As I begin my day I light my spiced pumpkin candle. The light representing the presence of God. The smell awakening my senses and I give thanks for another day to experience what life has to teach and offer me. Then I open my little marble book that holds the names of people who are in need of prayer. I don’t ask God for what he already knows their needs to be. I simple see them as receiving whatever it is that God has to offer them on this day. Then I center myself through meditation and as I concentrate on my breath I can’t help feeling blessed to be alive yet one more day. One breath at a time and nothing else matters except the moment I find myself in. All else stems from this moment of thanks and praise. I breath in wellness and out happiness in and out filling myself with all that is good and right in the world. Remembering that with all that can go wrong there is so much more good to draw from.
May your day be blessed and filled with all your hearts desire.
I was sharing with a friend the other day how uninspired I’ve been feeling lately with my writing. These times of disarray, fear and anger going on in our country, and the world, feel awful familiar to me. It brings me back to the 60’s a time when my own life was turned upside down…let alone what was going in our country at the time. No wonder I can’t get inspired, the feeling paralyses me like it did back then when all I wanted to do was roll up into a ball and disappear. I remember my Dad telling that life is like a pendulum swinging back and forth between the good and the bad times. That every generation has its own painful experiences to go through and overcome.
I’ve always wanted to help others. To make people feel more hopeful, but sometimes even the flower girl runs out of flowers to offer, and she just needs to have one offered back to her so she can remember how good it feels to receive. So, as I pray for guidance I come across a fable in one of my daily readings, and I receive the flower that it has to offer me. Today I pass it onto you with a hopeful heart that you can find some peace in the midst of these stormy days.
*There was a king who offered a prize for the person who could paint the best picture of peace. There were two finalists. One drew a picture of peaceful mountains, fluffy clouds and a calm lake. The other drew a picture of an angry sky, lightning and a rushing waterfall. Behind the waterfall was a tiny bush growing from a crack in a rock, and there sat a mother bird in her nest in perfect calm. The king chose the second picture, because, as the anonymous author described, “Peace doesn’t mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of these things and still be calm in your heart.”
*Science of Mind Magazine daily reading Sunday August 20, 2017 by Rev. Ron Fox
So here we are at the end of this stressful election. I find myself wanting to take a shower to wash all the yucky negative feelings clinging to me like an infectious disease. After I dry off its time to go to work finding my way back to that peaceful place. Sometimes looking for the good that still exist all around me is like trying to find the hidden faces in the bigger picture. It takes time, concentration, commitment, focus and just a silver of faith to get me started. I begin to see clearly, but only because I’m now looking through the eyes of God. Each hidden face I find is like a different golden nugget. The more I collect the brighter my treasure chest shines shedding light on the bigger picture. I hope that my light shines bright enough that you might get a clearer view of the hidden treasure of goodness that still exist around you.
Here’s to the people who try their hardest to be good enough for everyone;
Who see the best in people even when others sees nothing but the worst.
To those who deserve so much more than they get in return.
To those who live the example of what they believe.
To those who try to be true to themselves that they may be true to others.
Here’s to the person who spends hours looking for the perfect quote;
The ones who’s hear the songs that play in their head as they think of the the things that touch their hearts.
Here’s to the people who look beyond their own pain that they might spread love, peace and joy instead of sadness and defeat.
Here’s to the people who are able to believe in the better good because they walk beside God who gives them the ability to think beyond the human ego.
On October 23, 2016, we laid our sweet Ollie dog to rest, and our hearts have been broken in these last few days without him. I think about how ironic it is that this happened on the same day that I always posted “Sundays with Ollie.” For us it was literally our last “Sunday with Ollie.” I kept thinking he was 13, but after looking at his papers he was actually 12. He became a part of our family in October of 2004. I remember the day we picked him out. I was going to take home the first puppy that came up to me. They say it’s their way of picking you out, but Ollie was too busy chasing his brothers and sisters around the yard, and he was the runt of the liter. I fell in love with him right off the bat. He was 6 weeks old and so tiny I could hold him in my two hands. As we took him away from the only family he knew he was scared, but he melted in my arms as I began to hum softly in his ear. Our bond began, and while Tom wasn’t much of a dog person, it made him happy to see me so content. Ollie, being the personality that he was warmed his way into Tom’s heart as well.
As I was looking through his papers I found the receipt for a dog training class I signed him up for. It made me laugh remembering how totally uncooperative he was. Ollie was more interested in playing with the other dogs then learning how to behave and listen. He had no fears of other dogs, he’d let the biggest ones know that he was no push over. By all accounts some people might consider him an irritating dog with his loud bark and his piercing stare, but it was his charismatic personality that overshadowed anything else. I would do anything to hear that bark one more time right now. As Tom said, Ollie was one of a kind, and surely our most favorite of all pets.
