My soul reminds me today that there is a power within me that is greater than anything that life brings my way. It is the place of being where I stand with the lemons of life in my hands…and choice enters in. I can choose the limited sour bitterness it creates. Or let the sweetness of the spirit within teach me how to turn lemons into lemon aid.
”The resistance to the unpleasant situation is the root of suffering.”-Ram Dass
What if the rosebud remained tightly folded within itself? Can you feel the tension of its resistance. It’s like it’s going against itself. All the energy it uses to hold itself back weakens and destroys it before it ever has the chance to know the full blossom of its purpose.
I had one of those days when it seemed like it lasted a lifetime. I kept looking at the clock thinking it had to be later then what it was. Don’t you love when that happens?
It was like I was in touch with everything that was happening. I realized that my practice of mindfulness is beginning to be a part of me without having to make a conscious effort. There was a combination of different things from a breakthrough in my story, to an interesting analogy on life I read. A beautiful Jacquie Lawson animated e-cards from a friend to welcoming in this first day of spring, and I watched as the dead of winter began to awaken, and slowly bloomed into a colorful spring. And as much as I’m anxious for warm weather to get here, I also enjoyed watching the beauty of winters last hurrah as the snow fell gentle outside my window. Then I turned the news on, you know, just checking in on what’s happening in the world. Another school shooting. One a little too close for comfort not far from the one my granddaughter goes to. I had a choose, I could get caught up in the ugliness of humanity or turn it off and try to get back to the good place my day started off with. I turned it off and checked in with some of my friends of Facebook. There it was all I needed to see to get me on the right track again. A quote that a friend posted on Facebook, “To all the people who are loving and kind to me. Thank you for the Sunshine you bring into my life.” Reminding us how powerful and life changing a simple thing like kindness can be. Then my mantra of the day came into play, “My struggle has end, I’m in harmony with my soul.”
I was reading a wonderful article in my “Country Garden” magazine by Margaret Roach called “Sparrows.”
It wasn’t the particular title that caught my eye although I do love sparrows. It was the quote she wrote below it: “A busy life with a long to-do-list means some of the smallest things go unnoticed–but those small things can teach us big lessons.”
Sometimes I can’t even get to the task at hand because I’m too busy putting things on my to-do-list. Then onto the business of figuring out how I’m going to get them all done.
She goes on in the article to say; “If I could only slow down and be still someday, I’d (—-fill in the blank).” And I’m thinking to myself, I’m retired. I don’t have to do this or that if I don’t really want to. As a matter of fact I’m the one who writes about being in the moment all the time.
Sometimes having a snowy day where we can’t do much of anything else gives us the opportunity to slow down and ask ourselves that very question, what could I do?
I picked my magazine up because I’d been wanting to read it for a while. I opened it to this article first thing, and in this small gesture I got a reminder lesson on the more important things in life. All we have exist within our untamed moments, and if we’re too busy cluttering our thoughts with things to do later, we miss out on what life has to show and offer us…in the now.
I struggle like everyone else trying to figure out life. I wonder why this or that happens? Why people think the way they do? Why I can’t make everything better in the world? I call it the woe-is-me place. Like a fly caught in a spider web whining all my thoughts, feelings and emotions out-loud. It takes a lot of effort to pull myself out of the sticky web. Some days I can do it, and other days I remain trapped and unfocused. I turn to prayer, but nothing comes…until I let go. It is then that I begin to write, because that’s what I do, and an answer comes.
The spirit pours into your soul all that is good and right, perfect love. Remember the times your cup has overflowed with joy. It only takes receptivity to receive. The spirits only desire…is to give of Itself.
Whether you are willing to have the awareness or not, the spirit continues to pour. It is what you choose to see that places your hand over the cup or takes it away to receive.
How do I know the difference? I ask.
The simplicity of the answer is in knowing how you’re feeling. If you feel sick, tired, sad, depressed anxious or heartfelt sorrow. That is the first indication that you are blocking the flow. Awareness is the first step, action is next. Take your hand away from the rim of your soul, and let the spirit’s healing love flow through all your woe’s.
What I learned is, when I’m out of the way, letting go of what I can’t control. That’s when I enter into the flow of life, and all is good and right again. With the gift of receiving, comes the overflowing gift of giving. I realize what overflows from each of us…flows out into the world…because perfect love cannot be contained, and the beauty in turn is that we become an extension of that Love ourselves.
Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” -Pema Chodron
I love painting pictures with my words. It starts when I’m trying to figure something out. I visualize what I’m thinking in an animated or metaphoric way that helps me make sense of it. So, what is my carpet bag of baggage?
