Sowing and Reaping

pexels-photo-544117.jpeg

I wake up on a lovely rainy morning and search my mind for what’s up for the day.  Lunch with some friends closely followed by a nap. Well, it just doesn’t get much better than that, now does it? With nothing pressing on my agenda, I settle myself into my Lazygirl with my first cup of coffee of the day, put my feet up on the matted sheepskin that disguises a well worn hassock, and open my Kindle to Practicing the Presence by Joel Goldsmith, one of my favorite spiritual writers/teachers. Nothing to do right now except relax and wallow around in the luxury of comfort, good coffee, and infinite possibility. And listen to the raindrops.

As I sit back to enjoy my quiet time, I read a few passages about abundance and my mind transports me back a few decades ago to a day that still brings a sense of awe.  It lives forever on in my memory and amazes me still as I recollect the fullness and abundance contained within it.

I do not recall the exact details, but what I remember the most about it is putting my head on the pillow at the end of the day and looking back over what I had accomplished during my waking hours.  It was if I had entered a wormhole in space that allowed me to zoom throughout the day at warp speed doing anything and everything that I could possibly think of to do.  I shifted into Superwoman mode and away I went full speed ahead.

The accomplishments of the day were astounding—not just the little piddling stuff, like returning phone calls or doing laundry.  No, it was more like clean out the basement, organize the junk closet, run a month worth of errands all over town, scrub the kitchen floor within an inch of its life, and have a dinner party for six that night stuff.  Really?  Did I do all of that in one day?  And still have energy left to spare?  On a normal day in my life, the mere thought of tackling any one of those tasks would have sent me running back to the shelter and comfort of my waiting Lazygirl. How did this happen?  Whatever did I sow in order to reap such great benefits?

As I allowed Joel Goldsmith’s words to sink into my head and heart, I realized again what I have heard many times before and often forgotten.  All things are possible, provided that I acknowledge that God, All That Is, the Universe, or whatever one wants to call it, is the total and complete source of all, and I am part of that all, and therefore all that God is I am. And so are you.  Period.  All that I am and all that I have is simply an outpouring of that which exists within myself, and is mine provided that I recognize, realize, and acknowledge the Truth of it. The minute I forget and think that I, or a friend, or family member, or job is the source of my happiness or my supply, I have lost sight of my divine nature and fail to experience that which is my natural inheritance, my birthright.

If the miraculous expansion of time is any indicator of the miracles that God can pull off without even being asked, imagine the possibilities of what can be done with those little strips of paper and stacks of metal disks that we call money.  Can they not multiply and stretch as well?  If I have $100 in my pocket, can it not disappear in a heartbeat as if never there?  Or by some miraculous phenomenon can it seem to stretch into twice as much or more, providing greater benefit than it’s apparent limited value?

pexels-photo-358647.jpeg

Was that magical day a gift to teach me about abundance, to demonstrate that there is always enough time, always enough money, and that there is never a need to live in lack of any sort?  The gift of abundance comes in many forms.  One can have an abundance of misery or an abundance of joy.  It is a matter of choice.  It is all a state of mind.  As a man  thinketh in his heart so is he.  As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

If, in my limited way of thinking I can find nothing to write about, and then suddenly I awake one morning with an idea so compelling that I have no choice but to run to my computer and start typing, is that not also abundance?

“The principle of abundance is:  “To him that hath, so shall be given.” Practice this principle by casting your bread upon the waters, giving freely of yourself and your possessions, knowing that what you are giving is God’s, and that you are merely the instrument as which it flows out into the world.  Never look for a return, but rest in quiet confidence in the assurance that within is the fountain of life and His grace is your sufficiency in all things.  In that certainty, born of an inner understanding of the letter of truth, you have.  The cup of joy runs over, and all that the Father has flows forth into expression.

Joel Goldsmith ~~ Practicing the Presence

 

 

Trashy Dreams

pexels-photo-935777.jpeg

Allow me to introduce myself.  I am Julia, self-appointed Queen of the Trash Room.  This honor is bestowed upon me courtesy of my own idiocy as a result of my willingness to join the board of directors of the condo building where I live. Clearly, we do not have a janitor.

