Archive for January, 2012

The Journey

Turnagain Arm Rock

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice –
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do –
determined to save
the only life you could save.

~ Mary Oliver ~

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Image Locale

Occasionally I pop in and watch Oprah’s Life Class, which is now on the OWN channel.  Several seeks ago she did one on forgiveness.  I watched it twice and then took copious notes the second time (this is not a verbatim transcription).  I am going to type those out here.


Forgiveness is such a big topic; really who among us has no forgiveness work left to do?  So, the material may flow a little, may not be as linear as you may want but I’m sure everyone can cull something useful from it.  I may insert my own comments.



Forgiveness really means letting go of the past, of our perception that we need to hold a grievance for the rest of our lives.  If we hold onto our grievances we will never really be happy.  It’s really a willingness to see the person in the light of love rather than in the action that happened.  It means letting go of the past that we thought we wanted.  We can’t really change that past so it means releasing the negative perception of it and coming back to the present.


Me talking here: I think when they speak of holding the other in the “light of love” it’s seeing them as who they really were and are meant to be.  Not the sideways kick you got in the gut from them, but the person who plopped down to earth with all good intentions, full of delight and curiosity and a reverence for even the smallest things.  A child could spend a moment with a marble and convince you they’ve found God in it.  Seeing that person in the light of love.  Sometimes it even helps to have a young picture of them, actual or in your mind.  When you gaze on that face you see nothing but beauty, good intention, love and connectedness.  As in the lyrics to a song: see me beautiful, it’s all I really am, and all I want to be.


Now Oprah speaking:


Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be different.  I think for many of you, you think forgiveness means accepting what has happened to you. Well, it is accepting that it HAS happened to you, not accepting that it was OK for it to happen.  It is accepting that it has happened to you and now what do I do about it?  Again, forgiving is giving up the hope, not holding on, hoping, wishing, that it could have been any other way than it actually was, giving up the hope that the past be any different.  And when I got that, I think it took me to the next level of being a better person because I don’t hold grudges for anything or any situation.  It’s letting go so that the past does not hold you prisoner, does not hold you hostage.


And here’s Terri McMillian (famous writer/Oprah guest)

Here’s Terri M. now – saying she lost 100 pounds emotionally when she decided to give up suing her ex.  She said – when I called my ex and told him he was free, I was free at that moment.  Anger and bitterness is an emotional termite.  You can’t let anything in.  I had to let all of this go in order to be happy.  At the end of the show Oprah describes what Terri M. told her on the phone.  She was sitting in the car and she had been feeling this angst, this rage, this anger and there was a moment where she let the car window down and she could actually feel the presence of the anger as an energy field leaving her body and leaving the car.  Terri said the truth is, that was God at work.



Oprah describing a funny moment: she used to hold grudges.  She sees someone she was holding a grudge against going into Tiffany’s on Michigan Avenue AND laughing and she’s like, I can’t believe she’s all happy, not even is she laughing, but she’s going into the Tiffany store while laughing.  That was a huge aha, enlightening moment for me, I’ve used it to apply to everything else in my life, not to hold onto grudges, not to hold onto what somebody did tell you, not to hold onto what your Momma should have done, not to hold onto to what you shoulda, coulda, woulda been but to live in the present moment.  Letting go of what has happened to you and BEING ABLE TO LIVE RIGHT NOW WITH WHAT IS HAPPENING TO YOU MAKE A DECISION FOR RIGHT NOW AND MOVE FORWARD IS HOW YOU ACCESS THE POWER THAT WE ALL HAVE WITHIN US.


Letting go of anger, releasing anger allows beauty to come back into your life.


Next a woman who didn’t speak to her (habitually angry) father for 8 years who she described as toxic and bringing no good to her life.  She says forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself.  After 8 years, she gave up that little pocket of hate and she was complete.  Forgiveness was a gift to herself, as well as her children. Oprah responded: the truth is you don’t forgive for the other person.  That’s what holds so many people in the space of unforgiveness because you think I have got to now do this for you.  You forgive for yourself.


Forgiving is letting go of the hope that it could have been any different.

Accepting it for what it was

And be willing to move forward with your own life, and that’s the only life you have control over.


And that is the great lesson of letting go of the past

Letting go of the anger so you can be free

Letting go of the anger so you can get the mud out of your wings

Letting go of the anger so that you can accept the power that is within you

And allow that power to move you forward


Me again…I love that description of letting go so you can get the mud out of your wings.  Whatever we hold onto is like an energetic sludge weighing us down.  Just the mere idea of letting it go makes me feel lighter.


