Bless the World

A few years ago for Christmas a dear friend gifted me an amazing book by Mark Nepo: ‘The Book of Awakening.’ It’s a daily meditation guide. The pages are worn and marked. The book now looks like it’s been put through a dryer. Every time I pick it up I find something else that I’ve missed the last five years. Words have a way of popping out just when they need to be acknowledged.

“There are many reasons to be kind, but perhaps none is as compelling as the spiritual fact that it is what we do. It is how the inner organ of being keeps pumping. Spiders sting. Wolves howl. Ants build small hills that no one sees. And human beings lift each other, no matter the consequences. Even when other beings sting.”

Have we forgotten in these present times of “what we do?” Have we lost our way to understand that we are all on different spiritual paths and forms of evolving? Have we deviated from truth because of ideas, convictions and beliefs without once remembering that we must be kind to each other in order to make any form of transformation?

The hardest part of being an empath, or sensitive person, is the constant bombardment of others’ emotions. Even when I am not partaking in their issues, I feel the energy deep in the core of me. I am made to be kind. You are made for kindness. We cannot deviate from our authenticity. This is who we are. We learn how not to be kind, consciously or unintentionally… because we are born with love and kindness in our cells. That’s the starting point to each of us. That’s who we are. That’s what we come here to express to others. That is the web and fabric of our Unity.

Let’s try to return to THAT. Let’s…please…because the alternative really really really sucks! Tonight I am sending prayers to several folks really struggling in so many ways. I want to truly be present with them in spirit, in love, and in kindness.

I love you.

Truth

Listen closely,

            Truth is quiet

pressing against the walls

                        hoping                       you take notice

            and find the strength to open up

                                    a window

and let the air                     of life inside.

Truth isn’t lurking in the              shadows

            but it is the light

                                                that penetrates

through treasures

                                    of         forgotten images

            while You                 make up stories

                        masquerading        a façade,

trying to fit into the world and expectations.

Listen attentively,

            Truth is patient

waiting for you to take it,

                        to call for it,

and dance                in harmony.

            It stands,       swaying to the music of your spirit,

            watching you reject it over and over

until one day

            you can’t avoid the light that it brings

                        and you must take Truth

into you         as when a mother embraces her newborn child –            engulfed in all the love

                                    and peace

                                                             it brings…

through the divinity in you.

Love Is All

Moments are the connections to life’s journey. They are the process of all there is in some magical dance between synchronicity and love. Each second connects into another. Our own connection pulls and tugs to intertwine with each other. By being aware of each moment we can join, partake, and openly participate in this creation of life. That’s all there is: the taking of good and bad and surrendering to it all. We co-create the stories. We allow it to come and go, passing through the process of time and space. Afterwards, when the stories are too much, the drama is too stale, and the tragic of not being at peace is maddening, we blame the universal forces for our participation in this co-creation. We detach and close off from the universal element of love.

That’s all love is. It lets go of boundaries, walls, and inhibitions. At times, the dance involves fear and panic for allowing another co-creator to take our desires even though we gave them the power to do so. The truth is that true love is effortless. Not, that it doesn’t require work, but it’s just a rhythmic dance of ease and grace. It devours intimacy by accepting and not holding back any of our insecurities. Love doesn’t push. It opens and breathes peace and trust. It is raw and compassionate and all that is of God. Love is accepting of another without judgment of your own self. It brings you into a place of complete surrender. It allows light into the darkest of places.

We complicate love with our agendas and traumatic experiences of lack. We aren’t good enough. We are not worth enough. We are this and we are that. Those beliefs are implemented into our own hearts. But truth be known, love doesn’t care. Every other emotion lives in our head. Love is the only one that lives in our heart…in Spirit. We come into the world with this one and only sentiment. The rest of them are acquired through life’s lessons. But love is about relating to another, not losing yourself into that other person. It’s a union of mind, body and spirit in a way that contributes to all that the universe has created. Love is about being Divine. With or without another to partake in the journey, the moments of true peace are those when the heart is open and the light of God shines through.

May you always find this staring at the reflection in the mirror, or in the eyes of a child, the unconditional appreciation of an animal, and the relationships gathered through this lifetime.

The Struggle To Do Nothing

magic of doing nothing

Standing or walking have become exquisite gifts taken for granted. A pulled tendon on top of my right foot has impeded me from doing all the normal daily activities I enjoy…like walking to the creek, going to the back of our gorgeous property, and just taking a step down the stairs to go to the car. The things we do on a daily basis can be taken away in one second and we don’t know how to adjust to the ever changing times.

It’s not easy to just sit. And, so when the doctor tells me that the healing is slow and I must rest the foot, I feel crippled. I have a two year old. That alone says a lot about mobility.

