Archive for July, 2009

What Is Real?


The Velveteen Rabbit – I read this book to my son the other day and bawled like a baby.  No offense intended to you babies out there, ok?  I could hardly believe I had this book all these years and had never actually read it in its entirety.  About three quarters of the way through it, my son could hear my voice crack as I tried to choke back the tears (unsuccessfully, by the way) and he said, “stop reading Mommy because it’s making you cry”.  I replied “it’s o.k. honey because the end of the book will be a happy ending as all my endings are happy endings”.  And so it was and so it is.

“What is Real?”
asked the Rabbit one day.

“Does it mean having things that buzz
inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made.”
said the Skin Horse.
It’s a thing that happens to you.
When a child loves you for a long,
long time, not just to play with, but
REALLY loves you, then you become
Real.  It doesn’t happen all at once.
You become.  It takes a long time.
Generally, by the time you are Real,
most of your hair has been loved off,
you get loose in the joints and very
shabby.  But these things don’t matter
at all because once you are Real you
can’t be ugly except to people who
don’t understand.”

~The Velveteen Rabbit~
written by Margery Williams
first pulished in 1922

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surrendering{“Surrendering” by Freydoon Rassouli}

“You cannot wake yourself.
You can let yourself be awakened.”

~A Course in Miracles

I like the emphasis here on letting.  Not forcing but allowing.
And then an interesting synonym for “let” is: sit still for.  This
is to suggest that to let something come about requires no
action on our part except perhaps a releasing of individual will
and a resting in stillness.  No forcing, no action.  Just resting.
Stand still and allow, let the Universe support you.

This theme is also found in the The Field Center studies.
Here we find the Four Noble Truths:

1) Anything can happen.
2) You can’t make it happen.
3) You can let it happen.
4) If you let it happen to make it happen, it won’t happen.*

Interesting paradox isn’t it: if you let it happen to make it happen,
it won’t happen.  That is because the letting entailed in making
something happen is just another method of forcing the individual
will, albeit tying it up in a sophisticated bow.

This helps explain how sometimes when we find ourselves “at
the end of our rope”, an answering soon follows.  Why? because
finally personal will has been surrendered.  We have ceased to
bang anything into place, we have even come to the conclusion
that we don’t have all or even any of the answers.  In this state
of surrender and uncertainty, we have lost our grip on forcing
our will and have entered the portal of willingness.  A willing-
ness to finally concede that we don’t have the answers; we can’t
make anything happen and a corresponding receptivity to the
creative force of the Universe.  And miraculously it seems, at the
moment we are literally brought to our knees in surrender, answers
soon follow and manifestations appear just at the 11th hour.

So then it would behoove me to let go of my headstrong reasonings
that I have any of the answers, to let go of any forcing or trying to
make something happen.  To rest in that sweet spot where I don’t
stop caring about what I want.  On the contrary, I care deeply but
I now have the wisdom to know that an entire Universe can work it’s
magic far better than anything little me could possibly bang into place.
May that wisdom deepen in me so that I no longer have to be at the
end of my rope for answers to be let in.


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In a world filled with limitless possibilities, why do we sometimes choose limitation?  Why, indeed.  As conscious creators we paint the canvas and sometimes paint ourselves into a corner of limitation.  We become attached to the way we think things ought to be and feel obliged to give our attention to whatever doesn’t correspond to the way we think it ought to be.  We feel almost hypnotically entranced and seduced with the ways of the world.  We fall asleep and forget we have a choice.  And then we come and read Beth’s blog and wake up again :) as she, herself, also wakes up.

So what is a conscious creator to do then?  Refuse to acknowledge limitation of any sort.  That refusal means you simply withdraw your attention from limitations.  I know I said that as if it is simple.  It does become simpler every time you practice it.  Consistency is the cornerstone of practice.

Where we place our attention is what we agree with and unknowingly consent to having it as our dance partner.  Limitation is a dance partner that steps on our feet!  We keep dancing with it anyway – because it ought to be different!  And it will be, as soon as we make a conscious decision to dance with a different partner.  Limitless possibilities is so open and expansive; see how free you already feel dancing in the arms of inexhaustible potentialities.  Can you imagine that?  If not, just look around you right now – the Universe is so freely giving itself to you, it knows no bounds, it is without limits.  You are that Universe, you can freely give yourself to anything you choose and you do it with where you place your consciousness.  We were never meant to feel joy dancing with restriction, with limits, with restraint.  We were given the latitude to dance freely and without constraints.  That’s why we have free will and the right to exercise that free will fully or limit and restrict it.

So where shall we place our consciousness today – on the side of limitation or on the side of limitless, inexhaustible potentialities.  It’s our call.  Always.  Let’s let ourselves be seduced by a world without limits.  A world and a consciousness where anything can and does change in an instant.   Let’s make that our new dance partner.  Paso Doble anyone?

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like the one about the man who
walked down the street
& turned into
a drugstore.

There was some secret in the moment
of that turning—when he has one thing,
became another—
that I return to again & again.

The day she stopped being
grandma and turned into
that madwoman.

The day my sister stopped being
& never came back. Perhaps there
was an instant between her secret sleep

& the moment the fever struck,
from which she could have been plucked.

