A Butterfly Kind of Life

Have you ever watched a butterfly zip from flower to flower and linger just long enough to extract the sweet essence out of each one?  Or have you ever seen a sloth just hang upside down in a tree watching the world as it passes by?  As I meander down the path of my spiritual growth, I have observed that I embody the tendencies of both.  Mostly, I hope, I live somewhere in between.

Every so often I conduct a one-to-one-life review and write myself a report card that, sadly, does not always read very well.  It’s a little disheartening, for example, to find that there has been little, if any improvement in the subjects of perseverance, commitment, or laziness.  My friends might scold me for being so hard on myself, but they needn’t bother, because that’s a subject that I ace.

One such friend gave me an adorable stuffed sloth in response to my claim of being one.  It sits on a stool in the corner of my bedroom and reminds me that procrastination becomes laziness and laziness becomes procrastination.  As a child, my family used to accuse me of getting up earlier so I could loaf longer.   Apparently I have done my best to live up to their expectation of me.  Maybe they were just being helpful and giving me a head’s up about an upcoming major life lesson.  Welcome to my sloth self.

My butterfly self is another story.  Between the two of us, another friend and I have racked up a total of five marriages (six if you count one repeat performance by a slow learner).   Betwixt and between marriages, there have been a series of jobs in varying occupations all with a life expectancy of about six years.  Apparently I have earned my butterfly wings.  

All of this flitting occasionally leads to self-judgment.  Why do I—and so many others—have the tendency to focus on those parts of ourselves that we perceive as being flawed?  Why instead, do we not write report cards on those parts of ourselves that deserve honors?  Why pick on ourselves rather than praise ourselves?

There is nothing quite like a visit to an ashram to open the eyes of the soul.  Years ago, a one-week stay at the ashram of a guru provided me with the perfect picture of my life in a nutshell.  In an ashram, service (seva) is an integral part of the stay.  Assignments are doled out to each sevite upon arrival and dutifully completed day by day.  I was given a butterfly assignment, flitting from one job to another, while my steady, stable, consistent, reliable traveling companion was assigned a Xeroxing job that kept her standing in one spot for the entire week.  We each had the perfect opportunity to view our entire life history in the space of seven days.  I admire her tenacity.  I judge myself for not being more like her.  Add to that the pitfall of comparison and it becomes a double whammy.

This morning I awoke with the renewed awareness that what I do does not matter.  More important is what I think about what I do.  My life assignment in this classroom earth is to learn and grow.  My curriculum is tailor made to suit my own particular path.  If it includes the experience of flitting from job to job or marriage to marriage, or to see that self-criticism blocks the way to self-love, so be it.  Perhaps it is the vehicle best suited to burn through karma at the speed of light, or maybe it’s the speedy route to enlightenment.  Who knows? And who am I to judge?

It occurs to me that my blog-writing history is a mirror image of my life because it reveals my days of ups and downs, days of struggling with some aspect of myself that I perceive as imperfect, and other days when I love myself exactly as I am.  I can see where a reader might be thoroughly confused, as I sometimes am when I flip back and forth through the pages of my life.  It dawns on me though, that I am simply a reflection of so many others like myself who wrestle with the occasional love-hate relationship presented to us by the ego. 

It is gratifying to know that my spiritual quest will be successful, regardless of how long I lollygag along the path, or how often I sit down to smell the roses, or zone out in front of the TV.   I’ll get where I’m going eventually, and meanwhile, I’ll focus on enjoying the journey and let go of the idea that I am anything less than I am—a spark of the Divine.  And I’ll set an intention to tip the balance with more Divine Spark days than doldrum ones.  What a good idea!

In spite of my slothful and flitting butterfly ways, there has always been one constant that drives my life and leads me from one place to another.  My vision of reaching the top rung of the enlightenment ladder and stepping into the next realm of existence fuels my passion and desire to graduate from classroom earth with honors.  Heaven here I come.  I’ll see you there.  Eventually.

