Tag Archives: human

The Right Time

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Living in Grace means allowing life to unfold, while still moving forward in creating the life you desire. What does that mean? Seems like an oxymoron doesn’t it? Letting things happen, but still taking steps to create?

According to my own dreams and intuition, along with observations of the general direction of the life path, it’s clear to me that I am right where I should be. I’m in a job surrounded by like-minded colleagues, socializing with supportive friends, watching adult children move up and out of the house so that I have the time and energy to write not only this blog, but to reflect and write pages of material. I have opportunity to meditate more frequently and to begin pulling together the stories of experiences that have been collected over many years for a book. All experience has led to this.

The education and maturity to write couldn’t just materialize. It was necessary to move through a variety of experiences and develop the skills required to write the book. Today while walking the woods at lunch, I realized that all pieces are in place. I have every single tool necessary, the environment, the education as well as the encouragement. It surrounds me. Now back to my first statement. “Living in Grace means allowing life to unfold, while still moving forward in creating the life you desire.” I could change the end of the statement to “forward in taking steps toward life purpose.” Of course that insinuates that you actually know what your life purpose is.

In 1999, while working on my Bachelor’s I took a creative arts course that required us to create a simple drawing or painting that illustrated what we thought our life purpose was. I painted a simple hillside with a woman sitting under a tree writing a book in the sunshine. The book’s title, “More Than This” and painted across the skies “Life’s Journey is a Workshop for the Spirit.” How serendipitous. This blog carries those exact words throughout the pages, thirteen years later. I knew then I would write a book. I also knew it would be some time before I’d be ready. It was necessary to trust in the mechanics of Grace. A single mother with four children at home, ages 4 through 17, working a part-time, my plate was full and running over. I knew there would be a time, but not then, not yet.

Now the baby is 17, a senior in high school. I’ve acquired a Bachelor’s, Master’s and post-graduate work in writing and I’m in a position to pull all the pieces together. What does it take now to move things along? Commitment and desire on my part. Grace provided everything I need, now it’s my turn to act.

What has Grace provided for you? Looking over the timeline of your life days, what do you see it leading to? Is there something you are meant to act on? Are you ready? Do you have the desire and ability to commit time and effort? We are more than this…

“May some good thing, some outrageous and unexpected advantage, some liberal and immeasurable portion of good come to you. May it have the odd stamp of inevitability sealed within it. May it come labeled and with your name on it, impatient for you, by some express delivery, unstoppable in transit, blessedness within all of your specifications, all the peculiar measures of you, that rescripts all your doubts and misbeliefs, and topples your little inner kingdom where dreams and longing have slept too deep and too long and thought things impossible.” ~ David Teems 2004

Life Lessons

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This week I put the brakes on a repeating life experience and stepped onto a new life path. I left the comfort of familiar emotions carried into adulthood and the insidious desire to recreate tragic childhood feelings. There was so much drama, anxiety and sadness back then. Giving myself some credit, I admit each time I have repeated the type of relationship choice that creates this environment, it’s at a lessor scale. This week there was a breakthrough. I consciously recognized what was going on and how important it was to make a change. I knew it was time to honor what I felt, embrace the feelings and walk toward healthier life path choices.

Knowing we are each part of the Whole, of Spirit, of God, it becomes difficult to see anyone as “wrong.” Instead, I see what lies beneath each person, I know he is my brother or she, my sister in Spirit. How then can I judge? I accept wholeheartedly without resistance, surrender, allowing events to unfold as they may. What made this most recent event unusual is that although I recognized divinity in the person, I knew it wasn’t necessary to have this individual in my life or the repeated life experience. I can still accept him as Spirit, allow him to live as he so chooses and walk away loving him.

