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Archive for March, 2010

Wonderer

There are several translations of this Rumi poem.  This version is the one sung in this particular youtube video.  Listen to this and you will know the song by heart and maybe you will find yourself singing or humming it during the day and remembering, most of all, that it doesn’t matter if you’ve broken your vows a thousand times before … just come.  Lovely!

Come, come, whoever you are
Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving

Come, come, whoever you are
This isn’t a caravan of despair

And it doesn’t matter if you’ve broken your vows
a thousand times before

And yet again, come again, come, and yet again, come
‘Cause it doesn’t matter if you’ve broken your vows
a thousand times before

Come again, come, come again
~Rumi~

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I was talking with my friend the other day.  She likes to find a moment in each day and milk that moment right before she goes to bed at night and then add Abraham’s before sleep process, which I will append below this.

I love this idea.  Really, most every day has a moment, a peak moment that you could just ride the wave of that moment indefinitely.  So why not ride it some more?  And what’s even more fun, is noticing the little things during the day and asking each one: are you my big moment today? are you? oh, how about you?  Oh yes, YOU are my BIG moment today!  You just know it when it’s there.  Now the magic is not just in the moment but it’s in anticipating it, too.  I can string all of those moments, biggest to the smallest, together in the day and then reflect on them before sleep. Then add, if you like, Abraham’s “melt yourself into bed” at night process.

Lately Abraham says if you go to bed out of the vortex, you’ll wake up out of the vortex.  Vortex, shmortex, I’m not so sure about that.  I’ve gone to bed feeling pretty wonky and awakened feeling like: wow, what was that all about?  It’s just so off my radar now.  But nevertheless going to bed milking the moment or moments, can only leave you feeling “good, good, good, good vibrations”.

“We would put ourselves in our bed and we would lie there in the bed and try to achieve the feeling of appreciation. We would appreciate our bed. We would appreciate our day. We would compliment ourselves on the day’s achievement no matter how big or few they are. We would do our best to bask in our bed.

Before drifting off to sleep, we would set forth a thought, which is what we call prepaving, of pleasant anticipation of tomorrow. We would say something like, “Tomorrow will be a wonderful day.” And then we would try to find the feeling place of one of the most wonderful days we’d ever had. We’d try to find
the feeling place of waking up and being glad to be alive and feeling happy about our physical life experience. We wouldn’t spend a lot of time on it because you don’t want to stimulate yourself into a lot of thought right before you’re trying to go to sleep. We would just try to generate the feeling of subtle, good feeling, peaceful, loving appreciation.

We so want you to just melt into bed tonight, as you put yourself there and feel the warm embrace of Source Energy wrapping around you and through you — feeling nothing but appreciation and love for your willingness to play in this co-creative game with all of us.” ~ Abraham Hicks

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“There are all kinds of unlovely fruit. But you can detach yourself from your unlovely harvest by making an adjustment in your human
imagination. Ask yourself what you would like to harvest.” ~Neville Goddard

If you find that you are giving yourself to “unlovely fruit”, in your mind, imaginally, then the next step is:

what lovely fruit would you rather give yourself to?

Or stated in today’s language, (though I must say I love Neville’s way of speaking), what do you want?  It is said that practice begins with knowing what you want.  Harvesting unlovely fruit is knowing what you don’t want.  That’s ok though, because what you don’t want will point you to what you do want.

The canvas is all yours, you, me, we can paint unlovely fruit, we can paint anything we want.  So which is more desirable: paint the unlovely, yucky fruit or something beautiful and lovely to behold in our inner landscape?  I know it’s a complete no brainer when put that way.  So why do we sometimes attempt to harvest unlovely fruit?  The why doesn’t really matter.  It only matters that we do.  And sometimes just having a clear, simple direction for practice is all we need to lend ourselves to the fruit of our heart’s desires.

On our canvas, even the sky is not the limit, in other words, there are no limits.  So, do we paint paradise or a parking lot?  Sorry, Joni.  :)

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I Want to Write Something So Simply

I want to write something
so simply
about love
or about pain
that even
as you are reading
you feel it
and as you read
you keep feeling it
and though it be my story
it will be common,
though it be singular
it will be known to you
so that by the end
you will think —
no, you will realize —
that it was all the while
yourself arranging the words
that it was all the time
words that you yourself,
out of your own heart
had been saying.

~Mary Oliver~
Evidence: Poems by Mary Oliver

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The Trees

I was reading Mary Oliver poems last night from her book entitled “Evidence”.  It’s been awhile since I’ve posted her poetry.  She is such a beautiful voice for expressing her passion around life, living and nature.  I think it’s fitting then to conclude this month that heralded Spring’s arrival, with a handful of selections from Mary Oliver.

