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).

Can I Quit Now?

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I’m trying to talk myself out of thinking that I need another day off.  The little kid in me thinks that it’s recess time again.  I mean, come on—I just took a day off two days ago.  I keep wondering if maybe it’s time to retire the daily blogging routine and launch into my hummingbird act, zipping around to extract the juicy essence out of the next flower.

I remember a similar attitude many years ago when I reached a point after three months on a job of saying, “Okay, I’m done.  I’ve learned all I need to learn, done everything I need to do, been there, done that, I’m bored—time to quit and move on.”

The hasty response from the voice in my head was, “So what?  Now, can you stay and find a way to make it interesting?”  Sigh.  In keeping with my resolve to hang in there to learn what I must, I stayed for another five years and became a very creative, successful salesperson.  The hardest part of the curriculum was learning how to negotiate my way through the roller coaster highs and lows of working for a crazy lady whose assistants turned over at the speed of light.  What a ride!

My past experience in the workaday world includes both powerful, ego building jobs and humbling ego busters. Humble  No matter the form, each experience provided an incredibly rich opportunity to learn what there was to learn, to make the best of the worst.

Sometimes the lessons were obvious.  Sometimes not.  Sometimes it takes time for revelation to happen.

My varied jobs throughout my career have been some of my very best life teachers.  Blogging—though not a paying gig—is my current job.  So, yes, okay—I’ll stay and do my best to make it interesting, because I’m not done yet.  And by the way, my current boss is a whole lot easier to work for than the crazy lady with the runaway assistants.

Is it time to quit yet?  No, but recess is okay once in a while, too.  Just not today.

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).

 

 

 

 

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 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).

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).

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).

 

 

 

I Dream of Spaceships

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This morning I dreamed that a spaceship landed in the center square of my small town.  Small town, gigantic square.  The thing was a humungous round white disc the size of a small city that glowed a brilliant luminous light as it came in for a landing.  Once down, it just sat there in a silent ethereal midst, beaming light in all directions throughout the entire town.  Then I woke up.  Darn.  I wanted more.

I love dreams like that.  They get my brain in gear thinking about the great never-ending mystery of life that has intrigued humankind since forever.  Who are we?  Where did we come from?  Is there life on other planets?  Are we alone in the universe?  Have I been here before?  Where are we going, and where do I fit into the equation?  So many questions, so few answers.

Though I am not a big student of the Bible, the great ship-landing event of my dreams triggered memories from my early Christian training of the rapture, and I started to wonder about the evacuation of the faithful to realms unknown and the return  of the Christ.  Now, there’s a mystery, if ever there was one.

Imagination runs rampant and I wonder about the return of the Christ.  When will He appear, and how?  I am intrigued by a merry round of possibility—will the Coming One return via spaceship?  Will He come alone, or with a cadre of disciples who will go before Him to make smooth His way?  Will He be physical or etheric?  Will he appear as the Christ to me, or as Mohammed or Buddha to others?  Will he speak every language?  Appear on worldwide television?  Might He make a personal appearance in my living room?  If he did, would I stand in delight or collapse in fright?

Ah ha!  Suddenly, I get it!  Clearly, I realize that all questions pale in comparison to the last one, the most important of all.  My dream is a wake-up call to remind me that when there comes a day when I meet face to face with The Coming One, I want to know that I have done everything humanly possible to be ready, to be worthy of the great honor of being in His presence.

Suddenly, a life review of my behavior during the pandemic seems appropriate.  It is a mini reflection of my life as a whole.  How am I doing?  Have there been any changes in my behavior?  Any improvements or backsliding, or stuck points?  Can I congratulate myself for chugging on with my daily blog-writing mission and forgive myself for lack of exercise and mindless eating??  Can I observe myself without judgment?  Can I resolve to take whatever steps I must to improve, however tiny those steps may be?  Bring it on!  Whatever it is, I want to see it, and I want to correct it while I still have the time.  I want a seat on the spaceship.

Those of us who are on a mission to get reservations on the ship are the warriors of light.  We are the ones who are fighting the good fight against the dark forces.  Our light is excavating evil hiding in the dark, and we are winning.  We know this with absolute certainty because what has been lurking beneath the surface for eons has now been ferreted out by the brilliance of our light for all to see, and it is ugly.  This is good news. 

Every single person on the planet who seeks to discover and embody the best within carries a bright light, and that light, when joined with others becomes the torch that blazes the path to a new world, a new age, a new era.  Every light makes a difference, and the most important one of all is yours.

Keep your eye upon the donut and not upon the hole, keep the faith, and watch for signs of The Coming One, however He may appear.  What a wondrous mystery.