For over three weeks my body has been at a halt. It has endured questions on everything from weight, health and pain. I have had a lot of time to ponder from the sofa, while writing and working, to determine that I have a difficult time adjusting to being with me for too long without mobility. Cause, let’s be honest, while we are keeping busy we don’t have to entertain the internal demons that hide through a busy mind.

I have encountered generosity from amazing souls in my lifetime. It’s hard for me to receive. I enjoy giving and nurturing others. I love being able to be there when someone needs an ear, a hand, or just a friend in silence. I cherish moments when I can give from my soul and sit in the openness of another person’s vulnerability. But, it’s truly hellish to be in my own struggle of doing nothing and feeling the rawness of my own soul asking and begging for nourishment. It’s difficult to just be with me this long and not be able to entertain the ego with something else. It’s excruciating…imagine that! Life will provide the lessons needed to learn at the precise moment we avoid them the most.

Sometimes it requires a hard up accident, a near death experience, or simply a stupid pulled tendon for us to truly stop and listen. When we don’t listen to the whispers, they will begin to scream through what we avoid the most. Going on helping others is wonderful, but we must take care of ourselves first.

Yesterday, in the car with my husband, I broke down. I could barely say anything as I kept wiping the tears over and over, not daring them to touch the bottom of my face. I couldn’t quite explain the reason for them. I am sure, lately, he’s been witnessing a neurotic woman who is coming out of her skin. But, the tears have bottled up within a trying and challenging week full of issues with some of my grown children, and my inability to be able to do anything. I can’t do anything but be here. Even if my foot was perfectly fine, I can only send love and share in their struggles. However, pain intensifies all emotions. It clearly drains anything that’s been held up for a long time. Pain is a master at shifting our consciousness. It will force and bring forth whatever is being avoided.

Deep Sigh…

Vulnerability comes during moments of complete awareness when the soul is screaming for attention. And, when we aren’t courageous in the ability to let go and share, vulnerability will grab our perception in another way. We aren’t meant to lock up and dismiss our emotions. Vulnerability is the willingness to surf the ego and accept the nothingness and everythingness of our lives. It sucks at times, especially if you aren’t an emotional person. I, however, am an extremely emotional soul…to fault. I can cry at a drop of a hat about anything that doesn’t pertain to me. But, the moment I feel that pull in my heart about something that’s inside, I get completely erratic.

And, today, as I head out to Georgia to do a workshop on releasing the inner child, I realize wholeheartedly that the inner child has been releasing since the pain started. Isn’t that a kicker? I have visited parts of my own little girl in order to truly accept me in my most vulnerable state.  The struggle has been in allowing my busy mind to stop and do nothing.  It’s an art of sorts. Creating nothing takes work!

Sit long enough with yourself to love all aspects of you. I don’t say this lightly. I say it because I have been experiencing it in hyper mode. And, for those who think that your inner child doesn’t need tending, remember how you feel when your favorite TV comes on, or how you experience the simple things in your daily life. That’s a little girl or little boy, thanking you for nourishing them.

Love is the ALL

love is abssence

Moments are the connections to life’s journey.  They are the process of all there is in some magical dance between synchronicity and love.  Each second connects into another.  Our own connection pulls and tugs to intertwine with each other.  By being aware of each moment we can join, partake, and openly participate in this creation of life.  That’s all there is: the taking of good, bad, and surrendering to it all.  We co-create the stories while allowing things to come and go, passing through the process of time and space.  Afterwards, when the stories are too much, the drama is too stale, and the tragic of not being at peace is maddening, we blame the universal forces for our participation in this co-creation.   We detach and close off from the universal element of love.

Love has no judgment, no agenda, no bias, no bigotry….  Love is love without a concrete definition.  It lets go of boundaries, walls, and inhibitions.  Love is effortless.  In relationships it does require work, but it’s just a rhythmic dance of ease and grace.  It devours intimacy by accepting and not holding back any of our insecurities.  Love doesn’t push.  It opens and breathes peace and trust.  It is raw and compassionate and all that is of God.  Love is accepting of another without judgment of your own self.  It brings you into a place of complete surrender.  It allows light into the darkest of places.

I have always believed that love is the only emotion we are born with that’s imprinted in our chromosomes.  We arrive into this world in love, with love, embraced by the Oneness of the Divine.  It is when our environment infuses all the other “learned emotions” that we become distant from the truth of love.  We begin to complicate love with our agendas and traumatic experiences of lack.  We aren’t good enough.  We are not worth enough.  We are this and we are that.  Those beliefs are intergraded into our own hearts.  But truth be known, love doesn’t care.  Every other emotion lives in our head.   Love is the only one that lives in our heart…in Spirit.  Love is the union of mind, body and spirit in a way that contributes to all that the universe has created.   Love is about being Divine.  With or without another to partake in the journey, the moments of true peace are those when the heart is open and the light of God shines through.

