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)

What’s in a Name?

I’m excited!  The world has spun out of control and we’ve nearly hit rock bottom.  We’re almost there, folks—just a little further to go and then finally, at long last, we will see the light.  It’s time to reinvent our vision, and turn our attention away from the doom and gloom and look instead to the good news that awaits us once we hit bottom and begin our rise from the smoldering ashes of what once was and will soon become.   But the thing is—we have to live through it all first.  How do we do that amidst all of the craziness that confronts us day by day, moment by moment?  How much worse can it get before it gets better and we rise like the Phoenix?  Maybe a lot.  Or not.

From what I read and hear from astrologists, we’re in for a pretty wild ride until the end of the year, so hold onto your hats.  And from what I know and hear from within the depths of my own inner being, (yes, without scientific proof), those with an open mind and eyes to see will soon be dazzled by the light of a great Being.  Could this be the light of the Promised One, the One who bears the name of many, but Who, in Truth is The One?  

It boggles my mind and I am intrigued.  Is there such a One?  If so Who is it?  Is It a He or a She, or neither?  Can our human minds grasp the possibility that such a Being might actually exist?  Are our imaginations great enough to embrace the idea that there is a Being that will emerge as a worldwide teacher, or that there is the slightest possibility that each one of us might be divinely connected to such a Being by virtue of having a soul?  

Will this One appear before us as the beloved Master of our own religious or spiritual belief system, as the Christ, Krishna, Maitreya, or one of the other 114 names of God that I found listed in a Google search?  Will this One look like us?  Speak our own language?  Is it possible that this mysterious One is The One disguised as many, clothed in different images, speaking our mother tongue?  Is it the Christ to Christians and Krishna to Hindus?  Is it in truth, The One of many names?  Can we fathom such a concept, particularly if it flies in the face of a traditional belief system?  Such thoughts spark the imagination and boggle the mind.  

My enthusiasm and excitement during this darkest of times stems from my unshakeable belief that once we’ve hit rock bottom, we will at long last be met by the Light of the One who will soon arrive as a World Teacher, by whatever name one wants to call It.  In my world, it would be Christ.  In yours, it might be Buddha, or Krishna, or Muhammed, or the Messiah.  Perhaps in time, this Awakened One will teach us that in Truth, there is only one world religion, and that its name is Love.

It is entirely understandable that this idea may well be a stretch of the imagination for those steeped in the teachings of traditional religion.  But I like the idea that there is an all-inclusive God embracing all religions, all spiritual paths, treating all equally, drawing the citizens of humanity together under one great umbrella of love.  That One would be the God of my choice. That’s the One I am waiting for.  

Do not fear the downward spiral, for an explosion of light will soon arrive and serve as the launching pad for the upliftment of humanity into a new world akin to a Heaven on earth.   Bless the darkness, for it shall bring the Light.  This is an event that many have been awaiting for eons. Open the eyes of your soul and you will see it soon.

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)

Ode to Joy

I once came perilously close to becoming a homeless person when my temporary abode was suddenly sold out from under me and I desperately needed to find a new place to live.  During a frantic two weeks of waffling between abject fear and the occasional sense of peace that washed over me from out of nowhere, I knew there was a perfect place for me and that I would find it.  A voice in my head frequently reminded me that my job was to keep the faith and keep looking.  

Today we’re faced with an election in less than one week, and again I feel as if my precious home is being torn out from under me.  The fate of our nation will be sealed by the outcome of the presidential election—an outcome that will have an impact upon our planet both now and into future generations.  This presents a threat to comfort and security, a fear of the highest order.  This time I have stepped out of fear because I know where the secret key to my new home is hidden.  

Whichever way it plays out, there will likely be discord, and chances are that whatever happens immediately following the final count won’t be pretty.  We might have to live in the Divided States of America for a while longer until we wake up and reclaim our status as the free democracy of the United States.  We can’t change the election results.  We can only change our minds about how we respond to the results.  Make peace?  Or make war?  We have the power to decide.  We have the power to make peace.  We need to choose wisely and quickly.

Meanwhile, we have a bridge to cross, and we’re all in it together.  We need to find a way to get from one side to the other without collapsing in the middle before we reach our destination.  On one side, huddled masses stand mired in fear, unable to take the first step.  On the other, successful journeyers cheer joyfully and urge others to follow.