Do not make that turn, I want to say to the man
who becomes the drugstore; to the woman
who dies insane; to my sister;

to the boy who became an adult
the moment the cell door slammed shut.
I want to freeze-frame each instant of turning,

unfold in slow motion the moment of callous
change. Perhaps the secret’s in the man’s
intention; in the list in his pocket of mundane
nostrums he was sent to fetch home.

Or perhaps I’ve got it wrong,
perhaps there’s a soda fountain where they all sit—
the man, my grandmother, my sister, the boy—

& drink nickel root beer floats, look back
on that fateful turn, & laugh among themselves
at the rest of us, who took it all so seriously.

~Richard Beban~
what have you lost?
Poems Selected by Naomi Shihab Nye

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Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the woods. Every
time you do, you will be certain to find something you have never seen before.

-Alexander Graham Bell

What an interesting quote on the virtues of an adventuresome spirit.  I was
pondering if Abraham’s definition of contrast, or what feels like unwanted
events, isn’t an invitation to leave the beaten track.  They used to call it ‘data
collecting side trips’.   We sometimes get lost in the midst of one but it never
seems to fail that we always expand as a result and enter fresh, untrodden

So what if I just started seeing all contrast as an invitation to leave the beaten
track?  What if it is calling me to stretch beyond previous limits and knock
down old boundaries?  What if I viewed it with the eyes of an adventurer?
What if I knew from the onset that this data collecting side trip, this slice
of contrast, would launch me in new directions, open new pathways and
new ways of being in this Universe?

I am an adventurer at heart.  I think when Abraham says “life is supposed to
be fun”, I’ve never fully resonated with that.  It didn’t always feel fun.  Tell me
that “life is supposed to be an adventure” and I’m all over that!

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I hand picked this one of inspirational quotes set to a very special song.

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You find yourself on a street you’ve never
walked, in the town you grew up in
and came back to. The street is a ribbon
on a gift you’ve never opened. You walk the street
and a waft of jasmine fills you, a white cat
crosses your path, and from an open window
you hear the sound of a violin. Garlic
is in the air, and you think of the dish
in your favorite restaurant that you’ve wanted to try
but end up ordering spaghetti.
You go to the restaurant and take a seat
on the other side of the room, by the window,
and order Faraona arrosto al limone. It’s wonderful!
Now you know you’re on to something.
You stroll to your favorite bookstore and find
the poet you keep hearing about
but haven’t read. You buy the book.
You’re a blind man finding Braille. She leads you
through streets you’ve never walked, feeds you words
that taste fresh, full of garlic. You
find yourself. All of a sudden you’ve bungee jumped
into a new life, you want to free fall
with nothing holding you back. You’re ready to walk
that mountain loop you’d always thought too long.
You’re free of something you didn’t know
had a hold of you, like a ghost
you’ve lived with and just found, the haunting over.

~Robert Funge~
what have you lost?
Poems Selected by Naomi Shihab Nye

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People ask me how I make music.
I tell them I just step into it.
It’s like stepping into a river and joining the flow.
Every moment in the river has it’s song.
So I stay in the moment and listen.
What I hear is never the same.
A walk through the woods brings a light, crackling song:
Leaves rustle in the wind, birds chatter and
Squirrels scold, twigs crunch underfoot,
and the beat of my heart holds it all together.
When you join the flow, the music is inside and outside,
and both are the same.
As long as I can listen to the moment,
I’ll always have music.

~Michael Jackson~

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Dedicated to Kitty C. who turned me onto these poetic lyrics from the Piano Man…

album-river-of-dreamsAlbum Cover by Christie Brinkley

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
From the Mountains of Faith
To the river so deep
I must be lookin’ for something
Something sacred I lost
But the river is wide
And it’s too hard to cross
even though I know the river is wide
I walk down every evening and stand on the shore
I try to cross to the opposite side
So I can finally find what I’ve been looking for
In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the Valley of Fear
To a river so deep
I’ve been searching for something
Taken out of my soul
Something I’d never lose
Something somebody stole
I don’t know why I go walking at night
But now I’m tired and I don’t want to walk anymore
I hope it doesn’t take the rest of my life
Until I find what it is I’ve been looking for

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the Jungle of Doubt
To the river so deep
I know I’m searching for something
Something so undefined
That it can only be seen
By the eyes of the blind
In the middle of the night

I’m not sure about a life after this
God knows I’ve never been a spiritual man
Baptized by the fire, I wade into the river
That is runnin’ to the promised land

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the Desert of Truth
To the river so deep
We all end in the ocean
We all start in the streams
We’re all carried along
By the River of Dreams
In the middle of the night

~ Billy Joel ~

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We celebrate freedom from Great Britain today – yet wherever we live, whoever we are, no matter our circumstances we possess an inner freedom that can never be taken from any of us.  And that freedom is the freedom to choose who we are and how we show up in this world.  Nick Vujicic speaks here about this inner freedom.

He has a couple of points I would like to comment on:

1.  live on purpose

whenever possible let yourself plunge into life

2.  it’s a lie to think that you are not good enough

never ever let yourself believe that you are not good enough, become a champion of yourself and you will never hold regret.

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