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)

Food for the Soul

Quick-fix-guruism-2-253-768x644

I just ate an entire bag of spinach and a pile of sliced mushrooms for dinner.  It all went into a skillet and looked like a mountain of food—well maybe more like a molehill—but it all sautéed down to about a medium-sized serving of spaghetti and meatballs and not surprisingly, I have overfed myself.  Or as my friend likes to say, I am sufficiently suffonsified.  Emphasis on the fon.  Suf-FON-si-fied.

Clearly, I never miss an opportunity to feed my body, albeit tonight with a rather odd combination of food, courtesy of the sparse contents of the fridge.  Healthwise, I guess it beats a burger, fries, and a side of fried mozzarella with a chocolate shake to wash it down.  Well, at least I opted for spinach instead of running away from home in search of something greasy and fried.  It’s a start . . .

Lately though, I’ve noticed that I’ve been on a bit of a downslide, not doing the things I should, and doing things that I shouldn’t.  More zoning out in front of screens, less blogging, for example, and yes, I see that I am shoulding all over myself.  I shouldn’t be doing that.

For the past few days I’ve observed myself as I do a backward drift into temptation.  Netflix and restaurants have called to say they miss me and threaten to drag me off course and back into old habits that I am working hard to view from the safety of my rear view mirror.  I was doing really, really well there for a while, but sometimes it’s a little hard to hear the sound of sanity over the voice of a screaming appetite deprived of satisfaction.

Obviously, I’m totally committed to feeding the vehicle that walks me around and needs to be gassed up now and then to keep itself moving.  I’m forever quick to feed the body, but what about the care and feeding of the soul?  What good is a body that is full if it walks around with a soul that is empty?

I suspect that my backslide is the direct result of a neglected soul starving for the pleasure of my company.  When my commitment slips, when I fail to tend to the needs of my soul, when I take it for granted, or skip meditation, I deprive myself of the enormous benefit of the rich nutrients that lie hidden within.

There is a a vein of gold inside each one of us awaiting discovery.  The soul, Self, Higher Self, True Self, whatever one may wish to call it, exists whether we acknowledge it or not.  It is a patient, kind, gentle, healing Voice that provides an answer to every question and a solution to every problem, if we will but ask, listen, and follow its wisdom.  It exists even when we deny it and walk away, and it welcomes us home when we wake up and return.  It is the truest, eternal, and most faithful friend that we will ever have.  Feed it well with love, appreciation, and gratitude and it will raise you to heights you never dreamed possible.  Wake up and remember.

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).

Going Home to the Heart

Wise-Elders-quicken-our-spiritual-unfoldment-3-51-768x644

Today appears to be shaping up to be a headless-chicken kind of a day—the kind of hair-on-fire freak-out day that has me running around in a frenzy screaming for help.  So much to do, so little time, so much to think about, where to begin?

My mind yanks me around by the burning hair and demands decisions—not my strong suit under the best of conditions—at least not on demand.  I need time to think about things.  I’ve noticed that if I think long enough, sometimes the problem disappears itself.  I’m not sure if this is a result of procrastination, or if it wasn’t worth thinking about in the first place.  Whatever.  Today is just one of those days, and I wish it would go away.

It’s not an actual, serious crisis sort of day except to the extent that I have made it so in my head.   A seed planted in my mind has suddenly grown out of control and threatens to strangle the life out of me.  Jack and the Beanstalk are out to get me.

It makes me wonder about the world that lives in my head, an entire universe of my own making that cohabits with others on the planet just like me–family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, strangers—who live within the world of their own personal creation.  Each one of us a universe unto ourselves, each the same, each so very different.

We decide what to think and believe, and we form opinions based upon those decisions, sometimes based on fact, sometimes on fantasy.  We live our lives according to the choices we have made unless, or until something convinces us to change our minds.  Free will is a wonderous thing until it clashes with the free will of others.  Let the games begin.

Sometimes when I get a little tangled in the overgrowth of my mind, it gets confusing and my knee-jerk reaction is to get out of Dodge and head for the hills.  Or go home to sit, suck my thumb, and stare into space for a spell until it dawns on me that there is a better way to deal with my creative mind imaginings than to invite chaos to reign.  It’s called meditation.  Ahh. Blessed relief.

