At the end of the mini series “Genius,” Einstein is dying, and as his long time secretary looks at him with sadness, he takes a flower from an arrangement and holding it in his hand says, “Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.”
I looked at Tom with a childlike excitement, and said, “I learned that all by myself!”
Just a few simple lines, and yet they hold within them a great awakening, opening up a whole new world for us. You don’t even have to be a genius to discover it yoursełf. It reminds me of when my father-in-law had his cataract surgery. He said he could see things with such clarity and crispness, and the colors were so vivid. When our own blinders are stripped away we can also say, ” I can see clearly now.”
I ran across the word gestating in an article I was reading. I never heard it being used in relation to the mind so I was prompted to look it up. Gestate means to carry in the uterus during pregnancy. Ok I thought, that’s where I’d heard it before. However, it also means to conceive and gradually develop in the mind. Wow! I thought. What a great analogy to use in reference to the conception and development of both body and mind. The food we ingest during pregnancy contributes to the unborn child’s physical development. In the same way, our thoughts feed our mind slowly, one thought building upon another. Eventually they both become too big to contain, and the need to come forth and express what they’ve become burst into being. Just as a new life is created so to do our thoughts create, and just as new life affects the world it comes into, so do our thoughts affect the world. So just as we wouldn’t feed the unborn child the kind of food that could harm it. We should be mindful of the thoughts we feed into our mind. In both cases what we feed our body and mind plays an important part in how we choose to live our life.
So, what’s gestating in your mind?
For the 3rd time I’m pulling out these entangled vines in my garden. Every time I think I have all the thick twisted vines pulled, a week or so later they find their way back to the top of the soil. As I stand looking at their fresh green heads poking through the soil I can almost hear them laughing at me, as they say in their wee taunting voice, “we’re back!” I dig deeper with more determination to get to the source of each plant. Hum! I think to myself. There’s something awful familiar about what’s happening here besides the mere fact that I’m pulling these vines out again.
“Okay God, what are you trying to show here?” I say to myself
I’ve been doing the same thing in my own life pulling out the stuff I don’t want anymore, pulling out what isn’t good for me, and pulling out what no longer has a purpose. I do feel much lighter in many ways, but the vines from all that stuff is deeply rooted and intertwined so even when I think I’ve pulled it all, it finds a way back into my life, temping me and trying to sabotage all my efforts. Pulling out the entangled vines feels as if it has a hold of me. It doesn’t want to let go of it.
“What am doing wrong God?”
“It isn’t the vine that has a hold on you. It’s you who won’t let go of the vine.”
Woo! I didn’t see that one coming!
I don’t think I can count how many times I’ve been given a wakeup call. They come in one way or another like a health issue that pops up putting a scare in your life. An accident where you realize you’re lucky to still be alive. The loss of a pet, friend or loved one. These are all life altering scenarios that call for a change in our life.
So, the question becomes, “If not now, when?”
For as Mark Nepo says in his reading today, “There is no tomorrow, only a string of todays.”
I had a friend once who seemed to have it all. She was smart, well educated, successful, classy, charismatic, faithful church goer, involved, and giving in so many ways. However, when it came to her own pain and suffering she didn’t know how to let go of the control she used to make everything else in her life work so well.
I made her up a care bag full of things I thought might help her through this journey. It had a stress ball to squeeze when the pain got bad. Lavender Epson salts to soak and relax in the bathtub. Chocolate kisses to treat herself with a bit of decadence, and a Meditation CD to calm her thoughts enough to meet right in the middle with God. She loved the bag of goodies and was eager to try anything, but when I checked in with her a few days later she said that she didn’t know how to make any of it work for her. I knew right away what she was talking about. I’d been there myself many times. It’s because we get in the way, trying to take control of what we can’t do in the normal scheme of things on our own. As a matter of fact it doesn’t seem logical at all. I mean how can anything change if we don’t take control of the situation, right? Well how’s that working for you so far?
