Tests, Trials and Tee Shirts

While searching through the morass of my computer files, I accidentally stumbled across a piece of writing that I did in 2005 BC (before Covid). Having come upon it again, I just couldn’t resist passing it on.

The scenario: It’s 11:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning in the busy Men’s Furnishings Department at Nordstrom. Customers are milling about waiting to be helped.  The phone rings, I answer. Big Mistake. A woman starts in . . . (I give you HER end of the conversation only). Note: All caps indicates that she’s screaming.

FINALLY!  Somebody answered the phone.

Do you still carry the Nordstrom tee shirts that are made in Canada?

That’s NOT what I asked.  Can you go check?

What other brands do you carry?

Where are they made?

Are they combed cotton?

What else do you have?

What is Underarmor?

Are they thinner than the Nordstrom?

Read me the label.

What do you mean, microfiber?

Read me the part about breathability again.

What size is medium?

What size is large?

Is the Nordstrom thinner than the Calvin Klein?

Can you wait while I go get one to see what size I have?

Can you wait while I try it on to see if it fits?

NO!  I CAN’T WAIT WHILE YOU ANSWER ANOTHER PHONE.  I’VE BEEN TRYING TO GET THIS DONE FOR TWO DAYS AND NOBODY COULD DO IT YESTERDAY BECAUSE THEY WERE TOO BUSY.  I DON’T WANT TO WAIT WHILE YOU TALK WITH SOMEBODY ELSE ON THE PHONE.  I JUST WANT TO GET THIS DONE SO I CAN GET ON WITH ANOTHER PROJECT.

Are the Calvin Klein’s thinner than the Nordstrom?

Okay, I’ll take a package of the medium Nordstorm. 

BUT LISTEN.  THIS IS IMPORTANT.

Do NOT send me the package you scanned.  You’ll have to scan one, then send me one that hasn’t been scanned because I can’t have anything that’s been scanned around me.

How do you ship them?  

What service do you use?

Do NOT send it by mail.  It has to be shipped, not mailed.

How long will it take?

Why will it take so long?  Last time they came in a day.

How much is shipping?

Why is it so much?  Last time it was only $3.00. Why is it so expensive?  I don’t want to pay more than $3.00 because that’s what I paid the last time.

What is the total?

NO.  I WANT TO KNOW NOW.  I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU TO CALL ME BACK.  I JUST WANT TO GET THIS DONE SO I CAN GO ON TO ANOTHER PROJECT.

When will you call me back?  

You’ll call me back in 10 minutes?

LISTEN.  THIS IS IMPORTANT.

Do NOT ship in a mailing envelope.  It HAS to be shipped in a box.

Ship it signature required.

When will it arrive?

Her charge doesn’t go through.

I have an incorrect phone number, so I can’t call her back.  AAAARRRRRRGGGGGGG!  Is this a test? 

Obviously, she doesn’t get the shirts.

She calls the store manager a few days later and goes through the entire routine with him.  I forgot to void the original transaction so she gets charged twice

Fortunately, I kept all of the paper work.

She calls the manager again. In frustration equal to mine, he ends up wiping both charges from her account and sends her shirts are free.

Next year, she’ll probably call again and expect more free shirts and free shipping. I hope to God that I‘m not the one who answers the phone when she does.

Lest I forget, I go home and write the experience while it’s still fresh in my mind. The next morning, I showed it to a colleague. She asked for a copy to for her husband to read so that he’ll understand the sort of thing that we have put up with around here . . .

It isn’t always easy to face the fears of others in the face of our own, particularly during these exceptionally difficult times in which we live. Daily, we must choose between right and wrong, and decide how to behave under confusing circumstances that demand our attention. In the long run, it all boils down simply to one choice only: will I act in love, acceptance, and forgiveness, or will I allow judgment, fear, and anger to rule my mind?