My kingdom includes a 300-square foot trash room with cinder block walls, a concrete floor, and a dumpster, the receptacle for whatever crazy stuff that residents can think of to send down the chute from six floors above.  I don’t recommend vacuum cleaners.  The result of such folly inevitably creates a horror show that would send a janitor running for his life.  Would that we had one but alas, I’m it.

If the dumpster is overloaded the bags bounce onto the floor and heaven help anyone who might be standing in the way.  The room itself is the collector of an unimaginable assortment of dumped household belonging—an unholy mix of trash, garbage, and recyclables—fluorescent bulbs, half empty paint cans, discarded electronics, mattresses, broken desk chairs—the possibilities are endless.  Happy am I when the room is tidy and clean, empty of assorted litter and junk because then in my world, all is well and God is in her heaven.

It’s bad enough when I have to deal with this garbage for real—but really—do I have to do it in my dreams too?

pexels-photo-938045.jpeg

Last night I had a hideous nightmare in which someone dumped a 60-gallon dirty yellow container down the chute, and rather than using a securely-tied plastic bag to rein in the contents, the expletive-deleted perpetrator had filled the thing with a broken down cardboard carton full of loose trash.  Naturally, the container landed upside down and emptied its mountainous load of yukkiness all over the floor, a horror show of epic proportions.  The Queen of Trash nearly had a fainting spell at the mere sight of it, not to mention the mind-numbing prospect of having to clean it all up.  To make matters worse, the container had a wheel broken off, a sure indicator that it too qualified as trash, providing an even greater puzzle to solve.  Is it recyclable? Is it plastic or rubberized? Is rubber recyclable?  How am I supposed to get rid of that?

As I stood at the intersection of horrified and enraged, an idea popped into my head.  “Hey, wait a minute.” I thought.  “Maybe this is just a nightmare, and if so, I don’t have to worry about how to clean it up.  Maybe I can just wake up and poof—problem solved!  Wouldn’t that just be miraculous?”  And with that, my eyes popped open and I woke up with a realization that it was indeed, just a dream.  Words cannot possibly begin to describe the mixture of gratitude, relief, and joy that I experienced to discover the unreality of that nasty situation.

This trashy nightmare brings to mind a question that I have pondered many times over my lifetime. What is real?  What is illusion?  While I sleep, my nighttime dreams become my reality and are as concrete as the floor of that trash room.  They are as real as the world seems to be when I am in a so-called waking state.  Yet when I am walking around in the daytime with my eyes wide open and think that I am awake, the dreams that I have at night vanish into thin air and quickly fade and are forgotten.  Where do the nighttime dreams go?  Where do the daytime dreams go?  Which one is real?

Perhaps none of it is real.  Perhaps it is all only an illusion.  Perhaps we are all asleep and dreaming and perhaps one day we will all wake up to a new reality in which we realize that life is nothing more than a dream, a movie projected by our minds based upon what we think, feel, perceive, or believe is real.

In the meantime, perhaps we are all living in the same dream with a common belief in love and fear, good and evil, right and wrong, black and white, beliefs that divide and separate us from one another when in truth we are all one, we are all the same, we all are only here on classroom earth learning how to get along together and to let go of fear and replace it with love.  We’re all teachers, we’re all students, we’re all in it together.

Let’s face it—the world we live in today could qualify as a nightmare.  I don’t know about you, but I’m going to do my best to turn the nightmare into a happy dream and wake up to the Truth that the only thing that is real is love.  Meanwhile, I’m going to practice loving my enemies.  It isn’t easy, but the result is surely worth the effort.  Care to join me?

Bye for now. See you in my dreams.

With love,

Julia, Queen of Trash

 

When Is It Gonna Get Hot?

pexels-photo-289241.jpeg

This morning I checked the weather before I took Charlie out for his morning constitutional. The temperature clued me that I needed to bundle us both up in our winter duds and brace ourselves for an unseasonably chilly morning.  What is wrong with this picture?  It’s 33 degrees on April 8, that’s what.

I don’t know about the weather where you live, but I can tell you that in my lane, we’re all sick and tired of layering up when it’s supposed to be spring. Down coats and scarves just don’t go with cherry blossoms and daffodils.  As I zipped and hooded us up a “Once Upon a Time” story popped into my head.

Many years ago when I was an outside sales rep, my days were spent pounding the pavement (ouch—sorry feet!) hiking from door to door in building after building in hot pursuit of hot prospects in a big city full of big buildings.

