The Activist Hat – Again

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After a lengthy discussion with a 50-something friend who is mightily concerned about the state of the world, I see that it’s time to don my activist hat again.  The depth of her fear about the future sent me into a depth of my own fear about the power of fear, and how much of it there in the world.  It was an eye opener, a reminder that the best I can do for the world right now is to keep my head on straight, not allow darkness to take over my life, and urge one and all to wake up and see the light.  On with the hat.

When I sit all smug and cozy with coffee in hand and feet up in my Lazygirl, it’s easy to believe that all is well in the world.  But what about everyone else?  What about the heartbreaking closed sign on the doors of my favorite Nordstrom where I worked when I was 50-something?  What about the folks who wonder how they will feed their families, or if their kids will be shot in their beds, or if they’ll be done in by a virus?

In yesterday’s conversation, my friend expressed her deep concern about the future of our economy and about what would happen after the election.   From her perspective, I could see that things indeed looked very dark, very depressing, and very bleak.  Seeing the depth of her fear was what sparked my own.  If her thinking is representative of a large majority of the population—and I think that it may be— we are in big trouble.

Our chat reminded me to remind myself and anyone else within reading distance or earshot that we must change our vision, we must change our minds, we must rearrange our thinking, we must change our focus, because if we don’t, the power of our own minds will indeed create the very thing that we fear the most.

To build a new and better world, we need to we shift our thinking away from the horrific “what if” possibilities of decay and destruction and adopt a new belief system, one that embodies everything that we want, and nothing that we don’t.   Yes, this is easier said than done, particularly when we face so much negativity on a daily basis, when we are forcefed nasty news by the media, and when it appears for all the world that there is no hope.  It heightens the need for us to work harder.

There is hope.  It lies within the heart and soul of each and every single one of us.  We each bear the responsibility for snatching our world away from the clutches of the evil dark forces of the powerful and greedy, and put the power back where it belongs—into our own hands.  But it requires all hands to do the job.

Yes, our world is in a miserable state of decay.  But it is a necessary part of the evolutionary process that will make space for us to recreate something better, a hospitable, sustainable environment.  It is all part of a Divinely orchestrated plan that is for our benefit.  Together, we can do it—and we need all hands, all hearts, all minds, all souls on deck.  A future built on fear is destined to collapse, but love will sustain us for eternity.  Build on love, not fear.

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).

Grace Under Pressure

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Writing yesterday’s blog was hard, like trying to pour caramel sauce over ice cream in an igloo.  Today, I’m telling myself that it’s going to be easy.  I’m going to just make up my mind that writing today will be a breeze, ideas will flow, words will pour forth and fill up the blank space of my computer screen like gently nuked caramel sauce on a warm summer’s day.  Well, that’s what I’m telling myself.  Whether it works or not is another story.  I’ll just have to wait to see how long it takes me to get to the finish line today.  It will be a test of how well telling myself what to do works.  I can be pretty bossy sometimes, so maybe there’s hope.

Today has to be easy, because this morning I suddenly realized that in addition to writing Voices, the monthly newsletter that I publish monthly for my condo building is due tomorrow, and somewhere in between that, there’s a lengthy board meeting.  Well, now there you go—a cause for panic if ever there was one.  But no.  I’m not giving in to panic.  I’m going for grace under pressure.

I’m not sure yet what the theme of the day is, but it might be procrastination, or faith, or doing my best work under pressure, or perfection, or check all of the above.  I’m experienced in all.  I guess it’s a little like making my way through life—I’m not always sure where I’m going, but it’s a pretty darned good bet that if I have a set destination, I’ll get there eventually.   Oh, there may be a few futile side trips along the way, but there is value in everything, even the wrong turns.

One thing I’ve learned along the way is that if something is hard, I might be headed in the wrong direction.  If I set my feet upon a path that is not in my best interest and find obstacles at every turn, it may be a warning that I’m headed for disaster.  I once observed as a friend launched into a dogged effort to fight the obstacles that were thrown in her way in her attempt to facilitate the purchase of a business for her husband.  Her struggle was rewarded with a resounding failure.  Had it been right, the road would have been smooth.  We need to listen to the whispers.

