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

Ripple-less

View from Craggy Pinnacle Blue Ridge Mtns.

Flawless green humps seen in distance

under the loud silence

surfing the earth

as God sits and watches

the serenity of the land.

Ripple-less melody under the fog

escape in the horizon

washing and clearing

the echo of nature.

This magnitude of knowing

peace and faith

allows for release.

How can one stand above the world

without feeling the omnipotence

wonder of existence?

The vastness,

the vacancy,

the void-ness,

reaches inside of spirit

and awakes everything.

The peaking of morning,

the scoop of evening,

is the flow and essence

of every part of life here.

It is the ALL in the universe…

the everything of anything…

the complete I AM.

Intentions of Purpose

magic

In the quietness

I find myself

awkwardly infusing

trying to make sense…

 

In the silence

I find God

waiting for my return

to the union

of spirit and self…

 

In the solitude

I find the Universe

engulfing me,

weaving the cascades

of humanity,

encompassing all…

 

In the peace

I find me

and all that’s not

in the here and there

of the world

full of illusions

when nothing seems real…

 

except the light of the Divine

holding me

through the essence of all

that is love.

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

Finding Peace in Discomfort

It is 18 degrees outside.  That’s what reads on my computer screen.  I don’t know.  To me it might as well be -5.  I am allergic to the cold weather.  Why do I live on a mountain, you ask?  Well, we came during spring and moved in summer.  I never experienced the cold.  Had I been here during a 25 degree morning it would’ve been the end of my expedition to Western North Carolina!  God had other plans.

I come from a tiny island in the Caribbean.  It is always warm.  I was raised in South Florida.  Sixty degrees for us Floridians is like 20 degrees for everyone else.  We get out the jackets, scarves and boots.  I know I am acclimating to this weather after three years because when it is 50 degrees here I am in tank tops and shorts.

I have been told that my problem with cold weather is the lack of clothing.  I don’t like to bundle up.  I hate wearing layers of material.  The other day as I was winterizing my closet and I was changing my sundresses to another space I became rather discontented.  I don’t enjoy the thick sweaters on my skin.  I don’t like the amount of extra crap rubbing on me.  It just isn’t a part of my DNA.  I like flowing and light fabric on me.  I love feeling the sun on my shoulders, arms and legs.  I like to get up and go and not worry about hypothermia.

This morning’s blog is not about complaining. It is about acceptance.  We will always complain about something or other when it doesn’t align with our comfort.  It can be about a job.  It can be about a relationship.  It can be about a new pet.  Whether or not you embrace the issue is not as important as making peace with it.  Is there a difference?  You betcha!  I can embrace a person who is annoying me and still feel nothing.  The moment I find peace in their presence…then I am embodying their entire spirit.  See the difference?  It is about making peace with everything around you.  You don’t have to like it.  But, if you accept the discomfort and learn from it then you have given yourself the permission to find serenity. Our egos have a hard time letting go of discomfort.  The ego will nag about it.  It will create drama, twist and turn, churning the simplest issue into the most complicated event.   Ego will always participate in the large spectacle of narcissistic behavior.  “Look at me.  I am so freaking tired of this and that!  Woe is me!  Can’t  you see how miserable I am!”

The cold is just like any other uncomfortable emotion.  It doesn’t feel good.  Depression, sadness, anger, anxiety, fear, and helplessness are unpleasant feelings.  We complain about them, sometimes allowing them to stay with us for a while.  But, just like the cold, there are options to eliminating them.  The ego will fight that rationale to no end.  “No, I’m not going to the doctor!  Nope, I am not going to talk to someone!  Absolutely, no way, am I going to address this crap!”  The emotions become waves of icy water passing through.  Just like hypothermia there can be casualties.

I have to go outside to drive my daughter to work in this wonderfully delicious Siberian weather.  As I venture to the unknown wilderness of discomfort I will make peace with the achy bones, runny nose, and the shattering of my teeth.  It is only for a short while.  What’s three to four months in a lifespan?  Really not bad!  Imagine all the discomforts we allow for ourselves in our lifetimes!  Think of all we “put up with” for years when we have choices we can make to change.

I love these mountains.  I love the seasons (minus the winter) but I can live with the cold.  However, I refuse to live with anything else that brings me discomfort.  I won’t tolerate long periods of putting myself through chaos.  Peace and tranquility are my roommates now.  Go bundle up and enjoy this day.  Keep warm and make peace with those things that you know are only momentary.  Mucho love!