It sounds simple enough doesn’t it? Just to walk away from those who seem to impact us? However when you love from Source, when you know these individuals are part of you, only compassion remains and the desire to help. Many times I want to reach out, pull the individual into a gentle embrace all the time inwardly speaking with their Wisdom self, coaxing knowledge to their consciousness, hoping they will get it, that they will create positive life experiences through their choices. Does it work? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I have been known to stay and stay and stay. Rather than becoming preachy, I choose to teach through example, illustrating that my own choices create the life I wish to experience. My hope has been that they would learn and we would continue to walk together. The heightened awareness experienced this week broke the patterning. With full clarity I knew I could, with a loving heart, choose differently. I have learned the lesson to accept, love and hold each person in compassion but to choose again, a new way.

Today and every day, see all with eyes of compassion. Embrace with love and walk away if necessary knowing all the time that we are connected with the Divine, each a unique expression of the Spirit Collective. Trust that you are right where you should be in your choices, they are our life lessons. We are more than this…

“What if your vision of life was suddenly altered or supplanted somehow for a strange new one? And order as you know it was suddenly reordered, your rule of life given over for something better, higher, something you could not have expected or imagined? Warning: Love will confer upon you a new rule, and with it, a new set of scales. You will see and consider new things. You will hear what you could not hear before. Your priorities, your politics, your responses to life, how you invest your soul, your words, your actions — it all changes. Love transforms all your receptors and rewrites all contracts with the earth you inhabit. And again be warned: It doesn’t come without a price. Love asks nothing but everything. Like heaven itself, love is but a death away, one authentic surrender…” ~ David Teems

Making Choices

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by Salvador Dali

 

While preparing for meditation this morning I came across this lovely contemplative writing that I share with you today. Be mindful dear reader.

“After a long, hard climb up the mountain, the spiritual seekers found themselves in front of the great teacher. Bowing, they asked the question that had been burning inside them for so long:

‘How do we become wise O Master?’

There was a long pause until the teacher emerged from his meditation. Finally, the reply came, ‘Good choices.’

‘But how do we learn to make good choices?’

“From experience,’ responded the wise teacher.

‘And how do we acquire such experience?’ They inquired.

‘Bad choices,’ smiled the teacher.

Watch your thoughts, they become your words. Watch your words they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

Be mindful of what you think, how you speak, and what you do.”

We are more than this…

Circle of One

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I had an amazing experience yesterday during meditation. An event felt with such clarity I share it in the hope that you also will take time to sit quietly in order to discover more about yourself, connection with Spirit and about living.

After imaging through a series of colors I had reached a state of quiet calm.  There I saw a circle of individuals around me…one of the individuals was in fact me. “I” was observing my physical self yet simultaneously existing as both the observer and the person being observed. I, as physical self, felt a wave of compassion as the circle observed my life experiences and saw the child behind the woman who had been raised in a home with an alcoholic parent. Both the child and woman carried wounds in the form of fragility and sadness.

What triggered this experience while in meditation was the country song “Blown Away,” done by Carrie Underwood. I’ve been hearing this frequently on the radio. It’s the story of a young girl growing up with an alcoholic father. The video for the song shows a storm approaching with tornado sirens blaring. After watching the music video I found there was a resurfacing of the memories and emotional wounds carried as a child. It is not that I have buried the experiences, they rise and fall as they will, I accept, observe and then let them go. Watch the video for yourself, it’s quite powerful (use the back button to return to this Blog):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJgoHgpsb9I

As the meditation continued to unfold with my existing in duality, the Circle of One spoke in a union of voices, “Be compassionate toward your self. Give your self comfort. Respect and love the child who experienced what are now memories carried as an adult woman.” They reached out in waves of compassion, holding me close, all the while illustrating how here in the physical I must also consciously embrace the child and now woman in loving care rather than just putting the surfaced memories aside. What a profound experience.

