Archive for May, 2010

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Having worked with the 30 day blessing way challenge the last several days, I find that I can’t honestly come by “it’s all a blessing”.  Whether I know what the blessing is or defer judgment on it, my heart just isn’t going along for the ride.  But here is what I can honestly come by — I am exactly where I am supposed to be.  How do I know that?  I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be because this is where I am!  It’s as simple as that.  So here I am and I don’t like nor want everything about where I am right now.  What am I supposed to do about it?  Analyze it, change it, fix it, shift it, intend it differently or my old fall back, blame myself.  No, no, none of that.

Supposing instead I meet the moment with — I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be?  What if I met all my moments with I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be?  Haven’t I been writing about this all along?  It’s all ok and I’m ok.  Didn’t I say I was giving myself carte blanche to have it all?  Didn’t I say it’s ok to have nightmares?  I did, I do, and I have.  I also said: bring it on!  So the Universe has upped the ante and brought it on.  Ok, so who are you now, Bethie?

Byron Katie calls it loving what is.  I’m not loving what is, I’m loving me and making peace with what is.

Recently I watched the finale for a TV show entitled Flash Forward.  It’s the only show I remember seeing that dealt specifically with consciousness.  The question it explored was, is it free will or is it fate, or is it some combination of both.  Unfortunately the show’s been cancelled but it left behind a message that really said it all to me and I quote it below:

“Sometimes what happens in the world makes us forget. You choose what’s next and you’ll wind up right where you’re supposed to be.”

No right, no wrong — meeting each moment without resistance.  Who am I now?  This is who I am — meeting each moment with an open, receptive heart knowing I am *exactly* where I am supposed to be.

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Image by Bethie

Well let’s see what Bethie is going to get at the store today.  Hmmm, bread and milk plus discount herself and play small.  What?  What crazy, mixed up kind of a shopping list is this?

Let me explain.  It all started with the 30 day blessing challenge.  I loved affirming “I am so blessed” but was choking on “I am a blessing to the world”.  Well not exactly choking but it didn’t have a wholehearted ring of truth to it.  I could easily say “We are all a blessing to the world” but single myself out, nuh uh, I wasn’t buying it.

I had a talk with myself about that and while I wasn’t exactly willing to accept that I am a blessing to the world, I was willing to suspend judgment about it.  I wondered what would it look like if I played the role of someone who had the confidence to say whatever she wanted to say about herself.   I decided then to try on some of these roles, different identities.  Try them on for size.  I would ask myself which clothes would this identity wear, how would she walk, how would she talk, would she emphasize certain words over others, would her voice be louder or softer?  How would she interact with her children, her pets, others?  I even put different music on to reflect this new identity I was trying on.

Later it hit me, I am always playing a role whether I’m conscious of it or not.  In the consciousness as cause model, the Field responds/corresponds to whatever role I am modeling at the moment.  The Field is pure receptivity, it only says yes.  Part and parcel of the Field’s yes is to bring me situations and people that will reflect what’s on my list.  This explains what Anais Nin has said, that life doesn’t happen to us but *through* us, as it corresponds or says yes to whoever we are being and what we believe about ourselves and the world around us.

Next I began to think of life in terms of a shopping list.  Every day I make out a shopping list for the Field by way of who I choose to be that day, the role I choose to model.  What is choking on the words, I am a blessing to the world, but discounting myself and playing small?  So to graphically illustrate that, I made the shopping list you see in the above image.  Milk and bread, discount myself and play small.  And the Field goes out and brings me back the goods on my list because it only knows YES.  Ok, I’ve got all the milk and bread I need but I’ve decided I don’t want the rest of those goods anymore!

Wow, I have to tell you this little shopping list insight was such an eye opener for me.  It put it in very concrete terms so that I really got it on a visceral level that this is what I’m doing.  I was gobsmacked to say the least.  It really makes me take pause what I want to put on my shopping list.  The Field is all ears and eyes and saying yes to it all.  There is no time off from consciousness.  Is turning down the volume on my muchness really what I want to order?

How about all that other stuff that can make its way on any list: too fat, not good enough, too much work that I “have to” do, tired, stressed, scarcity and lack, and so on.  Is that what any of us really want to order today or any day?

And yet, nothing changes if nothing changes.  It’s not enough to change my shopping list, I have to be that change and the Field then says yes to that.

So I’m back to the drawing board of who do I want to be today.  What role shall I try on today and ever mindful that whatever it is I am essentially placing my order for exactly that.  And remembering one more thing, that Life is my playground.   Ground in which to play, mix it up, build castles, tear them down and start all over again.  I get to play dress up and try on new roles, listen to music I wouldn’t normally put on, play with new ways of talking and walking and relating to others.

