Tag Archives: thankfulness

We’re In This Together


Forest Light

How fortunate we are to have the ability to ask for guidance and receive answers. I’ve been working with a new process that involves observing symbols that rise to the forefront of mind while sitting in meditation. The practice includes recording each of the symbols received, describing them in writing, along with any important insights received. In one very revealing meditation, I started choosing symbols from previous dreams and meditations pulling from what I knew and felt comfortable with, then immediately realized it didn’t feel right. I had to let go of the old and let something else surface. It was there, I could feel it waiting. Within moments of letting go, a forest scene appeared.

I had been here before years ago in meditation, a wooded area with a stream rushing nearby, this scene was my symbol. A meditative event was my symbol, something completely unexpected. I’ve always had an object or shape, sometimes a sound. The scene unfolded,  translucent body kneeling on the forest floor, shining in the speckled sunlight streaming through the trees, she… I was vulnerable, sensitive, loving. Now, we blended, existing in duality physical and spiritual, we sat feeling the events of past and present, even those that may unfold. And in those moments there was instant realization that we embraced all experience. Those that are considered positive, as well as those that are considered negative. Experience wrapped around us layer upon layer and the message? Experience builds strength and courage. We grow not only in human character but in Spiritual character as well.

During this meditation I felt acceptance of all that has been, that which is now occurring and all of that which may unfold. I, as both spiritual and physical, was embraced by an all-encompassing Love and knew that all is as it should be, no matter how it may appear. We dear reader are provided an opportunity to experience in every way, with physical senses, with emotion and feeling, with freedom, intellect and creativity of thought. This means experiencing all that comes along with living on the Earth as human. This is our workshop for the Spirit. This is our place to develop richness and strength of character. The meditative experience provided clear understanding that I have come to be who I am as a result of each sensed moment, emotion, feeling and thought. Each interaction and event that occurs over the course of a day, week, month, over the course of a lifetime is meant to provide us with love, joy, pain, sadness, with laughter, with conflicts or fear… immersed in diverse richness we experience Life.

Collectively as components of Spirit, we share these strengths. Embrace Life fully, hold yourself and others in compassion as we move through each experience, because we are all in this together! Spiritual beings living a physical existence, we are called to uplift, support, and walk with each other on these adventures. When your colleague stumbles, is fearful, in pain, needs your hand, take it. When you are troubled, suffering, feel alone, reach out! And share joys as well, celebrate milestones, rejoice when there are successes, join together and shout, “We are more than what is seen, we are more than this!”

“May the stream of my love, in all its depth and fullness, flow unceasingly from me to thee. May no winds of impatience blow upon its waters, may no ripple of unkindness mar its surface, may no storm of hostility disturb its depths, and may no sediment  of deception choke its course. Rather, may the joy I share with you be unrestrained, may my sorrow with you know no bitterness, and may the streams of both our lovings be absorbed in the never-ending ocean of God’s grace.”                                                       ~ Rev. Dr. Noel Frederick McInnis


Practice Appreciation



Earlier this week a colleague stopped in my office, coat on and keys in hand she said, “I’m heading out to run errands and thought I’d pick up your favorite Starbucks coffee. Would you write it down for me, cause’ I’ll never remember it.”  Surprised, I asked what the occasion was. “Nothing really, just a little something I know I can do that will brighten your day. It’s my way of showing I appreciate all you do.” Wow. How cool is that? Of course I’m like, no, no you don’t have to, really it’s ok. In the end I just gave her my decaf-tall-one-and-a-half pump soy mocha order, a big hug and decided to just accept and experience the warm fuzzies.

My colleagues actions and a story I’d recently read by Rev. Dr. Noel Frederick McInnis inspired me to write this post. Dr. McInnis shares:

“Because appreciation of others’ services is a value that so many persons fail to honor fully, a professor ended his midterm exam with the question, ‘What is the first name of the woman who cleans our classroom?’ When asked how this question was pertinent, he replied, ‘During your life you will meet many persons whose value deserves your caring attention, even if all you do is smile and say hello.'”

We are individual representations of Spirit made manifest on the Earth. Here we are provided the opportunity to be grateful for all that is presented before us each new day, the challenges, learning lessons, abundance, diverse personalities and most of all the opportunity to show appreciation for these diverse experiences and people walking along with us on our life paths. Reverend McInnis continues with:

“As any real estate agent or property assessor will tell you, the word appreciation means ‘increase of value.’ Thus when one receives another’s appreciation, one’s sense of self-evaluation is increased. And given life’s mirroring of our thoughts, our own sense of self-valuation also is correspondingly increased as we extend our appreciation others.” Feb. SOM p. 42

A daily practice modeled by my mother, I make the effort to recognize each person I may come in contact with over the course of a day, just stopping for a moment or two to inquire after a family member or activity I know they might participate in, sometimes to thank them for help they provided earlier in the week or that day. This practice doesn’t take all that long and connects us as Spirit one to another. Throughout the years my mother faithfully wrote in my birthday or Christmas cards, “To my joy and comfort, love you, Mom.” She was showing her appreciation.