Obviously, I cannot control what goes on in the universe created in the head of another, but I certainly have the power to choose the thoughts that I allow to roam around in my own head.  I can stop long enough to evaluate the contents of my mind and decide if living life in hair-on-fire mode is to my liking, or if I am willing to allow overgrown beanstalks to take over my world.

In my personally designed universe, the pathway that leads from chaotic insanity to the oasis of the calming, peaceful presence of the Soul is my willingness to be willing to seek another way, a better way of living within the world of my mind.

There are Great Teachers, unseen Wise Ones who have traveled the path long before us, ever ready to guide and assist as we travel the rocky road that will lead us safely to the place where they dwell in peace.  Though we may encounter countless universes along the way, we will discover that in the end, we are one world, one mind, one heart.  May my universe join with all others in the love of the One.

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).

Seeing What I Do Not See

Revelation-is-an-accumulation-of-steadily-unfolding-recognitions-2-281-768x644

Do you remember the old adage, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him about your plans.”?  God must have had a good chuckle on me today.  You’re welcome, God.

It shaped up to be a crooked sort of a day, with unscheduled twists and turns that jiggled whatever vague plans I may have had right out of the picture, including this morning’s blog.  For starters, I logged in about five minutes on the meditation bench by the lake before I was jiggled out of my reverie by a phone call announcing a plumbing emergency on the home front.  Back home I go to handle said water spout emergency.

Then just as I was ready to hunker down in blog mode with my computer, I was again sidetracked by a phone call from a favorite long-distance friend who found enough time to swing by with her precious jumbo labradoodle for a quick visit and walk.  Said labradoodle arrived with a crippling paw problem that frazzled her owner and hobbled the pooch, and so much for the walk.  Happily, before they left, we got it all worked out to everyone’s satisfaction in time to have a short visit.

Recently I’ve been reading a lot about unseen helpers—guides, guardian angels, archangels, angels in general, and such—mysterious entities hidden beyond the veil away from the view of mere mortal eyes.  I find it all so fascinating that I’ve signed myself up for a course in learning how to develop better communication and connection with spirit guides.  The more I read and practice, the more convinced I am that spirit helpers are everywhere.  We’re surrounded by them, living in the midst of them, protected by an army of them.

Today, all of my plans and intentions went awry, everything went whacky on all fronts, and yet miraculously, somehow in the end, all of the rough edges were smoothed away and everything worked out perfectly.  I guess it doesn’t matter if I have plans or not—apparently whatever plans God has for me are far better than whatever plans I can conjure up on my own.  It has turned me into a believer.  We have help, we have hope.

Another old adage is the one about a body at rest stays at rest; a body in motion stays in motion; to which I will add, a day amuck stays amuck.  I proved me wrong on that last one.  The muck disappeared, the water spout ceased spouting, the labradoodle miraculously walked again, and a blog was written.

My most current spirit-guide lesson suggests that I try to increase my awareness of the presence of helpers to see if I can discern the ways in which they assist.  Judging by the outcome of today’s jiggles, I think that maybe there really is something to the possibility that Divine Helpers are alive, well, active, and busily at work smoothing out the ragged edges of my days, and indeed, my life.

Often, their work is obvious and clearly, miraculous.  It makes me wonder—how much of their work do I not see or know about?  How many times have they saved my bacon unbeknownst to me, while I go blithely along my way, utterly ignorant of their behind-the-scenes work on my behalf?   I have absolutely no idea, but this much I do know: I’m going to make it my mission to get to know them better and thank them for all miracles both seen and unseen, starting now.  So to you, my dear Divine Helpers, angels, guides, guardians, friends, teachers, and masters, my sincere and undying gratitude.  Thank you.

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).

Opting for Better Options

Our-very-survival-hinges-on-global-cooperation-3-223-768x644

Another day, another blog.  I think I’m beginning to get the hang of it.

In the continuing saga of my cobweb-clearing time-out, I took an early morning walk down to the lake for another round of peaceful space-staring and thumb-sucking.  My bench was covered with morning dew.  Rats!  I stood shifting from one foot to another for a while, trying to figure out if I wanted to soggy myself up with morning dew or give it up and go back home.  I decided in favor of dry bottom and headed home.  Phooey.  Oh well—on to Plan B, whatever that is.  I guess I’ll have to make it up as I go.