As long as it’s lighthearted and playful, count me in.  Ah, well then, that’s today’s shopping list.  I’m ordering lighthearted and playful.  And the Field says: yes, your majesty.  Well, my Field says that.  How about you?  What’s on your shopping list today?

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Image by Bethie

I am taking this 30 day challenge and naming it a period of scattering seeds of blessings.  Who wants to do it with me?

Accept the 30-day “Blessing Way Challenge”

To accept this challenge, make a commitment to following these four steps for a period of not less than 30 days:

1. I will suspend all judgment and will, instead, bless every person and situation I encounter, both those I physically meet and those that simply come to mind.

2. I will actively search for the blessing in every circumstance and in those times when none can be found, I will trust that the blessing will be revealed when the time is right.

3. I will daily express an attitude of gratitude, for all the blessings in my life, even those I cannot see.

4. Whenever I feel stressed, pressed or confused, I will take a Blessing Breather, quieting my mind for a moment and focusing only on my breath, breathing deeply and slowly. With each inhalation, I will mentally affirm “I am so blessed” and with each exhalation, I will mentally affirm “I am a blessing to the world,” repeating the process at least three times and allowing my body to relax completely before returning to the task at hand.

I understand that in accepting this challenge, there is a distinct possibility that my life will be forever changed for the better.

I am willing to take the risk.


I love all of this.  No. 2 is a good opportunity to practice the principle of “who knows what’s good, what’s bad”.  For those of you who have read the blog post here of the same name, this is the message behind an ancient Taoist parable.  Also, as my teacher says: sometimes the Field goes left to go right.  Who knows what the Field/Universe/God/Source/Spirit is up to — what surprises, blessings or hidden gifts await us that are clothed in the costume of a challenge or difficulty.  And at the end of this 30 days who knows what’s in store, who knows how we may be transformed by scattering seeds of blessings.

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I See You

I’ve put a couple of videos on this blog before that had me tearing up.  By the time I was done watching this one, I was bawling for breakfast.  Oh my, the heart just never forgets and it’s not just humans who have this beautiful capacity to love.  This video illustrates the many ways we communicate to each other: I see you.

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Last week I was trying to delete my enrollment in a Facebook group.  The mindset I had going into it was that deleting myself off of anything on Facebook is never easy.  So of course this is self fulfilling and the delete button that is just the second line below the group’s image is suddenly nowhere to be found.  Now I’ve taken up the task of posting a question on my status update — how do I delete myself from a Facebook group?  This dear soul, Martha, tells me how to do it.  Martha adds: I always know the way out.

I always know the way out, struck me for its clarity and confidence.  I pondered it for a bit; I think she was talking in literal terms.  My mind was going elsewhere and I came up with another line: The way out is the way in.

And that is where I begin today.  The way out is the way in.  I told my teacher I’d obviously been hanging out with The Field Center for awhile, long enough that I’m talking in riddles and paradoxes now.  My teacher, Philip, said: wait, it gets even better, soon you’ll be talking in double entendres.  Stay tuned for that!

The way out is the way in — what does it mean?.  It means the way to move beyond something is to move into it.  Moving into it while bringing a deep acceptance of it, not judging it, letting it be as it is.  The important piece of this is, that I don’t move into it with the agenda of moving out of it.  If there’s an agenda, I’ve tipped my hand, I’m not really accepting it after all.  This is what is meant by “deep” acceptance, coming to it with a willingness to lean into it, move with it for the sake of only one thing, a peaceful heart.

Huna, sometimes referred to as ho’oponopono, states — experience teaches us we are served by both good and bad.  Things like contrast, bad, and unwanted made me want to get up and flee, as I’ve written before in my two recent Feel the Fear posts.  Not until I could say “it’s ok”, was I able to move into it.   It’s ok and it’s all ok, *not* I’m ok with what’s not ok.  The latter is what we call stress management.  The former moves gently in alignment with the self.  No pushing, no convincing, no agenda just a light willingness to allow it all without naming it bad or unwanted and a corresponding receptivity to remain open to intuitive guidance when it reveals itself.

Something is transformed when I approach life in this way.  Doors that I was pushing open, pushing against, seem to open inwardly on their own, as soon as I remove the hand pushing against it.  The way out is the way in.

In one of Carlos Castaneda’s books, there was a scene where it was said: before you choose a path, ask yourself if the path has heart.  If it does, it will go well, if it doesn’t, you’ll destroy it to start again.  I like thinking of that as my guide now, as I am about to embark on anything — does the path have heart?

