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Archive for May, 2013

 

 

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Choose your rut carefully:  you will be in it for the next twenty-five miles. 
~unattributed

You are closer to glory, leaping an abyss, than upholstering a rut. 
~James Broughton

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled.  For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers. 
~M. Scott Peck

The first unattributed quote came from a longer piece spoken by Norman Vincent Peale.  He’s quoting a sign outside an old farmer’s piece of land.  He continues on to name the rut dwellers a “sad and pathetic lot”.  My, my … you can see why I didn’t include the totality of that.  I bring it up to illustrate how everyone speaks from their own perspective.  Perhaps someone would find brow beating a motivator.  I have a used “brow beater” for sale, if anyone needs it.  I’ve put a lot of miles on it, but a little oil and she’ll be good to go for hundreds more at least! 

The second quote is part of a much longer poem “Easter Exultet” by James Broughton.  It ends with the words “honeymoon with big joy!”  I used to carry that poem in my wallet.  Yes, JB, if I am going to get in bed with a feeling, let it be big joy.

Yet sometimes one doesn’t have access to big joy.  Sometimes we land in what feels like a rut.  Maybe we do upholster it, hang the pictures on the wall, break open the fridge, uncork the wine, grab the cupcakes, and just for good measure, set up a fruit bowl on the kitchen island. 

But now, I am looking for the love that’s always present.  It’s there before the rut, it’s there in the rut, it’s there after the rut.  It’s there in the sleepless hours.  It’s there in the room that I walked into forgetting what I came for.  It’s there while I distract myself with the wine and the cupcakes, and the smartphone.  It’s there in the letter I meant to write.  It’s there in the joy and the sorrow.  It’s there in the flowers I arranged just so, a prayerful homage to their glory, even in my upholstered rut.  It’s there when the day inevitably vanishes into night.  It’s there in the words I meant to say, but never did.  It’s there when there are no words left.  It’s there in the silence.

Ah, yes … I remember …

It’s right here.

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“It’s amazing Molly, the love inside, you take it with you.”

Those were some of the final heart-rendering words uttered by the lead male character, portrayed by Patrick Swayze, in the movie “Ghost”. Molly is played by Demi Moore.  He’s expressing this as he’s saying goodbye, and moving into the eternal world of non-physical.  It’s a deeply touching moment, and appropriately at the end of the movie.

Those words came to me as I pondered how I wanted the end of my movie to be.  What is it I want to take with me from living this life?  What is it that I want to pass on through my ancestral DNA? What deposit do I want to put in my karmic piggy bank?   What’s the enduring footprint I want to leave here?

My best friend in nursing school once said to me: “you’re not just hard on yourself, you are brutal with yourself.”  There’s been some improvements, yet it has been one of my core challenges.  Not much seemed to really stem the tide of self-victimization — not even the realization that this was what I was doing, repeating a pattern over and over again. 

I can’t tell you I’m cured and I will never beat up on self again.  But I can tell you what’s really weakening the link in that chain is knowing every time I continue to make myself wrong, this is what I put into my non-physical escrow account, or my karmic piggy bank.  This is the legacy I leave behind and it is the inheritance I give generations to come. It broke my heart to realize this and then it broke it again – wide open to love, compassion, mercy and kindness.

What is the legacy I want to leave behind, and the inheritance I bequeath to future generations?

I am wise and teachable, open to change and spiritual growth.  I seek always to embody kindness and compassion.  I am mindful that this is the essence of my spiritual sustenance.  I live the motto: make love, not war.

As this movie ends and the curtain begins to close, down the hall another movie begins, “The Gods and Goddesses of Loving Compassion”. It’s the story of how together, we restored the outer world to its natural state of peace and harmony, by first transforming our inner worlds.  And, together we changed the landscape of future generations to come forevermore.      

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This video is from So You Think You Can Dance last night.  I am pretty sure this video is going to go viral.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you won’t want to miss it.  Forewarning though, it will move you to tears and full body goosebumps. 

Fast forward to three minutes in, if you just want to see the dance.

 

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Welcome to the field of infinite possibilities. 

Sit, rest in an easy chair and watch as this world unfurls before your eyes. 

Here, nothing is ever lost, nor perishes, everything transforms.

There is no leaving, there is only coming home to more of yourself. 

