I think as we journey through life we come to the end of each path wondering how am I going to get from here to there? Sometimes the next journey requires us to walk through valleys or up steep mountains, maybe even across paths of hot coals, or over wobbly bridges, and what about the ones that are paved in stones across the sky. Will, freedom, choice, trust and faith come into play surrounding me, and ego steps into view with its limited human perspective announcing that there is no way on earth to get from here to there. All the while the spirit within waits and watches patiently until will, freedom, choice, trust and faith can finally see past ego and into the depth of their purpose.
We walk through a period of our life being host of our soul. Showing it all there is to be seen through our eyes, senses and emotions much like a tour guide on a trip. But eventually the spirit within the soul becomes bored and tired of seeing the same thing as we circle round the Ring of Kerry over and again. We are at the point of our crossroad and it’s time for the ego to get out of the drivers set and let the spirit take the wheel. The spirit doesn’t’ need the maps or GPS to get us to the next path in life. It tells us now to sit back and enjoy the ride, choice is our ticket, trust is all we can take, will is what pushes us on the bus, and faith is what gives us the courage to take the first step, freedom is the weightlessness we feel as we let go of all the things that hold us back from moving on. As we travel once again around the Ring of Kerry on our way to the next destination we see as if for the first time because now it’s through the eyes of God.
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?
Whether you’re a man or a woman the message applies to each of us. The very jest of this statement is a lesson in itself, and one that gives us a formula that helps us better understand how to perceive why we do the things we do. Our lessons are found in our choices, our teachers are found through our mindfulness, our understanding comes from our perception. Good or bad we always have the option to correct our mistakes.
I had a dream last night that far off in the distance I could see open doors. Each one had a different level of light shining through them, one especially brighter than the rest. There wasn’t a question of which one I’d wanted to pass through, of course it was the one with the brightest shining light.
I was shown in the dream that each day I have the same opportunity to find my way to that same door and to walk through it freely, but how easy it is to get side tracked by my own thoughts and the things I put my attention on. Next thing I know I find myself on the other side of the wrong door and I wonder how the heck did that happen. Why do I keep doing the very thing I want to avoid? Why isn’t my faith strong enough to lead me in the right direction?
As dreams go hopping from one thing to another. I find myself thinking about how someone has irritated me. I see myself watching the news and how agitated I become. I play these scenarios out in my head wondering why people don’t see what I see? Then I find myself on the other side of the door of negativity. The reason there is still a light that shines from this door of negativity is because behind this door there are lessons to be learned, and the light beyond the lesson leads me back to the brighter doorway I can still reach once I learn to let go of that which holds me back.
If I want to walk through the brightest doorway, which I do, then I must practice the mindfulness I need to do it. Working on not being distracted by all the ugliness that stands in my way. Beginning each day remembering all I am grateful, because it is that that leads me in a positive direction. Walking across that shining bright threshold asking as I pass through what can I do today for the better good of all. This gives me the opportunity to do something productive to build upon. What will it be today? Another lesson on how negative thoughts hold me back or going toward the doorway that offers the brightest light in which I can see the possibility of all things through the eyes of God.
Taking the road less traveled, “it is the path off the path that brings us to God.”*
*Pg 44“The Book of Awakening” by Mark Nepo
As I sit in contemplation and prayer today, the beginning of the inauguration has already been set in action. I find that I am unable to enter into proper prayer and connection with the God I so desire to be one with without first laying aside my own feelings of anger and pride. It is hypocritical of how I try to live my life daily working to see the better good in everyone. Trump has continued to make that difficult, but today I put my faith and hope in the power God can do to change our ways. My prayer is that he has a change of heart in how he goes about things, and he sees the responsibility he has that affects every level of our county from our children to the world itself. I hold my hope in the famous words…that anything is possible through God.
An important note: I do not say this in support of any party. I am not conservative or a liberal. I base my decisions on what reflects the better good of all. Some might say that makes me a socialist. I say, if that’s what you think than what does that make God who wants nothing less. No labels please only know I speck out as one wanting to move on. There is much work to do yet, let’s do it through the grace of God.