Big City, Little Country

mtn viewMy cousin from South Florida drove up with a friend from Puerto Rico to surprise me this past week.  They went horseback riding the next day and somewhere on the mountain trail her car keys fell out of his pocket and got lost.  She’s got one of those cars that uses an electronic key.  So the only key available is now somewhere in the mountains of Western North Carolina.  We checked the miles of trails over and over and nothing.  This man was beside himself.  He was wound up pretty tightly.  A city boy stuck in “deliverance” land didn’t go well with him.  What was to be a short three day visit was going to turn into something much longer.   The angrier he got the more I saw parts of me.  I know the drill with city folks since I was one myself.   It is truly difficult to let go when you have never been taught to do so.

“Hey, perfect time to smell the roses!”  I say this as we are standing in a field full of horse crap.  “What roses?”  He asked with such exasperation after hours of carefully going up and down the mountain moving leaves and tediously searching pathways.  “I mean, smell the horse shit!”  He looked at me as if I was nuts. In his constant sarcasm and arrogance I explained to him that there was a reason for losing the keys. Everything happens for a higher purpose. He is in gorgeous country land, 360 degrees of mountain views.  He is in a place of artistic explosion.  For miles the only thing the eyes can witness is pure beauty and divinity.  And, yet, not once did could he stop and stare out to intake the magic.

It took him a while but he did begin to let go with lots of hesitation.  I love these types of personalities (since I was one in the worst way).  I get to witness firsthand the walls slowly crumbling and the affirmation of childlike-playfulness taking over.  It is marvelous!  His city arrogance began to unfold.  I had to hold my breath at times as he not only felt guilty for losing the keys but now having to find a way to fly out of here to be at work on Monday.  His anxiety was painful to experience.  And, then something happened.  He allowed himself to get lost in the moments of this country side.

“Sometimes, you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes, in the middle of nowhere you find yourself.” Every turn and trail we took allowed us to move inward.  If the worst possible scenario was that the keys were lost in the woods, then I knew it wasn’t the end of the world.  I understand completely why people have to go through drastic measures to break down.  It is in those moments that we regain clarity through simplicity. The only thing that matters is the present moment (in his case was finding the darn keys).  Things get put in perspective.  Moments get highlighted.  You can’t solve anything, yet everything gets diluted and distributed to a place of peace.  This wasn’t easy for this poor guy.  So many emotions came up and outward.  As we walked my cousin and I began to take pictures.  His type “A” personality couldn’t believe we weren’t looking for the keys every single second.  He kept pulling out his phone so we could see the picture and remember what the key looked like.

Being lost is sometimes the only way to find oneself. This trip wasn’t planned.  He ended up here because my cousin asked him to join her since he was in Orlando visiting. But, he needed this right now in his life.  He needed to surrender all control.  In a moment of frustration he looked at me and said, “You don’t understand I am a control freak.  I need to control everything.  I feel out of my element.”

I smiled and said, “You? No way…a  control freak!  I hadn’t noticed.  Very little to control here, huh?”  It was hard for him to release and last night when he finally did it was therapeutic.  There are moments in life that bring clarity into our lives.  I believe he had quite a few of them while here.   Because there was nothing he could do until he could leave today the many issues that had been bottled up came out.  And, it was there that a window to peace arrived.  His personality was able to relax.  Oh…how grateful I become when I witness what this place instills in others.  What a blessing!  This man went home torn between wanting to stay and the duties back home.  I think had he spent a few more days he would’ve experience the gifts of serenity. When he hugged me to say goodbye he thanked me for “putting up with his neurosis.”  Little does he comprehend that we all have pieces of neurosis and evolving.  After all we are spiritual beings having human experiences.

“When looking for the path of peace one comes to realize that peace is the path.”  covered bridge

Onion Dust

Conversation about manly cooking.

Me:  Matt, you want me to make you the eggs while you cook the hash?

Matt:  Nope.  I’m gonna throw them in there when the hash is done.

Me:  I can cook them separately.  How can they cook in there?

Matt:  They cook!  It’s the manly way of cooking all in one pot.

Me:  Too bad you don’t like onions and tomatoes.  I could make you something delicious with that.

Matt:  Hey, babe, I throw the onion dust in there!

Me:  What?  Is that like fairy dust?  O-n-i-o-n dust?  Is there a Godmother who comes and brings it? (Laughing hysterically)

Matt:  Yeah, the onion powder shit….

He’s not allowed to cook for me with his onion dust unless there’s a fairy Godmother granting me some wishes.  “OMG!”

*********

The most dangerous risk we can take is the risk of not laughing at ourselves.  If we allow ego to dictate every moment with seriousness we are lost.  This is the same risk of denying yourself the simplicity of joy.  I am aware that life can (and will) throw things at us that bring imbalance.  I am completely aware that finances, illnesses, divorces, death, and a million other challenges can (and will) break us.  But, there has to be a point when the scales return to their upright positions.  Not everything can be lopsided.  Life is not meant for a constant struggle.  We choose how we live and perceive in this world.