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The Trees

Do you think of them as decoration?

Think again.

Here are maples, flashing.
And here are the oaks, holding on all winter
to their dry leaves.
And here are the pines, that will never fail,
until death, the instruction to be green.
And here are the willows, the first
to pronounce a new year.

May I invite you to revise your thoughts about them?
Oh, Lord, how we are all for invention and
advancement!
But I think
it would do us good if we would think about
these brothers and sisters, quietly and deeply.

The trees, the trees, just holding on
to the old, holy ways.

~Mary Oliver~
Evidence: Poems by Mary Oliver

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I’ve gone back to finding my religion again, loosely translated that means I am believing something about my precious oldest daughter that is painful for me to believe.  Lately, every day I pick up ACIM and let a page fall open and speak to me. Today it opened to Lesson 54.  All ACIM quotes will appear in bold, the remainder will be my comments.

I have no neutral thoughts.

Neutral thoughts are impossible because all thoughts have power.  They will either make a false world or lead me to the real one.

Believing in my daughter’s condition is a false world.  It’s a world in which I believe she is not whole.  It’s a world of separation both by my belief in the condition and by my suffering with these thoughts about it.

I see no neutral things.

Let me look on the world I see as the representation of my own state of mind.

Let me remember that the world I currently see represents my departure from the real world where I let my fears take hold and make manifest this false world.

I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my seeing.

I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts.

I am alone in nothing.

What a relief.

I am determined to see.

I would behold the proof that what has been done through me has enabled love to replace fear, laughter to replace tears, and abundance to replace loss.  I would look upon the real world, and let it teach me that my will and the will of God are one.

Ok, I have one bone to pick here.  “I am determined”, sounds too willful and efforting to me.  I change it to: I surrender so that the real world may be revealed to me.  I surrender so that I might know where I thought there was darkness, there is light, where I thought there was pain, there is healing, where I thought there was something to fear, there is something to love, where I thought there was something missing, I find wholeness.

I surrender to remembering I don’t have the resources to see the bigger picture.  I surrender to remembering resting in the peace and stillness of God is worth more than any niggling fear could ever reap.  I surrender to make room for every little miracle to take the place of my false perceptions.  I surrender.  Again.

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surrendering to One Mind

fills me like the early morning light expanding into the day

this still small voice inside of me is never wholly silenced

here there are no problems and therefore no solutions

no piles of good and bad, wanted and unwanted

only pure, endless absolute Love

Love without reservation

resting in the Innocence of One Mind

Now, I am Home.

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Continuing along the lines of my last post, Becoming, yesterday the word was Love.  So the hand on the heart pledge to myself was because I am not afraid, I will step into my greatness, I will step into all that I really am and I will experience my Love.  I will bring this Love to all that I do today.  If faced with a challenging situation, I will ask:
What would Love bring to this situation?
I noted it didn’t have to be a challenging situation, it could just be an unwanted thought.  Yesterday I had a scary thought, so I asked what would Love bring to this thought?  Scary thought went poof into the ethers because I was no longer giving any thought to it.
Today the word is wisdom.  In the shower today, I had another scary thought.  Now wisdom really requires me to step up my game here so to speak, because we are talking about identity here.  What am I giving the “I am” to?  Wisdom asked: what was I giving myself to in the scary thought?  The I am, the identity statement was I am not a good enough Mom which is really long hand for “bad Mom”.  First of all, wisdom said: does a “bad” Mom worry about whether she is good enough?  Hmmm, I don’t think so.  But let’s grant the belief anyway, even if it is making less sense by the second.  Wisdom said, Be Still and let yourself be open to receiving the knowledge that you are a loving, caring, good Mom.  And in the shower, I was “flooded” – how appropriate, eh? for being in the shower – with memories and images of all the Kodak moments of me as a wonderful Mom and all the accompanying feelings that go with wonderful, loving, caring, and present Mom.
Wisdom said: it’s up to you now which Mom you want to give yourself to.  You get to be on your side, you also get to be not on your side.  It’s your call.  Yes, it is always my call.  And today it’s a no brainer, of course I’m on my side.  But I’ve had my moments where it wasn’t a no brainer, I went with being not on my side.  Those are the moments I will now bring surrender to.  When I can’t do it by myself, I call to Something greater than me.  I don’t know what that Something is but I know it’s there and I know it’s benevolent and I know it’s on my side.  Surrender itself is being on my side, too.  Anyway I can get there, that’s where I point my compass.
Thank you wisdom or as Alanis Morissette would say: thank you clarity, thank you silence.

