Out of the Shadow

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I dreamed about a woman who covered her eyes when there was something on TV that she did not want to see.  When things got really ugly, her accommodating husband would place his hand on top of hers for an added layer of protection.  Oh no!  Am I the woman in the dream?  Am I hiding from myself?  Rats.  I thought I was an open book.

My world of TV watching ended six months ago, leaving only The Live Reality Show as my sole form of entertainment.  Yikes.  It’s pretty scary out there in the world right now, and yes, the woman is me.  I want hide away with as many layers of protection that I can get and trust that my friends will let me know when it’s safe to open my eyes again.

I must ask myself, “What is reality?”  What is my reality?  What is your reality?  What is anybody’s reality, really?  What is real?  What is illusion, what is fake?  Whoa—heady ‘don’t know’ questions, for sure.

What I do know is that my reality was built upon the thoughts, ideas, beliefs, and opinions that I was taught and held as gospel truth until I was old enough to figure out that maybe everything I learned was wrong.

In search of answers that made sense to me, I set upon a path of self-discovery and re-creation of myself and my personal reality.  It has been a lifelong and soul satisfying experience, fraught with joy, despair, shift and change, trial and error, highs and lows, and challenging though it was—and sometimes still is—I wouldn’t change a minute of it for the world.

Do we all our build our own personal worlds with our thoughts, feelings, opinions, and beliefs?  If, perchance, this might be the true gospel truth, perhaps it would behoove us to rethink what we think and consider whether a change of mind might be in order.

Oh geez.  I guess this means that I have to take the blinders off.  Really?  Do I have to?

No, but if you want to build a better world, it might not be a bad idea.

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).

Where’s the Joy?

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Blog stuck.  I hate it when that happens.  Here I sit in ye olde Lazygirl sucking my thumb and waiting for inspiration to strike and—nothing.  Hello?  Is anybody in there?

In desperation, I flip to a random page in my journal for distraction.  The page flip takes me to an entry that reminds me of the importance of meditation and journaling.  Both are the source of creativity, focus, and ideas that may be useful in writing; both are a rich source of wisdom that offer answers to some of life’s thorny questions.   Questions of the soul arise, questions that draw my attention within to seek the source of joy.  Where does it come from?  Why does it go missing?  How can I retrieve it?

My mind wanders off again into the world of writing.  Why do I do it?  Would I publish a blog or a book if no one ever read them?   If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear, does it make a sound?

Creativity in any form comes packaged with a powerful nudge of the soul to seek outward expression.  To deny the urge of creativity is to live life at half-mast.  To experience the fullness of life is to allow talent and gifts to flow forth as joyful expressions of the soul.

Aha.  That’s why I write!  When I deny the inner urge of creativity to express itself, I deny joy.   When I write for the right reasons, joy becomes the reward.  The desire for accolades and validation pales in comparison to the sense of soul satisfaction that comes with the completion of a creative endeavor.

Why do I write?  Because I have to.  Who am I writing for?  Myself.  Well, whew.  I’m glad that we got that settled.

In closing, it dawns on me that I need not limit my creative ability to just writing a book or a blog, but I can also use it to nurture the seeds of a better world by writing a new story of the future.  I can imagine and dream the creation of a new and improved world that awaits  our arrival.  We all can help write the future.  We need only imagine.  It doesn’t get more joyful than that.

Write on!

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).

Two Birds, One Feather

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This morning I found a box of Hot Tamales and a nine-inch feather at my front door, deposited perhaps by a big bird with a sweet tooth?  Or by a friend who knows that I have a fondness for Hot Tamales and finding feathers?

This unusual way to start a day sent me off on a Google search to remind myself about why I so am intrigued by finding bird feathers, whether during a walk or at my front door.  I’m not picky—I’ll take them wherever I can find them.  My search rewarded me with a fascinating article (http://www.nataliakuna.com/feather-signs–colour-meanings.html) that sent my imagination off into overload and gave me more featherly information that I ever dreamed possible.  No wonder I am feather intrigued.

If I am to believe what I read, feathers represent a sacred connection to God, the Creator, the Divine.  They are Spirit sending us signs and messages.  When they fall at our feet, angels are near; their connection to wings is a spiritual metaphor, representing a strong, celestial connection to Heavenly realms.