Wow!  I told myself it would be easy and apparently, I listened.  I’ve passed the finish line with hours to spare, the hair on my head is still intact, and there is still coffee left in my mug.  Maybe I’ve turned a corner—I hope so.  Maybe it’s because I exchanged hard for easy, or because my new mission of spirit guide communication is working, even after only two days of practice.  Whatever the reason, however it happened, I am truly grateful.  May it be a harbinger of things yet to come.  Grace under pressure.  I’ll take all I can get.  Grace, not pressure, thank you very much.

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).

Dissecting the Voices

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Today is a start-stop-stuck blog writing day, definitely not one of my more shining moments.  In truth, I’m making myself crazy.  It may have to do with my latest mission of trying to enhance my communication skills with spiritual guidance.  I’ve had lots of practice, but apparently there is still much to be learned, because messages are garbled.  Especially today.

My current assignment is to speak to my guides out loud.  I’m working on it, though I must admit, it’s a strange sort feeling, one that is a whole lot different from hiding out in my head speaking in whispers.  It feels weird, like emerging from a dark closet buck naked into the spotlight on the stage of an auditorium full of people.  Whoa.  It gives new meaning to coming out into the light.

The morning is marching on by while today’s blogs sits on stall.  A myriad of thoughts pass through my head—I want to quit now, why is this so hard, what am I supposed to be writing, why isn’t it easy, I want it to be easy, where is the clarity, why am I doing this, when can I stop?

Jumbled confusion reigns in my head and expresses itself in words on my screen.   It occurs to me that this muddle presents the perfect picture of what it’s like to try to sort through the myriad of voices that float around in my mind.  I have just spent the last hour presiding over a plethora of unproductive thoughts.  In desperation, I finally gave up and headed for the kitchen for some breakfast and a little clarity.  What is the matter with me, I ask myself.  Why can’t I sit down, focus, write, and finish something that I really, really want to finish?

That’s when it hit me.  I’ve just wasted an hour of precious time in ego mode allowing self-doubt to stop me in my tracks.  I’m too hard on myself.  When I’m too hard on myself, joy goes out the window.  When joy goes out the window, it takes inspiration with it.  Ah.  A bit of fresh air wafting in through the window of my soul, a bit of kitchen clarity to redirect my thinking back to sanity.

Well now, there you have it.  The stark contrast between the screaming voice of the ego and the gentle, small Voice of the Soul.

Is there a point here, and if so, did I get it across?  Maybe, maybe not.  Maybe it’s not for me to judge, but rather to allow myself the luxury of learning to place my faith and trust in the wisdom and gentle guidance that comes when I am willing to apply myself to the task of listening to a Voice that knows more than I do, that unfailingly has my best interest at heart.

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 Path of Joy

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In spite of yesterday’s blog extolling the virtues of living in the shiny new moment of now and of not reliving my yesterdays, sometimes bits of the past come flying up unexpectedly and hurl themselves in front of my face screaming for attention.  So much for peace of mind.  Hagotcha!  Darn.  I thought I was over that.  Maybe not, else why would it reappear?  Is this another test?

Well, so here’s the good news—at least these nagging bedevilments are making themselves known so that I can decide whether or not to address them or just shovel them back down into the dirt out of sight, out of mind.  But if allowed free rein, they just keep coming up again.  And again.  Shall I listen up and pay attention, or shall I get out the shovel?  My choice.

In the midst of my most recent in-your-face confrontation with the ego, I had a peek through the window of my soul and could see how easy it is to allow despair and depression to take control and cloud judgment.  In my role as a witness I could clearly observe myself in a head-to-head conflict over which aspect of myself would win the battle—the ego, or the Self.

Let me just say—I do not like conflict.  Conflict in any form, either with myself or another person makes me want to turn and run the other way.  Yep—I admit it.  I’m a coward.  If I pull the ostrich act and don’t see it, I won’t have to deal with it.  But if there is no facing it, there is no resolving it.  Obviously, it won’t just magically disappear itself because it will just come up.  Again.

The quest for personal growth presents moments such as these.  It means mustering up the willingness and courage to confront anything that stands in the way of achieving the bliss of a peaceful mind.  Yes, sometimes it brings up issues that I’d rather not deal with, but the struggle is worth the reward of awakening to the yearning of the Soul that wishes for nothing more than to bestow the gift of joy.

These days, when I am rudely awakened by past memories and unhappy thoughts that trigger old wounds, I take my own advice and remind myself to be grateful for the recognition that there is something within me that needs my loving attention.  I ask for help with forgiveness and  pray for the release of anything that no longer serves to bring me closer to my Self, my Soul.  It is safe to take my head out of the sand and breathe freely because conflict has evaporated.   No longer must I learn through suffering and struggle, for that path has been transformed into one of joy.

