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Archive for December, 2011

I still stub my toe on the way to cake.  This was a story we heard from Abraham on one of their cruises.  During this cruise, it was Esther’s birthday.  She’d gone to bed for the night, when a knock came to her door.  Stumbling her way to the door in the dark, she stubbed her toe.  Ouch!  Upon opening the door, to her surprise, there was a birthday cake sent in her honor!

And so came the phrase – I still stub my toe on the way to cake.  It’s a way of saying we are always on our way to cake, we are always on the perfect path for us at the moment, and we just might stub our toe along the way.   It’s a softer, lighter means of making peace with the contrast that every one experiences at some time or another.

It was in my own dreams last night that the stub my toe phrase came back to me.  I had gone somewhere deep in the mountains for a retreat, many of us had gathered there.  The catch was your only way in and thus your only way out, was on foot.

The retreat is over and people try to hook up with others for the long trek back to our own homes.  It’s a circuitous route, easy to get lost and it’s fraught with snakes and wild life, best to not make the trip on foot alone.

This difficult route alone with snakes and wild life seems to be a metaphor for the contrast, the challenges we find ourselves amidst in life.

We are carrying all our belongings on our back.  I am traveling unusually lightly.  Ha, going into this year with less baggage perhaps!  High five for Bethie!  My companions are carrying much more and I think I should take some of their baggage, which is so like me to want to help and take on others stuff in the process.  Yet I shock myself, I don’t take their stuff on.  And as it happens, they begin to unwittingly drop their own baggage as they move further towards home.

Another beautiful metaphor, may we all drop our baggage as we travel home.  Home, as in who we really are, is by its very nature without all the baggage including the measuring stick of how well we’ve done in life, etc.

Next in the dream, we come to a point where we must walk a tight rope and below us is a sea of snakes.  We are crossing the tightrope when a literal paradise of flowers, in every shape and color begins blooming all around us.  The tightrope disappears and we are home again.

I realized then that garden was just like the birthday cake Esther received.  And I saw further that the point isn’t the contrast, it isn’t the challenges.   The point isn’t in stubbing the toe, or walking the tightrope. No, it’s remembering to enjoy the process no matter how challenging it is.  It’s remembering to see the beauty no matter how bad things look.  It’s a reminder that it’s always, always there.

It’s just that we get this tunnel vision that this or that sucks and we want out of it now, pronto, yesterday.  The way out starts with the little gifts, surprises that come knocking at our doorways in a plethora of ways, so plentiful you could not name or count them all in a day.

Consider spending a moment or more lingering inside the blessings bestowed upon you each and every day.

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My friend Ahmee wrote this freedom rampage.  I thought it was Abraham’s, that’s how good it is.  Half way through are my additions to the rampage.

I am free to walk this world in peace.

I am free to think nice thoughts about me.

I am free to step into who I know I am.

I am free to eat lightly and powerfully.

I am free to take good care of myself.

I am free to ALLOW ALL OTHERS.

I am free to NOT get all  “up into it, whatever it is, at the moment”.

I am free to be happy, wow.

I am free to think the best of me.

I am FREE to think the BEST of everyone else.

I am free to be a pure beam of me.

I am free to literally not care what others think of me.

I am free to know what pleases me.

I am free to know what I know.

I am free to be strong.

I am free to be clear.

I am free to feel whole wholesome welcomed and GOOD.

I am free to love in the BEST sense of what the word means to me…and a big part of that is allow allow allow.

I am free to start a new journey at ANY moment I choose!

I am free to choose!

I am free to feel safe secure and friendly, to myself and others.

I am free to step up to the plate and choose who I want to be in any moment.

I am free to reach for alignment, no matter where I am!

I am FREE to remember its just a blip on the radar screen.

I am FREE to lighten up.

I am free to look upon myself with ABSOLUTE understanding and compassion.

I AM FREE TO BE UNAFRAID.

I love free.

I love feeling free.

I love knowing I can open to it.

I loved writing this.

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I love free, too!

I love remembering that love is waiting at the end of every road.  How freeing is that?!

I love remembering it’s just a chapter it’s not the whole story.  I can grok a little more freedom in that.

I love the moment of dropping the armor of being in control and then letting myself just relax and allow something greater to take over on my behalf.  It feels SO freeing.

I love believing that everything always works out for me in the end.