Forgiveness is really up for me this year.  I begin with self-forgiveness.  In another modality I study Feng Shui astrology aka 9 star ki astrology, I am in the energy of yang wood for the year.  Wood has much strength, as well, it has a backside and that is its challenges.  Self-judgment is one of my challenges. I like to spend each year now of my life returning to my roots a little less encumbered, releasing anything that slows me down.



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Breathe deep

You are here now

Resting here with me

I am all you ever need

I am the flowing river,

the stars and golden sun,

the still mountains and the swaying trees.

You who have lost your way

I am but a breath away

A simple breath away, always

You want to know the way?

The way in is a breath of faith

You’re not out here all alone

Breathe deep and say: I am not alone.

Life wants to take care of you

Life wants to caress you and

Sing you to sleep

It wants most of all for you to know

the depth of love available to you.

It is always there

And it’s there now

Beckoning softly

Come, come, come

Dance lightly, sweetly toward me

I am here for you to lean on evermore

I am not your child, your parents, your relatives, nor your friends

The hands of Divinity are everywhere constant, limit less.

You, who have suffered, throw off the dark garb and come running to me.

Spend a few minutes with an object, any object, and find God in it, here is where I am.

Let it envelop you and seduce you with it’s own unique God-ness

Now you know you have been seen and heard, come back to this place should you falter again.


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Time has a wonderful way of weeding out the trivial.  ~Richard Ben Sapi

Quite true, don’t you think?  This goes along with a question I have written on one of my homemade well being cards:

Will it matter in a year from now?

There are less than a handful of times I’ve come to that question and been able to answer – yes, it will matter.  Even then the truth is, circumstances will change and I will change.  I believe what Florence Scovel Shinn has written – only good lies before me.  Then, what’s the worry?!

So Beth, tell me, what IS the worry?  Hmmm, don’t have one anymore!

Thanks for listening to this quick little interaction in my head!  May all your troubles be small ones and if not, then may you know you are transformed by them.  Life will sometimes take us into the obscure, as yet to be defined or understood places.   Remember, though, the butterfly always emerges from the darkened chrysalis flying openly into the light.  When daybreak surfaces from the cloak of night, we are those butterflies.  And with a tiny flap of our wings, we send ripples of hope across the globe.

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Artist Amanda Sage


It appears that it was all a misunderstanding.
What was only a trial run was taken seriously.
The rivers will return to their beginnings.
The wind will cease in its turning about.
Trees instead of budding will tend to their roots.
Old men will chase a ball, a glance in the mirror—
They are children again.
The dead will wake up, not comprehending.
Till everything that happened has unhappened.
What a relief! Breathe freely, you who suffered much.

~Czeslaw Milosz~
New and Collected Poems 1931-2001

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Below is a link to Mooji’s New Year’s message.  I’ve transcribed a few highlights.

Towards the end of the video he speaks of technology in a way that I applaud.  So many want to slam technology for one reason or another.  Mooji says technology has made the world smaller in a beautiful way, we are becoming more unified and we begin to see that we are One.

Love his perspective, I have always felt that technology has offered a unique means of being in relationship with others.  It takes away from intimate connection or it enhances it, it’s all in how you see it.  I fall on the side of technology enhancing our relationships with each other and therefore humanity overall.

This is not a verbatim highlight transcription but reasonably close to his words:

Something deep in our psyche has always been searching for a joy, stillness, happiness, a contentment that won’t leave, won’t be destroyed, won’t fade.  The opportunity of the human existence is to discover what is eternal inside ourselves because up until now we are only discovering what is transient, what is passing.

There is no vulnerability in the true mind in the true heart.  When you come to the point that you feel that your life is going to burst open, be very present and don’t miss that opportunity.  You feel it as a curse; you don’t see it as a blessing because you identify with a false vulnerability of the self.  “It” is offering a defining moment to split away from what is unreal to find the real. (LOVE!)  As long as you are comfortable with your sense of identity you will not go beyond it and if you don’t go beyond it you will never come into the truth.  There is a time for a human being to know these things and the time to know these things is when you have the power to go beyond these things. (ALSO LOVE!)

When you feel lost, when you feel confused, when you feel helpless, when you feel like you’ve run out of moves, when you feel like your life is on hold, right there, you yourself, become very, very quiet and empty of your own self because the chance is you will meet God in this moment. (LOVE AGAIN!)  You break all the boundaries, if you don’t hold the hand of your mind.

We are missing what is obvious, what is pure, what is beautiful.  But we don’t have to go so far to find this, because the truth is distance-less, it’s here.  It’s here; it’s only somehow concealed by distraction.  Our eyes move and plant themselves onto transient things.  But if the aspiration is inside a human being to grow, to find the truth, then he will find a way and the way will find him.

Happy New Year.  Happy Now Here.

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