Ah.  Blessed relief.  Now I am back in the shiny new moment of now.

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).

Shiny New Moments

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I ran away from home again today, off into the wilds of nature—well, as much nature as I can get given that my wilds are confined to a suburban neighborhood.  It’s like a marathon out there, with people filling up sidewalk space and spilling out into the street to pass one another.  Who can resist on such a gorgeous day?

Now I’m back home in the Lazygirl to continue pondering on the theme that I started thinking about before running off into the wild.   As sit surveying my space, I realize that everything I see around me are reminders of the past—a   framed watercolor painting of a bouquet that was present at my father’s funeral, a TV that I no longer turn on, a bookcase that was custom built for a specific space that holds a collection of memorabilia and books read long ago and since forgotten—all things that remind me of things that once were, that are no longer.  Everything has a history.  Everything has a past, including myself.

It makes me wonder—how much do I hang out in the past without even realizing it?  What is all of this stuff?  How did it come into my life?  What is its purpose?  Is it useful?  Does it bring happy memories, or sad?  Can I walk away from it and never look back?  What will it matter once I am gone?

If I were asked to write one thing for which I am grateful, my answer would be gratitude.  As I survey my past, I realize that I can pick and choose what is worth keeping, what is useful, what is not.  I can decide what adds beauty to my life, and what thoughts bring back memories of suffering.  I can cherry pick what I want to keep, and what needs to be tossed into the do-not-recycle bin.  I am grateful for choice.

I am grateful for every experience, every memory of my past for the value of the lessons that I learned.  I am grateful that those lessons taught me that I can decide what to keep and what to throw away.  I am grateful to understand that I can learn through joy rather than through pain and suffering.  I am grateful that I can savor the good, happy memories and not wallow in old hurts.

I am grateful that I can take a moment to run off into the wilds of my mind in search of the vein of gold that is the present, and for the imagination that allows me to live in the brand new, shining moment of now, moments that build one atop another to form the foundation of a new future built to my personal specifications, a world of goodness, truth, and beauty  and goodwill for all.  Oh, how glorious it will be.

Please join the growing number of visionaries who are working as one to build anew.  The more the better, the more the sooner, the more the merrier.  Hard hats not required.

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).

Blinded by the Light

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Yesterday was renewed-vision day.  The windows were cleaned and I got new glasses—all within the space of four hours.  Hot dog—I can see clearly again.  Well, at least I think I can.  I guess it all depends on how you look at it.

This morning I sat around waiting for inspiration to strike and was rewarded with zip.  So I shook up the daily routine and went out for a walk.  Usually it’s write first, walk second but apparently, today is shaping up to be a bass ackwards sort of day.  So here I sit in thumb-twiddle mode wondering what to talk about today.  It could be a very long morning.

While simultaneously thumb twiddling and awaiting inspiration, it occurs to me that maybe the well has run dry.   Am I washed up, finished, kaput?  Has my daily blog muse walked off the job and left me to my own questionable resources?  Now there’s an unsettling thought.  That would be tantamount to someone making a decision that affects me without checking in with me first, and I hate it when that happens.

Then it dawns on me that what I think is what I get.  If I think the well has run dry, then the well has run dry.  It’s the purest, simplest form of creating my own reality.  If I add the belief factor in with the thought process, I’m doubled doomed.  I’ve shot myself in the foot and that’s the end of my daily blog.   The muse has run for her life and I’m left to my own devices.

If, on the other hand, I manage to catch myself red-handed in the act of believing the veracity of a negative thought that I made up in my head, I can nip it in the bud, turn it around, and exchange it for a new thought that uplifts, expands, and supports the idea that the well will never run dry.  Aha.  I’m back in the blog business.

It also dawns on me that my thoughts are my entire world, but in the overall scheme of the universe, when compared to the whole, my mind and I seem no greater than a feather on the wings of a sparrow.

Yet, if a single thought from one person has a life altering effect upon that person’s life, just imagine the effect that the thoughts of masses of people might have upon the entire universe.  Imagine the magnificent creations that would become manifest.  Imagine the wonderful new world that we can make up in our minds, just by envisioning them.  Imagine joining the power of just one thought with the masses to create an entire new universe.