I love knowing that only good lies before me.

I love nudging my fearful self with that little question: What if I could?

I love believing in miracles and knowing they happen every single day to every one of us. I type this now and send it across the world in a matter of seconds.  That’s a miracle.

I love letting myself have freedom today.

I love choices.  I love that I can choose on the side of fear or on the side of faith.

I love being tender with myself when I lean on the side of fear.

I love asking myself: what would love do right now?

I love asking myself: what if it’s all alright?  What if I am alright?  What if we all are?

And lastly – I love the freedom that comes from the ridiculous.  So one final word of wisdom, don’t be concerned if you have not reached this level of wicky-wacky wisdom.  It’s fairly high on the enlightenment level to truly attain this, but give it a try (tongue in cheek humor here):

“A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.”  Now this is the secret to freedom and happiness that trumps all others.  The children know the joy and freedom in nonsense.  Beneath the layers of life and living, WE are those children.

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Lions, Tigers, Bears

 

…. and ghosts!  Oh my!  I’ve experienced my first certifiable ghostly apparition!  My daughter and I came home from shopping yesterday.  We walked inside and my dog stood in the breakfast nook area growling, snorting, barking and then turned on her heels scampering up the stairs.  Later in the night, my husband took her out for what we dub the “final piddle” and she repeated the same behavior again in the same area.

This morning a bag of dog food was positioned by this ghost directly under the nook’s breakfast table.  Hmmmm … veddy, veddy interesting!

Is it a coincidence that I’d come home having just purchased the movie “Ghost” last night?  Who knows!  But now to my point which is not about ghosts, it’s about love.

My daughter and I watched the movie, she for the first time.  Me, I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve seen it.  I love it for so many reasons and I cry at the end of it every time when he’s about to be beamed up to heaven.  Those final words: “It’s amazing, Molly, the love inside, you take it with you.”

I don’t just believe that love is eternal, I think it’s woven into the fabric of the Universe.  Every thing is intrinsically designed to move towards homestatis or balance and well being in its own way.  What else but the hands of love fashioned all of this?!

And, finally on the topic of love, I was listening to Patty Griffin the other day and a single line in a song struck a deep chord within —

“Maybe love is waiting at the end of every road.”

I wanted those words to be on their own line, so we can all really take that in.  You see, if we believe that love is waiting at the end of EVERY road, then no matter what the circumstances we are going through, there is the knowledge that love is waiting at the end of it.  Consider holding that one line in your heart next time you’ve traveled off the beaten path; the one that leaves you scared, sad, anxious, mad or whatever.  It will help you turn yourself back to the natural state of all things – one of eagerness, hope and optimism.

“Maybe love is waiting at the end of every road.”  No, maybes about it!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

 

 

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Revering the Trees

 

For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.  ~Herman Hesse

My thanks to Amy Callan at Spirit Within Art for sharing this quote with me.

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My Mother made it known to me before her death, that this was the song she wanted played at her service: Sailing by Christopher Cross.  If you’ve never heard it just click on the link below and after the first few notes, I think you will be hard pressed to click off of it.  This song defined the early 80s adult soft rock genre, and it is absolutely beautiful.

I planned on playing the song at the burial site.  However, in my mildly hungover state, I’d forgotten it.  And, “mild” is putting it lightly.  I had been to my Mom’s viewing the night before and was literally drowning my sorrows that night.  I don’t like viewings and haven’t been to one since.  So if you are having a viewing and you’re a friend of mine, know that I won’t be there!

My husband of the decade (that’s a whole ‘nuther blog) ran and got the music for us.  When we played it, there was not a dry eye to be found among us, including the minister officiating at the burial.  It still brings a tear to hear it again.

In another modality that I study, Chinese Face Reading, you might expect to see the water element present in someone who wrote a song about sailing.  So it’s no surprise to see evidence of that in this video.  Note the large rounded forehead, the strong chin and the soft neck, or what amounts to a “soft” jaw line which just seems to meld into the neck.

So now you, too, know a little about Chinese Face Reading.  Note that the water element is a very wise energy, often very creative.  If you, too, have a strong chin you have some water and you have the will to plow through anything when necessary; you might be a tad stubborn, too.  If you have a rounded forehead, ideas and inspiration just seem to come to you, you don’t know how, it just does.  Depending on your other facial features, you might not be happy in the standard 9-5 clock punching life.  You may be a writer, a dancer, or a musician, to name a few things.

