Inching Toward Freedom

Are you a guilt producer?  Wait—what?  What’s your definition of a guilt producer?  Well, the way I see it, there are two kinds of guilt.  There’s the guilt that’s heaped on us by outside sources, like a mother, or kids, or maybe the church.  Then there’s the inside guilt, the stuff that encompasses all of the self-perceived faults and flaws of the soul—all committed by an imperfect self who should-have, shouldn’t-have done, the self that finds fault over every tiny little oopsie and risks annihilation by self-judgment.  Sometimes, guilt is buried so deep that we don’t even know that it’s there until we find we find our heads buried in a plate of spaghetti with meatballs.

I realize, of course, that small libraries could be filled to overflowing with volumes written on the subject of guilt, but in the interest of an 800-word-or-less blog, I’m opting for the Reader’s Digest version, aka, my own less-than perfect unprofessional interpretation of the subject.  I learn by experience, and trust me, where guilt is concerned, I’ve produced a ton of that.

Personally, I have managed to become fairly immune to the outside stuff, but it’s the inside stuff that can still catch me off guard—the self-produced kind of should-have, could-have, did, or didn’t do sort of guilt.  The origin of guilt is not important, except that guilt in any form or from any source produces the tendency toward self-punishment, the result of which varies according to individual tastes and preferences.  

My particular form of punishment often appears as crippling self-doubt that typically results in procrastination and lowered feelings of self-worth.  The sure-fire antidote to my self-induced suffering leads me down a well-worn path straight to the refrigerator.  It used to be the wine bottle, but I gave that up a few years ago.  Now it’s the spaghetti.  Or worse.

Over time, my guilt production level has dropped from a ten to about a two or three.  I’m not home free yet, but I’m making great progress.  The key is to recognize the devil when I see it, and nip it in the bud before I beat a path to the fridge and dive into the ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream and side of caramel sauce.  It requires vigilance.  Guilt is insidious.  It sneaks up while you’re looking the other way.  Beware.

It is here that I want to let you in on a little secret that I have recently discovered and am working to incorporate into my awareness and make a permanent part of my life.  It’s the discovery of a lifetime.  If I were out to make money by selling a product or service on my blog, I’d be selling like crazy here—you know—“This amazing discovery will change your life, this little secret is the key to happiness, it’s all you’ll ever need to know, blah, blah, blah.”  You’ve heard it all.  Nope I’m giving this one away for free, right here, right now.  So here it is.  Free.  My gift to you.  Ready?  Hang on because here goes . . .

Be who you are.  Be true to yourself. Whatever you choose to do is fine.  You are perfect exactly as you are.  Do whatever makes you happy.  You are doing the best that you can right here, right now.  Listen to your heart. Do not allow yourself to be swayed by the opinions of others. There is no need to change or do anything differently because you are already doing what you are meant to be doing.  Every so-called mistake is an opportunity to learn a lesson and make a correction the next time.  There is no need for guilt because there is nothing that you have done wrong. You are now and ever will be free.

I know—it’s pretty hard concept to swallow.  It might even be a touch guilt-producing to think in such a way.  Ludicrous. Hedonistic.  Blasphemous.

Still—give it a try, if only for a minute, if that’s all you can manage.  It’s such a new way of thinking that it’s going to require practice, but you’ll never know the freedom inherent within a guilt-free existence until you try it out for yourself.  It might seem like an impossible dream, but like anything else, anything worth having is worth working toward.  By the yard it’s hard, but by the inch it’s a cinch.  Think of what it would be like to live in a world without guilt.  

It’s a lofty and magnificent goal, a gift you give yourself, and to others in your life.  You’ll never know until you try, and experience it for yourself—if only for a minute.  By the inch, it’s a cinch.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us)

The Road to Happy Endings

Have you ever found yourself sitting at a stop sign and not had a clue about which way to go?  Welcome to my club.  I’ve never been very good with maps (or decisions in general for that matter), so God bless whoever saved my bacon with GPS.  Many a time in my past I have sat in stall mode until I realize that somewhere a horn is blasting a hole in my thought process, and mild panic and a hasty decision force me to get out of the way, make a turn, and I end up lost, frustrated, and angry at the hand on the horn.