I tell myself It’s all about going deeper reaching within my soul to reconnect not only with the God who created me, but with everything else He created as well. Reeducating myself constantly to touch base with what I instinctively know, but sometimes forget along the way. Opening myself to trust in what I know in my heart, but can’t explain in words. I think how easy it is..when I get out of the way
A friend asked me a few weeks again, what is it that you want out of life? All I could think of was that I simple want to “be.” I’ve been on my caterpillar journey. Moving upon the various path. Taking in all the nourishment, knowledge and understanding I could get along the way. Never quite knowing where I’m going, only knowing that something instinctively inspires me to keep going. Now I find myself up a tree and resting upon a branch. I can see from this place everywhere I’ve been and what I’ve learned along the way. It’s time to begin to let go of what no longer serves me at this point in my life, but this is the hardest part of life yet because it means trusting in what seems illogical. I mean how can I let go when I need to hang on in order to go through the process of metamorphose or transformation.
And so, this is where I’ve been these past few weeks sitting on my branch looking out over my life. Getting rid of this and that. Feeling lighter with less weight holding me down. Yet I find myself holding on tighter as I pray for the courage I need to move onto the next stage. I contemplate the quote above that reminds me that, “Nothing happens until the pain of remaining the same outweighs the pain of change.” I’ve still a long way to go, but a caterpillar has many feet to hang on with. I’m learning to let go one foot at a time, and each time I trust a little bit more in that which goes beyond the self. For I have come to believe that the God I know wants nothing more then for me to become the beautiful butterfly…He created me to be.
I have a wonderful morning ritual that I’ve spoken of many times. It’s not only the most important way to start my day, but it’s the part of my day I look forward to the most. It’s a time of prayer, contemplation, spiritual readying, journaling and meditation. But sometimes even with every good intention I get distracted. Maybe it’s by what’s going on in my life. Maybe it’s what’s going on in someone else’s life. I become discouraged because I think I know enough to be able to center myself and get back on track. The one thing that I haven’t quite mastered is meditation, yet that is the one thing I know I need to practice the most. It quiets my mind, brings me back into the moment, and allows me to see things clearing and more simplistic. So today that’s what I did and when it was time to open my eyes the first thing I saw was the word “love” written in big read letters on my door of art where I tape the pictures my grandkids draw for me. All their pictures are about love, maybe that’s why we’re called to be more like the little children. They remind us how easy it is. If life is lived in and through love then how can we go wrong throughout our day in all we do. How can we not find comfort in the love that’s all around us. All we have to is open our eyes for as Gandhi said, “Where there is love there is life.”
Why do I need notes to remind me
What’s already written my heart?
To be grateful for a new day.
For the people I love
And pray for too.
To remember to hear the birds sing
To smell a rose or two.
How could I ever forget
to tell you
I love you too.
And don’t forget to laugh out loud
And be silly instead of blue.
Savoring a glass of wine
With a piece of dark chocolate
Walk on the grass in my bare feet
Maybe even dance in the rain like a kid.
Sing a song that goes to my heart
And makes me tap your feet.
Oh the gift of life
Is so sweet
Yet can be gone in the blink
Of an eye.
So why waste my time
Writing notes to myself
When I could
written in my heart.
“Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” -Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”
Everything starts from a seed including us. I wonder if we live within that shell all our life with the seed being our soul and our lifetime here on earth being a gathering of all we need to slowly begin the painful process of cracking open. Many of us have felt the harder blows of life that leave an opening so wide that it goes straight to the heart of the soul. Whether our cracks are big or as small as a tiny papercut it is how the light gets in and once we experience the warmth it brings the more our soul craves it. Like our hands reaching upward we begin to sprout moving toward the unknown yet a knowing that it’s the natural process of who and what we were created to do. Yes, there is a comfort in staying within this place we’ve existed, and a fear of being exposed and vulnerable to the unknown. It’s never easy to step outside of our comfort zone to leave behind all that’s been a part of us, but the light continues to pull us toward it, and it is only in the letting go that we can fully begin to blossom in the fullness of the light.
Most importantly let us not forget in the process of breaking free…to ring the bells that still can ring, and forget out perfect offering. Look around there are cracks in everything. It’s how the light gets in.
“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.