picture for a perfect vacation.  I don’t even know why I had kept that particular picture on this drawer.  I realized at that moment, while closely observing the faces, that my ex wasn’t happy at all.  He was hiding secrets behind his smile.  I was lamenting them and holding on to some belief that someone was going to pull me out of that relationship.  Funny how, in knowing myself, I really had no clue.  A picture captures the physical part of the world, but it also freezes a moment forever.  Who truly knows themselves?

I stared at that picture for the longest time.  I could see the exhaustion and tension inside of me.  Five of our six children stood there posing for the hundredth time.  They were hungry, hot, tired, and just wanted to run around.  I wanted to sit and do nothing.  My ex wanted to explore the jail and reminisce of Cuba.  I was a different person then.  If I think I don’t know myself well enough now, I know I knew nothing about that woman standing in the photograph.

If someone had shown me this picture about another family I am sure I would have commented on something esoteric.  Like, “look at the way the woman’s eyes seem sad. Or, look at the detachment from the man. Or, those kids look nothing alike.”  And then my humanness would have commented, “Why would anyone want such a big family?  How does one travel with that many kids?” I would have judged the idea of what we think we know.  The truth is we know nothing.  We know even less when ego gets a hold of us in a moment of frenzy.

There is no originality to me that stays grounded forever.  I am ever changing.  Events, problems, experiences and people are constantly pushing the cycle of my evolution.  Spiritually, physically and emotionally I am not the same person I was yesterday holding that picture, tracing each face with my index finger (that one that I truly don’t know very well).  I know nothing of what it is to know certainty.  There is no certainty.  There is just this moment, this key stroke, this word, and this middle-aged woman opening her thoughts and heart to you.  I search for the moment of enlightenment as Lao Tzu expresses, “He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.”  Until that moment I am learning to move with the flow of life…have a blessed day!

A Study in Extremes

Yesterdexperimentsay after cleaning rooms Bobbie and I went to watch The Million Dollar Arm.  This is a sweet, inspirational movie about two young Indian men who are brought to the states to become the first baseball players ever from that country.  Somewhere in the midst of the movie the agent expresses to his neighbor that the smells in India are extreme.  He said, “It is a study in extremes.”  In the dark I had to write it down, wrestling with pen and paper from my purse, I began to miss the next scene.  Those words echoed for the rest of the movie.

The past five years of my life have been an experiment and study in extremes.  Financial strains, relationships, physical issues, and spiritual changes have added to the extreme study of life.  As spiritual as I think I have become, I am still human.  I still want things that I want.  I still want easiness and not the rawness of those extremes.  The intensity filled with ups and downs sometimes is too much for anyone to handle. They suck!  No other adjective can eloquently express these major studies.

In those moments that I have a bratty-girl episode alone (so no one can witness such ridiculous attitude) I immediately go outside.  Staring at the mountains, the lake, the backdrop of what I am substantially a part of in this life…well…those “things” (like not having a car) don’t really matter. We are humans in every aspect of our being.  We are spiritual in every aspect of our being.  We are the trinity in every aspect of our being.  We wrestle with extremes every single moment.  I don’t believe there’s anyone exempt from this experiment.

“A study in extremes.”  Wow!  God is the scientist and I am the guinea pig or the Petri dish under the microscope.  Seeing the world as one class experiment can make it easier to sustain such infinite levels of mind, body and spirit.  The more spiritual I become, the easier the experiment gets.  Anything that is imbalance becomes a problem.  Too much physical and less emotion is horrible.  Too much spiritual and less physical is also an obstacle.  Too much psychology and no action…a disaster for the mind!

Part of life is allowing for those emotions to rise and fall while honoring the ride from highs to lows to highs again.  This study into the depth of intensity is all circumstantially filled with lessons and growth.  The experiment begins the moment we are born and ends the second we stop breathing. There’s a dance between faith and love that seems to aid in these extremes when we are aware of their fluctuation.  It is then that the intensity of the study is not so intense.

I was a good student in school.  I followed the rules.  I caused no problems.  These past few years have allowed for me to feel stuck and dumbfounded at times.  I’ve done everything I have been asked by Spirit.  And, yet, the study has forced me to balance those areas in myself that had rarely been addressed.  I am forever thankful.  This study (and the giant experiments) in extremes is an on-going venture.  It is getting easier.  It is becoming clear what areas need help, adjustment and patience.  This seesaw is the pretenses of our journey.  May you find the study in your extremes to be worth the time and effort to pay close attention because that knowledge comes straight from the source of God!  He makes no mistakes!