Past experience has taught me one important lesson—when the horn starts honking, pull off to the side of the road and let the honker pass on by.  Do not allow the influence of another to force or hasten an important decision that deserves careful consideration.  Sometimes it’s best to just hang out in void mode for a while, and allow the answer to reveal itself in its own good time.  I have also learned the hard way that impatience can derail the best of intentions and cause me to honk my own horn resulting in a premature unwise choice.  Patience is definitely a virtue.

I have come to a moment in life when I have pulled off the road, considered all of my options, made a decision to stop for a while and hang out in void mode to wait and see what’s next.  Now is the time to whip out my patience and sit in the quiet void in anticipation of what is to come.  The past is gone never to return. What’s ahead is still a mystery.

It is a scenario that I have experienced many times before.   I am sitting in a familiar place in my mind, in an empty theater staring at a closed curtain, awaiting the moment when the behind-the-scene work is done, the stage will be set, the curtain will rise, and I will finally get to see the long-awaited and much anticipated next act of my life.  

While I wait, I entertain myself with a rerun of earlier acts and think about what I liked and didn’t like, what worked and what didn’t, about what I would add, delete, rewrite or rearrange.  I contemplate future possibilities about how the play might unfold, how I might like it to end, if there is any way that I could change the dialogue or write a story that would be more to my liking, or make a difference in the outcome.  I am, after all the one who writes my own life’s script.

Oh but wait—I look around and discover that I am no longer alone in the theater.  I am surrounded by all of you, all of you who share in this moment of void, this time of empty uncertainty of unknowing, all of you who are anxiously awaiting the curtain to rise to reveal the next act, the next stage of the play in which we are all actors together.  It is a pregnant pause, as we sit together in the void, awaiting the moment when we can view the beginnings of a new act and watch as it manifests into the reality of what is to be.

What will it be?  What script will I write?  Will I write a happy ending?  What will the future be? What will I decide? I think I’ll just keep on hanging out in the void for a while longer and keep working on the rewrites until I get it right. I’m all about dreaming up happy endings, after all. I hope I’ll see you as one of the actors in the happy ending of my dream.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us)

Armed with Harmlessness

Yesterday was pretty much a wasted day filled with lollygagging, wasting time, and doing not much of anything.  On days like that, I have to remind myself that it’s okay to take a day off, to rest, enjoy the benefit of free time, and not guilt myself silly over thinking that I should be doing something that I’m not.  Days like that tend to bring out the worst in me and I find myself thinking thoughts that aren’t good for the psyche.  

In a recent blog (The Happy Factor) I talked about waking up in a kind of funk brought about by a sadness over the way the world is going these days.  Today I must add that sluggish days like yesterday also have an impact upon my place on the Happy Factor scale of one to ten.  So, upon recognition of yesterday’s mini-funk, I employed my trusty ask-for-help technique and put in a request for help in rising above my harmful thoughts.  

As if on cue, there was an explosion of negativity that went off in my head.  It was as if someone stuck a stick of dynamite inside of my subconscious mind, lit the fuse, and pushed the plunger.  Whoa.  What a blessed blast!

I have recently been invited (or perhaps challenged is a better choice of words) by my spiritual guidance counselors to examine my mind for the purpose of working toward achieving a state of mental harmlessness, selflessness, and right speech. I accepted the invitation, and an entire civilization of negativity that I didn’t know was buried there was excavated from deep within, exposed to the light, and is hanging out waiting for me to decide whether to keep it or get rid of it.