Tee Shirt Lady surely did try my patience on that busy Sunday morning years ago. If this entire scenario occurred BEFORE Covid, can you imagine what in Heaven’s name those in the service industry must have to endure AFTER Covid? Pray for them and be kind. They need all of the love they can get. Don’t we all?

The Waiting Room

Déjá-vu.  If you’re curious about who you are, try waiting for a while.

There are nearly three hours to wile away at the dealership where my car is being serviced. I don’t mind. It’s what I do best—sitting, waiting . . . 

There are six of us in the room: two are on computers, two are on phones, and one is punching keys on an iPad. My computer is on my lap as I decide what to do next. iPad guy is wagging his head back and forth in what I can only assume is a response to the bad news that he is reading. The computer people are plugged up with ear buds. Intermittently, they drag out their iPhones for a quick look and poke away at keys. The room is completely devoid of eye contact.

Good grief. Where have we all gone? Off into a world of cyberspace as far away as we can get from one another. The cyber scene in front of me prompted me to put away my toys and opt for reading a book instead, Finding My Father’s Faithby a favorite blogger, Wynne Leon. A real, live, honest-to-God book with a cover and paper pages to turn. Another talented author, artist and blogger friend, Nancy Wait, makes the most of her name as she wiles away time spent on the subway by sketching marvelous images of sleepers dozing peacefully as she whips through the dark underbelly of New York City.

I sit and cool my jets while hanging out in a room full of noncommunicative people quietly absorbed in their various versions of electronics. Years ago in my Honda waiting room before electronics hijacked the world’s attention, quite a different story played itself out. Folks hid away in their  inner worlds reading newspapers or books or like me, sat quietly with eyes closed. My closed-eye peace was interrupted on one waiting-room day when a mom asked her small daughter if she’d like to watch TV. No matter that the kid was peacefully absorbed in reading her own book. Drat. So much for enjoying a moment of quiet stillness. 

The TV didn’t work. Thank goodness. From nowhere, the quiet readers sprang forth to assist, while I experienced an instant sense of resentment over the soon-to-be interruption. I consoled myself with the idea that this sweet little girl would probably enjoy something quiet, soothing—but no. Instead, she opted for a loud, violent scenario in which a building suddenly morphed into a ginormous unbelievably noisy and threatening robot intent upon destroying anything in its path. So much for assumptions. So much for reverie. So much for my wishes and my desires. Did anyone ask how I felt about this sudden shift in the disturbance of my reality? No. Did they care? No. Did I? Definitely!

As I sit in today’s Hyundai waiting room and wonder why I am writing this blog the answer creeps into awareness. It reminds me that life is like a waiting room—full of people who are strangers to us, each lost within his/her own head, each separated from one another by virtue of what goes on in the world of personal thought. It is easy to feel helpless in the face of situations that we cannot control, and frustrated by the decisions made by others without our permission—decisions that have a personal impact upon us. So often we are at the mercy of those around us in a desired world just beyond our reach.  

My personal waiting room is a wonderful place to see an infinite variety of souls and scenarios—some to my liking, some not. What a wonderful place to just sit and observe the contents of my world reflected back to me inside of my head. What a perfect opportunity to look into the crumpled fragments of my own inner workings and take care of the pieces that need a bit of smoothing out. 

Thank goodness for the kindhearted souls among us who rush in to be helpful—even if their help is not necessarily needed, wanted or welcomed by all. They provide me with a rich opportunity to look at attitudes and feelings that spring forth as a result of their good intentions. I may not be able to control the acts of others, but I can control my attitude. I can  decide whether I would prefer to react in anger or to respond with love and forgiveness. I can choose acceptance and peace of mind, or I can choose judgment and resentment.

Who am I? I am who I choose to be. 

Déjá-vu indeed. I’ve been in this waiting room for a very long time, and I think that it might be a very long time before I get back into my car and drive off into the sunset. I choose to be ready. While I wait, I want to do everything I can to graduate to the place where waiting rooms are nonexistent, and nothing exists but the unspeakably beautiful glory of what awaits us on the other side of the veil. Now that’s something worth waiting for!

