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“The sun, without intent or will or plan or sense of principle, just shines, thoroughly and constantly. By being itself, the sun warms with its light, never withholding or warming only certain things of Earth. Rather, the sun emanates in all directions all the time, and things grow. In the same way, when we are authentic, expressing our warmth and light in all directions, we cause things around us to grow.” -Mark Nepo *
Lately I’ve been reading a lot about being authentic. Being human we’re much more complicated than the sun and the flowers. They are what they were created to be without wondering what they have to offer. They simple do what they do best. The very question of authenticity takes us outside ourselves looking in comparison at others. Thinking I’ll never be as good as so and so, all the while missing out on who we are and what we have to offer the world. How can I shine my light on others? How can I be the expression of Love in which I come from? How can I wrap that warmth around others and help them grow? The sun and the flower show us by example and in their nonverbal language tell us…just be.
How? By looking within and recognizing what makes you feel the most alive when you’re doing it. Maybe you enjoy singing, playing an instrument, cooking, gardening, making crafty things, giving massages, doing Reiki, or writing, just to name a few. Anything we love to do can be used to warm someone’s else’s heart, light their day and help them grow into their own authentic self just by being who we are. There’s nothing more affective then showing rather than telling just as Mark Nepo’s does with his beautiful metaphoric writing about the sun and its intent. I wonder, can you see the picture he draws with his words?
*A Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo March 30 reading
“My little dog-
A heartbeat at my feet.
For those who haven’t meet my little Lucy she is a 4 month or Cairn terrier full of lots of energy and love.
I understand now why they say dogs are known for helping people live longer. I would add especially if they’re puppy’s. Lucy has me on the move constantly, in and out we go as I work at housbreaking her. She’s doing pretty good. I read in the training book that if they go inside the house it’s not their fault it’s yours for not paying enough attention, oy vey its exhausting. Than there are the several walks we go on to work some of her energy off. It’s good for me especially since I’m supposed to walk a lot to continue making my new knee stronger. The quote above made me laugh because she is literally at my feet and sometimes we are doing more of a dance together rather then a walk. I have to say my legs are really sore but it’s a good sore that comes from a good workout. I’m getting out in the fresh air a lot more too and that in itself has me feeling great.
I love my Lucy girl that’s for sure.
In dormancy of winter we are like the seed have a time for deep thought and contemplation as we await a new awakening that comes in the spring of our life. We encapsulate all that we’ve learned and gained throughout our lifetime thus far. There is a sense of comfort staying safe within the bounders of our shell, but the spirit within longs to be free to experience more, and grow into the beautiful creation it was created to be.
In the process of new awakening we tend to forget where we’ve been and what we’ve learned thus far. Where we are heading becomes our focus and our senses go into high gear as we begin our journey toward new growth. We drink in the waters and feed off of the earth, and begin to feel an inner warmth that connects material life with the spiritual, pulling us instinctively upward. When we finally burst through the earth and the sun kisses our cheeks we know that which we were seeking was seeking us as well all along. It is in the spring of my new life I feel that warmth of love surround me, I in It, and It in me. Oh, if only I could remain in the warmth of light all the days of my life, but there’s much more life to see, lessons to learn, and growing to do along my journey as the spring of life begins anew…right here where I stand…right now.
The Story of the Hummingbird
Michael Nicoll Yahgullanaas
One day a terrible fire broke out in a forest – a huge woodlands was suddenly engulfed by a raging wild fire. Frightened, all the animals fled their homes and ran out of the forest. As they came to the edge of a stream they stopped to watch the fire and they were feeling very discouraged and powerless. They were all bemoaning the destruction of their homes. Every one of them thought there was nothing they could do about the fire, except for one little hummingbird.
This particular hummingbird decided it would do something. It swooped into the stream and picked up a few drops of water and went into the forest and put them on the fire. Then it went back to the stream and did it again, and it kept going back, again and again and again. All the other animals watched in disbelief; some tried to discourage the hummingbird with comments like, “Don’t bother, it is too much, you are too little, your wings will burn, your beak is too tiny, it’s only a drop, you can’t put out this fire.” And as the animals stood around disparaging the little bird’s efforts, the bird noticed how hopeless and forlorn they looked. Then one of the animals shouted out and challenged the hummingbird in a mocking voice, “What do you think you are doing?”
And the hummingbird, without wasting time or losing a beat, looked back and said, “I am doing what I can.”