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)

Time to Remove Blinders

Someone recently accused me of being blind.  It was the eye-opening comment that woke me up and made me realize that half of America is blind and the other half can’t see.  That can’t be good!  If one side cannot get beyond its own point of view long enough to see the other side of the story, we are in a big pickle.  Where is the hope in that?

Well there is hope, folks.  There’s the hope that one day soon we’ll all open our eyes, wake up and face the reality that we are not one side or the other.  Just because we’re all wearing different bodies doesn’t mean that we are separate.  Under the  beautiful hues of our various skin tones, we’re all the same.  We are all one.  Perhaps we’ll figure it out before we self-destruct and become nothing more than a heaping pile of grey ashes.

Oh but wait.  Is that what must happen before we wake up and realize that maybe something needs to change?  Would we prefer to disintegrate into ashes, or join in a common effort to find a better way?  What do we really want?  I mean, really?

A teaching from A Course in Miracles states simply that one who is in her right mind has the responsibility to overlook the perceived wrongdoing of the one who is not.  The Course also says that forgiveness is the key to happiness, but that’s a subject for another day.

We just need to make a decision about whether or not we want to.  Really. If half the population of our country is in its right mind and half is not, who is to say which is which?  Who determines if there is a right or a wrong?  In either case, if we are to survive with our lives and our sanity in tact, both sides have an obligation to extend forgiveness.  Noblesse oblige, as they say.  Without that, we’re a long, long way from healing grievances, finding workable solutions, and finding lasting peace.

What if we consider that we’re all right and we’re all wrong?  Or what if we just think about the possibility that no one is right, and no one is wrong?  What if everything just simply is what it is, beautifully wrapped and presented to us as a gift to help us find the best within ourselves?  What if we just discard the outer wrappings and find the treasure within?

Whatever the scenario, it’s wise to remember that we’re all in this together.   The greater the number of those willing to take a peek into the mind of another in search of understanding, the sooner our chances of recovering our sanity.  

The same person who accused me of being blind said, “My skepticism or optimism all by myself will do nothing. Soon thereafter, I saw a meme: “How can I, just one person, change anything? said 74,500,000 people.”  One single mind joined with many will change the world. 

Can we do it? Will we? Do we want to? Or would we rather hang out in a mindset of right vs. wrong and stay stuck in a frightful, unsettling situation that appears to have no satisfying solution? Which do we choose?

The shift from the old world to the new has already begun, and one would have to be truly blind to not recognize the demise of the old in the decay and destruction that is unfolding before our eyes. It is time to move our consciousness up into a vision of wholeness.

The clock is moving closer to midnight. If you are going to change your mind, now would be the perfect time to do it. If you and just a few others, maybe 74,500 or so, decide to shift your view of the world into a vision of unity, harmony, and peace, we will be one step closer to a new and better world before the clock runs out. Tell your friends!

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)

Waiting for the Light

Today I feel a little lost on the crooked path to enlightenment because I have traded in consistency for complacency, and now I have to struggle to find my way back.  It’s a lot easier to just keep walking straight ahead than it is to zip on and off the path for a little distraction here and there.  But do I listen to myself?  Noooo.  

I remind myself of Jazzy, an adorable little ADD dog with the attention span of a gnat.  Putting her on a leash and taking her for a walk is like trying to harness a hummingbird and engage in a contest to see who is in charge.  That’s me.  The Gnat.  I need to put myself on a leash, strap myself into my meditation chair, and sit-stay until I reestablish my connection with my Divine Source. 

Sometimes I meditate and write, sometimes I don’t.  Sometimes it’s easy sometimes it’s not.  Sometimes I just have to give up and walk away for a while.   I never quite know what to expect until I put the harness on and sit myself down.