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You never got it wrong. 

There’s no invisible bar of expectations you haven’t reached quite yet. 

There’s nothing just beyond your grasp. 

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Your whole being is now aglow in speechless wonder. 

This is the totality of who you always are.

Feast here, for it is your true sustenance forevermore.

 

 

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It all started when I went to bed last night — a bit of an internal chagrin that I no longer seem to get emails from “this week’s powerful question”.  These are one-liner questions that are often so striking they operate like little internal alarm clocks.  They remove any blinders that we may have unwittingly donned, and expand our perspective with fresh, new eyes.

So then I woke up this morning with a song in my head: “What if God were one of us…?”  Do you ever have that happen, lyrics to a song seem to just randomly pop into you head? 

I began to play with the lyrics, and came up with:

What if

God’s

In All of Us?

What if, indeed? 

Of course, I could get all up in my righteous head: so and so did this, said this.  They never, they always.  They’re wrong, I’m right.  Yet this little question lifts the veil of separation I feel with “others”, when I am judging my experience of them.

Ah, the precious little confining boxes of life that pit me against another.  Why go there?  Feels so expansive, so wide open, to just simply stop the inner commentary and gently ask:

What if

God’s

In All of Us?

A question that can’t be answered at the level of the mind, can it?  The answer lies in living within the question.  Sweet paradox! 

It’s the invisible gift of starting over, a clean slate, a new beginning …

But wait …! 

It’s this week’s powerful question that inadvertently floated into my early morning consciousness with a song! 

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The transition from winter to spring is always such a profound experience in nature.  The earth seems still, sometimes frozen, but so much happens underground that is unseen, invisible to us, but there none the less.  Were it not so, spring would not happen.

I feel a bit of my own inner spring, new growth taking place.  I’ve been in the winter of my life around a particular subject, my Mother, who transitioned many, many years ago.  I was sort of stuck in what felt like an eternal winter.  Never coming to a place of completion with her.  Always feeling like I need to forgive, but forgiveness would not come.  

There were a few false starts, thinking I’ve come to a better place with my Mom – my inner spring had sprung.  Metaphorically a lot like what some of you are experiencing across the country – it’s spring, no wait, it’s winter, but no, it’s spring … ah, yes, spring, finally … no, dang it, it’s winter again!!

And so here I am in spring, finding it wasn’t about forgiveness after all.  It was about opening my heart.  Oh, it didn’t come easy but when it came, it did come authentically.  

A little background: I was about to go to an energy workshop.  We were told to bring 2 or 3 objects that we felt held lots of energy.  I brought a picture of me and my Mother.  I am about 11 years old.  I would always have a visceral, recoiling response to the picture of my Mom.  Before I go to the workshop, I show it to three friends.  One dear friend who is highly, highly intuitive, immediately read fear in my Mom’s eyes and overall presence.  

I went to the workshop, and showed it to my mentor, also highly intuitive.  My mentor said her impression was also fear, just all pervasive fear that completely drove her every moment, every behavior, every decision, every action she took.  She continues: this isn’t someone who wanted to dominate or control you, this was all about keeping her own fear at bay.  Now my mentor doesn’t even know control and domination was the overall theme of my childhood.

I went home and processed that – more winter, a lot happening under the surface.  But then the seedling burst through the earth, and it wasn’t the seedling of forgiveness.  It was the seedling of true compassion.  If she’d been a quadriplegic in a wheel chair, would I have needed to forgive her?  Truly that’s who she was, completely paralyzed by fear.  Forgiveness then becomes a moot point.  It never had anything to do with me. Everything I took so personal was her living out of her fear.  There was never anything to take personally; I wasn’t to blame.

And so dear Mom, I can let you go now, and let go the charge I held all these years.  I can love the person you were in your heart of hearts.  I look at that picture of her now truly with eyes of compassion, no more visceral response.  What a gift this has been in my life.  Tears flowing as I write…

And…wait there’s more…I then turned and recognized how fear operated in my own life, different than her, but there just the same.  So my new journey is healing that.  Perhaps I am healing my own ancestral DNA, as my Mom’s family fled from Nazi Germany.  I don’t know what I’m doing, really, I just know this little seedling is no false start – she will continue to grow into the sweetness and beauty of her own Inner Spring.

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