Honestly, I didn’t get it. Where had I provided joy and comfort? I never asked and she never said. Only recently did I finally understand. After school every day I’d walk in and ask, “How was your day?” This was something I had learned from her. She often asked us kids about our days events, a neighbor about her children or inquired about a work colleague’s parent. She went out of her way to connect with others. Something special I remember growing up…at night before going to bed, she and I would sit and read together at the kitchen table over a cup of tea, sometimes taking time between chapters to share things on our mind. We were connected, appreciative of both each other and these quiet moments together. It brought both of us joy and comfort. Now I get it.

Who do you walk alongside with each day that you can offer joy and comfort with words of appreciation or recognition? How can you incorporate this as a mindful practice into day-to-day living? We are more than this…

“There is no such thing as a simple act of compassion or an inconsequential act of service. Everything we do for another person has infinite consequences.”   ~ Caroline Myss

And All Is Well


Earth Angel by Josephine Wall


A member of the community I work for passed away last week. It’s a small community where each member has known the other for years and years… Close-knit and interwoven, there is a hole now where she once was. Ever faithful, loving and kind, she is missed by all.

Living consciously as both Spirit and physical being, I know with conviction that only her body is gone. She lives on, a being unique in character who now flows as one with Spirit, God, all-encompassing Love. My intuitive and clairaudient gifts kicked in the morning she died.  I was hanging laundry and sensed she had passed. I wondered if I should call my colleagues. I didn’t, instead I left to run errands. Jumping out of the car at the store I felt her with me and an encompassing, exuberant joy, “Tell them I am pain-free and happy,” I heard inwardly.  No way, I thought back to her. I’m emotionally involved in this. I’m not saying a word. With inner speak I said, “I’ll tell you what, if you really have something you’d like me to pass on, provide a dream, something someone will get and understand.”

That evening I saw a movie with a friend, cleaned up the kitchen and hit the pillows early. And yes, my request was provided. In the dream, I found myself hovering over the chapel where the wake and funeral were taking place for the woman who had died. In flowing energy form, I was with the woman who had died and a group of others who were accompanying us. There was no time so all seemed to be happening at once, the preparations, wake and funeral, a very odd concept when not in the dream or meditative state.

The wake was beautiful and wonderfully attended and the funeral very nicely done. Everything ran very smoothly. As we observed there were thoughts exchanged, speech was not necessary, “You see all is well,”  I was told. Then, I was instructed to let someone in particular know that she needn’t be anxious to get the wake and funeral details done immediately, that she should complete the other things needing attention first and then get to the business of the wake and funeral. Because you see, “it was all going to be fine anyway so what was the use of worrying, why bother fretting over it?”

I lingered with the group for what seemed like a long time and was shown other events that would unfold over the next short period of time. And drat! Those are the pieces I wanted to remember and couldn’t. I brought back only the most vivid of  images and knew I had to pass on the message. I sent a quick text to the intended party and went about getting the work day started. Once I arrived at the office and was settled in, I checked e-mail and sure enough, there was a notice letting us know she had passed away the morning of the previous day.

Like everyone else I am sad she’s no longer with us, but I know with every ounce of my being that she lives on. What stays with me most from the time in the dream state with these loving souls are the moments of great joy and the desire to reassure the living that “all is well and not to fret.”   My spiritual experiences and life journey have brought me to this dual existence where physical and spiritual energy operate simultaneously.  I feel blessed and fortunate to have been provided with such gifts. What dear reader would help you to know that we are more than this?”

“We are participants in a vast communion of being, and if we open ourselves to its guidance, we can learn anew how to live in this great and gracious community of truth.” ~ Parker Palmer


Pass It On!


Pass It On

Each year my employer provides an opportunity for personal development with workshops and team building exercises. Last year at the workshop we were asked to choose a stone out of a basket and write a personal goal across its face. My goal was,”Recognize the Faces of God.” The stone has a prominent place sitting just below my computer screen in plain sight to remind me that every person that walks into my office, past my door, across my path each day is a face of God, a member of our community of Living Spirit. Knowing this, how can I treat anyone with anything but kindness, compassion and love, because dear reader we are all connected.

