Friday, July 3, 2020

Independence Day

"freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others."

Being independent
"means being able to take care of your own needs and to make and assume responsibility for your decisions while considering both the people around you and your environment.”

I felt stuck when I attempted to write of late. The words “me” or “we” were bouncing around in my head but I kept hitting a wall. I began thinking about the upcoming holiday, Independence Day, and the characteristic Americans are especially proud of—our right to live as we choose. As I looked up the definition of independent I discovered that I could not relate to it as a interpretation of how we live in the 21st century. Being independent seemed a much better fit. I sat with the words, “assume responsibility for your decisions while considering both the people around you and your environment.”

In this unique time in our history we are called to think, not only of ourselves, but of our place in and our impact on community. Selfish actions are not only thoughtless, they are life threatening. In this escalation of the philosophical idea of “independence” we have forgotten that in truth we are all interdependent.

A community and the people who inhabit it thrive when the population works together for common goals. It is destroyed when people forget that we are linked together by all that we do and how we live in our villages, towns and cities.

Have you ever played this game? Look around your environment and take note of how many invisible and nameless people have provided goods and services to furnish your world. From the person who dyed the wool in your carpet, the carpenter who cut the boards for your floor, the farmer and laborer who harvested your food, and the trucker who delivered it, there is nothing in your world that you can claim sole credit for. You may move independently through your day but each move has been supported by millions of others working and living on this planet.

As we celebrate Independence Day my hope is that we also celebrate our fundamental connection with each other. And that we all focus on bringing more love, more healing and more light into our individual and common world. Let’s celebrate our interdependence with renewed respect and love for one another.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

"To Love a person is to 
learn the song that is in their heart, 
and to sing it to them 
when they have forgotten."

There are times when life surprises you and offers a gift that resonates with your spirit. While rummaging through a drawer for a piece of scrap paper I came across the above quote. My spirit lifted as I thought about the people in my life and how they have touched my heart. 

The image of each person having a unique song overwhelmed
 me with awe. I wondered could we all learn to listen for each other's unique soul song? Would you take time to remind another of how their spark lights up your world? Or how their heart touches yours?  

Let's vow to take the time to remind another of their beauty, their individual contribution or simply just how they make us feel. Be the one who whispers in their ear the music that is their special song when they have forgotten. 

Sending you a song of love.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Resist or Surrender

" offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease and lightness."
Eckart Tolle

I love to randomly open an inspirational book and read whatever my eye falls upon first. 
There are no accidents. The above quote was just what I needed to read yesterday morning. 

"To offer no resistance." That seems a pretty tall order these days. Everyone on the planet is in their own personal struggle to adapt and ultimately accept. As emotional beings we cling to what we know. We live in the illusion that we have control over our lives. Then something big happens. An unexpected breakup, a death, disease, or the life-changing Coronavirus. 

As you observe your reactions to this unprecedented time, first don't beat up on yourself. It is normal to feel fear. Strive to be mindful of the tendency to stay mired in that emotion. It is understandable to feel anxious. We have no touchstone, no comparison to equate this to in our lives.  We are grappling to develop the tools to maneuver through a completely new reality. As we gain footing I would like to make a request: Be highly aware of what makes you anxious and where your thoughts are taking you. 

When we cease to resist we may make room for inner peace. This occurs when we surrender. That inner peace is the state of grace that Eckart Tolle is suggesting. 
Surrender does not create victimhood.  Surrender is spiritual action. It frees us from the impossible belief that we can push and shove life to where we want it to be. Start to develop the ability to surrender by watching your thoughts. Be aware when your mind is filled with imagined horrors and decide not to live in future fear.

We are in this together. We always have been. The veil of separation is being exposed for what it truly is. An illusion. As we are forced to actually physically separate we will have an opportunity to appreciate how much our connections truly mean to us. How much we need and love others.