Maybe on some unconscious, mysterious level, we as humanity are also considering the possibility that harmlessness, selflessness and right speech are powerful tools to help us move out of the shadow into the light.  Maybe the unbelievably devastating world events have been caused by our collective hidden negativity and have brought forth the desire to allow our dark and ugly parts to be exposed to the light for the purpose of reevaluation and healing.  Maybe we are each called to stand up, stand strong, and take responsibility for the thoughts and actions that shape our world, and accept the challenge to set upon a new and improved course of action that will flush out all that stands in the way of finding peace within ourselves and within our world. 

Will I accept the challenge to replace harm with harmlessness, self-serving with selflessness, and words of criticism and judgment with words of kindness and love?  It all begins with a decision in the mind.

I professed my willingness to accept the challenge.  What I received was an avalanche of awareness about the content of my mind, and it wasn’t a very pretty sight.  But I’m grateful.  Because now that I know what has been lurking beneath the surface, I can decide whether or not to keep it or let it go. Jettisoning negativity guarantees an upgrade on the Happy Factor scale.  Every single thought that I have has a ripple effect upon not only myself, but upon my world and everyone in it.  If I want to live in a better world, I need to clean up my act.

It’s always good to remind myself that if I need help, I need only ask. Today I am asking to be armed with harmlessness. May I be harmless. May I be selfless. May I be kind in thought, action, and deed. And so may it be.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us)

The Happy Factor

Do you ever wake up in some sort of a vague funk and wonder why?  Me too.  Sometimes I go through half the day before I realize that the sun isn’t shining in River City, and that things aren’t quite the way I’d rather have them be.  If I’m lucky, the light dawns before the day ends and I have a chance to adjust the settings before my head hits the pillow for another night of sleep.

Today is one such day.  The good news is that I have come to this realization early in the day, with time enough to make in-flight corrections before I hit the feathers again tonight.  The other news is that sometimes that’s easier said than done.  Though I may recognize that the sun is hiding behind the clouds, I’m not always able to get past the shadow back into the light.

So I meditate.  I take a walk.  I have a little come-to-Jesus chat with myself until it finally hits me.  Ah—my happy factor is off.  Why is that, I wonder?

As a kid, I remember doing silly little experiments, like closing one eye and then the other to see how my perception of things would change.  Close the left eye and suddenly, half of my world disappears.  Close the right, and the view shifts to an entirely new scene.  If ten people witness an accident, they all see it from a different perspective.  

It occurs to me that this morning, I awakened in the shadow of a deep sadness related to the way things appear to be in the world, and an ominous feeling that what I am seeing is just the way things are and that there is no hope for change.  I am seeing what is wrong rather than what is right.  The view from that perspective is enough to drag even the sunniest of souls down into the doldrums.  That’s not a nice place to live.  It’s not even a nice place to visit.

Nope.  Now that I’ve realized it, I’m not buying into it.  But then the question becomes, “Yeah, but how do I get myself out of it?  I invite myself to check the level of my happy factor.  On a scale of one to ten, I’m about a four.  Oops.  That’s not a great number.  So how do I pump myself up?  Well, I can meditate, take a walk, or have another come-to-Jesus chat with myself, but if that doesn’t work, then what?

Oh, right!  I can ask for help.  So often I forget that I have the capability to check into a part of myself that is so much wiser than the me that I think that I am.  Why do I keep forgetting that?  Just the simple thought that I have such a powerful resource within me comforts me and automatically raises my happy factor level up a few of notches.  And so I ask, then I sit back and wait, grateful in the knowledge that because I have asked, I will be answered.  Help is on the way.  I close my eyes on a shadowed world and when I open them the sun is shining again.

I have always found that asking for help is the magic elixir that soothes the soul and solves all problems.  Now if I can just remember to remember . . .

May sunshine spread light in your heart today and every day.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us)

The Gift of Regret

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Today my grand twins turn the same age that I was when my daughter was born.  Eeks.  Enjoy life while it’s happening folks, and don’t wait till you get the end of it to look back and ask yourself where it all went!