Feathers come in many colors, each significant.  Mine is brown, representing earth, grounding, stability, enduring home life, friendships, respect, and grounded balance between physical and spiritual.  Interesting—the last one is exactly what I’ve been working toward for the last week.  Perhaps my feather gift is an affirmation that I’m making progress.

The article suggests asking yourself a few questions when you find a feather.  What was your state of mind when you found it?  How were you feeling?  What were your first thoughts or impressions about it?  What might it be telling you?

Just as I was in a muddle over what to write about today, I received a text telling me that a little birdie left a message at my door.  The message gave me the answer, and tells me that Spirit knows exactly what I need and that God will always provide.  It tells me that I am, guided, watched over, cared for, protected, and loved.

I suppose that technically, since my Hot Tamale friend is the actual feather finder, she would be the primary beneficiary of the gifts as a result of her find.  On the other hand, I am a secondary beneficiary, having found the feather at my front door.  I marvel at the spiritual efficiency of it all.  Two birds with one feather.

Spirit works in wondrous ways.  The special delivery of Hot Tamales and a bird feather is just one way.  If we close our eyes and feel the wind beneath our wings, we will soar to the heights of awareness that assure us that behind the veil of “reality” there exists a realm of the miraculous, populated by Those who have our bests interests at heart.

God bless the messengers, the feathers and 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).

Ironing Out the Wrinkles

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Thanks to Professor Blog’s compassion in granting me a day off yesterday, life is back in some semblance of proper working order.   The ironing is done, my desktop is clear, and the cobwebs in the head are gone.  Balance and sanity are restored.  At least for now.

With iron in hand and mind in motion, I had an epiphany.   I don’t need to put pressure on the iron to get the wrinkles out.  I need only to guide it gently and let the heat do its work.  Life is so much easier when I don’t try to strong-arm my way through it.

My favorite blogs are the two that were written without applying blunt force to attack the job as if it was a permanently pre-wrinkled mess shirt.  The wrinkles smoothed themselves out with little or no help from me.  My faves are also the blogs that received a pretty fair positive response.  Day Off  That should tell me something, right?

Life is short.  Relax, enjoy, have fun, and don’t get all caught up in the unsightly wrinkles.

It’s amazing what a little time off will do.  Thanks, Prof.

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).

May I Be Excused?

 

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It’s a gorgeous morning.  I’d like to take a walk before the temperature exceeds the humidity.  I’d like to tackle  the expanding pile of laundry before summer’s end.  Small patches of bare space are peeking through the papers that blanket the surface of my desk.  The house is in a state a mild state of disarray, the result of a neglectful owner caught in a daily struggle to learn the art of balance.  I want to catch up with friends, return phone calls, answer emails.  Take care of business, have a little fun.

I need a day off.

Blog writing as a hobby is an all-consuming adventure that eats up a huge chunk of my day.  By the time I close the clamshell, it’s lunchtime and I need a nap.  I need to loosen up a bit and relax some of the rigidity that has closed in around me in an effort to get a tighter grip on self-discipline.  A blog a day keeps balance away.

I need a day off.

Read Julia’s blog is on a friends’ daily to do list, perhaps a have to entry rather than a want to.  God bless her for her loyalty.  Maybe she needs a day off too.

I need to get out on this lovely morning and walk off some of the excess body that I have accumulated during these days as a pandemic shut-in.  I need to clean up my act, get myself back in proper working order, do some ironing.

Professor Blog has granted my request for one day off and excused me from the classroom for a field-trip in search of balance.  Yay!

Ta tah for now.  See you tomorrow.

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).

 

 

 

 

Sit! Stay!

 

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This morning I awoke with a vivid dream stuck in my head. Rather than search for meaning, I searched for a way that it might morph into a blog.  So, butt firmly planted in Lazygirl, coffee in hand, I settle in to my quiet time to contemplate, meditate, and write.  Aha!  I’ve got it!  Blog it is.

In my dream, my friends and I return from an outing.  They are in the front seat, and I am in the back behind the driver.  We park, they get out, leave the engine running, and walk away.  I am trapped in the back, the victim of the child’s safety lock.  I bang on a window, frantically trying to get their attention.  No luck.  They are gone.  I can only hope that before long, they will realize that I am missing.