It’s a rug big enough to fit all the stuff I’ve collect along the various journeys of my-life. It’s an ugly carpet, full of untruths, most of them having to do with my self-esteem. It’s all tied together with the black rope of fear. I’m so used to carrying it around that I don’t even feel how much it’s weighing me down most of the time. It’s in those moments when I’m paying attention to life that it falls off my shoulder. It’s a wonderful feeling as if I’ve sucked in some helium and I’m floating right above the ground. And I wonder why it can’t be like this all the time.
When the black rope of fear sees me happy it starts to untie itself around the carpet. Moving like a snake. Fear knows I’m afraid of snakes. It’s the way it gets my attention. As the carpet bag begins to slowly open all the dreadful demeaning voices jump around shouting me, me, me pick me. All it takes is for me to believe one demeaning thought of worthiness, and I’ll find myself standing upon the rug that fear uses, to pull the joy right out from under me.
But I’m seeing a little clearer now. They say, you have to see what needs changed, before you can change it. As the quote says about, “nothing goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” I’m learning one thing for sure, that as big as fear looks, what lies on the other side of it is majestic.
“It is necessary that we release all thoughts—as well as things—that clutter up our lives.” -Ernest Holmes
I always feel excited at the beginning of a new year. It’s a great time to declutter my closets as well as my mind. I got a new journal, and planner. I’m in a place of personal growth and I’m mind mapping my way into this new year. That’s what I do. I take control, but you can’t plant a garden in the middle of winter. At least not where I live. I don’t like the feeling of being at a standstill, frozen in place. But even an ice capped river has life flowing beneath it. And I still have blood flowing through my veins. They say the eyes are the window to the soul. It works two ways, the soul sees through my human eyes, and that’s good, because it’s here after all, to have a human experience, but we also have the ability to see through the eyes of the soul. Hum! I wrote 50 goals down in my planner. That wasn’t easy for me. I couldn’t think of that many things off the top of my head, but I squeezed them out. They’re not all things to be done in one year. They’re basically the things we thing of from finishing my book to getting a good night’s sleep. The next step was to narrow it down to the 5 most important. My number one goal is mastering the connection between my mind, body and soul. Finding that balance that makes me feel whole. God always finds a way to confirm when I’m on the right track, this quote from the bible came out of nowhere, and there’s no denying the word of God.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness.” Matt: 6:22-23.
What our eyes see, flows through our mind, and where our thoughts focus, we create light or darkness.
Today I went back to place I lived in Philadelphia. I haven’t seen since the day I ran away in 1968. That’s 50 years ago. It was an institution in Philadelphia called Stenton Child Center. My younger sister and I were supposed to feel fortunate that we were in such a nice place. Most of the places the state provided for abandon children were pretty run down. There is no place on earth that could be better than being with your own family no matter how difficult things are at home.
I didn’t know how I would react when I actually saw it. As we began to approach I felt only a moment panic, that quickly turned to curiosity. I couldn’t believe how much it looked the same after all these years. The memories so fresh in my mind and stories yet to tell. I couldn’t go inside because it’s now a shelter for homeless families, but I was okay with that because I felt like the monster it represented in my mind for so many years no longer had a hold on me.
On my way home I wondered about how this applies to what I wrote about yesterday in relation to place of shifting I find myself. Of all the different places I’ve been, this was by far the worst ground I’d ever worked in my life. But it’s also yielded the most growth in my life. It was a time of planting, growing, and nurturing. It was full of many cultivating opportunities that could have yielded many weeds, but instead continues to teach and bear much fruit.
I am not only in the winter of the season, but nature teaches another lesson in my life, that I am in the winter of my shifting cultivation. A time to rest, re-evaluate, contemplate, let go and chill out on a icebergs going with the rivers flow.
There’s something happening in me, and what it is, I can’t exactly see.
Something has shifted, and I’m not even sure what that means. Trying to make some sense of it I look up the word shifting. I’ve been through different stages, and on many different journeys in life, but this shifting feels unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Maybe I just never noticed it to this degree before.
Shifting means changing, especially unpredictably. That verifies the unpredictably change I’m experiencing, but I still don’t get what’s going on. I dig a little deeper into my research on the subject and I come across a diagram called “shifting cultivation.” No, that’s not what I’m looking for. I’m looking for something that has to do with the human psyche. But, the idea of the shifting cultivation keeps pulling me into it’s explanation, and that Aha, moment hits me. The simplicity of nature at work again giving the answer through her example.
Photo from Shifting Cultivation-SignWiki
I am the cultivator of my life. I understand that now. I’ve been feeling a need for change for quite a while. I knew it was time for letting go, but of what I wasn’t sure. I mean being on familiar ground seems like the safest place to stay at least until we know where we’re going. All that time trying to work the same way I’d always done wasn’t producing anything worth giving away. So, the shifting happened abruptly, and left me with a feeling of being lost. Now that I can see, what’s happening to me, a whole new horizon of possibilities comes into view. It takes time to work new grounds taking a small section at a time. If you’d like to follow along with me I’ll share what my cultivating grows.