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Alright then, Bethie’s back and she’s bad – in smuch a good way.  No that’s not a typo you read there, smuch is my new favorite word!

My friend Luana, introduced me to a process by Sonia Choquette.  I was so taken with it but I decided to change it and adapt it into something I felt would work even better.  The suggestion was to:

put your hand on your heart and say out LOUD
if I were NOT afraid I would _______________

I like the idea of putting your hand on your heart and speaking out loud, instead:

because I am not afraid, I will step into my greatness, I will step into all that I really am and I will experience my ________.  Today my blank is: clarity and grounded-ness.  Then I found I still wanted to say more: I will bring this clarity and grounded-ness to all that I do today.  If faced with a challenging situation, I will ask:

What would clarity and grounded-ness bring to this situation?

By the way, I think it even adds to it to say it in front of a mirror with your hand on your heart.

I love how this is akin to taking an oath of solidarity with yourself and you can change it up every day or do the same thing repeatedly until you feel a real sense of this is who I am now.

In the Velveteen Rabbit, the Skin Horse told Rabbit that “it doesn’t happen all at once.  You become.”  Yes, we are often in that state of becoming, sometimes it does happen all at once.  Sometimes subjects are more resistant than others.  Those are the subjects that are in a state of becoming.  Not all at once, a little here, a little there.  But always headed there or maybe more rightly, Here.  As long as we are on our side, living from that inner place of self rapport and self solidarity, we’ve got all we need to move through life and Become.

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As events unfolded through the latter part of last month, I found myself blowing into my little God Whistle asking for strength.  It was a February of change and challenges that shook me more than anything had for quite some time.  The strength did come and right beside it flowed wisdom and comfort.

I dubbed this last month a period of “Bethie finding her religion”.   There is nothing like situations that metaphorically or literally bring me to my knees to remind me I’m not in charge here and frankly, there’s very little I’m in charge of around here.  And isn’t that a relief?  If I had to rely on myself to spin the planets, orchestrate thousands of different processes in my body, raise the sun, set the tides, we’d be having a lot of chaos in the world.

Often I don’t post about the particulars of the sh*t hitting the fan in my life.  It is found in between the lines of my poems and posts.   What I do tend to write about is the place I finally land, a little stronger, a little wiser and ultimately returning to what remains when all else falls away — that all consuming Love that’s back of Everything.

I’ve not yet reached the point where I’m grateful for all the contrast and challenges when I’m in the thick of it but I know enough now to see that I’m always grateful for the delicious expansion that comes just as soon as I’m willing to take my own hands off the levers of control.  As Rainer Maria Rilke once wrote “in the difficult, are the hands that work on us”.  Yes … the hands … not my hands.  Once again I am reminded of the humility and surrender in a simple prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.  Surrender is so much a part of the fabric of this Universe.  As surely as the day must surrender to the night, so must I give right of way to the “hands that work on us”.

I’m going to post some quotes from A Course in Miracles which played a big part in “Bethie finding her religion” again.  In the ensuing weeks I’ll post some lessons from the workbook.  There is much in ACIM I don’t understand but I’m comprehending more of it than I have in the past and I find the lessons to be so liberating that I believe they actually could be life-changing.

“There will come a time when images have all gone by and you will see you know not what you are.  It is to this unsealed and open mind that truth returns, unhindered and unbound.  Where concepts of the self have been laid by is truth revealed exactly as it is.  When every concept has been raised to doubt and question, and been recognized as made on no assumptions that would stand the light, then is the truth left free to enter in its sanctuary, clean and free of guilt.  There is no statement that the world is more afraid to hear than this.

I do not know the thing I am, and therefore do not
know what I am doing, where I am, or how to look
upon the world or on myself.

Yet in this learning is salvation born.  And What you are will tell you of Itself.”

Chapter 31, V:17

“The truth in you remains as radiant as a star, as pure as light, as innocent as love itself.”

Chapter 31, VI:7

This is the final passage in the text:

“And now we say “Amen.”  For Christ has come to dwell in the abode You set for Him before time was, in calm eternity.  The journey closes, ending at the place where it began.  No trace of it remains.  Not one illusion is accorded faith, and not one spot of darkness still remains to hide the face of Christ from anyone.  Thy Will is done, complete and perfectly and all creation recognizes You, and knows You as the only Source it has.  Clear in Your likeness does the Light shine forth from everything that lives and moves in You.  For we have reached where all of us are one, and we are home, where You would have us be.”

Chapter 31, VIII:12

And finally I leave you with a passage from the poem entitled Today, by one of my favorite poets: William Stafford.

“Religion has touched your throat. Not the same now, You could close your eyes and go on full of light.”

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