It’s such a simple concept, but one that requires vigilance and mindfulness to put into action.  It’s worth whatever effort it takes—for you, for me, for the world, for the future.

Happy dreaming up and creating a brilliant new reality, everyone!

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 Window of the Soul

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The window washers are coming today and soon I will see clearly from the inside out.  Now if I can just clean up the of the window of my mind, I will see clearly from the outside in.  Once in a while if I’m not paying close attention, things can get a little murky in here.

Sometimes, when I have a bit of spare time, I enjoy peeking through the windows of the minds of other bloggers, especially those who share their innermost thoughts, feelings, challenges, struggles, and insecurities.  Sometimes the view through the windows of others provides a clearer reflection of myself.

Bloggers tend to tell the truth about themselves, about what they’re thinking and feeling.  Their honesty is refreshing, and sheds a light in the darkness.  In finding light in others, I find light within myself.

One of the most profound aspects of my education as a spiritual seeker was my training as a facilitator.  True service, we were taught, lies in healing oneself first in order to help others—healing the unhealed healer.  Thus, we became both students and teachers to one another, working together toward healing the parts of ourselves that were the obstacles to inner peace.

In the process, we discovered that no one is immune from the machinations of a mind ruled by the ego.  We learned that we are all subject to the aspect of ourselves that would have us believe that we are unworthy, undeserving, and unlovable.  We learned that there is great healing in the willingness to share the depths of one’s being in the safety of a trusted confidant.  We learned that the more we are able to see into the soul of another, the more there is to love.

I am no stranger to the battle between love and fear.  Why do we hesitate to share our inner truth with another?  It all about fear.  Fear of embarrassment, of being judged, misperceived, misunderstood, flawed, fear that the truth will somehow reveal the insecure, unlovable parts of the self that we do not wish to acknowledge to ourselves or to others.  The bottom line?  It is a fear of loss of love.

My greatest lessons in life were learned in the intense six-month facilitator training where as both student and teacher, I discovered that the willingness of another to share her deepest and most personal aspects of her being drew me closer in compassion and love, because in the other person, I could see my own struggle to overcome the parts of myself that I perceived as unlovable.

In spite of all of my spiritual education and training, I still find that I fall prey to the tricks of the ego; the window of my soul get foggy and I lose sight of who I am.  The return trip to sanity requires only that I sit and be still, find the quiet in my Soul, ask for help, and remember that love is the Windex that will make the window of my Soul sparkle.

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).

Sweet Memories and Mysteries

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It’s not always a good idea to rummage around in the past, but if done in search of sweet memories to savor rather than to excavate old buried wounds, one might find a world of riches buried within.

One of my sweet memories of the past floated to the surface this morning as I savored the memory of my days as a devotee of Siddha Yoga, when I was constantly intrigued by the profound effect that the mysterious teachings of the guru had upon me and upon my life.  Sometimes, the lessons were immediate and obvious; sometimes they so subtle that I barely noticed until months or years later, when I finally got it.

On one of my visits to the ashram, a course was being offered on selfless service.  When I tried to enroll, I was told that the course was not open to people over the age of 50.  What?  Why not??  Was it too late for the over-50 crowd?  If we hadn’t learned whatever we needed to know by now, were we hopeless?  But as often happens in the world of a guru, there was no answer to the why.  I left in a quandary and spent the entire following year hoping that the answer would float to the surface and solve the puzzle.  It didn’t.

On my next visit to the ashram a year later, a fellow devotee unexpectedly answered the question that I hadn’t asked.  People over 50 are supposed to focus less on selfless service and more in contemplation of their death.  Huh.  Now there’s a juicy rich subject worthy of another year’s worth of puzzlement if ever there was one, right?

I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

Odd though it may sound, answering this question has become my lifelong quest, the guidepost that lights my path toward the accomplishment of my goals, vision, and purpose.  My focus is on the endgame—to heal what needs healing, correct the errors of the past, have my affairs in order, and do my utmost to earn my diploma and graduate into the next higher realm of learning.  It keeps me sane and on track; it diverts my attention away from behaving in ways that are not in my best interest, and supports me in embracing the behavior that is.

I really miss hanging out with Gurumayi, but the truth is that her work with me is finished.  She sent me home to the sanctuary of own my heart and turned me over to the care and keeping of my Higher Self, my Soul, to All That Is, where my education will continue, and answers to the mysteries of life will be revealed in their own time.  I am blessed to be in the very good company of professors who are kind and compassionate, who make learning a joy.  Now if I will only listen…

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).