It’s easy enough to get out of bed with the right intentions of making the best out of my day. But wait! It first takes a moment of conscious effort, to know what it is I want, before the wheels of intention can start spinning. But wait! Even more important than that, it all begins with awakening. “Smile, breathe, and go slowly,” I hear the quote of-Thich Nhat Hanh playing in my head. But just as my thoughts are written in a reverse manor. I would turn the quote around at the beginning of my awakening and ‘go slowly.’ ‘Breathing’ in the breath of life. Breathing out the whispered words of praise and thanksgiving for another day. How could I not ‘smile’ as my intentions of the day had already been set in motion simple through the awareness of my awakening.
Now the quote is put back in its proper place as I start the rest of my day with a ‘smile,’ and use my ‘breathe’ to keep my focus. I “go…slowly” with the intention of making the best of my day.
The work begins the moment I walk through the doorway of my bedroom. It is the world of distractions that I must face. It’s within the choices I make that my day will be determined. The first thought that comes to mind that starts the tug-a-war inside is, “should I turn the news on as I eat my breakfast?” My inner voice says “no”, my ego says “yes! We need to know what’s going on in the world.” I will refocus when I go into my sacred space after I eat, I tell myself. The negativity begins as I watch the news, read the paper, then onto the internet. If only I could focus on the few good things I see, but the cloud of negativity has begun to overshadow it. With coffee in hand and hope in my heart I head to my special room. As I light my candle to set the mood, I wonder why we humans so easily do the very thing we know we shouldn’t? As I try to quiet my mind for prayer I can’t get the news out of my mind. Like a wall across my path, its blocking my way. Entertaining the thoughts only makes it worse, “Breath,” I hear that voice inside me, but the ego wants to entertain all the things that make me frustrated, anger, and anxious. “Breathe,” I hear the voice again. Closing my eyes, I slowly breath in and out until I’m able to let the thoughts pass through me, and my intentions of the day come back into view. The ‘smile’ returns as I remember the focus my ‘breathing’ brings into play, and I’m reminded of how much easier it is to stay on track when I simple ‘go slowly,’ mindfully remembering what a gift I’ve been given today.
“The Sea of Life”
With my limited mobility, I don’t have much choice except to sit most of the day. Oh I get up quite often for short periods of walking and exercise, but the gist of my day is spent in a chair. I have plenty of things I can do like watching TV, reading a book, writing, working on my genealogy, a craft or even coloring in my color book. Or I can simple sit in the quiet and listen. The thing is I’m so tired most of the time that the TV seems to be the most mindless thing to do. In spite of my cloudy mind I still hear my inquiring mind reaching out from within. In case you haven’t guessed already I’m a pretty deep thinker. Nothing keeps those thoughts from finding a way out, except when I ignore it. I find myself saying lately, “Go away, and come again another day.” But to be honest I miss being connected to that inner part of myself. I miss being in the quiet. It’s simple a matter of choice. I can be in a noisy mindless state or in a quiet mindful state.
“A troubled man exhausted from his suffering and confusion, asked a sage for help. The sage looked deeply into the troubled man and with compassion offered him a choose: “You can have either a map or a boat.”
After looking at the many pilgrims about him, all of whom seemed equally troubled, the confused man said, “I’ll take the boat.”
The sage kissed him on the forehead and said, “Go than. You are the boat. Life is the sea.”***
In the quiet I’m always able to rediscover the sea of life that exists within me. Like a fisherman all I need to do is sit quietly bobbing in my boat, listening and waiting for the catch of the day to reveal itself to me.
***from “The Book of Awakening” by Mark Nepo
Today I choose good health, positive thinking, joy, happiness and the love of God who makes all things possible.
I call myself an optimist you’ve heard me say this before, I know. So how do I maintain this optimistic attitude with so much distention going on right now. This is a question I have to ask myself daily. I can’t stand the way the alternative makes me feel and when I’m ill-at-ease it’s always my first indication that I’ve slipped away from my true-self. What is my truth, you might ask me? My truth is that I believe there is something better within me…than that which is in the world. I believe that the same something is within each of us. We’re all a part of this one big conscious melting pot, and we’re each responsible for what this mixture creates.
The only way I can maintain my optimism is to keep my focus on a world that works for all humankind. The only way I can do that is by working on being the change myself that I visualize the world to be. I personally can’t do this without the partnership of my Creator. For it is only in Him, with Him and through Him that my own little melting pot is able to create the combination needed for the better good of myself, and the world I live in.