Somehow I managed to make it to this end of life in once piece—maybe a little worse for wear, perhaps, but still functional nonetheless.  When I was younger, my goal was to get to my sunset years and be able to look back and say that I reached the end with no regrets.  Honestly?  I have to admit that I didn’t quite make it to my goal because there are a few of them sprinkled throughout my life.  Those regrets are the parts and pieces of myself that are woven into the tapestry of my life.  I see them not as regrets, but as badges of honor, for they are to be revered for the gifts that they have given, the lessons they have taught, the forgiveness they have brought.

Regrets are reminders that sometimes goals are set but not met, that failure to achieve the desire of one’s heart is not a failure at all, but a signal that perhaps the heart needs to go in a different direction.  Disappointment is a fork in the road that points to an opportunity to either redirect desire onto a new path, or to let go and walk away.  Throughout my lifetime, I have taken both roads.  Often, I have asked myself, is walking away giving up?  Or is it the Soul suggesting that the correction of a wrong choice might be a preferred option?  Perhaps there are no wrong choices, but rather opportunities to engage our free will in the play of trial and error until we get it right.

There are times when I allowed self-doubt to stop me from pursuing the desires of my heart because I lacked the faith in my ability to pull it off, whatever it was.  And there were times when I was struck with a flash of inspiration and charged ahead full steam and became so immersed in pursuing my dream that there was no room for self-doubt to sneak in to undermine my plan.

A friend recently told me about Allison Hadden, a motivational speaker engaged in a battle with cancer, who says, “As scary as it is to accept, all of us are going to die – yet none of us know when. It’s time we start confronting this reality and living life like there’s no time to waste.” If ever there were a poster child for pursuing purpose, she would be it.  Clearly, she is not daunted by her illness, but instead is using it to inspire others, and she is not giving up.

Nor have I given up on my one primary vision in this lifetime—to live life in a way that would ultimately lead me out of the quagmire of ego and personality, and into the peace and calm of a heart and soul centered life.  That vision has led me down many a garden path—some strewn with lilies, some with thorns, but every road taken has led me one step closer to my destination.  I am grateful for the thorny roads, for they have led to the realization that a path of lilies is a path of true joy.  Never give up on your dreams, dear ones.  Hasten as ye go for there is no time to waste.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

The Sound of Guidance

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I hopped into the car with my big bowl of fruit salad and headed off to into the countryside to enjoy a nice visit with family.  I had been forewarned of road closures and was well armed with careful instructions and my trusty GPS which soon gave out, leaving me with an ominous feeling of lostness along with a sense of mounting panic.

At a red light I saw my granddaughter hanging out of the passenger’s window of my daughter’s car frantically waving to get my attention.  Ahh. Saved.  They’ll know where we are going.  The light changed and off we go, but a white pickup truck wedged itself between the two of us, and while she raced ahead, he poked.  I had a few expletives deleted going on in my head as I willed him to hurry up, get out of my way, or disappear himself off on the next turn.  It didn’t happen.  He just stuck like a turtle on molasses while my daughter disappeared off into the distance.

Finally, things seemed to improve until we came upon an unexpected road closure and had to turn around and detour around the detour without any detour signs.  All of us had lost GPS as well as reliable phone communication.  Meanwhile, I still haven’t lost that $#$@#$ pickup.  By now it is obvious that we are all hopelessly lost on country roads and I have lost any hope that we will ever get where we’re going.

Then, miraculously, we come across another granddaughter who joins the caravan and leads us safely to our destination where we arrive over a half an hour late.  Damned white pickup is still with us.  We park, get out of our cars in various states of temperament ranging from anger to hysteria.  Mine was hysteria when I discovered that white-truck guy is my former son-in-law.  I’ve been mentally screaming at him, while he was mentally screaming at my daughter trying to tell her that she was going the wrong way.  Another family adventure to laugh about for years to come.