Creativity and Cosmic Humor

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Every so often when I’m feeling bereft of creativity, I confess that I resort to paging through old computer files in search of ideas, inspiration, or anything else that will light the spark of creativity.  Today is such a day.  My search has yielded a plethora of half written fragments of aha’s that seemed intelligible for at least a one brief moment in time, but were left hanging mid-air awaiting completion.  There they sit, undone.  I know the feeling.

This morning I found something that I considered “lifting” from myself for today’s blog, but since my preferred choice refers to a winter and a dog both recently passed, I would need to fess up to my self-plagiarism and explain myself.  Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow, since I’ve already confessed today.

But here’s a funny thing—in my search, I came upon a story about my six-year old behavior.  Surprise, surprise—right in the middle of a sentence of intense revelation, there is a recipe for linguine.  Now I ask you—how in the world did linguine insert itself in the middle of my childhood?  I have no idea, but it looks like an easy and idiot-proof recipe and I think it might be dinner.

Hold on—maybe this is all only a bit of cosmic humor to remind me about how clever and creative God is.  Is it a coincidence that the linguine recipe is stuck in the middle of some writing about my former smoking habit?  Is it coincidence that the linguine component reminds me of a forgotten addiction that drove me to Overeater’s Anonymous?   Is it a coincidence that I came upon this bit of cosmic humor as I was in search of some creativity?  Is it yet another reminder that God always provides?

Yesterday I was so bored that I took myself out for an invigorating adventure to McDonalds for a crispy buttermilk chicken sandwich to eat in the car, then to a trip to Sam’s to fill up with gas.  It’s no wonder I need to rummage around in old files in hopes of finding a spark of inspiration.  I went outside in search of myself, but I wasn’t there.  Apparently, I need to go inside more.

God never disappoints.  Need inspiration?  Go inside.  Need help?  Go inside.  Need joy?  Go inside.  Need dinner?  Try linguine.  I have everything I need except maybe the shrimp.  Hmm.  That might call for another exciting trip out for groceries.  Then I’ll return home, eat linguine, and go right back inside where I can see life through the window of my Soul.

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).

Fixing What Isn’t Broken

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There are some pretty powerful energies swirling around in the galaxy these days, have you noticed?  It feels to me as if we’re living in the middle of a tornado, with all that is known and familiar being torn asunder.  To call unsettling would be an understatement, wouldn’t you say?

Extreme energies shake us up and upend us from the outside in, and the inside out. They rattle our foundation; they make me realize that there is not a lot that I can do about a lot, but I can do a lot about a little.  I can’t fix the world, but I can fix my head.

Every so often while tripping blithely through my days, I am stopped in my tracks by the blinding light of a warning sign that flashes across my forehead and alerts me that there is a glitch in my operating system that needs immediate attention.  Ugh.  Really?  Again?

Apparently, the Universe and I have something in common.  We’re both trying to shake off the dross of old, worn out, destructive, counter-productive energies to make room for a shiny new existence.  There doesn’t appear to be much that I can do to fix what needs fixing on a global level—the dysfunctional government, racial injustice, a pandemic, self-serving politicians, melting ice caps, the national debt—you know—the big stuff.

The most I can do is take responsibility for myself and manage my own energies as best I can, and be vigilant about taking whatever steps are necessary to fix the stuff that needs fixing in my own world—mostly, my own head.  It’s not always fun, but it is always certainly worth it.

Oh but wait—maybe I’m adding energy to the problems of the world by thinking of it as broken.  Maybe we just need some reorganization, readjustment, some correction, reevaluation, some tender loving care.  Maybe we just need to see the world differently.  Well, I can do that.  While I’m at it, I give myself a little tender loving care too.

I always take comfort in the words of the horoscope writers who often remind us that it is necessary to tear down in order to rebuild.  On both global and personal levels, we are being torn asunder and shaken to our foundation.  But have faith!  The roller coaster ride will come to an end and we will emerge safely, wipe our brows with relief, and stare in wonder at our triumphant victory over fear.

We will make it through the turmoil of these times by turning within to find our safety, and trusting the presence of loving wisdom from unseen Wise Ones to make smooth our way to new beginnings.  If all else fails, we need only ask for help.

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).