Thich Nhat Hahn speaks of community in daily life where practicing mindfulness helps us “to emanate peace and freshness, the fruits of living in awareness.” In his book Peace in Every Step there is a lovely meditative practice that speaks of investing in people:

“We can get in touch with the refreshing, healing elements within and around us thanks to the loving support of other people. If we have a good community of friends, we are very fortunate. To create a good community, we first have to transform ourselves into a good element of the community. After that, we can go to another person and help him or her to become an element of the community.” p. 87

Collectively, we are a community of faces, diverse in every way, unique expressions of creative Spirit, in physical form, character and beliefs. How fortunate are we dear reader to know that beside us walking on the busy sidewalk, shopping in the crowded grocery store, or riding the crammed morning train, there are individual manifestations of Living Spirit? Still, lives busy with family, careers, homes and friends many of us go about business barely noticing each other or sharing anything about our lives.

Guy Finley states this very well in his book The Courage to Be Free, of noticing others, of how we must have the courage to act, treating each other with compassion:

“…No one wants others to know the weight of their unspoken pain. And yet, all are burdened with broken dreams, shattered hearts, and whatever other sorrow walks with them through the day. Now have the courage to act on this knowledge: Refuse to ever again add to the pain of another, even a small measure of your own. Whatever suffering you agree to shoulder in this way not only helps to lighten the load of those in need, but also serves to awaken within you the strength you need to be a real friend in deed. Your reward: the birth of a whole new kind of compassion that not only flowers when faced with the weakness of others, but whose fragrance helps heal all those who are touched by it.” p. 61

In other words, you become a flower in the life of others! How cool is that? I am very fortunate to be surrounded by kindred spirits in the workplace. Our Directress sent out a letter just this week celebrating World Peace Day. Here it is suggested we begin and continue to practice random acts of kindness.  She has given me permission to share some of the content of this letter with you:

“Shortly after the Newtown slayings, Ann Curry, an NBC reporter tweeted that some people might consider doing 20 random acts of kindness to honor the children lost in this violence.  The 20 became 26 to include the adults and I suggest the 26 become [the] 28 who were killed that awful day.  The idea caught on and a movement was begun. 

Might you and I join in this movement of 28 random acts of kindness to bless those killed and those left behind and affected by this tragedy. Might we be a “presence of peace” through simple random acts of kindness.  We do acts of kindness a lot in the community; how much more powerful they are when done with intention. And just maybe we won’t stop with 28 random acts of kindness but will find we want to continue this spiritual, practical practice that brings some peace to our little world and in turn affects the whole world by our very presence.  These random acts of kindness will be visible and hidden, small and large, but each will be great and empowering.” ~ D. P., January 2012

She goes on in her letter to remind us that being a presence of peace can come in many forms and so to let our creativity soar with Spirit as It inspires and moves us. Recognize the Faces of God as you walk through each of your days. Hold each other in strength and compassion and remember to practice random acts of kindness. As my colleague suggests, maybe it won’t stop there, maybe we’ll create a new, very powerful habit in our lives…remember, we are more than this.

Below are a few Blogspots and Websites links with ideas to get you on your way! Happy Random Days!

Random Acts of Kindness Foundation: http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/

366 Random Acts of Kindness: http://www.366randomacts.org/

And Then We Saved Blog: http://andthenwesaved.com/random-acts-of-kindness-ideas/

Mind Map Inspiration: http://www.mindmapinspiration.com/random-acts-of-kindness-mind-map-paul-foreman/

United Way, NV: http://volunteeruwsn.wordpress.com/category/random-acts-of-kindness/


Living Christ – Blessed Gift



In February of this year I was gifted with an amazing spiritual opportunity while in deep meditation, the opportunity to experience living as Spirit. During meditation I found myself surrounded by others. I was one of  many energies existing as a unique pattern, yet connected and intertwined having no means, method or desire to be separate. We, our “bodies” consisted of colors, vivid, alive, moving and flowing, all character, each unique pattern was clothed in differing fluid colored hues. The air was alive with excited conversation, which was transmitted as thought yet even thought had a color and sound of sorts. We were planning a path of events that would occur in the physical world. There was a joyful sense of knowing in the midst of this natural beauty and being. There were trees and nature, but nature was aware and also lived as part of the Spirit Collective. It was…is an interwoven existence of what can only be called great love, the most encompassing love, which was our state of being. In this “place” we are Creators. I exist as my Creator, or rather I am the Creator of my “self,” the body manifest on Earth. You exist there as the Creator of your self. I am, you are as you exist physically on Earth only with no physical form. In this place, there is nothing but Love, no strife, no pain, no opposites.

During that time, I understood and was completely aware that earthly reality provided the opportunity for individualization, individual creativity and autonomy, something we cannot experience as part of the Collective Spirit. Yet even at the core of this earthly individualization, there is a creative story and interweaving of all personalities that is agreed upon in the purest form before it manifests on the Earth. We create our physical world. Toward the end of my meditative experience, finished with our discussion, we agreed it was time for me to return. Me, my self as a conscious representation of the Whole, returned to the physical. I felt acceleration, a traveling along a thread of energy and was completely aware that I was returning – still I know with conviction I am always connected to the Whole and need not fear life.