Today for instance and yesterday and the day before, I started blogs that zipped around the page with no apparent purpose or intended destination.  What am I writing about?  Meditation?  Forgiveness?  My current frustration over my inability to finish a blog?  Who knows?  I seem stuck in a fog of confusion and can’t find my way out into the light.  Is it just me?  No, I don’t think so.  

I have friends who are on hyper alert and can’t sleep, who wallow around in brain fog, or experience strange, baffling, bodily symptoms that can be neither diagnosed nor explained.  Strange things are going on in the Universe.  Our bodies are shifting and changing; we are being infused with a powerful new energy that is upgrading our DNA and preparing us for what will be coming one day soon.   

I had hoped that this blog would be all about light–yours mine, ours, and the Great Light that will soon blaze forth through the clouds of our awareness and burn away the fog of confusion that blinds us to the Truth of who we are.  Apparently today, that hope is just a blip on my radar screen awaiting expression on another day. Perhaps it will have to wait until the universe has finished rearranging all of my molecules in preparation for the appearance of the great blaze of Light.  

As I anxiously await this momentous happening, I rediscover the importance of scrapping complacency and embracing the consistency of the practice of meditation, the Divine Connection to my Source will return along with the ease of writing a blog.  Why do I keep forgetting to remember that?  

So here’s the thing: I have learned that once I commit to a decision to scrap complacency and embrace the consistency of meditation, my Divine Connection to Source will return along with the ease of writing a blog. Why do I keep forgetting to remember that?

Also good to remember is that each and every one of us is on the path of a spiritual journey whether we recognize it or not.  We are all here on planet earth in a classroom with a curriculum specially tailored to fit our own personal needs.  The fact that you are here and have read this far tells me that you are walking well upon your own path, and that you have taken one step closer to finding the truth within yourself.

I guess that a blog about the coming great Light will have to wait for another day.  Meanwhile, as I wait for the Light to blaze forth and shine upon us all, I will work on keeping the flame of my own inner light alive and well, and trust that peace, harmony, love, and understanding will take root, sprout, and bless this beloved nation and world of ours. It’s the least I can do while I wait.  But the really good news is— we won’t be waiting long . . .

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)

Dream of Things Unseen

In my last blog (What’s in a Name?) I was just excited.  Today, I’m super excited!  As the world holds its collective breath and hangs in the balance awaiting the results of the election, as each moment of anticipation passes and each fearful heart dips deeper into the pits of despair, I wallow around in a state of glee over the outcome.  It doesn’t matter what it is.  Whatever it is stands to wake us up to the realization that this is not the world that we deserve, and we have the power to change it into something better.

Today I am super excited because regardless of outcome, I hold the vision of the Phoenix rising from the ashes.  If we view the problems of our country and the world through the eyes of fear, we will become more deeply enmeshed in the belief that there is no hope. Yet where there is destruction, there is rebirth.

But how do we rise from the ashes?  How do we climb out of a hole so deep that we can barely see a faint glimmer of light to guide us out of the darkness?  

We do it by reaching up the ladder of consciousness to embrace and create a vision of something better.  We do it by harnessing the energy within and using it to draft the imagination into service on behalf of the creation of a new and improved version of our world. 

When all else fails and I need to find an answer to a what-do-I-want question, I enlist the sure-fire, never-fail Ben Franklin approach to decision-making. By a simple process of drawing a line down the center of a piece of paper and listing on the left side all of the things that I don’t want and on the right side the things that I do want, by the time I reach the end of both columns on the page, my vision is crystal clear.  Good old Ben.  What a clever guy!

What do you want for yourself, for this world, for our country, for humanity, for the planet and all kingdoms that call it home?  If you could write the script and paint a picture of a new future, how would it look?  If you could eliminate all of the don’t wants and replace them with wants, what would be on your list? What kind of a world would you create?  