In my morning-after armchair recap, it occurs to me that sometimes I have gone along in life blindly putting my faith in a leader who is clueless.  Sometimes I turn my power over to another who I think might know more than I do, giving my authority away to someone who may not have the best interests of myself or others at heart.  Sometimes I place my misdirected anger at some poor unsuspecting soul who is just trying to get to his own destination while I am prodding from behind urging him to hurry up, willing him to go somewhere, anywhere to get out of my way.  Sometimes I make a lot of assumptions, make a lot of mistakes, and take a lot of wrong turns.

Too often in life I have placed my faith in external systems like GPS—a Global Positioning System—rather than in my own personal GPS—Guidance Protection Service.  In searching for a destination, my external system failed, but my internal system guided me to “accidentally” find my family caravan and arrive safely at our destination.

Let this be a lesson to me to relax, trust, and remember that even though I may think otherwise, I am never lost.  I am always guided and protected by loving Beings who do indeed have my best interests are heart and whose intention and purpose it is to guide me safely to my destination.   However in the world does one have enough gratitude to say thank you for such a blessing?

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

Power Over the Storm

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We survived Hurricane What’s-Her-Name (who can pronounce Isaias?) and its demise was amazing.  Howling winds and water every which-way suddenly stopped dead and turned off like a faucet cutting off the cold water, while the hot water faucet turned on the sunshine.  It was quite astounding—a wonder to behold.  No lingering aftereffects whatsoever, if you don’t count the poor folks left without power and the accompanying tornado.

I wish I could do that with my attitude.  I’ve been doing more than my usual amount of soul searching lately, sifting through the debris of a mind cluttered with a whole bunch of stuff that I’d rather not have to see or acknowledge.  The willingness to delve into the depths of the soul is not always an adventure for the faint of heart, but hey—in my world, it’s what makes life worth living because it’s where I find the really good stuff once the not so good is cleared away.

Amidst my morning ponderings of such things, I came upon an email that smacked me in the face with the mother of all annoyances—being given unsolicited advice and/or told what to do, particularly when I already know what to do and have every intention of doing it.  Sigh.  What is that, exactly?  Is it because I assume that the perpetrator thinks that I am not savvy enough to figure out something for myself?  Do I think my intelligence has been insulted?  Am I the only one who gets her knickers in a twist about such things?

The howling winds of ego swirl around and threaten my peace of mind, pummeling me with a flood of unpredictable, uncontrollable fury.  Maybe I react so strongly because I am blind to the possibility that I am guilty of such behavior myself.  Maybe my head is stuck in the sand again about all sorts of behavior that I’d rather not see.   The lingering aftereffects of such an ego outburst leave me feeling powerless over my own wayward emotions.

Well, maybe I’ve plucked just a little from the Writer’s Handbook of Exaggeration for Effect.  I confess, I’m not really as out of control as I make myself sound.  As a matter of fact, I’m pretty cool most of the time, which is why, when something comes up that twists my knickers, it catches me off guard and seems worse that it actually is.  It’s just that as I travel along the path toward spiritual enlightenment, sometimes dirty laundry pops up to be washed and hung out in the sunshine to dry and blow in a gentle breeze for a while.  The part about squeezing through the wringer can be a little ouchy, but once I make it out into the light, a whole new joyous and wonderfully delicious world awaits.

One of these days, the winds will diminish to a gentle, calming breeze and I’ll realize beyond a shadow of a doubt that my light is lit by the Source of All That Is and that there is nothing in the world that can turn it off.  Every now and then, I catch a glimpse of what lies ahead, and trust me—it’s worth every ouchy.  Howling winds and lingering aftereffects vanish are replaced by power beyond measure.

Somewhere along the line, I must have signed up for the journey of a lifetime, and amidst my travels, I have discovered that it truly is the only trip worth taking. It can be a pretty wild ride, but I have some very reliable, devoted, tour guides who will never leave me, nor let me lose my way, even when I stop somewhere along the way to stick my head in the sand.  How blessed am I?