I wondered how they would forget all about me, but there were bigger things to fret about.  What am I going to do?  I try to reach the front seat to turn off the engine, but can’t, and my phone is out of reach.  I’m locked in a seat belt that will not release me, trapped in a car with the engine running.  I’m hopelessly stuck, resigned to my fate.  Perhaps I’ll be dead by morning.  Eventually, my friends realize that I am missing, and come to find me.  Happily, I’m still alive.

In my interpretation of this dream, the car represents my body and the interior is my mind, trapped inside of my body.  My mind perceives itself as being locked in, hopelessly inprisoned, helpless, abandoned, forgotten, and resigned to my fate.  My mind is engaged in a fruitless attempt to escape from my body.

Last night, I watched the fourth segment of Rewired, a video series by Dr. Joe Dispenza, a neuroscientist, available on Gaia.com.  The segment was about meditation.  I confess that my decades of experience as a meditator is sketchy at best, but after watching Dr. Joe last night, something clicked, and I finally got it.  Meditation is the key to escaping lock-down.  Somehow, he managed to remove all traces of my failed meditation history and filled the void with new awareness.  It only took how many years?

According to Dr. Dispenza, our brains serve up a mind-boggling sixty to seventy thousand thoughts every day, many of which are unconscious.  Those thoughts are programmed into our subconscious minds and can drive our behavior whether we are aware of it or not.  The purpose of meditation is to divorce the mind from analytical thinking and thoughts of the past and future in order to reach a point of being in the present moment.  Practice, man.  Practice.

Here’s the great aha as it relates to my dreamThose thousands of thoughts harbored in my subconscious mind are unlocked through meditation and set free, allowing my mind to escape the prison of past thoughts of feeling like a helpless victim trapped in a fruitless attempt to escape the circumstances in which I am held captive.

Dr. Joe emphasizes that meditation is a mind training.  I knew that.  I just flunked the course.  Just as in intensive puppy training, it is important to burn the command, “sit stay”  in the brain.  Sit in silence, turn off the analysis button, dismiss thoughts of the past and future, forget what’s on the daily to-do list, and stay in the present moment that is now.  We can always trip off into past and future later if we insist.  Just not during meditation.

So in the end, it’s Dr. Joe who turns out to be the real hero in this story.  He’s the guy with the meditation techniques that provide the key to get me out of the car and send me off into a spanking clean, sparkling shiny new now.  Thanks, Doc.  I needed that.

Sit!  Stay!

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).

Body by Design

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Here we go again, with the blank page and blinking cursor taunting me, coupled with a cacophony of voices clamoring for attention, “Me, ME, no, me!”  Everybody wants to get into the act.  Which “me” will it be today?   My muddled mind considers the possibilities.  It could be a long morning.  Hmmm.

The loudest voice today is the “me” that comes with a body attached—you know, the one that requires a lifetime of food, shelter, and clothing?

Have you ever thought about how much time, effort, energy, and work we must expend simply to maintain our physical selves?  A third of our lives?  Half?  More?  It boggles the mind.  I keep thinking about how clever God is to have set us up with this dense, physical contraption that we walk around in all day, the vehicle that transports us through a lifetime of providing for its varied myriad of needs.

Donald Trump sometimes blames a “rigged system” for whatever it is that happens to be displeasing him at the moment, and I wonder—are we living in a rigged system set up with bodies designed as textbooks to teach us what we need to learn?

I use my own life as an example, typical of so many others.  I begin my lessons by being born into a family populated with people who can try and test me on every level.  I live under the same roof, breathe the same air, and deal with the assorted personality quirks that come with the territory.  There I are stuck until I am well educated and mature enough to move out and move on.

In case I have not learned from family relationships, Part 2 of my learning thrusts me out into the next phase of my life into survival mode where I must work to earn a living to support my physical body to survive.  Rent, food, and shelter is expensive, even before adding in the rest of what’s needed for the living of life.  Eventually, I get married, start a family, and in the process, up the ante of relational challenges.

It seems to me that a very brilliant God has rigged the system to make sure that if we will be given every opportunity to learn what we came for.  The good news is that it is rigged in our favor.  If we don’t get the lesson one way, we will get it another.