I often feel like the tiny hummingbird in this great big world. Only I am more like the animals that stand in at the edge of the stream watching the chaos happening right in front of me. I become so overwhelmed by the size of the problem that all I think about is the problem itself rather then what I can do to put the fire out that the problem created in the first place. We all hear the gentle buzz of the hummingbirds’ wings inside us. It’s that little tiny voice trying to be heard over the roar of the fire. It’s calling us to do something. But how can little-ol-me do anything to change what’s wrong in the world? There’s always something we can do whether we can fly the plane that drops tons of water or fly like the little hummingbird with one drop at a time. We do what we can…simple by using what we’ve been blessed with to make a difference.
photo from cargocollective.com
“All faiths have pearls of truth.” -*Simran Singh
A pearl is such a solid mass that it takes a diamond cutter to drill a hole through it. Metaphorically speaking drilling into each pearl going deep within to find that connecting link we eventually come out the opposite end with a better understanding of this truth. What lies in the depth of the pearl is the heart and soul of our longing…and every fiber that’s peeled away by our digging revels the same thing…the love of one God. As we string the pearls of faith together we create a beautiful vision of these pearls of faith and the commonality they share.
One last note, don’t forget a discerning spirit is always helpful in guiding your way through the process.
“What I love most about St Patrick’s Day”
Green is my favorite color
A shot of Baileys is divine
I love corn beef and cabbage
Adding soda bread makes it sublime
A beautiful rainbow to wish upon
A pot of gold would be a great find
But what I love the most is
The lightheartedness of this day
A joke or two
A break away
From the rhetoric and uncertainly of our days
One other thing though
that I have left share
I found a green frog in my underwear.
“The sailor cannot see the north, but knows the needle can.” -Emily Dickinson
As I begin my day I’m always so excited to be at the start of what I call a clean slate. Maybe a little too excited that I begin to paint what I cannot see yet. As I stand back to look at my canvas I’ve painted nothing but clouds because I haven’t taken the time to see in what direction my inner compass is pointing. How does the needle know? How do we even trust what can’t be seen? When we are lost, what other choose do we have? I can wonder around the sea of life without anything in sight to paint upon my canvas or I can let go and choose to trust in the stillness of the moment in which the needle has time to settle.
It is then that I’m able to connect with my inner spiritual guide as I hear it tell me this morning to take my time. Slow down. Wakeup. Be in the moment. Look around. Smell the candle you lit. Taste the coffee you drink. Feel the chair that hugs your body. Hear the ticking of the clock. These are my inner compasses. My inner tools. My inner senses. They are the colors and brush strokes I use to paint upon the canvas of my day.
Now I’m really excited to be alive. How can I not be when I’m reminded that I can enjoy wherever I am with every fiber of my being simple by bringing myself back into the awareness of where I find myself right now. It sounds so easy but that’s the beauty our free will gives us, to choose the kind of day we want moment by moment.
All it takes to create the littlest bit of goodness is a thought of gratitude and an expression of love. It’s a great recipe for creating a better world too.
The hummingbird comes and goes as quickly as the moments in our days. If you don’t catch a glimpse of it when it’s here all you can do is hope for another tomorrow. Hummingbird don’t fly away.
Sometimes my days are like the hummingbird, they come and go before I’ve had a chance to stop and enjoy what it had to show me. Today is the beginning of longer days to enjoy, offering us more sunshine, giving us a brighter light to see with, and warm energizing rays beaming down on us giving us the energy we need to enjoy every moment. Soon we’ll be sitting on our porches watching the hummingbirds as they come and singing to each other, Haven’t you noticed the days somehow keep getting longer.
But, don’t let today fly away before you’ve had a chance to see what it has to show you because it is the hummingbird after all who shows us how easy it is to miss the most important moments in our life. Capture it before the hummingbird flies away.
I read an ancient Chinese story the other day that sounded a lot like the kind of parables Jesus used to teach his lessons.
If you want to trap a monkey, hollow out a cocoanut just big enough for its open hand to reach inside. Place rice in the carved-out fruit, and leave it in the path of the monkey. Sooner or later, a hungry monkey will smell the rice and reach its hand in. But once fisting the rice, its hand will no longer fit back out through the opening. The monkeys that get caught are those who won’t let go of the rice, and as long as the monkey maintains its grip on the rice, it becomes a prisoner of its own making. The trap works because the money’s hunger is the master of its reach.
I’ve been that monkey in many different situations throughout my life. With my hand fisted in the cocoanut I can’t for the life of me figure out why I could reach in, but can’t pull it back out. So, I too have become a prisoner of my own making because I can’t see that what I want the most is holding me back and until I let it go, I won’t be able to see the actual freedom it creates for me.
I keep thinking it has something to do with the story of I’ve been trying to write since I was a teen. And I do feel as if I’m chained to it in a way. No matter how many times I try to let it go the hunger to finish it comes back. So, as I’m thinking of this lesson of the monkey I can’t get the thought out of my mind that maybe it’s trying to tell me something about letting go of this want and desire. Then the clarity comes to me. What lies within my fist are the words of my story and as long as I hold onto them I’ll remain a prisoner of what I actually believe will never be accomplished.
Now I could have never come up with that kind of answer without sieving my thoughts through the spirit of God.