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 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
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.
“Driving Miss Daisy”
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
We are the driver of the vehicle in which we exist. Like in the movie “Driving Miss Daisy” the spirit of God sits in the backseat and anxiously asks where you’re going to take me today? I can’t wait to see what you have in store for me. I can’t wait to see the world and life, through your eyes, through your perspective, through your guided tour.
When I look at it this way, it makes me sit up a little straighter in the driver’s seat. How can I not become excited myself to see life in return through the eyes of my inner spirit.
I can see this as an opportunity to show all the wonders and beauty of life as I experience or mindlessly drive along forgetting about passenger I’m driving for in the first place.
I can ask the spirit what do you want to see today? Then in a mindful meditative way allow that knowing to lead the way.
I can get up and route out a map and plan of where I want to take the spirit, but then I’m taking charge as I get caught up in the work of it rather than the spontaneity of our experience together. Then I’d be looking in the rearview mirror wondering after all my efforts where my passenger got to. Feeling the loss of of the spirit I’d have to pull over try to figure out what went wrong. Once I get out of my own way I can see the spirit coming forward leaning its arms on the back of the front seat saying, “let’s just see where life takes us today. With each place we go let’s look for the good, joy and beauty even in the most desolate of places. Let’s bring a sign of hope and place it in the ground where it’s needed, and let’s experience it together as one.”
“Onward Connie, I can’t wait to see what you see, to experience what you feel, and to watch your own excitement along the way, and as for the rest of it we’ll figure it out as we go.
“There are two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a mircale.
Being very excited to set out on my own this morning, I planned my first trip to the grocery store by myself since my knee surgery. Today marks going into my 8th week. I’m still having trouble walking correctly, but also know I need the practice. Having the cart to hold onto and taking my time…no problem! I think to myself.
As soon as I get out of the car my mind is way ahead of me trying to push me faster then I can move. By the time I get from my car into the store I’m feeling as if I’ve gone far enough. But with determination I push myself because that’s what I think I have to do. Now I have to go from one end of the store to the other even though I don’t need that much. I get halfway through the store and I can feel my leg starting to cramp. I find a bench and sit for a few minutes. It’s funny how close things look but how far out reach they seem to be when you walk like a turtle.
I finally worked my way down a long aisle toward the checkout. Get in line and empty my basket. Than look on wondering what the hold up is. The lady in front of me has food stamps and about every four items the cashier rings her up separately filling out checks, scanning her Welfare card, and her Giant card going through the same process 5 times. I’m dying now in line wanting to scream that this is a handicap checkout and I’m in pain, but I didn’t because I’m too frigging nice for my own good. I finally check out. Make my way back to the car, head home and the worry begins to play in my mind. Why I am I having such a hard time? What if something went wrong with the procedure? What if I need surgery all over again? I pull into the garage and slowly make my way into the house. I go straight to the freezer. Throw my coat off. Head for my recliner and put my leg up. Than I start to cry. After I get it all out. Talk to Tom and calm down. I’m able to look back and remember how far I’ve actually come. As I’m thinking this, I’m reminded of how relevant my experience is to my daily reading as Mark Nepo says, “Being human, we struggle constantly to stay with the miracle of what is, and not to fall constantly into the hole of what is not.”*
And so the lesson of the day has been learned. Now that’s an accomplishment!
*”The Book of Awakening” Mark Nepo
This morning I was listening to Wayne Dyer on YouTube. He shared how important it is to spend time everyday outside reconnecting with all of God’s creations. Breathing in the fresh air, walking on the grass in your bare feet. I wish I could, but for one thing it’s too cold to walk in my bare feet where I live, and I’m still limited as to what I can do with my walking. But does that mean I have to settle for doing nothing? Nope! Not I!
Today I’m going to stretch my wings and go on an adventure. I had something that needed to go in the mailbox and the only way it was going to get there was for me to take it. I must say, it was like breaking out on my own for the first time in a long time. It meant putting my trust in how far I’ve come. Believing that I could walk the distance to my mailbox and back without anything to lean on or a place to sit in between. I know it sounds pitiful, but for me it was a great accomplishment. To top it off it was actually pretty nice out, and the fresh air felt cleansing to breath in.