In a recent conversation with someone with polar opposite beliefs from my own, I realized how deeply embedded our beliefs are, how strongly and closely we hold them to ourselves, how fiercely we hold onto what we believe is right and true, how unwilling we may be to see or hear another point of view.  The Netflix movie, Social Dilemma paints a picture of how the greed factor has reached into social media and skewed our vision so that truth is hidden.  We only know what we are force fed by the underground power mongers who are happy to manipulate us into self-destruction.

As I learned during my painful brief brush with homelessness, it may seem nearly impossible to rip attention away from the clutches of fear and instead seek the possibility of solutions.  Though we may not be able to change the outcome of the election we can change our minds about how we allow the results to impact our personal reality.   We can add to the fear, or we can add to the light.  We can learn to see with double vision—on the one hand observing life as it appears to be, and on the other, viewing it from a higher perspective and seeing the possibility of what it can become if we raise our vision to a higher level. 

I do not deny that we are living in a frightening world filled with chaos and turmoil, yet we need not be victims. We have the power and capacity to take matters into our own hands and determine that we will make a difference. We can decide which thoughts and attitudes to incorporate into our belief system and which to discard. We choose which thoughts are beneficial to our health and well being, and which are not. Does anxiety, worry or fear about the future change or fix anything? Does it make us feel better? Does it do anyone any good at all? No. Does it cause harm? Absolutely. It destroys peace of mind, stresses the body, and adds negative energy to an already overloaded fear bank.

We have the power to take back our power from those who have stolen it. Those who have the courage to cross the bridge of light and successfully make it to the other side will speed the advance of humanity into the joyful life that we are meant to experience.  The salvation of our world depends upon our willingness and ability to change our minds, look on the bright side, keep the faith, and find joy, even amidst the appearance of all that seems to warrant otherwise.

Listen closely for the still small voice in your head that whispers beneath the screams of doom, that faithful voice that will remind you always that your job is to keep the faith and keep looking within to find the key to your own truth, your own joy. Faith is the key that unlocks the door to a peaceful and joyful future. Choose light.

I stand with millions of others on the joyful side of the bridge, cheering you on and waiting to welcome you to the light with a non-Covid hug.  Blessings dear ones.  Stay well, be safe, and keep the faith.

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)

Walking into a New World

Many years ago, I had a dream with an impact so profound that it gave me the courage, energy, and strength to make a major change in my life, to end a toxic marriage, uproot my life, and move from one coast to another in the sunrise of my senior years. At the time, it felt like walking a tightrope above a deep chasm in a hurricane without benefit of a net.

In those very dark years, I was stuck in a quagmire of unhappiness, despair, and hopelessness, paralyzed by fear that blinded me to the possibility of any form of escape into a better future. Things were looking very bleak indeed, and I seriously questioned my ability to survive in my current circumstances. It is reminiscent of the collective experience of humanity that we face today.

As we navigate through these deeply troubling times, I feel inspired to share this dream again, (Gateway) this time as a metaphor, in the hope that it may give others the hope that these chaotic times will come to a halt and be replaced by a new and better future.

Again I find myself standing at the dark end a bridge in a real-time remake of Groundhog Day, watching in horror as my world falls apart before my very eyes, wondering about my ability to survive. Then it was personal. Now it’s global.

Today you and I hold in our hands both individually and collectively, the gift of choice, for it is up to each one of us, to decide whether or not we wish to stay on the dark side of suffering and pain, or if we want to join forces with others determined to gather the will to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and move forward into a new and improved future. The decision rests in my hands, as it rests in yours.

I sometimes catch myself thinking about the current plight of humanity, and realize how very easy it is to become caught up in the fear that runs rampant throughout our society and indeed, the world. It is tempting to fall victim to the belief that all is lost and there is no hope, much as I experienced those many years ago in a dying marriage.

On the ego-driven human side of the bridge, we are ruled by materialism and greed and live at the mercy of those who seek power and wealth at our expense. On the Divine side, love rules, a new world awaits.

Our hope of survival depends upon our ability to shift our attention away from the evil that seeks control by fostering fear of the future to confuse us. Instead, our hope of survival lies in our ability to turn a blind eye to the dark side and develop an intention to rewrite our own future using the power of our collective imagination to create the vision of a new and better world. The future of the world is changed one mind at a time.

Wait! Time out! For some reason, this blog has wandered off track and can’t find it’s way back. It has been days of trying, and for some reason, I can’t find a satisfying conclusion. Why is that, I wonder? Am I trying to hard? Am I listening to the voice of ego rather than to the voice of Spirit? Is my ego trying to convince me that I’m doing it wrong? That I’ll never get it right? What’s the story?