At the same time there were images and words requesting I share this with you dear readers, that I encourage you to find the time to sit quietly and connect with the Spirit Collective, with the Circle of One. Hold yourself and the memories that rise to the surface in loving care and compassion. The entire experience spoke to how we are hard on ourselves, driven to let the past go in order to move forward. Embrace your memories and your self with compassion and love, we are very obviously not alone in this endeavor. We are more than this…

“Let your mind start a journey thru a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be…Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar, and you’ll live as you’ve never lived before.” ~ Erich Fromm

Our Divine Connection

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Share your heart. Practicing love and acceptance of others is the most effective way to demonstrate living Spirit and the infinite compassion of Grace. Fast-paced days, hectic schedules, rushing to the next place, e-mails, voice mails, text messages, where is your heart as you move about through the sea of must do’s?

How do I share my heart and practice love? After meditation and prayer, I jot down insights, some of which are for others who have requested information. Making breakfast there’s time to gab with my son. While we eat he shows me his favorite morning videos or the political announcements he considers absurd. It’s a highlight of my day, we share laughter. During the drive to school we listen to new music he’s downloaded or created himself. It’s a special time for us so I don’t answer my cell phone or respond to texts. It’s just us. We sit in appreciation and acceptance of each other, me for his music and him for my lame jokes.

Once I’m at the office, I find out how people are doing. Winding through the hall a hey there and what’s up goes out to everyone on the hallways. If someone wants or needs to talk, I listen and provide a hug when called for, or get a needed hug myself. Since I’m usually early, this does not bite into work time. Throughout the day, I make an effort to stop what I’m doing to listen to the person who has walked in my door to talk about a work related or personal topic. I give them my full attention turning away from my computer or paper-filled desk.

Really it all comes down to being mindful of actions. By paying attention to what’s in front of you, not only are you exhibiting patience, but you are also modeling acceptance and love. This hasn’t always come easily for me. It’s meant having to practice patience and the realization that the needs of others are just as important as my own, primarily because we are all one. We are all part of the Whole. It’s meant seeing with different eyes, with the eyes of loving Spirit. Until I felt a complete connection with something greater than myself sharing my heart and living love was more work than a way of life.

In February of this year I had a profound mystical experience that brought that deeper connection to reality. During meditation, completely aware of my whereabouts, I found myself surrounded by others. I found myself to be one of many personalities. We, each of us were different in characteristics, yet we still existed as one, connected, intertwined energies with no means, method or desire to be separate. Collectively it felt like great love, the most encompassing love, which was, which is our true state of being. In this Spirit state, we are Creators. I exist as my Creator, or rather I am the Creator of my “self,” the body manifest here on Earth. I am, you are exactly as you exist physically on Earth. You, all of your character traits, your personality, this is what you are there, only much greater. You are Love. There is no strife, no pain, no opposites.

In this place, all of character or personalities were clothed in fluid pastel colored hues. The colors or “people” I experienced were many, vivid, alive, moving and flowing, and the air alive with excited conversation. Together we were planning paths and life events. There was a joyful sense of knowing, of being connected in Love. During that time, I was comfortably aware that earthly reality provides the opportunity for individualization, individual creativity and autonomy, something we cannot experience as part of the Spirit Collective. I saw with clarity that even at the core of the individualization experienced on earth, there is a creative story and interweaving of all personalities that is agreed upon in the purest form.

Having been graced with such a powerful experience, knowing that we are all connected with each other in a greater divine manner, this gift is what allows me to practice patience and forgiveness, to love unconditionally, to accept with compassion, because in the end we are each a part of the other. We are one. You are my sister, my brother and I yours. So whatever we do or say to each other, however we behave, ultimately this is how we are treating ourselves. Share your heart. Practice patience, love and kindness. We are more than this…

“From the moment you came into this world, a ladder was placed in front of you, that you might transcend it. From earth, you became plant,  from plant, you became animal, afterwards, you became a human being endowed with knowledge, intellect and faith. Behold the body, born of dust, how perfect it has become. Why should you fear its end? Where were you ever made less by dying? When you pass beyond this human form no doubt you will become an angel and soar through the heavens, but don’t stop there, even heavenly bodies grow old. Pass again from the heavenly realm and plunge, plunge into the vast ocean of consciousness, let the drop of water that is you become a hundred mighty seas. But do not think that the drop alone becomes the ocean. The ocean too becomes the drop.”