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

Food for the Soul

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I just ate an entire bag of spinach and a pile of sliced mushrooms for dinner.  It all went into a skillet and looked like a mountain of food—well maybe more like a molehill—but it all sautéed down to about a medium-sized serving of spaghetti and meatballs and not surprisingly, I have overfed myself.  Or as my friend likes to say, I am sufficiently suffonsified.  Emphasis on the fon.  Suf-FON-si-fied.

Clearly, I never miss an opportunity to feed my body, albeit tonight with a rather odd combination of food, courtesy of the sparse contents of the fridge.  Healthwise, I guess it beats a burger, fries, and a side of fried mozzarella with a chocolate shake to wash it down.  Well, at least I opted for spinach instead of running away from home in search of something greasy and fried.  It’s a start . . .

Lately though, I’ve noticed that I’ve been on a bit of a downslide, not doing the things I should, and doing things that I shouldn’t.  More zoning out in front of screens, less blogging, for example, and yes, I see that I am shoulding all over myself.  I shouldn’t be doing that.

For the past few days I’ve observed myself as I do a backward drift into temptation.  Netflix and restaurants have called to say they miss me and threaten to drag me off course and back into old habits that I am working hard to view from the safety of my rear view mirror.  I was doing really, really well there for a while, but sometimes it’s a little hard to hear the sound of sanity over the voice of a screaming appetite deprived of satisfaction.

Obviously, I’m totally committed to feeding the vehicle that walks me around and needs to be gassed up now and then to keep itself moving.  I’m forever quick to feed the body, but what about the care and feeding of the soul?  What good is a body that is full if it walks around with a soul that is empty?

I suspect that my backslide is the direct result of a neglected soul starving for the pleasure of my company.  When my commitment slips, when I fail to tend to the needs of my soul, when I take it for granted, or skip meditation, I deprive myself of the enormous benefit of the rich nutrients that lie hidden within.

There is a a vein of gold inside each one of us awaiting discovery.  The soul, Self, Higher Self, True Self, whatever one may wish to call it, exists whether we acknowledge it or not.  It is a patient, kind, gentle, healing Voice that provides an answer to every question and a solution to every problem, if we will but ask, listen, and follow its wisdom.  It exists even when we deny it and walk away, and it welcomes us home when we wake up and return.  It is the truest, eternal, and most faithful friend that we will ever have.  Feed it well with love, appreciation, and gratitude and it will raise you to heights you never dreamed possible.  Wake up and remember.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

The Crooked Path Home

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Back in the day when I thought that I was God’s gift to the world, the idea of living a spiritually-based life was unthinkable.  I saw it as being just about the most pathetic excuse for a life on the planet.  Where’s the excitement?  Where’s the glamor?  Where’s the fun?  Who would even consider living such a life, besides a priest, or a nun perhaps?  And even then—why?  Nope.  Not for me.   B-o-r-i-n-g.

Then smack dab in the height of my ego trip, I began to notice ever so slowly, in dribbles and drabs, in little bits and pieces, that stuff began to happen.  Stuff that caught me by surprise, that shook up my foundations, that rattled my cage, exploded my highfalutin concept of myself, and sent me off into a dark night of the soul.  Humpty fell off the wall and smashed to smithereens.  Ouch.

My search for an escape from the darkness led me down countless avenues of exploration to find a way out.  It was a long and arduous journey, but of one thing I was absolutely certain: I had no choice.  I had to find a way out.  I suppose that a trip to the depths of despair might happen to everyone at one point or another, either in this lifetime, the last, or the next.  This one was mine.  My trip down into the pits provided the incentive that I needed to give myself a good, swift kick in the butt and make a commitment to find my way out.  Not until I was fully ensconced in the dark did the search for light begin.