Is that what we are all doing these days—listening to the voice that tells us that everything is wrong and nothing is right? Is it that conning little voice that feeds on the fake conspiracy theories that we read on social media telling us that evil rules and all hope is lost? Isn’t that just exactly what the evil-doing power mongers want us to believe to weaken us and keep us off balance?

Maybe so. Maybe it’s time for us to take our power back. Maybe it’s time for us to stand up for ourselves, shine our individual and collective light into the darkness and flush out those who seek everything for themselves by stealing everything from the rest of us.

Speaking of walking from one side to another, this wasn’t the path I had intended to take when I started this blog, but then I am always willing to admit that I never know what’s coming. It’s kind of life itself, isn’t it? We start out going in one direction and somehow find ourselves headed in another. Sometimes the path is good, sometimes it needs tweaking. We need some tweaking now friends, some serious tweaking. We need willing souls, disciples, do-gooders, kind-hearted, light-bearing, well-meaning, God loving souls to join forces to spread around the importance of turning away from the dark side and walk hand in hand toward the light. Most especially, we need to find a way to help folks who are captured by the darkness of fear to take a peek around and find a glimmer of light. If the rest of us will shine bright enough, we will help prisoners of the dark escape into the light.

That means you. That means me. That means every single solitary soul who is invested in the best interest of humanity, the planet, and every creature that dwells upon it. The world is changed one mind at a time. One light joined with many will light up the entire world and irradiate darkness, and when that happens, miracles happen. We hold the power.

This time as we walk across the bridge to the Divine, we have a safety net. We walk together toward a new and better future, we have each other, and we have the power of the Light enfolding and protecting us. Together we will stand strong, stand steady, and we will reach the other side in a blaze of triumphant glory.

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)

Goodbye to Guilt – Again

I must really be on a crash course on guilt-free living because apparently, it was the subject of my last blog written a couple of weeks.  That blog seems so far in the distant past that I forgot all about it, until I did a quick blog review, yet here I am again, still chipping away at the same old subject.  I guess I must still have a lot to learn, because I have given myself yet another opportunity to practice what I preach.  If you’re sick of reading about the subject of guilt, quick—push delete.  If not, check out Inching Toward Freedom and read on.

Yesterday was a useless, do nothing sort of day that highlighted my lifelong tendency to enjoy life in the leisure lane and take care of business whenever the mood strikes.  It was a day when I heard a few words emerge from my mouth that I later regretted.  They weren’t the kind of negative, damaging, words that would slice through someone’s heart had they been heard, but still, they were not words worthy of a soul seeking to understand, heed, and express the concept of living a life of harmlessness.  

It was the kind of day that invited guilt to move in and wipe out whatever enjoyment I might have experienced in my leisure.  Guilt—the master thief of peace of mind.

This morning I woke up with the realization that I did not do anything wrong or guilt-worthy, but rather, I did something that I would think twice about doing again.  It was a lesson, another learning opportunity to give me a choice about how and who I choose to be in this life.  It was another chance to practice self-forgiveness and have compassion for my still-human ways rather than contempt.  It offered a ‘what would Jesus do’ moment in which I was given another opportunity to get it right.  Guilt—the master teacher of how to turn sins into blessings.

Guilt and sin are partners in the creation of insidious treachery that ruins the health and well-being of body, mind, and soul.  They hide out deep within the psyche and strike when least expected, catching the vulnerable victim off guard, sending them into a downward spiral of negativity.  I did something wrong, bad, unforgivable, I am a flawed human being, I deserve to be punished.  I am a sinner therefore I am not worthy of happiness, or joy, or the  love of God or anyone else.  

Sin is a devastating word, in and of itself a guilt-producer.  I prefer to use the word mistake instead.  Is that a cop out?  Am I letting myself off the guilt hook by telling myself that I made a mistake rather than a sin?  Maybe.  Sometimes it’s easier to correct a mistake than it is to forgive a sin.  For that reason, I’ll always employ my lazy nature and take the easy way out. 

The benefit of my do-nothing, lazy, selfish yesterday screams loudly in my ear.   It gave me a reason to get up, get moving, and do better today than I did yesterday.  It also gave me something to blog about after a two-week hiatus.    With patience, diligence, and maybe a little help from my unseen friends, this will be the last blog I’ll ever be writing on the subject of guilt.  

It seems to me that the extent to which I indulge in guilt is directly related to the extent to which I am practicing self-harmfulness. No thanks. I’d rather indulge myself in love and practice the art of harmlessness for all instead. I’ll keep working on it.

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 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

Look-no-further-than-our-children-2-14-b-768x644

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).