Oh there was a whole lot of hot out there.  One year in late May and early June, the weather moved from winter directly into an endless stream of days so brutally hot that the very thought of going outside sent folks scurrying back to the safety and comfort of their air conditioned zones.  Day by day as I slogged my way from door to door I began to notice that mine weren’t the only spirits drooping from the scorching heat.  There seemed to be an epidemic of general malaise in the air, a fog of depression that had engulfed the entire city.

Oh for an inside job where I could sit at a desk in air-conditioned comfort all day.  Fortunately for me, most of the kind folks I encountered took pity on me, but I could only linger for just so long before someone thought that it was time to kick me back out into the oppressive heat.  It would be times like these when any self respecting outside sales rep in her right mind might consider a new occupation.  Alas, such was not the case, and the person I worked for was not sympatric to the plight of her soggy beleaguered sales team.  Off we went.  Out the door and into the blistering heat.

 

 

On one such as day I stood propped in the corner of an elevator on my way down from the 9thfloor dreading the thought of having to exit the building, the elevator stopped long enough to collect a new passenger.  “Oh good, I thought.  A brief momentary delay before venturing out into the inevitable.”

I can still see him to this day.  A handsome hunk of a guy wearing a crisp, clean Fedex uniform and a smile so bright that it reminded me of those toothpaste ads where a sparkle of light pings off a front tooth.  There I stood propped in my corner dazzled by the vision of handsome, while trying my best to refrain from wilting down to the floor in a puddle of despair.

“Good morning!” he said with a cheerful attitude that matched his sparkle smile.

“Well, it would be a good morning if I didn’t have to get off this elevator and go out into the heat,” I grumbled.

“Well we asked for it, you know.”

“Huh?  What do you mean?”

“We kept saying, ‘When is it gonna get hot?  When is it gonna get hot?’”  And then he was gone.

Aha!  The man is right!  Just as it is now, the weather then had been unseasonably cold for far too long into the spring.  Everyone was complaining. “ It’s too cold.  When is it gonna get hot?  When is it gonna get hot?”  There was a group mantra in the air and it got hot.

Is it true?  Do we get what we ask for?  If so, perhaps it might behoove us to give some serious thought to what we allow to wander around in our heads.  If I change my mind will I change my experience?  I decided that I was going to rewrite the mantra.  If it is true, if a group consciousness can create a heat wave, can it be reversed by a change of mind?

That day, I told the story of my elevator meeting to each person I met.  I asked everyone that I encountered to “Think San Diego weather,” and to imagine a balmy, sunny, clear- blue-sky, low-humidity sort of a day that brings joy to the heart and puts a spring into the step.  It was amazing how spirits lifted at the very thought.

Even more amazing was the fact that the next morning I awoke to a day of San Diego weather.

Coincidence? I’ll never know.  But it certainly does give one pause to wonder, doesn’t it?  Think about what we might be able to do if we change our minds about the climate of our government, of our country, of the planet?  What might happen if we all shifted from a negative attitude to a positive one?  If we see light instead of darkness?  Is it possible to change the world one mind at a time?

Is there just one little thing that you might like to change your mind about today?  If so, how about starting with something small, like the weather?  Today the weather.  Tomorrow the world.

It couldn’t hurt, right?  After all, what have we got to lose?  We’ll never know unless we try.

Okay, so are you in?  If so, leave me a comment and let me know.  The more the merrier! Together we can change the world.  We’ve gotta start somewhere, right?  Okay, enough with the platitudes.  How about we move on to Weather Changing one Mind at a Time?

Seriously.  Let me know.

PS:  Quite possibly there may be either a gaping hole in the middle of this post, or a photo of a fiery blaze stuck sideways in a place where a photo ought not be.  Just overlook it and chalk it up to computer ineptitude.  🙂  I know it’s broken, but I don’t know how to fix it.  But then again, maybe it isn’t broken at all.  Maybe I just think it is.  And maybe by some miracle it will fix itself and be just fine.  I won’t know till I push the publish button.  So good luck and here goes . . .