Fast forward to now—and wow—what a difference a dark night of the soul makes!  I’m a whole new me, a makeover of my former self waving goodbye to the last vestiges of an ego trip that ran me on a merry chase in search of all that I thought was good, cool, fun, worth living for, protecting, and guarding with my very life.

Decades later, Humpty is reassembled and sitting happily back up on the wall.  True, it took a while, but the wait was worth it because as each tiny little piece of me was glued back in its proper place, an inner joy filled in the cracks and all that is left is the beautiful, smooth surface of a healed soul at peace with itself and with the world.

Goodbye ego, goodbye glamor, goodbye excitement, and fun.  Hello peace, contentment, hello joy beyond measure.  Having lived in one place and another, and if given a choice for the rest of eternity, I’ll choose another every time.  The glamor of the ego cannot begin to compete with the indescribable ecstasy of striving to live life as a Soul.

The journey toward the Soul is the adventure of a lifetime.  It is a rocky ride made smooth by mighty and powerful forces that help us along the way.  I would not trade one inch of my life’s path, because no matter how crooked the road I chose, it was always made straight.  There are no wrong decisions, because each choice leads us that much closer to what is right.  Every fork offers an option and every option is an opportunity to learn, grow, and experience the benefits and consequences of our choices.  There no wrong turns, there are no mistakes; we are gifted with an abundance of time, opportunity, and do-overs to get it right.  We live in a universe populated by loving, Wise Ones who hold our hands as we travel our path, and guide us through treacherous shoals home to the safety of our souls.  I cannot imagine wanting anything more than that.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

Plugging Up the Leaks

True-accountability-means-accepting-responsibility-3-208-768x644.jpgI’ve been trying to work my way up to a nap, but leaks keeps getting in my way.  Plug up one, and another spouts forth to replace it.  There’s a leak in my washing machine, one in my ceiling, others in the ceilings of beaucoup residents in the building sending plumbers like mice with their sharp little teeth scurrying up and down between floors chewing gaping holes in the walls in search of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  I am living in a very holy place these days.  A day without the report of a leak is a good day.  Unfortunately, today is not one of them.  No nap for me.

As I ponder the “Why me, God?” question when confronted with a call at an odd hour from a frantic resident screaming “WATER”, I am reminded of a phrase well known to those on a spiritual quest, “Be careful what you ask for.”  It dawns on me that just this morning I upgraded my intention to adopt a stance of harmlessness, selflessness, and right speech.  Oh boy.  Be careful what you ask for.  Apparently, the Powers that Be listen very closely and are Johnny-on-the-spot to respond.

With one finger stuck in the dike and an ear glued to the plumber’s hotline, it occurs to me that maybe our current leak-a-thon is providing me with just the perfect opportunity to grab myself by a new attitude and start to practice the art of paying closer attention to what goes on in my head.  It would probably sound a wee bit irreverent to say, “Gee, thanks Universe”, but the truth is, I asked for it.  Ask and ye shall receive.

Every now and then, I fantasize about what it would be like to hang out inside the head of a person who is spiritually enlightened.  The Dalai Lama for example, or Jesus or maybe Mother Teresa.  How and what do they think?  Do they spend 24/7 praying and meditating?  Do they have a sense of humor?  Do they wonder what’s for dinner?  Do they roll around in Heaven all day forgiving everyone whether they need it or not?  Do those who still walk among us in the world think in the same way as those who have departed?

Such imaginings expand my mind and send me on a merry chase in search of role models who give me hints about what might lie ahead.  They show me a picture of I want to be like when I grow up, and provide the incentive to for me to run like the wind in hot pursuit of my goal, like the adorable little pink pigs at the California state fair running for the reward of cookies and cream at the end of the race.

I know there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or maybe some cookies and cream. I know I’ll get there eventually, but in the meantime, I’ll just keep on plugging up leaks and practice the fine art of harmlessness, selflessness, and right speech.  I’m not sure what all of that means, exactly, but somehow, I’m quite sure that I will soon find out.   That ought to keep me busy for a while.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).