Leaning into and with life is my path of the heart.  This is living on the side of harmony and self solidarity.  The path of the heart where the mind takes a back seat.  Mind doesn’t have all the answers any way, no matter how solution oriented it may be.  Mind gets caught up in fixing it, shifting it, changing it, figuring it out, arguing with it, hiding it and stuffing it.  Letting the mind move to the backgound allows the heart to move into the foreground of our lives.  And in doing so, something mysterious and wonderful happens and we are led inexplicably to all that lends itself to our well being.

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The Boat

This is a first on this blog — posting a Kabir poem.  It’s another one of those gems in The Soul Is Here For Its Own Joy, which is my current favorite new book of poems.  Kabir was described as a mystic poet and saint of India.  He lived from 1440-1518.  I have one word for this particular poem: exquisite!  Ok, wait, one more word plus an acronym — Wow and OMG!

The Boat

The Guest is inside you, and also inside me;
you know the sprout is hidden inside the seed.
We are all struggling; none of us has gone far.
Let your arrogance go, and look around inside.

The blue sky opens out farther and farther,
the daily sense of failure goes away,
the damage I have done to myself fades,
a million suns come forward with light,
when I sit firmly in that world.

I hear bells ringing that no one has shaken;
inside “love” there is more joy than we know of;
rain pours down, although the sky is clear of clouds;
there are whole rivers of light.
The universe is shot through in all parts by a single sort of
How hard it is to feel that joy in all our four bodies!

Those who hope to be reasonable about it fail.
The arrogance of reason has separated us from that love.
With the word “reason” you already feel miles away.

How lucky Kabir is, that surrounded by all this joy
he sings inside his little boat.
His poems amount to one soul meeting another.
These songs are about forgetting dying and loss.
They rise above both coming in and going out.

The Soul Is Here For Its Own Joy:
Sacred Poems From Many Cultures

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Apparently all that deep inner work happened rather quickly.  It is within hours of my last blog post, Feel the Fear, that I updated a group of Internet gal pals on my progress.  I’ll quote that directly below and then add to it.

“Dawn came to Bethie today.  First it started with it’s ok to feel the fear.  Or insert whatever emotion in that.  Next it was waves of nausea.  I pushed against it, until dawn came to Bethie and I said it’s ok to throw up and every time a wave came I rode the wave and just kept saying it’s ok to throw up.  Now the next dawn that came to me: it’s ok to have nightmares.  It never was ok to have them.  Never have I embraced them.  Tonight when I lay my head down on that pillow, I’ll say it again — it’s ok to have nightmares.  That’s it, see non-physical is popping the cork even now, I feel it in my goosebumps.  They are jumping up and down yelling yippee, she gets it, she gets it.  SHE GETS IT.  Embrace it all, love it all, don’t push, hide, stuff any of it.  Let it be in the wide open spaces, just let it be.  She gets it!! Hallelujah!”

Oh yes, did I mention I get nightmares?  No, probably not.  I was hiding them.  Nope, no more.  I’d even go so far as to say I get to have nightmares now.  No more pushing anything away.  In the nightmares I replay allowing others to usurp my personal authority.  It’s something I unwittingly gave others permission to do in “real” life, too.

Do you remember that game we used to play as kids — Duck, Duck, Duck, Goose.  Well, it’s as if I’ve been playing a version of it — Wanted, Wanted, Wanted, Unwanted …. woops, unwanted get up and run, flee from it!  Nothing, including allowing others to usurp my personal authority can be healed as long as I’m fleeing from it.

Well guess what happens when you don’t get up and flee from it, you find out its not the big scary monster in the closet you thought it was after all.  There might even be a treasure or two tucked in the hairy hand of the once scary monster — learning that fleeing from anything is the very same thing as usurping my OWN personal authority.

One little phrase: It’s OK to feel _______, it’s OK to have _______, it’s OK to say no to________, it’s OK to cry.  It’s OK, it’s OK, all of it was always OK.  I was just dreaming a dream, that it wasn’t OK.  That darkened tunnel I just walked through was surrounded in the Light the whole time.

I remember this is exactly what I wrote about weeks ago.  I met a British gal named Lori at a conference.  When she spoke of the possibility of cancer and the accompanying fear she felt, she said to herself — clearly, I want to have this experience.

Well, clearly I had to come to this conclusion on my own and with my own experience and language for it.  Now it’s like writing myself a free and clear permission slip to have it all.  It’s how I’ll step out into the world now, sampling the full smorgasbord of life.  My channels wide open and set to receive.  It’s all good, it’s all God.  I am God in expression.  I am pure love.  I see me!  I do, I really do.  And I do see you, too.  Namaste, Jaibhagwan and Aloha.