As a final note, I’m happy to proclaim that this blog was started in the waiting room yesterday, finished in the Lazygirl today, and escaped the risk of being lost in the dumpster tomorrow (here). There’s hope for me yet. There’s hope for everything, friends. Keep the faith—and add your light to the vision of a waiting room filled with love, peace, joy, truth, beauty. Don’t forget to factor in the eye contact that allows us to truly see and appreciate another—and behold the best in all.

Baring my Soul

It feels a bit risky to make an out-loud bold profession of faith to the world at large about my personal beliefs, but I am going to take my heart in my hands and do it anyway. My proclamation should come as no great surprise to my very dear and loving ministerial family members and Christian friends who, I imagine, are already skeptical of my nontraditional spiritual proclivities. I also suspect that their suspicions may lead to prayers for the salvation of my soul. 

We all have our inner truth. Mine does not fall within the mainstream mindset of traditional religion. In my own mind (and perhaps in the minds of those who know and love me), I am a questionable Christian at best, and quite honestly, that’s probably sugar coating it. The truth is, that though raised a Protestant, I’m not sure that I can call myself a Christian at all, but I suppose that would likely depend upon one’s definition of Christian.

I confess that when I saw the above image of the Lord of my Heart standing in the clouds with His arms outstretched waiting to embrace me into the warmth of His love, I felt that I was being welcomed home. I want to sit forever at the feet of the Master and inhale his love, compassion, and wisdom. That’s the only thing in the world (or out of the world) that is truly worth wanting.

Now I ask you—does this mean that I am a Christian? Does it mean that I am not? Does it really matter?

What matters to me the most is that we—you, me, humanity—discover for ourselves the spark of divinity that dwells within our hearts. In my eyes, each one of us is a piece of creation that is the soul, and that one soul erases any sense of separation that divides us by the belief that we anything less than That.

In his blog Think2wice, R. Arthur Russell writes in his article, With:

“As this relates to billions of persons who are struggling to get along with one another, while living their apparently separate lives, the solution is deceptively simple: We must realize our Oneness. Who, realizing That which we truly are, would be prideful? Who, realizing That which we truly are, would be unwilling to forgive? . . .   We must clearly know—not just believe—that all persons of various colours, creeds, and nationalities are but apparent variations of the One. Thus, when we look at one another, we see our spiritual brother and sister.”

Does it really matter if we find the spark of divinity between the pages of a written text, or within the walls of a building, or within the heart? It matters only that we find it—not where. In my nontraditional understanding, Jesus the Christ dwells wherever we are.

I believe that He lives within the heart of every one of us who seeks to find Him, and that He patiently waits for us to discover that truth within ourselves. I believe that the sooner we—you, me, humanity—recognize that magnificent truth, the sooner we will be released from the hellish life that we are now living, and be set free to roam around in Paradise and live happily ever after.

If you haven’t already, please consider the wee possibility that maybe, just maybe each one of us does not just have a soul: we are a soul—yes, even the ones who bug us the most! Science has proven that we are energy, we are consciousness, we are connected. If we recognize and identify ourselves as souls rather than personalities, we will connect our one piece of the puzzle with the One Great Soul of which we are all a part.  

Once we manage that, we’re home free. We’ll slide gracefully from one world into the next with our eyes wide open, and be dazzled by the beauty, harmony, and love that will be our new home—a home we might call heaven. It all begins within our own heart.

Though my knowledge of theology and science is about equal to my skill as a techie, in my limited world of understanding, Christ comes bearing many names. In my world, his name is Love. I doubt that He cares very much about what we call Him—just that we call.

If we build it, He will come. When our hearts are constructed of love, we will experience a collective move out of hell into heaven. I’m ready! Are you?

PS: If you haven’t already, you may like to enjoy the comforting shelter of A Tree of Light website: atreeoflight.org. It truly is reassuring.

Oh—and please check out Voices: Who’s in Charge of the Committee in my Head? (Now available on Amazon and numerous other sites noted on Google).