Our bodies serve as teachers, purveyors of endless possibility for physical and spiritual growth.  If we haven’t aced Relationship 101 in our family classroom, we are given another opportunity in the workplace, where once again, we are tried and tested by other characters on the stage of our life.

This all makes me wonder—once we leave these bodies, will we find ourselves walking around in an afterlife as etheric beings without need for food, shelter, and clothing?  Will we still have lessons to learn but without need for the care and maintenance of dense physical bodies?  Whoa.  What a concept.  No need for spending a huge percentage of existence walking around in survival mode.  To imagine the freedom is mind boggling.

The very idea of that much freedom makes me want to work harder to do whatever I must in order to earn my way into the next phase, whatever that might be.  It makes me ask myself what percentage of time and energy I spend on my spiritual growth compared to my physical survival.  It makes me want to work harder while I’m here.

Body by design.  What a clever plan.  What an amazing gift..  What a brilliant God.

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).

Mountains and Molehills

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Every so often I take myself off on a mission of uncertainty, a merry go round ride of self-questioning over one thing or another, sometimes trivial, sometimes soul searching to the nth degree.  It’s akin to making mountains out of molehills.

Today, it’s nth degree, a day of questioning motive, purpose, and mission.  This time, it’s about why I spend the early morning hours of every day struggling to fill up the blank screen of my mind and my computer with words that may or may not be of interest or benefit to anyone.  Why?  What’s the point?

Tomorrow will mark the two-month anniversary of the day that I wrote the first blog of my new assignment, and it seems to me that there is very little reward considering the time and effort involved.   Why am I doing this?  Why, why, why?  This is the second time in a week that I’ve wandered down this road in search of blog why’s here  Maybe today, I will get an answer.

I once was assigned to a temporary job in the business information center of a major corporation (aka library).  I was led to believe that the job it would be for couple of days, but instead it was for six months.  I was invisible, a nonexistent body sitting in a cubicle all day filing the newspapers and mountains of publications dumped on my desk hourly.  It was voluminous.  I was horrified at the thought of having to do a job that I hated day after day for half a year.  I could have quit, I suppose, but if there was a lesson to be learned, I didn’t want to miss it.  So I stayed.

On my first day, I sat down at 8:30 a.m. and started work.  I worked and worked and worked hating every minute of it, until I thought it must be time for lunch.  It was 9:30 a.m.   Only six months and six more hours until the assignment would be over.  I thought I might die before the end of the day.

There is a saying that if you don’t like what you do, you’d better to learn to like what you do.  It occurred to me that if I was to survive the next six months, I’d better decide to like what I hated.  I started my second day with a new attitude and sat down at my desk and worked until my supervisor poked her head into my cubicle and suggested that I go to lunch before the cafeteria closed.  It was 1:30. There is nothing like a little change of mind and heart to change the day.

Six months later when the assignment was complete, I hated to leave.  It had been like a speed reading course in spiritual growth and had provided some of the most profound lessons of my life.  Hate became love, and what started in dread, ended in joy.

With life in a library as a reminder of gifts both seen and unseen, I shall go about my current writing assignment with renewed joy and without need for external validation nor reward because the reward is in the journey.  When the assignment is complete, I will look back and say, “Oh wow!  What a great assignment”

As a friend suggested early on, perhaps daily blogging is my spiritual practice.  Maybe so, in which case, I will go about my business one day at a time, and pretend that I am writing my dissertation.  Maybe I am, maybe not.  Either way, that’s reward enough for me.

Oh and by the way—the publish button will before 8:45 a.m.  Progress!

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).

 

Bare and Unbedazzled

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The world of appearances is crumbling.  The façade is falling away, leaving us bare, naked, and exposed to the truth that lies within.  Wow.  That’s a heavy way to start a day!  It wasn’t at all what I had in mind when I opened a new Word page, but there it is, born of its own accord.

I had more in mind continuing yesterday’s conversation about fingernails, both the bedazzled and unbedazzled variety such as my own.  I’m not sure how I swooped from crumbling facades to fingernails, but there you have it.  It happens.

Oh right.  It happens!

Yesterday, I kept being distracted by my fingernails.  They seemed to call my attention to themselves periodically, as if to say, “Hey—listen up you!  There is a lesson here for you.”

Really?  In fingernails?

Yes.  In fingernails.