I had no where to sit outside. So I did the next best thing. I opened my curtains inside the house. Sat on my couch in front of the big bay window taking in the sights that can’t be seen unless we stop like this to take them in. Guess what I saw? Several Robins sitting among the branches of my holly tree which is still filled with red berries. A sign of spring and hope that comes after a long winter of rest and renewal.
“I’ll be home for Christmas”
You know this familiar song at Christmas time. It congers up all the wonderful comforting feelings that come with retuning “home” again. I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things about going away on vacations is at the end when I walk through my front door. “Home!” ET pointed up toward the sky as he longed to find a way back to his planet. “I’ll be home for Christmas” those five words keep playing in my head, but with a different slant upon its meaning. It’s more of a coming back to that from which I’ve come in the spiritual sense.
Symbolically we all eventual leave home like the prodigal son wanting to explore and experience life for ourselves. There is a pull toward “something” unknown, and our need to find out what it is drives us. So we set out on our journey, getting lost along the way many times. Like the prodigal son ,we begin to wonder aimlessly until that longing for “something” leads us back to that from which we came, “home.” But like ET, our desperate need to find a way home looks impossibly. If we listen we can hear those five words playing in our head pointing the way that we long to go, “I’ll be home for Christmas. For it is in coming home for Christmas that we are reminded of why Jesus was born. He came to show us the way back home to where we belong. We all must come to that point when we long to come home once again for Christmas. Upon our return ,we realize what we’d been searching for all along was right here where we left it. What we realize at the time of our return is how necessary the journey away was. For it is only in the leaving that we learn what we had all along, and it is in the retuning that the meaning of “coming home for Christmas” is truly understood.
No pain, no gain!
That’s what I have to tell myself to gain the confidence I need to walk, move and exercise my newly constructed knee. It’s like having to walk across a bed of hot coals to get to the place I want to be on the other side of this. I realize that sacrifice only exist in the time it takes to get from here to there. That if I keep my focus on where I’m headed I don’t feel the burn as bad. With each attempt I grow stronger, letting go of what holds me back. Letting go of that which weighs me down, making my footsteps upon the burning coals a little lighter. I’m learning that anything is possible if we want it bad enough. It’s a great lesson, teaching me that nothing is impossible when we put our mind, heart and soul into what we have to do. Reminding myself over and again that for me no pain, means no gain, so it’s become my manta for now. A lesson that can be applied to other areas of my life as well.
Digital art by Jennifer Woodward
This month of November has been a challenge for me. However, I’ve learned a lot of good things about myself along the way. One being that I still have the ability to organize, and multitask in a short amount of time. I honestly am not sure I could have handled this if not for the people in my life who remind me what I need to know when I can’t see it for myself. It has been a true practice of putting into affect what I believe, live by, and share in my daily postings. My most importantly task has been making sure my grandchildren each have their gifts to open on Christmas Eve. Why all this fuse? Because I’m going in for knee replacement surgery this Tuesday, and I’ll be kind of limited as to what I can do for a while.
One of the best helps through all the shopping, our vacation and thanksgiving has been a book my friend JoAnn has shared with me called “Preparing for Surgery, Heal Faster,” by Peggy Huddleston. It comes with a meditation CD that I’ve listened to twice a day for the past month. It has given me the physical, emotional, and spiritual encouragement to do what I’ve needed to up to this point.
Now that the time is approaching and there is not much left to distract me. The reality of my surgery comes swooping into my psyche. I’m not going to pretend that there isn’t a bit of fear and apprehension. However, the practice I’ve had this month keeping my stress level at bay is helping me to change my thoughts from fear to faith as I focus on the quality of life this procedure will provide for me.
One of the last things the book encourages me to do is asking for others to pray and think positively for me especially on Tuesday. All that wonderful prayerful positive energy gathered together the last time I had surgery truly made me feel peaceful going into it. I greatly appreciate it in advance. I end this post with the positive words of a friend from my last surgery, “I’ll see you on the other side of this.” 🙏
“In our moving outward,
upward and onward,
I feel the silent strength linking me
to all others
by bonds of sympathy
and true brotherhood.”