 

Stories I Tell Myself

Sometimes a day without a blog is like a day without my morning coffee fix.  This is one of them.  A couple of days ago I wrote a blog about kindness.  Today it may be about love but who knows?  If not today, then maybe tomorrow or the next day.

But no, today is about the fake news I tell myself.  This morning I caught myself asking how I would manage to check everything off my daily to-do list.  Christmas is snapping at my heels, there are letters to answer, a birthday present to deliver, a blog waiting to be written, phone calls to return, decisions to be made, business to handle, and the beat just on going.   How ever will I get it all done?  

Well I’ll just do the best I can.  Yeah, but my best could be a lot better.  Uh oh.  I can always be better but I’m not.  That’s a downer if ever there was one.  When will I ever be better?  How will I get there from here and how long will it take? Oh but wait just a minute . . .

Well, I’ll just do the best I can for now.  There may come a time when my best improves, but for today, my best is my best and I’m happy with that, because I know that I have time and room enough to grow into a better version of myself tomorrow.  Ahh.  Now I’m better!  

As a wise person once said to me, “If you could do any better, you would.”  We all would.  We just need to give ourselves the space to dream up a new and better version of ourselves, and in time we will wake up and be surprised that we have morphed into the person of our dreams.  It’s such a gradual process that we may not even recognize the change within ourselves until one day when we look back and say, “Wow!  I’ve come a long way, baby!”  Thank God for that.  And thank God for time, space, room, and a vision to grow into.

While we wait for the great morph event, it is tempting to fall into the guilty trap.  I’m a bad person.  I’m not living up to my potential.  Instead of doing what I should be doing, I’m doing what I shouldn’t.  Guilty, guilty, guilty.  Why is it that forgiveness is so much easier to give to another than to ourselves?  Why do we berate ourselves for our perceived sins and keep ourselves hanging on the guilty hook when we readily and willingly forgive others?  Isn’t God quick to forgive us as we are quick to forgive others?  And yet here we are, continuously hanging onto our perceived wrongdoings in an effort to punish ourselves for our so-called sins.  Oh, please.  

One of my favorite spiritual teachings from A Course in Miracles is that there is no need for forgiveness because we have not done anything wrong.  If we have not done anything wrong, there is nothing to be guilty about, nothing to punish ourselves for, nothing to keep us from experiencing ourselves as anything other than pure, unadulterated love.  It may sound blasphemous, but it is we ourselves who have made up the fake news that we tell ourselves, and who believe our delusions of wrongdoing.  We are the ones with the power to return ourselves to sanity simply by denying the self-created fake news, the part of ourselves that would have us believe that we are less than the Truth of who we are, which is love.

Identify not with the external, personality, ego self that you think you are for it is fake news.  Instead, love yourself as the beautiful soul that you truly are.  Can you even begin to imagine what it would be like to live in a world of a soul-identified humanity?  Just as we know that a toddler is destined to grow into an adult, so must we trust and know that day by day, soul by soul, we are changing and growing into the version of ourselves that we are meant to be and we have a front row seat.  Please join the parade of the newly-awakening so that one day we can take a collective look back, and say, “Wow!  We’ve come a long way, baby!”

Ahh.  There you have it.  This blog is about love after all.  It just didn’t quite take the form that I thought it might.  Maybe tomorrow.  Or the next day.  Oh and by the way—I just crossed one to-do off todays list and made space for the next thing.  Hmm—what will be next?  A letter perhaps, or a phone call, or check all of the above?  Has my best just gotten a little better?  I think maybe so.  Yay me and hallelujah!  I’ve come a long way, baby!

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.

We Are the World

 

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This morning I was rudely awakened and jostled out of my peaceful reverie by the memory that there is trouble brewing right here in River City.  In the condo building where I live, we are caught in the middle of a conflict between a board of directors working in the best interests of the community it serves, and a community that is up in arms because of the decisions made by the board of directors working to serve its best interests.  It’s a conundrum.