Even while understanding this in theory it is still difficult at times to feel love and compassion for people and things out of our life path.  Because we learn by the experiences from our culture, race, and other social or environmental classes, it seems that judgment takes over way before love.  I am constantly reminding myself that each person who appears in my life is for me to learn something about love and compassion.  It isn’t always easy when others have so much hatred and anger.  But, what if being tolerant and patient in the beginning (while interacting with these folks) starts opening their hearts?  What if in the presence of those rough exteriors we can shift the energy to allow their sprits to feel the love they came with into this world? What would the world look like if we lowered our shields and began to show the light of Divinity? I believe that one day in the future we will have only one faith, one religion and one path towards unlimited compassion.  That day will be when love is all we embody.  It is then that we will be one with the Divine.  Nothing else will matter because as our famous John sang with openness: “all you need is love…love…love.  Love is all you need.”

“One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love.” – Sophocles

Serenity of One

Hush.  shhh!

Listen. ahhh!

Honor this moment in time.

Silence is my companion

echoing through the space

of this house.

It sits drinking light

watching the incense burn

dancing through its smoke

fluttering to the candle’s aura.

The prayer wheel turns,

round and round,

circling the world,

sending out

to the masses

wishes of hope and peace.

The fireplace crackles,

bringing warmth

throughout

and I feel the sacredness

loving me gently.

In this stillness

there is absolute

certainty

of blessings,

lessons,

being.

This presence is all there is

and I close my eyes

to go deeper,

infinitely,

profoundly,

into the abyss

of my spirit.

With each moment

of breath,

the heart gently vibrates

and I exhale

as awareness takes me

until I am cradled

in the arms of divinity

and

I

finally

become…

One.

Lessons from the Mountains

From time to time I will be posting pages from a book I am finishing.  I hope you enjoy these lessons:

In the winter of 2010 I find myself alone on a mountain top in an old motel living with the ghosts of regrets.  My two youngest are still dealing with the changes of the “poor life” versus their other life of luxuries.  Our home is a modest one.  My best friend and business partner leaves to work for weeks at a time in the airline business.  I don’t know anyone in this town.  I am engulfed in my own thoughts and haunting.  I don’t want to fail.  I cannot fail. Each freezing day that passes I want to return to the old places of familiarity.

The winter is the worst seen in many years on these mountains.  The pipes freeze and I am left without water for eight days.  Two weeks prior to this ordeal the basement floods.  There’s a monsoon of waterfalls coming through the walls.  The house is mourning and so am I.  I sit on the steps looking and listening to the cries.  I join the basement in this release.  I don’t know how much more I can take.  Was moving here a mistake?  What will my family think?  I cannot return to the life I had in Florida.  I cannot go anywhere without money.  I am alone.  I am cold and alone in a way I haven’t felt in years.  If stubbornness was a degree I would have a PhD in it.  I think this is what keeps me moving on auto pilot at this time.  I don’t know.  What do I know about living in these mountains that seem to be taking me to places of unknown assurance?

The days are gloom.  My entire essence is going against this terrain.  Now, on the fifth day without water, I decide to go to the frozen pond and grab a bucket full from the excess trickling down the mountain side.  It is two degrees outside.  I am in my pajamas, hair up on a bun, and water boots to guide my slippery path.  I go down frozen steps, iced and slick just like the pond.  I stand on the ice waiting for the trickling to fill the bucket so I can flush toilets.  I have a half-full bucket when I decide I am cold.  It’s enough for one flushing.  I make it up three steps when I hit an ice chunk and I tumble down the steps on my ass dumping the icy water on my legs.  I am wet, cold, sore and angry as hell.  I yell to the heavens, “Is this all you have?  Really!  Keep giving it to me and I will continue to take it. If I am not supposed to be here then show me a freaking sign so I can leave.”  The valley is quiet. The voice travels and echoes through the dead-ness of winter.  I am so tired of this crap.

I enter the house and cry on the floor in front of the fireplace. I have no money to get someone to fix the broken pipes.  They need to thaw and I need to as well.  I am frozen in my emotions as I cannot figure anything out.  I don’t know exactly what I am supposed to do at this point.  I go downstairs to my basement bedroom where the water has frozen in places.  The large part of my shoes had to be thrown out.  I am down to nothing in my ability to think or find a positive outlet. These are the moments that bring me to my knees.

I think of these mountains, the Appalachian Trail, the beauty and serenity of winter.  I am traumatized by all the white stuff on the ground.  I am not made for this cold.  I cannot stay warm.  I am afraid of the heaters being on too long and causing a fire.  I am afraid of the gas fireplace leaking gas while we sleep.  I make sure the kids have warmth upstairs in their rooms but I have nothing downstairs in the dungeon.  I wrap myself in layers and wait for sun and warmth.  It is months before I feel heat on my shoulders.  It is years before I recognize the power of these lessons.  I am stripped down to nothing.  Even my favorite shoes are gone.   I wait for a sign and it doesn’t arrive until I am ready to conquer my ego and self-worth issues.

