Life is like a mirror, smile at it, and it smiles back at you. -Peace Pilgrim
I am working on a new exercise. It’s one for the face called a smile. I am cursed with the Miller frown. I don’t even realize most of the time that I’m doing it, so if you see me frowning smile at me and I’ll give you one back. I certainly don’t frown because I’m unhappy or miserable at least most of the time I can say that. I think I have a combination of things going on here one came from an unhappy childhood when I had something to frown about, then there’s genetics, and now age, when everything begins to sage including the face. Even now, as I write this, I catch myself going into that frown that comes about when I’m concentrating on something.
I remember the day I married Tom. I was smiling so much that by the end of the day, my face hurt. As with all exercises, no pain, no gain as they say. So, I read that the best way to do this exercise is to have a mirror nearby so you can catch yourself at a glance. It’s a kind of hard to do that. So, I’ve decided to let life be my mirror reflection. My smile is the practice, and your smile is the strength I gain!
Each day we’re handed a band new empty canvas to paint the kind of day we choose to live. You don’t have to be an artist to paint. We are as creative as the creation we come from, and that creativeness is an expression of who we are. No one else can paint from the depth of our personal heart and soul. We carry with us a lifetime of feelings and emotions both good and bad. What determines what we paint today is contained in the color of choices we choose to pick from.
We can cover our canvas with the deep blood red of our pain and leave it like that to look upon all day long. Or we can choose to take some white and paint around the edges until we’ve formed the heart of Love within our pain. Maybe even if we look close enough we begin to see the perfect spot cracking open where we add a little yellow to let the Light of Hope shine through.
Maybe conflict has us so mixed up that we keep dipping our paintbrush in different colors creating nothing but the strokes of a dark twisted dull brown baron tree that seems to be chocking the life out of us. Or maybe we could find a way to breathe again by washing away the clumped up brown conflict from our paint brush and setting it aside. Now it’s time to turn our conflict into possibility’s by taking one paint brush at a time dipping one in green for the leaves that bring forth life. Then the color of flowers that will soon bare the color of fruits our efforts have produced and the seeds of possibilities it leaves behind.
Today is the first day of the rest of our life. Another chance given to choose the colors of peace or blackness of anger and hate.
What colors will you choose to paint with today?
There is not only an infectious love fever going around this time of year with Valentine Day on the horizon, but spring fever is in the air as well. They both involve one big symptom, LOVE, and with all the flu and viruses going around this is one feverish infection I don’t mind catching.
While the Valentine cards we get in the mail will come and go, the gardening magazines and seed catalog’s will give us something longer lasting to read through, plan with, and dream about. We could all use a few dreams of sunshine and warmer weather about now, don’t you agree?
It was my Dad who taught me the love of gardening, but it was a special friend who taught me how the love of gardening could be compared to friendship. In a card she sent me many years ago she wrote that, “Friends are like flowers in the garden of life.” She taught me that our friendships need the same care and nurturing that our gardens do if we want them to continue blooming.
Every year at this time I think of her as my garden magazine’s and seed catalogs come in the mail. It’s a time not only to plan my gardens, but also to check-in with how well I’ve been nurturing and tending my friendships.
Whether it’s the love of your honey, family, friends or the things you enjoy doing where there is love everything in life blossoms .
This is dedicated to you my dear friend…Denise.
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.
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.
I guess since I’ve come into my new family’s life I’ve turned it upside down a bit. I don’t know why because to me everything seems as it should be. I’m 6 months old which makes me about 3 1/2 in people years now. I’m easily distracted especially when I go out to pee. If I see a bird, bunny or bee I forget what I came out to do, and want to play with all Gods creations. I love being outside in the world walking bare paw on the grass, I don’t care if they get muddy or wet. I love digging in the dirt smelling all the scents, hearing all the sounds even taste-testing different things like those lip-smacking rabbit turds, yum!
I think I’m good for my people. I keep them hoping up and down as they have to take me out several times to pee. It makes them walk in their bare feet too as they don’t always have time to put their shoes on. It also gives them a timeout from what they were doing. I look up at my Connie and see something as she breaths in the fresh, is it happy, peaceful, contentment? I don’t know a lot about these things yet, it just looks like she’s feeling and sensing the same things I am, and everything seems as it should be.
Then there’s the leader of our pack, Tom. He’s like the lion in our tribe. When he roars, he expects me to listen. I just love teasing him. When he points his finger at me with a roar to stop, I jump up and nibble at his finger. He roars some more, and I jump back and forth yapping at him. He says, “don’t you talk back at me!” and I ruff, ruff, ruff right back again. The whole time my Connie is laughing at us both. My Tom tries to keep that stern look on his face, but I know if I keep it up I can melt that look right into a smile even a chuckle or two. He loves me, I know it. Sometimes I don’t know who I love more…my Connie or Tom…maybe I just love them both for who they are. What I do know for sure is that I like making them happy and I think I’m doing a pretty good job at it even if it is in upside kind of way.
Until next time,
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.
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.
It can be any time or place…
When suddenly they start…
Those memories of yesterday
That so delight the heart…
They’re brought about by many things…
A treasured photograph,
A song’s familiar melody,
A child’s delightful laugh…
They bring a gladness to the heart,
A warmness to the soul…
They take an ordinary day
And somehow make it whole…
Those precious, priceless memories
That time cannot destroy…
They come and go and leave
A gentle, sentimental joy.