Lucky me.  I’m in the middle of it all, teetering on the fence between the two, on one side as a member of the board and on the other, a close friend of the disenfranchised.  I’m jammed between a rock and a hard place, between duty, responsibility and friends in a place where everybody knows everybody’s name.

Past experience brings to mind the painful memory of a meeting populated with a large group of residents, peppered with a handful of dissatisfied members whose frustration erupts in bursts of anger and spews forth behavior that borders on abusive toward the board members that serve them on a volunteer basis.

For all the world, it feels as if I’m living a personal mini version of what’s going on in the world. The masses balking at authority, rules, reason, and wisdom—kids going to the bars and beaches, the refusal to wear masks as modeled by the president, the insistence on the entitlement of rights, the resulting anger, protests, and divisiveness.  The hang the consequences I want what I want gang.  This is the world.  It is not us.

As I think about the situation, sometimes I feel helpless in the face of it all.  What can I do to help restore peace and harmony?   In the midst of my musings, my computer pings, signaling the arrival of another email in the growing thread surrounding the situation.  This one appears to have been Divinely inspired, a voice of reason, bringing with it a sense that all is not lost, there is hope, there is a plan of peace within reach, there is a solution, and that if only we will get ourselves out of the way long enough to stop and listen, we will find it.

Yet again I see before us another wonderful opportunity to use the power of our minds and the quiet of our hearts to bring healing to our community.  We can either continue to hold on to the anger that fuels discontent, or we can decide to set aside the insistent voice of the personality and invite peace and harmony to rule the day instead.  We are a microcosm of the world.  What we do within our own minds and our own walls ripples out and affects the entire world.

Personally, as a member of the board and humanity, and as a friend and neighbor, my vote goes in favor of peaceful coexistence, the end of strife, a vote for love.  One world, one humanity.  It’s ours to live as we wish.  We have the power.  What’s your vote?

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 Pink Panther

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Whew. Thank goodness it was only a nightmare.  The last thing I remember before waking was “Oh my God! I hope this is only a dream!”

I was utterly captivated by an irresistible tiny pink kitten that curled and wound herself around my legs begging to be taken home.  Whoever heard of a pink cat—one that occasionally changed colors into blue or white?  Hmm. Chameleon cat. I should have known that something was a little off.  Beware the bizarre.  Weirdness notwithstanding, I took her home and named her Pinky.

Once home, I watched in horror as she quickly morphed into a vicious, terrifying predator with me in sight as her target. She lunged at me and tore the bow off my black strappy dress-up sandals while they were still on my feet. Then she sank her teeth into my derriere and refused to let go. Maybe she was jealous of my sexy sandals. Who knows? Why was I wearing dressy sexy shoes in my casual dream world, anyway, but hey—it’s only dream, right?

Worse than the teeth sunk into my flesh was the sudden realization that I had abandoned my dear sweet, gentle, loyal, loving, trustworthy, safe, obedient dog Charlie in favor of a pink panther terrorist that had pulled a nasty bait-and-switch con job on me.  What kind of awful person would ever do such a dreadful thing to a dearly beloved pet?  I was heartbroken and horrified. Try as I might, I just couldn’t seem to find a way to unlock the jaws of the panther or get Charlie back.

Somewhere between trying to clean up my nasty wound and regretting my actions about Charlie, I woke up to the realization that it was only a dream, thank goodness, and I breathed a great sigh of blessed relief to see Charlie lying peacefully next to me in the bed. It gives a whole new meaning to “Sorry, Charlie!”

I wonder what in the world ever brought such a nightmare upon me.  Did I need to have a mirror held up to my face to show me aspects of myself that I’d prefer not to see?  Is there a vicious ego named Pinky hiding out inside waiting for the first moment of weakness for an opportunity to attack?