Surrender can open pathways to creativity. We begin to adapt by living in the moment. This crisis may lead people to recognize their true purpose and contribution. What if an outcome of this pandemic means more people go into medicine or science? What if a love of teaching emerges through home schooling? What if broken families heal when individuals see the fragility of life? What if Coronavirus shines a light on the insignificance of our petty emotions, grudges and attachments?

I have no doubt that good will come as a result of this global crisis. Perhaps we will begin to understand the truth. Our value has nothing to do with what we own, drive or live in. It has to do with how we think, act, and be. You can do your part by surrendering your worry and fear and deciding that you will create love and magic by using your unique gifts. Find a way to laugh each day. Use FaceTime to visit with friends and family, take advantage of the links available to visit art museums and virtually wander through their exhibitions. But mostly commit to love. Help in whatever way you can. Breath. That is probably the most impactful thing you can do for stress. Meditate on what is meaningful to you and know this too shall pass.  

Here is an affirmation for today
Today I connect with my inner core of strength, love and joy. I spread love and light with each breath I take. I am safe, loved and loving.

Sending you love and light.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

All Roads Lead to Love

All roads lead to love. That is the message I have been receiving lately, in my life, in my meditations and in my work.

While researching for a tele-class I discovered an interesting book titled "Beyond Forgiveness, Reflections on Atonement" by Phil Cousineau.  In it he writes, "The act of atonement, the experience of at-one-ment, allows you to be conscious that you've never really been cut off, that you've always been one with the only power that is." What struck me while reading the stories of atonement, contributed by a variety of people, is how through a transcendental understanding of those who had hurt them they accomplished total healing. They embraced "at-one-ment" and by doing so were able to begin a healing journey that brought each person to a deeper and more meaningful understanding of their purpose in life. Often the atonement was so profound that it shifted their entire life path. Think of Nelson Mandela inviting the very guard who gravely mistreated him to join him for tea. Love is the foundation, the undercurrent, the mystical force that fuels forgiveness and atonement. Love is the power that enables us to transcend our own limited views. 

A friend recently suggested that I read the book "Dying to be Me" by Anita Moorjami. In it the author echoed the idea that we are all one through the sharing of her near death experience. She states, "I became aware that we're all connected. This was not only every person and living creature, but the interwoven unification felt as though it were expanding outward to include everything in the universe, every human, animal, plant, insect, mountain, sea, inanimate object and the cosmos." She recounts the experience of complete and all encompassing love. 

The message of oneness and love is more often spoken of on Sunday mornings than acted on in our every day life. We tend to find ways to habitually separate ourselves from others. Our neighbors build fences; we see the world as "us and them".  There are the democrats and the republicans, the sinners and the saints, the rich or the poor. We find ways to look down our noses at the individual, the group or our community in order to feel superior. What kind of world would we live in if we could begin to understand that when we judge others we judge ourselves? When we see lack in someone it is a reflection of a fear or sadness that resides within. 

How can we begin to train our eyes to see the need for love in others, rather than reacting in judgement or condemnation? One tool or method to strengthen and instill the power of love is to choose to focus on the virtues that grow love. First, through the love of Self, the careful nurturing of our soul and spirit, we may build the muscle that manifests love. Daily attention to a practice of living the virtues that open avenues toward love will strengthen the foundation. If you practice forgiveness, you build love. When you experience gratitude you expand love. By seeking to create harmony you grow love. When you act with kindness and compassion you reflect love. Live in ways that open the door to kindness, harmony, compassion, forgiveness, creativity, and joy and you will be spreading love throughout your day. 

As Dion Warwick once sang, "What the world needs now is love, sweet love" and it has never been more apparent. As you begin to reflect love in your day—be kind to yourself. Do not judge or criticize your efforts. Each conscious act of love can only build on the next until you one day discover that you are expressing your inner light in a more dynamic and beautiful way. 

It takes courage to be on this planet. I so appreciate all of you are joining me on this beautiful journey.