God has a way helping us through our losses. We simple must be open to what he has for us to receive. As we left the pet emergency, taking Ollie home to bury him in our back yard. A woman appeared out of nowhere seeing how distraught I was she said to me, “peace be with you sister, you’ll see your furry little friend again someday.” Then she took my hand and prayed that God would bless me with his loving peace. I felt like she was an angle placed right where and when I needed her. The next day as I was sitting in my sacred space, the void of Ollie was overwhelming. His presence always played an intricate part in helping me to become centered. Feeling unable to concentrate on anything, I started flipping through my “Science of Mind” Magazine stopping at an article called “Dog gone grief.” I couldn’t help thinking how much the title sounded like something Ollie would say in one of his post. The author Stef Swink was writing about the recent loss of her own 13yr old dog. She was reminded by a friend, that it’s ok to allow ourselves to feel life’s heartbreaks. “Deep love,” she goes on, “is worth the pain! If you are in anguish, allow it and honor it.” That’s what Tom and I are trying to do. It feels like we’re on roller coaster of emotions, same as we were when we lost our loved ones. There’s the ups and the downs, the twist and the turns, and the downhill screams allow me to cry as loud and as hard as I need to, letting my tears heal my heartbreak. I talk about my grief, because I can only share what I feel. But both Tom and I know by the grace of God our “dog gone grief” will slow down when the time is right. It is then that we can sit with the treasured legacy that “Sundays with Ollie” has yet to offer us.
Tom tries to lighten the mood by telling me that Ollie is with our other dogs now, his brothers, and knowing Ollie he’s probable chasing them all over the place in heaven.
I can hear him saying his favorite line, “I’m a lucky dog, indeed!”
In the mist of all the fear, destruction and hopeless outlook. Stop right where you are and remember all the good that still remains in your life starting with the smallest things working your way up to the greatest. Love, peace, joy and hope all begin with us. Reach out and touch someone with a little spark of your own love, and spread all the goodness you can conger up for it is true we shall never pass this way again.
Sending love, peace and big hugs to all who read this.
This is a good question to ask ourselves at this time of re-election in our country. It seems that the only real control we have is in who we decide to vote for. For me personally the candidates have nothing to offer that reflects any of my values. It makes you feel like you have no sense of control in how you would like to change the world for the better. So in order to see my own worth in all this I have to bring it down to level in which I can make a difference. The world is an awful big picture to take on. However, the only real world we live in is the one within ourselves. Now that’s something we can do something about. Does it really make a difference how I live in my own world? Of course it does because it affects everything around me. In my own inner world, it all starts with me, because after all I’m the only one I can do anything about. I affect others as others affect me, it’s true. However, the bottom line is, how I let others affect me is up to me. The change I wish that I could make is simple in being the change myself, living, expressing, inspiring through my own example. The answer is all encompassing in this thing we call love, and love is much bigger then the world. So I guess for me the change would come from learning to love more every day right where I am. If I can become an expression of that love how can I possible, go wrong? It is true what the world needs now is love sweet love. One of my favorite songs of my youth. I wish it had the sincerity it was intended for when sung at the democratic convention, and how sad but true in a cartoon today it was Trump singing the song, “what the world needs now is Trump Sweet Trump.” The world needs the best of all of us. Think what the world would be like if we all joined in the effort to change ourselves in a way that better serves the world for the greater good of all.
Sleeping under the stars
“We’ve never experienced this very moment before, and the next moment will not be the same as the one we are in now.” -Pena Chodron
I’ve been sleeping propped up on the couch for the past few nights since my surgery. Our couch sits up against the big bay window in our living room. As I can only lay on my back to sleep right now it gets a little uncomfortable through the night. At some point I opened my eyes to get resituated, but I couldn’t move because of what I saw. It was as if I was sleeping outside under the stars. The sky was clear, the moon was almost full, and the stars were shining extra bright, at least they looked that way to me. I would have never been able to see this view from inside my house if I hadn’t been laying at the angle I was. It’s funny how one little open door of awareness can open us up to all the things around us we have blocked out. Suddenly I was aware of the cool fresh air coming in the corner windows, and the sounds of the summer night as if in full concert mode. Between the sight, sound and fresh clean air I felt like I’d been given a glimpse of heaven. It was a captured moment in time in which all else was forgotten. There was no pain or discomfort and after a while I fell back to sleep forgetting why I woke up in the first place. Every mindful moment like this seems to build on top of the other for me. Through this whole ordeal I’ve been able to find a way to see something better than my condition, and it’s had an amazing effect on my healing so far. I don’t question anymore where it come from. I know it comes from the grace of God, and all it takes is a moment of awareness to tap into.
Today I was reading about Grace. Not the person, but it’s many meanings. The very sound of the word congers up thoughts of beauty. “Amazing Grace how sweet thy name,” comes to mind. I once knew a friend who called God, Grace by name because it better expressed the gentle loving Creator she came to know in her life. Grace means many different things in the English language, religions, and to each individual. As I look up the word in Google I realize I could write a book on the subject itself. So I’ll just stick to what it’s come to mean to me in my life.
I have learned that God is not as complicated as we make Him. I experience His grace each time I remember that we are inner connected. He is not off somewhere apart from me. It is in Him, through Him, and with Him, that I am the authentic person He created me to be. It’s where I find my purpose, and everything falls together as it is meant to be. His grace is always sufficient, and the only time it becomes difficult is when I forget who I really am.