On the return trip I met Kathleen and her dog Charlie (by their dogs ye shall know them) and we chatted for a while about my dog Charlie who, sadly, crossed the Rainbow Bridge last February.  The thing about dog lovers is that nobody ever runs out of something to talk about.  Ah, but I digress.  After swapping names and contact information with my new friend, I went on my happy way and came upon an old friend—one I’ve known for several years.  Old friend, new friend, grateful for all friends no matter age nor tenure.

But again I digress.  This morning I saw a horrifyingly fascinating video of a full grown leopard with an alligator equal in size clamped between its massive jaws, hauling the thing out of the water and up a hill.  It was pretty clear that one of the two was headed for the Rainbow Bridge, and my money was on the leopard.  That is not a picture that I will soon forget.

To say that the scene was unsettling would be an understatement at the very least, made  worse because there was something in it that seemed vaguely familiar.  Uh oh.  It reminded me of myself.  Surely, nature is one of the best, and the cruelest of teachers.

I ask myself—am I the leopard or the alligator?  Sometimes when my attempt at trying to get something to conform to whatever it is that I want, I am tempted to grab the thing by the scruff of the neck like a puppy with a stuffed toy and shake it until its stuffings fall out.  It’s a pretty sure bet that my temptation to wrestle my way through a situation won’t always work out in my favor.  Amidst a roomful of people who collectively agree with an idea that differs from my own, the chances of my success decrease exponentially.   Let go or die, kill or be killed.

Somewhere in this scenario, I do believe that there must be a better approach.  This morning’s aborted bench mission turned out to be just the blessing I needed.  I traded in a wet bottom for a warm heart and reminded myself that sometimes it’s a better idea to just unclench my jaws, let the alligator go, and opt for Plan B instead.  I may not get exactly what I wanted, but I just might get something even better.

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).

In the Soup

In-difficult-times-listen-to-the-still-small-voice-3-28-768x644.jpg

When I woke up today I felt as if my mind was swimming around in a bowl of alphabet soup in desperate search of a way to line the letters up in correct order.  So much going on, so much to do, so much to think about, plan for, deal with.   The soup is swallowing me.  It’s supposed to be the other way around.

I park my buns in the Lazygirl and prepare to tackle it all, but I can’t figure out where to start.  The pen wins and I pick up my journal to try to sort through the soup.  I begin with a little chat with my muse.  “I want it to be easy.  I want it to be quick.  I have things to do.  I don’t want to sit here for half a day slogging my way through a blog.  I’m drowning in the soup.  Can you make it easy today please?”

And my muse responds.  “Yes, we can.  We anticipated your wish and are well prepared with an answer BUT, we already hear doubt creep into in your head.  “Really?  Are you sure?  Am I going to have to sit here until lunchtime before I’m finished?”

I watch myself as I pick up my phone to do a quick text unrelated to anything.  I watch as I take a minute to check the weather to see if it’s a good day for a walk.  I watch as my mind wanders off into next week’s agenda; I’m still in the soup.

I reach for the laptop to begin the blog du jour and hesitate.  Wait.  Maybe I should meditate first.  I should meditate first before I do anything.  Meditation lines up the letters in the soup.  But why do I keep forgetting that?  Why do I not do it every morning?  Because meditation is on the do list, like exercise, eat healthier, and get organized.  It’s a whole lot harder to do than it is to not do, like not smoke, not drink wine, not watch TV.

So I put down the pen, leave the computer where it is, and opt for meditation.   I close my eyes and watch my mind as impatience tries to lure me into further distraction.  The soup swirls around in my mind, catawampus letters threaten to choke the life out of me, until finally, I see that I can order the letters to settle down and get themselves together.  Ah.  Quiet stillness and the return of sanity.  I can relax into the day, because the race for completion within the confines of time is unnecessary.  Everything will be done.  Everything is in good order, including my mind.

When will I get it?  When will I remember to quit diving headfirst into the soup before taking the time to float gently in stillness of my Soul for a while?

Thank you my Muse for proving me wrong, for showing me that when I am willing to sit still long enough to listen, all that I need will be provided, all I ask for will be given.  Wonder of wonders—it’s 8:30 am.  Today it was easy.  What more proof do I need than that?

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?

The-joy-of-the-Soul-3-178-768x644

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).