Oh but wait—what about Charlie, the gentle, trustworthy loving companion, adorable in spite of his quirky little ways? Charlie, the abandoned? Charlie, the loyal friend of many years from whom I walked away, lured by the seduction of a temptress with a cunning plan to trick me into selling my soul to the devil

Well, watch out Pinky devil.  Here comes Charlie Angel to save me from your wily ways.  I know who you are. Your name is ego and your game is fear. You think you can con me into believing that you’re my best friend, but in reality, you are my worst enemy.  Oh, I might believe you for a minute or so, but eventually, I’ll wise up and figure you out.  You’re very good at your act, but I’m not buying it.  If it ever comes down to a battle for my soul, trust me, Charlie and I will win because we fight on the side of love, and because we know that fear is only something that we make up in the nightmare of our minds.  Love trumps fear and love always wins in the end.

Perhaps when I close my eyes for the final time, I will wake up, look back and realize that it was all only a dream. Or a nightmare, depending upon which side I have chosen to live.  Clearly, the choice between Pinky and Charlie, is a no brainer.

C’mon Charlie.  Let’s go out hand in paw and have ourselves a nice, peaceful little walk.  I won’t leave you again, I promise.  Ever.

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).

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).

 

Glitz, Glamor, and Humility

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Have you ever wondered what it might be like to take a temporary tour of someone else’s brain to see what it’s like to live in there?  I do.  This notion came to me as the result of once writing a list of people that I admired and noting the specific qualities about them that I would like to develop within myself.  There were many names listed, but the only one that I remember is Grace Kelly, the lovely screen star turned real-life American princess of Monaco, the icon of perfection.  I admired her grace, elegance, and beauty.

Today’s list has only two names, and when put together in the same sentence, seem absolutely ludicrous because on the surface they appear to be the pinnacle of contrast: Dolly Parton and the Dalai Lama.  Dolly Parton, the worldly, glitzy glamorous entertainer, and His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, humble spiritual leader of Buddhism and political leader of Tibet.  The very thought that there is any commonality between them makes me want to giggle.

Dally has been quoted as saying, “It takes a lot of money to look this cheap.”  Who doesn’t love Dolly?   She’s smart, talented, unbelievably generous, utterly adorable, and has a heart of gold.  The Dalai Lama is—well, he’s the Dalai Lama.  I have never met him, but I know those who have and they report that His Holiness has an impish sense of humor and is quick to laugh at himself.  There is something totally lovable about those who have the ability to poke fun at themselves.

Dolly is full of sparkles and spangles, big hair, eyelashes, and bedazzled fingernails.  The Dalai Lama is a simple monk who wears only robes of saffron and maroon.  Somewhere between the sparkle and spirituality lies a commonality that cannot be denied.  Beneath the external appearance, there is a profound inner beauty, wisdom, strength, courage, intelligence, kindness, compassion, generosity of spirit, and a concern for the health and well-being of humanity.

Both offer a life of service simply by their presence in the world, by the very state of their being—Dolly by entertaining us with her considerable gifts and talents, and the Dalai Lama by his dedicated life of spiritual leadership and service to his country and to humanity.  And yet at the same time, both are still human.  Like them, we must find a balance between our persona and our soul, and deal with all aspects of our humanness.  Both present us with a portrait of possibilities about who we are and how we present ourselves in the world, and how we walk around in our heads.

These icons inspire me to strive to embody the qualities in them that I admire the most.   They make me want to recognize and acknowledge the best within myself and let go of all that is not.  For me, it’s humility, compassion, kindness, generosity of spirit, self-acceptance, fearlessness, and humor to add a bit of lightheartedness to the mix.   Which reminds me—my own unbedazzled fingernails were part of the inspiration for this blog, but that’s a story for another day.

Today, I would like to invite you to think about the people you admire, and what qualities they embody that you might like to add to your personal storehouse of ideals.  The power of imagination is miraculous—if you can dream it, you can be it.  If there are any qualities that you would like to adopt as a model to shape a new behavior for yourself, start dreaming!

I also invite and challenge you to inspire others by sharing your comments in the section below.

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).