I am one of the most sincere people when it comes to laughter.  It’s not that I take every situation and poke fun.  I think it is a part of me to inhale grace and joy and then exhale the negativity.  It takes less effort to stay in a place of contentment than a place of torment.  What happens when we remain in darkness is that the light gets further from our spirit.  My wit sometimes could use filtering but I believe it is Spirit truly engaging in the moment.  Luckily I have found a mate who is the same.  I am fortunate that I have friends who get my sarcasm and laughter.  I am often the point of being poked at for my silliness.  And, that alone brings some awkward moments to rise with loving vibrations. I am the first one to make fun of myself.  I walk around sometimes talking out loud and giggling at the most ridiculous memories.   There are times, however, that I can also be hard on myself.  It is in those moments that I need these friends to remind me that I have to remove the stick from my ass and return to my realm of contentment.

Contentment is contagious, generous, and captivating.  It reels you in on an invisible string from the heavens and allows gratification to be the bait that gets you every second.  What one does with it is miraculous.  It becomes part of my spiritual evolution.  I can see it in the darkest of moments, a bad day, or stress being erased by its humility.  That is what forces me to reside in this realm.  It’s joy that comes through and through while being on an infinite quest for peace.  It is my state of being whole-listic and constantly growing in our times with Divine guidance.  I rarely take anything serious.  Whether it involves fairy powder or onion dust, I plan on laughing up a storm…as long as I can.

Simplicity in Serenity

simplicity in serenity

I read a quote today from Susan Abrams Milligan: “When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.”  Powerful words!  How many times do we allow another person to dictate our worth? How often do we change our thinking, our moods and our decisions because of another?  Usually we do this in relationships, especially women.  We do allow another to determine an unhealthy dependency.  I decided a few years ago that I would not let anyone hold the pen.  I spent a lifetime with others abusing my emotional state in order to take control.  I made a point of not only holding the pen, but making sure there’s no other form of writing aids.  I am the only one who could write the story of MY LIFE.

This past Saturday afternoon Matt and I sat for a bit looking at the pond in the retreat center.  My cousin snapped this photo without us knowing.  It speaks volumes to me of how I feel with this man, about this man, and for this man.  We have this simplicity of allowing, loving, and accepting that I’ve never known before.  We can sit for a long time next to each other without uttering a word.  Every so often we will smile, ask for a kiss, touch one another lovingly, but return to the book, the story, or whatever else we are doing.  The easiest way for me to explain is that he’s the wave and I am the ocean floor.  We fit without expectations or needs but we flow together.  Because we love the outdoors, books, movies and writing we share a mutual respect for solitude, serenity and space.

The picture also happened to be taken minutes before we moved to the red chairs on the dock.  I took my cell phone out of my back pocket so it wouldn’t fall in the water but somehow it slipped out of my hands, and dove into a suicide mission never to be seen again (bubbles surfacing as it sunk many feet into muck).  I laughed it off because I am the one always telling him to be careful with his phone!  This wonderful man went inside the house, changed into shorts, and tried to go into the icy water.  I assured him I didn’t need it.  I could go get another one.  He insisted that he could retrieve it (to get the TMNT cover he had gifted me) until he put his toes in the water and realized no way, no how was he going in!  We both laughed.  Our laughter is contagious.  It is in those moments that I find the simplicity in him and the magnetism it brings out in me.

I used to ask myself, “Is there true love?  Is there a perfect person out there for me?”  I never doubted the answer.  I manifested him years ago but it took time for me to heal, let go, and surrender to my desires.  It takes time for dreams to align in perfect Divine order.  He is more than I could’ve asked God.  In his gentle ways he brings me to the truth of myself.  I fell head over heels in love with his intellectual no-nonsense mind that is the other side of everything I am not. I don’t hide or hold back any emotions.  He calls me on my crap and I need that.  I need people in my life who can keep me in check.  I don’t do phony well.  I can’t handle superficial personalities.  With us, what you see is what you get.  There is no guessing what Matt is thinking or what I am contemplating.  I definitely have no poker face!

Just like the picture there is a place in our presence that allows us to be together beyond space and time.  Moments come and go without the need to force anything.  He brings out the best in me without anxiety, fears, or pretenses.   We are one of the same.  It was a month or so after we began dating that I looked at him and my soul knew instantly that he was the one I had dreamed with all my life.  As Emily Bronte once wrote, “He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”