The next morning it dawns on me that I have antiques I can go sell.  I have an engagement ring that I can pawn off for food and fixing the well and pipes.  I grab a hold of everything in a box and trek down the mountain, avoiding the black ice that has taught me to tread carefully for days now.  I go to an antique warehouse in Asheville.  I enter with four bottles that are full of liquor and have a music box with a ballerina dancing in the bottle.  They are worth something.  The Dutch company has been out of business for over thirty years.  I know their worth.

Two of the bottles get purchased. I then ask if they buy jewelry and immediately I take the ring that my ex had given me under false pretenses and place it on the counter.  The woman checks the diamonds and asks what I want for it.  I tell her that I don’t know and to make me an offer.

She offers me two hundred dollars and I tell her I will take it.  But then something magical happens as she starts to write the check.  She closes her checkbook and tells me, “You know this ring is worth more than $200?”

“Yes, I know.” I stare into her eyes.

“I can’t buy this from you at that price, ma’am.”  She hands me the ring and I place it in my pocket. She looks at me and the remaining bottles, “You know God provides tests all the time.  Some of us pass them and some of us fail.  You have made me question my character.  I almost failed another test from HIM.  Do you understand this?”

I say to her, “Sweetie, I am humbled by the fact that you didn’t rip me off. I have no sentimental value to the ring.  I would take the $200 if you care to buy it.”

She says, “Thank God.  I just cannot write the check. I cannot rip you off like that.”  Her eyes get glossy and she smiles in such a sympathetic way. She asks, “What is the story behind the ring?”

I tell her it was given to me by my ex and it was to cover up his infidelities at that time.  I couldn’t wear the ring and had not worn in years.   I want to tell her that it’s okay. I am okay with letting it go.  I want to eat something other than Ramen noddles, pay for my pipes to be fixed, and maybe take the kids to a movie.  I want to buy water so I can wash dishes.  I don’t share any of this.

I tell her thank you for her honesty in regards to the value, but as I am walking out of the store she says, “Miss, you are like that ballerina in the bottle.  Don’t ever underestimate yourself.  You are stronger and more graceful than you can imagine.”

I walk out with tears racing down my cheeks.  I had not shared the story of the bottles and my childhood. I don’t tell her that when I was six years old, in one of many Houdini acts, my father showed up with a similar bottle as a gift to my mother.  I remember standing by the dining room table watching the ballerina dance inside the gold liquor while my parents argued in the kitchen.  I wanted to be just like the ballerina: graceful, thin, beautiful and oblivious to my surroundings.

As I get in my car I realize that I am finally that graceful little thing inside of a bottle dancing to a French melody.  I have become the grace that carries me and pushes me towards the rhythm of God’s tune.  I know this.  And forever I will be grateful to this stranger for pointing it out that I am stronger than I think.   I am the embodiment of grace and forgiveness.

I now have some money.  I stop for food and I return up the mountain with a bucket full of hope, grace and peace until the next lesson these mountains choose to bestow upon me. .

Answers from the Heart

Between tears,

minor heart de-fragments,

and laughing psychotically

at the irony

of what a young girl

had wished for so long ago,

I must find the serenity

in the sweetness of experiences.

I remember finding an entry

in a worn-out journal

written by a lost depleted girl,

missing out in life

and the secrets of connecting

to others…

“All I want is to fall in love

as many times as possible

in this lifetime.”

 

With each person who enters

the door into my spirit

I fall intensely and profoundly

into the depth of the unknown,

the universal secrets of truth

and unconditional love –

to be captivated wholeheartedly,

tenderly, and openly

for moments,

days, weeks….

No regrets are created,

or accepted

to the willing existence

when the abyss

gives way to

experiencing the authentic

spirit of another

in becoming a stepping stone

to the path of my totality…

the divinity in my world…

and the Oneness is all.

The Underside of Joy

It just takes one day,

a courageous moment –

if you will –

of allowing your soul

to open up

and descend,

releasing all plans,

conceived notions,

while letting go

the expectations

of finding a safety net

to catch the endless fall

into an unknown abyss.

As you open your eyes

the awareness of ground

brings the clear realization

that you’ve never left

your space or time

because surrendering

bears that freedom

that pushes and is constantly saved

by faith in divinity

and the miracle of accepting

that which you cannot see,

all that is joy.

Immediately you will leave ground,

flying eternally

through worlds full of secrets,

ambiguity,

unexplained peace and beauty,

never seen by your imagination.

It is then that your soul

finally meets the real you

embodied in the mystery

of Spirit…

It is then

that you become the authentic

YOU who was created

for this life full of

love and compassion.

“Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.” – Buddha