 – Rumi 

Live Kindness

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This morning a colleague was sitting in my office sharing ideas for a new historical display. She wants to highlight women in our organization who have done random acts of kindness. “I know there are those who have done great things and have accomplished much for the community, but what about those who have shown acts of kindness that have never been acknowledged? That’s what I want to capture with pictures and words, those individuals who live their kindness,” she said.

Wow. What a great gift. I know she’ll dig through the archives and come up with wonderful pictures of women from our community helping others across the U.S. and the globe, as well as right here in our own hometowns. After she left my office resonated with the passionate energy she has for this project. I soaked up that energy thinking about the little things people do for me and wondering, had I acknowledged them? What about my own actions? Am I doing anything for others daily? Have I let kindness become enmeshed and ingrained enough so that its in all actions? Do I live as part of the Spirit Collective knowing that the person in front of me is my sister or brother? And you? Are you living your kindness? If so, in what ways? We are more than this…

“I am bred of heaven. And though earth grows more distant in me, I am meet for the worlds you have appointed for me today. Show Your kindness through me. Write welcome upon my face. Set invitation adrift in the tides of my blood. Fan the deep ovens of my faith to flames til I am warm to the touch, right for feasting in a world of famine…

May love give you access to the higher instincts within you, those we share with divinity, that we may have lost in our distractions…”                ~ David Teems

Living Grace

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Angel of Grace & Beauty by Mairin Gilmartin

We’re in the midst of it all, the middle of life, people orbiting around, some of whom may be having a tough day and so snap at you when you’ve asked a question, or someone who’s unhappy because things didn’t go the way they had planned and you’re taking the brunt of it, or a child who’s loaded with homework and is grumpy, or a partner or spouse who lost out on an opportunity. Yup, right smack in the middle of it.

Ah, but you dear reader are Grace manifested, so you know to stay in the peace, the calm, to stay in your own moment allowing others to be responsible for their anxiety, anger, sadness or frustration. Yes, they own their experiences, they do not belong to you. Living as part of the Spirit Collective you will of course provide that listening ear, supportive shoulder, and comforting presence, you’ll be there offering Grace, it’s part of your life purpose. We are more than this…

“And now in all your doings be you blessed. God turns to you for help to save the wold. Teacher of God, His thanks He offers you, and all the world stands silent in the Grace you bring from Him. You are the Son He loves, and it is given you to be the means through which His Voice is heard around the world, to close all things of time; to end the sight of all things visible; and to undo all things that change. Through you is ushered in a world unseen, unheard, yet truly there. Holy are you, and in your light the world reflects your holiness, for you are not alone and friendless. I give thanks for you, and join your efforts on behalf of God, knowing they are on my behalf as well, and for all those who walk to God with me.” ~ Helen Schucman and Willam Thetford, A Course in Miracles

Independent Solitude

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I sometimes get buried in daily life, forgetting what it means to practice self-care. This last weekend there was so much going on with children and friends I totally forgot to take care of me. I just couldn’t say no, especially to my kids.

Every time I overdo I wonder how I landed in this place again. I’m an aware individual, an intuitive, I know better right? Ha! Thing is I’m also human. The autopilot switch goes on and wham I get lost in the needs of others.

“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion, it is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who, in the midst of the world, keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”         ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now back into the work week, it’s necessary to seek out pockets of time for quick snoozes and centering meditations. Sitting on a park bench by the prairie for five or ten minutes before work, catching a catnap at lunch, there are ways to bring myself back to a wonderfully centered calm. In a few days, I’ll be good as new. Still, it might be a good idea to catch myself before I’m standing with too much going on no time for me and now I’m exhausted place.