Now, back in the physical rising out of meditation I open my eyes and feel a sadness and yearning because of the knowledge and awareness. I feel homesick, but have a heightened sense of purpose and know that you dear reader are the reason I write.

Each December 25th we celebrate the birth of the living Christ, a spiritual being who lived among man completely connected and with total awareness of both the physical and the Spiritual Whole, the Father, God, Love. He lived as an aware spiritual being, meant to be born, to live as physical, to die and to rise again in order to teach humanity through living example that we are more than this. God manifested as flesh.

How he must have longed to be at “home,” part of the all-encompassing Collective Love rather than living among the ignorance of man. He sacrificed with full knowledge so that we might KNOW. How blessed we are to understand the Christmas gift.

“I therefore…urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, …Ephesians 4:1-32 ESV

We are more than this…


Hugging for Real…tis’ the Season



The holiday’s are here and so is the running about I better get this done now or I’m not going to have what I need done for Christmas/New Years stress. Did you keep up with that sentence? Now is the time to remember to slow your pace, keep it at a comfortable, manageable level and live the joy of the season. Live the joy of the season.

No it’s not a typo I repeated it twice and I’ll repeat it again…Live the joy of the season. In the midst of the busy-ness a good meditation to bring you back to joy in the moment, at any moment is to hug a loved one, a friend, or a colleague Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Hugging Meditation” is a perfect mindful practice during the season to bring you back to the moment, sharing and feeling joy:

“Hugging is a beautiful Western custom and we from the East would like to contribute the practice of conscious breathing to it. When you hold a child in your arms, or hug your mother, or your husband, or your friend, if you breathe in and out three times, your happiness will be multiplied at least tenfold…The two of you really exist in that moment. It may be one of the best moments in your life…Suppose your daughter comes and presents herself to you. If you are not really there — if you are thinking of the past, worrying about the future, or possessed by anger or fear — the child, although standing in front of you, will not exist to you. She is like a ghost, and you may be like a ghost also. If you want to be with her, you have to return to the present moment. Breathing consciously, uniting body and mind, you make yourself into a real person again. When you become a real person, your daughter becomes real also. She is a wonderous presence, and a real encounter with life is possible at that moment. If you hold her in your arms and breathe, you will awaken to the preciousness of your loved one and life is.” Peace in Every Step, pp. 85 – 86

Happy Holiday’s! We are more than this…


“What’s Not Wrong?”



Today between tasks I stood for a moment looking out the window wishing, longing for peace and quiet. But the family needs me. The younger, the older and the in-betweeners. They still need me. I work to keep us housed, fed and educated. No one tells us when we’re young what it will take to raise a family and even if they had, really would we have listened? We meet, fall in love, dream big and dive full force into it all, nothing can stop us when we’re dreaming!

I wouldn’t change what life’s path has brought me. Except, I think I might have saved more so that when I reached 50 I might have had enough money to say, “I’m done working, I’m going to contemplate the nature of the universe.” I didn’t. So now I long for a day of solitude here and there without work or children. The free time I have is gobbled up with my job, school activities, homework, resume work for the older creatures and listening ears for all whenever there’s a need.

As I scan these words, I see opportunity. In the early 90’s I read Thich Nhat Hanh’s book “Peace Is Every Step,” an excellent book about living mindfully in everyday life during everyday activities. Knowing I need continue my role as both parent and breadwinner I resurrected some of my favorites of the very applicable daily practices in his book. Through the month of December, I’ll share a daily mindfulness activity with you. Maybe by New Year’s Day we’ll all have a little more peace in our steps and lives.

My all time favorite practice from the book is “What’s Not Wrong,” which I share a portion of below:

“We often ask, ‘What’s wrong?’ Doing so, we invite painful seeds of sorrow to come up and manifest. We feel suffering, anger and depression and produce more such seeds. We would be much happier if we tried to stay in touch with the healthy, joyful seeds inside of us and around us. We should learn to ask, ‘What’s not wrong?’ and be in touch with that. There are so many elements in the world and within our bodies, feelings, perceptions, and consciousness that are wholesome, refreshing, and healing. If we block ourselves, if we stay in the prison of our sorrow, we will not be in touch with these healing elements…Life is filled with many wonders, like the blue sky, the sunshine, the eyes of a baby…Awareness of the precious elements of happiness is itself the practice of right mindfulness. Elements like these are within us and all around us. In each second of our lives we can enjoy them.”  pp.77-78

So ask yourself, “What’s not wrong?” Appreciate the flocks of birds gathering to fly off for the winter, the laughter of your colleagues over lunch, sunshine on your face, being able to move from one breath to the next without effort. Start your practice today, include it every time you see something wonderful and ask the question again, “What’s not wrong?” I look forward to hearing from you. We are more than this…