Also of note, if you read the lyrics below, he writes of dreams and fantasy.  Water element directly relates to dreams and fantasy.  There is even a “dreamy” quality about someone who is very watery.  You’ll see it in their eyes and you’ll see it in the way they move through life.  They may take a while in conversation to get to the point, they flow, they do not move in straight, linear lines.  They don’t keep time well either, so if someone arrives late chronically, look for water element.  It’s either in the face or in their birth date, which relates to their 9 star ki.  And that, too, is a whole ‘nuther blog!

I hope you enjoy hearing “Sailing”, be it for the first time or re-visiting it after many years.

Well, it’s not far down to paradise
At least it’s not for me
And if the wind is right you can sail away
Find tranquility
Oh, the canvas can do miracles
Just you wait and see
Believe me

It’s not far to never never land
No reason to pretend
And if the wind is right you can find the joy
Of innocence again
Oh, the canvas can do miracles
Just you wait and see
You’ll believe me

Sailing
Takes me away
To where I’ve always heard it could be
Just a dream and the wind to carry me
And soon I will be free

Fantasy
It gets the best of me
When I’m sailing
All caught up in the reverie
Every word is a symphony
Won’t you believe me

Well, it’s not far back to sanity
At least it’s not for me
And when the wind is right you can sail away
Find serenity
Oh, the canvas can do miracles
Just you wait and see
Then you’ll believe me

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For Free

Joni Mitchell wrote a song “For Free” many years ago.  It was the song
about the sax (?) player, playing on a noisy street corner.  A song of how
everyone passed his music by.  That song left an indelible imprint, a resolve
in me to take less for granted.  I wanted to notice, to appreciate and to savor more.

This is also probably the number one tool that could get someone out
of a mild depression.  Just to make it your only job to look, to listen, to observe
the beauty and the wonder that abounds.

Did you know the average healthy mature oak tree has over 200.000 leaves?
That’s a lot of appreciation to go around.  And when they drop they give nutrients
to the soil, it’s a double dipper appreciation!

No one has counted the needles of a redwood but they produce over 100,000 cones a year, thus a single tree can produce over ten million seeds annually.  That’s one Fertile Myrtle (though technically not in the Myrtle family :))

For Free.

The air, your breath, your thoughts, your feelings, your talents, your beating heart
16 trillion behind-the-scenes processes in your body ….

For Free.

receiving and giving love, adoring anything or anyone for a millisecond or a life time
The man on the street corner strumming his guitar
a thank you, with the flesh of a palm reaching out to another palm
unexplained synchronicities and explained ones too
hugs and kisses

For Free.

the smells of freshly cooked food
the admiration for the time and talent that went into that food
including the appreciation for the plants and animals that provided this nourishment

For Free.

Your body as your temple
The song of the meadowlark in the distance
or the song of crisp clean sheets snapping across the air
the shore seagulls scurrying for fresh food at low tide
the water of which we are made
and the formlessness to which we return

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Suzanne

I posted the lyrics to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” a few weeks ago.  Fran, one of my blog readers, reminded me of another one of his songs, “Suzanne”.  Lyrics below and a youtube video from 1976 with both Leonard Cohen and Judy collins singing it.  Judy Collins was my introduction to Leonard Cohen.  Her earlier recordings contained many Leonard Cohen songs .  You may know Leonard Cohen as a brilliant lyricist, singer, musician.  I think of him as a great poet also.

Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by
You can spend the night beside her
And you know that she’s half crazy
But that’s why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China
And just when you mean to tell her
That you have no love to give her
Then she gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer
That you’ve always been her lover
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that she will trust you
For you’ve touched her perfect body with your mind.

And Jesus was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching
From his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain
Only drowning men could see him
He said “All men will be sailors then
Until the sea shall free them”
But he himself was broken
Long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone
And you want to travel with him
And you want to travel blind
And you think maybe you’ll trust him
For he’s touched your perfect body with his mind.

Now Suzanne takes your hand
And she leads you to the river
She is wearing rags and feathers
From Salvation Army counters
And the sun pours down like honey
On our lady of the harbour
And she shows you where to look
Among the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed
There are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love
And they will lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds the mirror
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that you can trust her
For she’s touched your perfect body with her mind.

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