Imagination is the beginning of vision, the birthplace of creation.  Vision offers the glimmer of light that leads us out of the darkness.  Vision is the switch that turns on the light of possibility along with the awareness that we are powerful, creative, wondrous beings capable of raising our individual and collective consciousness to a higher level.  The thoughts born of imagination and seen through the eyes of vision help uplift the suffering, heal division, restore unity, and create a brand new world born of truth, beauty, and goodness.  Such a world does not need guns, or a government that rules the people, or one that wrests control from citizens, or robs the population of freedom and joy.    

We cannot control the outcome of an election.  But we can control our thoughts. The ability and willingness to change how we see, to create a vision of something better than what seems to exist now, will change the outcome from despair to hope.  But it is up to us, individually and collectively, to each one who harbors the faintest hope that something better is on the horizon to decide to join the consciousness revolution and raise our sights to a higher level.  

I know that we have the power within us to do just that.  I have faith and hope that humanity has awakened enough to join in an upward journey toward the return of unity and wholeness. I believe that our creative imagination and collective vision of restoration will bring us together into the light of a beautiful new world.  And that’s why I’m super excited.  

We are standing on the brink of possibility with a new book of history waiting to be written. We are the Soul of Humanity capable of creating a new story, a new reality, and we are powerful. We can imagine, we can envision, we can dream, we can achieve.   Let’s join hands and hearts and just imagine!

On behalf of true seekers the world over, may we all channel and embrace the Don Quixote within ourselves and dream of turning the impossible into a dream of reality.

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)

Friends in High Places

I went to visit my friend Cathy and her husband Bill, a hospice patient, in the final few hours of his life.  When I returned home after my visit, I texted Cathy and asked her to promise that she would call immediately when Bill passed into the unknown because I wanted to be sure that she would have a friend when she needed one.  Knowing Cathy, I would not hear from her if Bill departed in the wee hours of the morning because she would not want to disturb me, and does not like to impose.

At 5:15 am the following morning, I was awakened by the vibration of the Apple watch on my wrist.  The ringer on the phone was muted, as sometimes happens without my knowledge.  I jolted awake and thought “Oh my God—I wonder if that was Cathy.”   I squinted in the darkness to look at the face of the watch and without benefit of eyeglasses, I could see Cathy’s name on the face of the watch.  

I bolted out of bed and dashed into the other room to check my phone for a message.  There was no indication of a call—no voicemail, no missed call, no text.  Nothing.  I texted Cathy and asked if she had tried to call.  Her response was, “OMG no, but Bill passed away at 4:20 am.”

How did that happen?  Did her people call my people?   Are there people?  Did Bill announce to his escort that he wasn’t leaving until I got the message and would soon be there for Cathy?  Are there escorts?  Was this evidence of a soul connection to a loved one, or perhaps a reminder that we are connected with everyone on the planet?  Was it some sort of strange coincidence?  I don’t think so.

I have never doubted the presence of guardians, angels, helpers, friends in spirit, guides, and teachers, but how affirming to have the experience of a tap on the wrist to let me know that a friend is in need.  How comforting to know, sense, feel, and imagine that friends and helpers are near, present in real time, watching, guiding, helping, loving us even in spite of ourselves, even if we deny their existence, even when we do not listen, pay attention, or heed their guidance. 

I cannot imagine that there is one person alive today who has not had an otherworldly and amazingly unexplainable experience, perhaps gone unnoticed or written off as coincidence.  But sadly, many are asleep to the awareness of what exists beyond that which they see with their eyes, and they miss what the awakened see.  

I don’t want to miss anything!  I don’t want to sleepwalk through life and cheat myself out of seeing the wonder of all that enfolds and surrounds me.  Life is a treasure hunt and I intend to find what lies hidden in plain sight, placed there lovingly by those who encourage me in my quest of self-discovery.

I am grateful for all blessings no matter how great nor small—most especially for friends in high places–those who are always and ever there, by and on my side.  

Stay on the light side my friends, and set your sights on the miraculous that hides in plain sight for those with eyes to see.

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)