“To acquire knowledge, one must study;
but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.” – Marilyn Vos Savant

Little Critters of the Night

bugslife

For two nights we’ve had a cricket outside our bedroom window making the most annoying sound.  In all the years I’ve lived here I have never heard such a disturbing loudness.  Anytime a truck or larger noise would appear in the distance the critter stopped.  We get comfortable again and quickly it would start to sing (or crick or whatever you call the critter’s voice language).  It has rained the last two nights.  I love listening to the rain fall, the water hitting the pond, and the wind blowing through the land.  I do not enjoy the cricket.  At times I would find myself exasperated, inhaling and exhaling as if I was in labor. Somewhere in the midst of this creature’s song I envision it on a stage and other critters partaking and indulging in listening to it.  I don’t know where it came from but I was seeing a tiny stage and little chairs with bugs, grasshoppers, spiders and other insects as a large audience.  It was then that I fell asleep.  The cricket didn’t stop the noise, but I did.  The annoyance disappeared when I accepted its song as a beautiful gift to the world.

Isn’t that how problems or challenges feel at times?  They annoy the most patient cell in our bodies.  The moment we change perception our reaction shifts to peace.  It is amazing to step back and notice the difference.  Problems are only mind games in our lives.  How we react to those situations determines the outcome.  I was able to fall asleep because I accepted the cricket as the Ricky Martin of the night critter world.  Who am I to interrupt that show?

There’s a process to problems.  There’s a timing involved that requires faith and allowance.  You cannot push or tug on them if they aren’t ready to evolve into the next level.  Just like the critter’s song, the more we focus on the obstacle the less we see the blessing.  As I begin my day, coffee on my lap, fingers typing away, incense burning nearby, I am grateful for all those obstacles that have arrived lately.  They can be annoying when I am focusing on the negative, but when I step back and see what has come with them…I hear and see the beauty of grace echoing through a large concert hall and I am filled with divine love.

Where is God?

A dear friend this morning sent me a message with lost hope.  She wrote, “Well right now I’m questioning even God and if He is even listening or bothering with us down here.”  We went back and forth for a bit as I struggled in making her understand that God is everywhere. She knows this, but like her, we need reminders. People have karmic lessons they must pay.  They have individual paths and experiences they choose to follow.  God doesn’t step in with a magic wand to erase those choices.  Our individuality is an element of free will and it’s attached to everything we choose in our paths.  I can’t fix my children anymore than I can fix the state of the world.  I can pray and empathize with others.  I cannot and will not take their responsibilities onto me.  Those days are over.  I can love others but foremost need to love me.

As spiritual beings living a human life we tend to define self-love as selfishness.   We are conditioned to feel guilty and ashamed when we want alone time.  It’s almost as if the dogma of God has been manipulated to instill fear in our aloneness.  This isn’t so.  God is everywhere.  In our struggles and obstacles the light of divinity leads the way.  In happiness and joy Spirit comforts us with amazing vibrations.  Whenever we over extend ourselves to others we are depleted of energy source.  We want to help and mend the broken hearted.  We want to hold hands with those in need, but we forget to take care of ourselves first.  Then we begin to question, “Where’s God in all of this?”  He is in you, in me, in the earth.  He is the embodiment of every particle and energy source around us.  He’s not sitting on a cloud watching us move like an ant colony.  We are the thoughts of His guidance and in the decisions we make.  He is in the stories of the past, the present and the future.  God resides in the most intimate moments of a single word, thought and action.  Every journey leads to light, while having to travel the darkest corners of life.

It’s difficult enough to mend and travel our own lifeline.  Put others in the melting pot and it seems suffocating at times.  Faith is that thing that can’t be seen but it carries us.  That’s where God resides.  The unknown is just that…not known.  I remember reading somewhere that “life just seems so full of connections.  Most of the time we don’t even pay attention to the depth of life.  We only see flat surfaces.” I believe God lies in the depth, in those little details disregarded in the path.  I am seeing Divinity existing in so many places now.  Being present is being in pure light of omnipotence.  God is in me as He is in you.

We have no right to ask when suffering, hardship or struggles come our way, why is this happening to me? why me?  what have I done to deserve this? unless we also ask the same question when love, joy, happiness, and goodness come our way.  God doesn’t just appear in moments of plead and weakness.  He is there in gratitude and grace.  For every lesson learned there is a wonderful journey ahead.  You can’t have the dark without the light.  There is no strength in the unbelief.  Courage arrives in moments of releasing it all to something greater: call it God, Divinity, Spirit…however you care to address the universal movement of the soul.

Moments of impact make the sum of our experiences.  Each day that I let go, surrender to the NOW, is a moment of great impact.  Everything becomes a surprise.   Every person who enters my space is a gift.  Up here, on this mountain Spirit answers in my private sessions, in my alone time.  I witness it on my deck. The Great Mystery sits, holds me and allows me to just be still while the cold wind blows, the dew sits on the rocks, the ice floats on the pond, and the trees dance to the sunrise blowing snowflakes everywhere.  When life gives you a thousand reasons to mourn, show Spirit that you have a million reasons to smile.  We are all born for greatness.  Allow yourself the gift of belief, faith and certainty that there is something greater carrying you through it all.  It makes for a mystical life of truth and peace knowing that you are made of infinite spirit.  You are never alone.

“God is in all things, but so far as God is Divine and so far as he is rational, God is nowhere so properly as in the soul—in the innermost of the soul.” – Meister Eckhart