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.”
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.
Photo from 3.bp.blogspot.com
“The sun, without intent or will or plan or sense of principle, just shines, thoroughly and constantly. By being itself, the sun warms with its light, never withholding or warming only certain things of Earth. Rather, the sun emanates in all directions all the time, and things grow. In the same way, when we are authentic, expressing our warmth and light in all directions, we cause things around us to grow.” -Mark Nepo *
Lately I’ve been reading a lot about being authentic. Being human we’re much more complicated than the sun and the flowers. They are what they were created to be without wondering what they have to offer. They simple do what they do best. The very question of authenticity takes us outside ourselves looking in comparison at others. Thinking I’ll never be as good as so and so, all the while missing out on who we are and what we have to offer the world. How can I shine my light on others? How can I be the expression of Love in which I come from? How can I wrap that warmth around others and help them grow? The sun and the flower show us by example and in their nonverbal language tell us…just be.
How? By looking within and recognizing what makes you feel the most alive when you’re doing it. Maybe you enjoy singing, playing an instrument, cooking, gardening, making crafty things, giving massages, doing Reiki, or writing, just to name a few. Anything we love to do can be used to warm someone’s else’s heart, light their day and help them grow into their own authentic self just by being who we are. There’s nothing more affective then showing rather than telling just as Mark Nepo’s does with his beautiful metaphoric writing about the sun and its intent. I wonder, can you see the picture he draws with his words?
*A Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo March 30 reading
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.
All it takes to create the littlest bit of goodness is a thought of gratitude and an expression of love. It’s a great recipe for creating a better world too.
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.
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.
This is a follow-up from yesterday’s post. “Start from Now.” I was asked for a source of where it came from and as I wrote the answer it got me thinking about how important it is to share with everyone.
It’s a phrase my Dad often said to me when I found myself discouraged by the choices I made or the circumstances I found myself in. I figured he got it from one of the many inspirational books he’d read, but since I was asked I decided to google it. There are many different references to the same idea but none that are specific to these 3 words. It was found within the quote written by Carl Bard. (see the photo attached.)
Many already known the story I wrote a few years ago, about how I found these words written on a yellow sticky note stuck to the inside door of my Dad’s medicine cabinet. Something he couldn’t miss each morning as he began his day shaving. What many people don’t know is that he was a recovering alcoholic who had been sober for about the last 25 years of his life before he died at 79. Just because alcoholic’s stop drinking for long period doesn’t mean that the urge to drink goes away. It was a decision he had to make daily, sometimes several times a day. He found a way to take each moment and start anew because the other alternative would play on his mind, and he knew he couldn’t go there. He also learned to apply it to many other areas life.
These 3 words for me are not just words of feel good fluff. I don’t share anything I myself don’t use in my own life. One thing I will say is that starting from now is not for sissies. It is hard work. Moving past the things in my life that drag me down feels like my own personal addiction to overcome. I’ve shared this quote with friends going through their own struggles. My friend Donna used it daily as she fought her way through cancer, and when she was too overcome by her condition her husband reminded her to take one step at a time…starting from now. Even through my own illness this past year and my surgeries where I felt stuck in limbo bringing myself back to the now reminded me that I was still alive, and that each day is a gift worth living no matter how I feel. Nobody said it was easy. The choice is there. I can choose to make the best of where I’m at each day or choose not to. Starting from now is just a formula to begin with…the rest is up to us.
In my reading today it was about the joy of words. It strikes me as a worthy subject to write about because of the passion I have for words.
Words allow us to find a way to bring our thoughts out of our minds. The word is expressed in our own creation. God thought first about what he wanted to create. Then that thought came forth expressed in a word, and that word became flesh. We are made in the same image and likeness as our creator. So we have the same ability to create in the small the same way as God creates in the big.
Our words allow us to communicate with our fellow humans as well as God’s other creations. Even plants are known to react positively to our words. Words don’t even have to be heard or spoken they can be understood through sign language, writing, reading and even through our actions as well as our senses. Wow! As I write this I’m discovering the vastness of words I never looked at before. Isn’t it amazing how something we’ve done all our life can be taken for granted. We don’t even realize the power our own words hold within them.
Just like all the tools we have to use in life. A hammer can be used to build things or destroy them. Our thoughts must find a way out of our minds, they want to create. So what we focus on, believe and entertain will find a way out, and when we open the gate to our mouth the words they express will come flying out. They will create something positive, good and life giving, or negative, bad and destructives. We’ve been given a great gift. We should keep a watchful guard at the gate of our mouth making sure we don’t let any words out that don’t express who we really are. Our words are a mirror reflection of the life we create for ourselves. It’s kind of creepy if you think about it, because it gives others the opportunity to read our minds.
There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she
has a place to fill, and every piece must fit
itself into the big jigsaw puzzle.
I think that’s what we’re searching for as we wonder why am I here? What is my purpose? What should I be doing with my life? Who am I, and how do I fit into the whole scheme of things. It is like having that one piece of the puzzle we can’t find the right spot for. We can’t force it to fit where it doesn’t belong. We have our own unique spot that can only be filled by us and if we don’t find it, the puzzle is left with an open whole. Our life is all about the adventure and search. When we begin to see our place, we are able to stand back and see how it all comes together.