 

 

A Gift of Lilies or a Crown of Thorns?

flower-lily-lilium-candidum-madonna-lily.jpg

Today my daughter shares her birthday with Easter Monday.  Yesterday Easter was shared with April Fool’s Day. I went to church and am happy to report that the roof did not cave in. No fooling! The church that I attended offered worshippers a non-traditional service with a rousing round of Christian rock music that set the feet to tapping and the heart to pounding, but I missed the singing of traditional hymns.   Hal-le-lu-jah, hal-le-lu-jah. No matter. I walked around throughout the day singing it to myself but I’d rather have heard it sung by a choir.

While I appreciate traditional Christianity, I often enjoy looking at it in a more metaphysical way. I have been a student of a number of different teachings on my spiritual journey, each of which has proven to be exceptionally valuable in its own time and in its own way. The result to date is that I have adopted what I consider to be a system of belief that is practical, believable, forgiving, and comforting. It comes from years of practice as a student of the spiritual teachings of Siddha Yoga, A Course in Miracles (ACIM), Unity Center of Christianity, meditation, and the experience of being a Reiki practitioner among other things along the way.

Like so many others on a similar journey, I often find that I lose purpose and inspiration from time to time, and find myself wandering in the wilderness trying to return to my path toward home. Such has been the case for the past several weeks. When that happens, I scramble to find my way back but have learned that in order to do so I must ask for help. Help comes in many forms, and most recently, it was through a reminder from a friend who had returned to her study of ACIM after many years. The simple act of picking up the book was all I needed. Once I actually opened it to a random page, my way back was right there waiting for me.

Easter weekend gave me more than ample opportunity to examine some of the ridiculous little grievances that I hold from time to time for no good or apparent reason. Try as I might to get to the bottom of whatever the heck it is that is bugging me about a person or situation or even about myself seems like mission impossible.

I was a little disappointed with myself last week, for example, because for the first time since I started blogging in mid-February, I failed in my goal to publish a blog twice a week. I went through the usual litany of excuses—I was away for the weekend, I devoted a lot of the week to writing the condo newsletter, I had to get ready for Easter company—lame excuses, perhaps but true nonetheless. But the underlying truth behind the fake excuses is that I was struggling (again) about what to write, what to say, and how to say it. If it’s such hard work, maybe I’m on the wrong track. Always second guessing myself. It shouldn’t be that hard, should it? Where’s the easy button?

So there I was on Good Friday, feeling hung out on a cross of my own construction, wearing a crown of thorns, crucified by self-judgment, self-criticism, and self-doubt. Is there anyone out there who does not experience that from time to time? While I was hanging there condemning myself for my miscellaneous assorted sins, I found myself mentally picking on perfectly nice people who just happened to be in the crosshairs of my grievances at the time.

Well hello? I need some practical, believable, forgiving, comforting help here, please. I don’t like who I am and what I’m thinking right now and I want to fix it.

So I whipped out my trusty journal and busied myself by writing my little heart out. What emerged was a dialogue about love and fear (always the bottom line in my world) and my choice about deciding which one to choose. It is a bit lengthy, but oh, so juicy, and oh so helpful. Maybe someday I’ll publish it as a blog.

Love is love and love is all there is, the only thing that is real. Anything else is fear, an umbrella term for ego, the saboteur par excellence that strives with all its might to stay alive in the face of love. It shows up in ugly forms such as I experienced in the past week or so, as anything, anything that threatens peace of mind. Anger, jealousy, slothfulness, hatred, criticism of self and others—it’s all right there, terrified that it will be recognized for what it is and annihilated by the forgiveness and healing that only love can provide.

I like to think that Jesus is a teacher of the love that joins us all as one, and that symbolically his death signals the death of the ego, the end of the treachery of the suffering that we all endure because of it.

I give thanks for Jesus the man, the teacher, the way shower, and for Jesus the Christ, the embodiment of love, the representative of All That Is. I give thanks for the triumph of the resurrection that leads us all away from fear and back to love.

Today, I choose a lily kind of day. Tomorrow, I will choose again, as I must choose each and every day for the rest of my life. Sometimes I need help, and help is ever present. All I need do is ask and await the miracle of healing and the return to sanity.

And so it is!

Happy birthday my dear daughter.  Happy Easter Monday everyone.

Next up:  Trust, willingness, and the healing of grievances.  Not necessarily in that order. See you then.  Meanwhile I send you lilies and blessings of love!