The Cocoon of the Soul

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I frittered away most of my writing time this morning, but oh well—there’s always later with lunch in between.  One of the things that I’m learning in my time-out is to quit picking on myself about petty stuff.  No, wait.  Make that quit picking on myself about any stuff.  It’s not good for the psyche.  In a world where criticism about one thing or another is wildly abundant, what’s the point of adding an unhealthy heap of it upon myself?  The rest of the world will be happy to do it for me.

Running away to solitude is a lovely temporary solution to remove myself from the world stage, but unless I’m prepared to repair to the wilderness for 40 days as Jesus did, or take the Buddha approach to enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, or cart myself off to an isolated mountaintop somewhere, eventually, I’ll need to return to the outside world.  Do I want to?  Well, not really.  Not yet.  I kind of like it here in the cozy container of my own home talking to myself and enjoying my own company.  It’s a lovely little vacation away from anything that makes me cranky and it brings me peace.   It parks me in a place where I am learning that the only judgment in my corner of the world at the moment is my own.

Sooner or later I will need to emerge from my cocoon, but until then, I’m hanging in here until I’m fully cooked.  Or at least until my wings are strong enough to carry me through whatever storm might be brewing in the outer world once I decide to make a break for it.  I don’t know what’s coming, but I know that I’m going to need all the strength I can muster to make it safely to a space of quiet calm.

What a great process.  What a great opportunity to be in the world but not of it, to be able to sit back and watch the show without being a part of it, exempt from the drama, judgment, and the need to find a safe haven from the voices of personal opinion that separate and divide one from another, that perpetuate fear rather than love.

What a joyous vacation.  What a sanctuary for the soul.  What a gift of Spirit.  How blessed I am to be able to enjoy it.  My wish for humanity is that we all find the safety within the quiet of our hearts and rest there in gentle stillness for a while.

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).

 

Sweet Memories and Mysteries

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It’s not always a good idea to rummage around in the past, but if done in search of sweet memories to savor rather than to excavate old buried wounds, one might find a world of riches buried within.

One of my sweet memories of the past floated to the surface this morning as I savored the memory of my days as a devotee of Siddha Yoga, when I was constantly intrigued by the profound effect that the mysterious teachings of the guru had upon me and upon my life.  Sometimes, the lessons were immediate and obvious; sometimes they so subtle that I barely noticed until months or years later, when I finally got it.

On one of my visits to the ashram, a course was being offered on selfless service.  When I tried to enroll, I was told that the course was not open to people over the age of 50.  What?  Why not??  Was it too late for the over-50 crowd?  If we hadn’t learned whatever we needed to know by now, were we hopeless?  But as often happens in the world of a guru, there was no answer to the why.  I left in a quandary and spent the entire following year hoping that the answer would float to the surface and solve the puzzle.  It didn’t.

On my next visit to the ashram a year later, a fellow devotee unexpectedly answered the question that I hadn’t asked.  People over 50 are supposed to focus less on selfless service and more in contemplation of their death.  Huh.  Now there’s a juicy rich subject worthy of another year’s worth of puzzlement if ever there was one, right?

I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

Odd though it may sound, answering this question has become my lifelong quest, the guidepost that lights my path toward the accomplishment of my goals, vision, and purpose.  My focus is on the endgame—to heal what needs healing, correct the errors of the past, have my affairs in order, and do my utmost to earn my diploma and graduate into the next higher realm of learning.  It keeps me sane and on track; it diverts my attention away from behaving in ways that are not in my best interest, and supports me in embracing the behavior that is.

I really miss hanging out with Gurumayi, but the truth is that her work with me is finished.  She sent me home to the sanctuary of own my heart and turned me over to the care and keeping of my Higher Self, my Soul, to All That Is, where my education will continue, and answers to the mysteries of life will be revealed in their own time.  I am blessed to be in the very good company of professors who are kind and compassionate, who make learning a joy.  Now if I will only listen…

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).

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).

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).

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).

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).

 

The Legacy of George Floyd

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Perhaps when life assignments were being handed out, George Floyd raised his hand for a Save the World mission.  Or perhaps he was simply another unfortunate victim of racism, ignorance, and injustice, in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Either way, his tragic death has given us the profound gift of awakening, and that makes him a hero.

His death sparked the fire of outrage that has blazed across the nation and spread across the world in sympathy and unification.  It has opened our eyes to an awareness that we have a choice about whether we wish to turn to violence, destruction, and fear to make a point, or whether we will join as one and use our voice in peaceful, quiet protest against injustice, to open our eyes to see that there is a better way.  What an amazing contrast.

Last night in Louisville, strangers linked arms and joined as one to create a human shield to protect a lone police officer in danger from angry protesters.  Total strangers, black, white, hispanics, risked their own safety and broke from the crowd to help and protect the “enemy”.   These courageous guardians join George Floyd as heroes.

This demonstration of kindness and humanity by strangers on behalf of another shines light on the fact that there is a chink in the armor of fear that creates an opening through which the light of love may emerge and give rise to an opportunity for the world to see through different eyes.  The light beaming through the crack gives rise to the hope that consciousness is rising, and that soon the tide of protests will turn away from violence toward peace.

Though this man, along with so many others in the past, died needlessly, his death is not without meaning, for it shows us a picture of what a peaceful transformation looks like.  It invites us to hold our government accountable to its citizens for actions and inactions, justice and injustice, to use our voice as one humanity to insist on finding a better way.

Last night in a dream, I observed a man standing knee deep in a lake.  He was staring down at his feet, awed by the sight of a carpet of gold as far as the eye could see glistening beneath him.  Instead of  running off in a frentic search for a bucket and shovel to scoop up the gold, he simply stood quietly enjoying the gift of the beauty that surrounded him.

Perhaps such a dream is nothing more than the figment of a wishful imagination.  Perhaps it represents an exaggerated version of the new world that we are hearing so much about these days.  I like to think of it as a picture of where we are going.  I like to hope that we are on our way to living the dream of a new world in which the reasons for protests over injustice no longer exist, where peace and harmony rule the day,  I like to think that the senseless death of this man is the catalyst that will move us toward that day.

The greater our ability to focus on the goodness and beauty surrounding us, the greater our awareness that we are capable of choosing our future.  The legacy of George Floyd’s sacrifice gives new meaning and purpose to the importance of our decisions that we make, and open our eyes to our choices.

The world needs hope.  Please spread the legacy, share on Facebook, retweet, pass along to friends, send love and light to help stamp out fear.

To resurrect a mantra from the 60’s, make love, not war.