How can I do that? I’ll mix five-minute meditations into the day, do some mindful walking at lunchtime, use breaks to reflect on how I allowed myself to run on auto and get to sleep an hour earlier each evening. When the weekend comes around again, I’ll keep an afternoon of rest in the schedule. The key is to keep practicing, to say no sometimes to others and say yes more often to self.  What can you do to recover from those run on days that leave you limping? What can you do to stay on track?

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost.” ~ Martha Graham

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by Christopher Vacher

 

Honor the joy surrounding you. This week I’ve talked about mindfulness and recognizing the sacred moments, taking time to sit quietly, to recognize the divine in those around you. Today let’s remember to in-joy! To bring the happiness that surrounds you, those joy-filled experiences with your spouse or partner, family member or friend, work colleagues, even pets, bring that love and laughter to the inner self. 

“I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings, my soul clings close to you…” Psalm 63:7-8 

Reflect on the week. Were there any experiences in particular that stand out as being joy-filled? Who was it with? What were you doing that brought happiness and reduced stress? How can you bring more of these experiences into your personal life? Work environment? Fall in love with life and living by bringing all of the Spirit gifted moments and those earth angels to the forefront, letting the undesirable fall away. We are more than this…

 Finding God in Everyday Moments

“Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.” ~ Pedro Arrupe, SJ”

Honor the Joy

Sitting in the Midst of Movement

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Over the last year I’ve had several dreams about events that will occur, some of them already have. They were presented in a linear fashion, picture after picture almost like individual diorama’s. Do you remember doing those in grade school with shoe boxes and construction paper?  They had depth and a sort of reality to them. Several of the images I was shown were of earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, fires, and more, all illustrations of the Earth and humanity in the midst of major change.

In my dreams I am always with the elders, they are my instructors. In one particular dream, after observing the depth of each event, I turned to the elders pointing back to the past and asked, “Can I go back that way? I don’t much like what’s coming.” The elders told me to look back again. I turned just in time to see the past slip away, break apart and dissolve into nothing. The past was gone. Now the only choice was to move into the future, into the world of change, there was no back to go back to. The morning after this particular dream occurred I woke to the news that Japan had experienced an 8.9 earthquake and a devastating tsunami.

You would think being shown and knowing events that will unfold, then having them actually happen would make a person confident in their skills and abilities. Wouldn’t you? Yet time after time I am amazed and surprised. When the readings I do for people are right on, when a meditation I do for someone who needs information is exactly what they needed, when I dream diorama-like events that unfold before my eyes and they occur, I still doubt. I believe it’s because I am still a work in progress living both spiritual and human experience. My goal is to bring integration of both the Wisdom self and human self together in order to have a better understanding of how to use these intuitive skills.

Reaching this goal requires staying consciously present, paying attention to each person, experience and lesson placed on the life journey path at any given moment while simultaneously paying attention to meditations, intuitions and dreams. In other words, integrating both human and spiritual experience.  Being a mom, I sometimes lose sight of the spiritual, especially when one of the children is in crisis. I remind myself that they too are on the journey and sometimes I have to step back occasionally and let them deal with the life lesson. This is definitely fodder for another post.

It all leads back to mindfulness. Being mindful and aware of each moment, contact with each person, intuitive thoughts you’re supposed to hear as well as those serendipitous moments. Paying attention and contemplative, a tough call sometimes when we’re operating in fast paced environments. I have several techniques I use at home and at the office. One is to stop whatever I may be doing (completely) to turn my attention to the person who is talking to me. That means I stop doing the dishes or turn away from the computer. Another technique is to have two to three-minute reality checks each hour. How am I doing? Feeling? What’s going on I haven’t paid attention to?

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” ~ Deepak Chopra

We are more than this…Bringing that “more” into awareness requires listening, using the gift of sense and stopping occasionally to sit and reflect. What are some of the techniques that work for you?