I leave you with a short quote from A Course in Miracles and one more comment after that:

“Look not upon the little wall of shadows.  The sun has risen over it.  How can a shadow keep you from the sun?  No more can you be kept by shadows from the light in which illusions end.  Every miracle is but the end of an illusion.  Such was the journey, such its ending.  And in the goal of truth which you accepted must all illusions end.

There is a hush in Heaven, a happy expectancy, a little pause of gladness in acknowledgment of the journey’s end.”

And following the hush in non-physical, comes a round of applause, the cork popping and the champagne flowing, glasses clinking in toasts and the happy dance that looks like the minuet, or the Charleston, or the Watusi, or the Bump — just depends what century or decade you last visited.  I kind of like the Bump myself.  Happy days, happy trails, and a happy, happy journey to us all.

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I’m listening to Sonia Choquette’s Trust Your Vibe.  This is really my first exposure to Sonia Choquette’s work and I must say I love her.  I love her energy, I love her vibe, her soft friendly voice and her talent as a teacher.

As it also happens, I’m doing some deep inner work this week.  Plunging the depths of unknown inner territory and it’s scaring the heck out of me.  So I’m listening to Sonia Choquette and here’s what she says about fear:

“It isn’t fear that paralyzes you.  It’s hiding fear that paralyzes you.  Here’s my experience: it takes so much effort to hide fear that you really do get frozen in your tracks. …  Feel your fear and go with your vibration anyway.  Simply saying: I’m afraid. … Feel your fear, make peace with your fear, good grief never try to get over it.  Just say I’m afraid and I’m OK with that.  Once you express that energy it’s like getting the boulder out of the road.  It is such a relief not to hide that.  The impetus to move forward becomes so great that in spite of your fears you find yourself moving in the right direction, taking the risk, doing the right thing.”

Ok, so I’m here to say it out loud to lord knows how many people: I’m afraid and I’m not going to hide and I’m not going to let that fear stand in the way either.

This girl has no room in her hotel for anything less-ness.  All my interior rooms shall be filled with the golden sun of pure love streaming through to reveal all my much-ness.  And jabberwocky of fear, I shall not slay you after all, we shall be friends and walk through this together.

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I am breaking new ground here while I take you on a small tour of an area nearby where I live.  In my hometown, Renton, Washington, is the Ben Coulon Memorial Park.  It is one of the many parks that reside along Lake Washington.  Lake Washington formed after the ice age and is named for our first president, as is the state.  The Native American Duwamish tribe who are native to this area called it instead Xacuabs, which meant literally “great amount of water”.  It is the second largest natural lake in Washington and the largest natural lake in King County.

What makes this particular park special to me is that there is a paved walk way flanked by several different types of trees, many of which have name tags.  I always love it when someone takes the time to label what it is I am admiring.  Another thing that is unique about this park, it is home to two species of deciduous conifers.  To my knowledge there are only three types in this whole world — the Dawn Redwood, European Larch and Bald Cypress.  Coulon Park houses both the Bald Cypress and European Larch.  This means those evergreen needles drop off every late fall and every spring they are replaced with new evergreen growth.  Very unusual!

You may click on any image for a close up view.  So grab a cup of tea or coffee, whatever is your pleasure and sit back and enjoy the photo collage journey with me through Coulon Park.

Japanese roses
with noses

lady bug, lady bug
God’s pure delight

Part of a Quaking Aspen grove, what a find here!  These usually grow in areas with cold winters and cool summers and much, much higher elevations.  All we qualify for is relatively cool summers.  In Colorado, in the fall there are traffic jams up in the mountains just to catch the sight of this one tree turn two colors.  They are found in groves as they all have a common root system.

Ah, here we begin with the European Larch.

European Larch Lane

new European Larch baby green cones and notice the new needle growth in tufts

European Larch with mature cones, notice their small size and how they hang uniformly off the limb

And right across from the European Larch is the Bald Cypress

Bald Cypress just coming into her spring finery

Closer view of Bald Cypress new green growth.  In the fall the foilage will turn a dark rust color and then drop off completely and the tree will appear to be “bald”.

*many thanks to my friend Marie, whose willingness to share her knowledge of trees has truly enhanced my enjoyment and love affair with trees.

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undulating current

sacred river

and giver of life

carrying me forth

on God’s unseen cord

in this ever constant

holy communion with Spirit

I am warmed

in tender mercies

breath by breath


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