Then a funny thing happened—suddenly Dolly Parton was in my face—it’s pretty hard to miss Dolly with her gigantic presence of sequins and personality sparkling all over the place.  Suddenly yesterday’s blog (Here) turned into a comparison between the worlds and lives of Dolly and the Dalai Lama—amazing teachers, each in their own way.

So anyway, what about the fingernails?

Oh, right.

My nails have not seen an unpolished day since I was in my early teens.  They have been through generations of incarnations, from healthy and strong, to discolored and fragile, to beautiful to embarrassing, and as they changed throughout the decades, like the rest of my body, they have required more and more care and cover-up.

Then I discovered the miracle of a gel manicure, the antidote to the broken, the damaged,  split, snagged, the ragged.  “Oh but wait,” I was warned by others.  “They’ll ruin your nails.”  Too late.  There will likely never be a day in my life when my nails will see the light of day.

Hello pandemic, bye bye fingernail façade.

Since gel requires the equivalent of a lightweight jack hammer to be removed, there was nothing to do but watch my nails grow out a silly millimeter daily, and pray that the governor would lift the ban on nail salons before I was totally exposed.  No such luck.

Two months of silly millimeters later, I took matters into my hands and unearthed the jackhammer.  Look out, gel—here I come.

Surprise, surprise.  My nails and I made liars out of the naysayers with their dire warnings of nail death by gel.  When the façade was finally gone and the nails were laid bare, they were restored to their original, teenaged natural beauty.  Renewed, regenerated, resurrected, reborn.  Well, almost—they are a tiny bit wrinkled, but still . . . strong, healthy nonetheless.  Imagine that.

During these weeks of pandemic nail-induced anxiety, I recognized that my focus on the state of my nails is a distraction, a reflection of so many other areas of my life.  How much of what I see is focused on external distractions?  Can I see beyond the tempting lure of her Dollyness into the heart and soul of His Dalainess?  Can I realize the beauty that lies within the soul of each and every one of us, regardless of appearance?  Can I see it within myself?

The pandemic has laid us bare by shining its light so that we may see.  The old is crumbling.  The new is being reborn.  Though the appearance of it may be terrifying, the result will be the healing rebirth of a strong, healthy, beautiful new humanity.  We are a work in progress, each in our own way.  Our job is to see past the damaged and broken and look into the face of a new vision born of our own creation, and watch as it unfolds before our eyes.  Regardless of appearance, it’s all good.

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).

A Question of Balance

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To quote Fagin, the self-serving villain in the movie version of Oliver, “I think I’ll have to think it through again.”  Instead of my usual habit of rolling out of bed and into the Lazygirl in search of material for today’s blog, I took a walk to think it through again.  I parked myself on a bench and stared at some water for a while and contemplated the myriad of questions roiling around in my head.   Clearly, this is a break in routine.  Thanks.  I needed that.

Starting today, I have four appointments in two days.  Life is returning to my calendar whether I like it or not, and I can’t say that I do.  The awareness is creeping in that daily blogs, appointments, and obligations become combatants for time dominance, which leads me to wonder about my daily blogging commitment.  So many questions.

As I sat on my bench thinking things through, it dawned on me that I have developed a rigidity about my commitment to self-discipline.  No smoking, no drinking, no TV.  Period.  I dare not slip lest I become hooked again.  No means no.  Does the same thing apply to my blogging, and If I miss a day, does that mean that I’ve welched on my commitment?

Was there a timeline involved?  Was there a clause in the contract allowing a renegotiation after sixty days?  Is it okay to take a day off occasionally, or maybe make it to the three-month mark and review the contract?  Is this a temporary assignment or a permanent one?  Are readers weary of pushing the delete button when blog overload happens?  Will a performance review probe motives and provide a progress report?

I have no idea.  But apparently, there is a little soul searching to do here. I guess I’ll just have to keep at it until I receive some answers.  Meanwhile, I’m putting myself on notice that after I have consulted myself and my Self, there may be a change in plan.  Stay tuned.

I guess that finding a little balance in life must be part of the agenda, because I see that living life in the lopsided lane doesn’t work very well for me.  Perhaps these challenging questions are all part of a great cosmic test, and if so, I suspect that this is one of them. One thing that I do know for sure— It’s always easier when I know that it’s a test.

 

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).