Archive for January, 2014




if you move carefully
through the forest,

like the ones
in the old stories,

who could cross
a shimmering bed of leaves
without a sound,

you come
to a place
whose only task

is to trouble you
with tiny
but frightening requests,

conceived out of nowhere
but in this place
beginning to lead everywhere.

Requests to stop what
you are doing right now,

to stop what you
are becoming
while you do it,

that can make
or unmake
a life,

that have patiently
waited for you,

that have no right
to go away.

~David Whyte~
River Flow: New and Selected Poems

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In contrast to the bitter cold and snow across other areas of the United States this week, we, here in the Pacific Northwest are enjoying a different weather pattern; and, this is the inspiration for today’s blessing:

Blessings Day 317: praise for this slender day sandwiched between a Wednesday and a Friday.

Praise for the sun blazing down a few more precious hours.

Praise for the singing chickadees, the humming flies and the errant bee who have stumbled on spring time in January.

Praise for the me who flings open the door to an emerald paradise and joins you.

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Suffering Speaks


It seems that there’s not a one among us who hasn’t suffered to one degree or another.  I’ve even seen babies and toddlers wail away in suffering, and then be done with it.  It seems that animals may be similar, not languishing in their suffering, but wholly with it just the same.

It is easy for me to see the way out of suffering when I stand on the outskirts of it. It’s a lot harder for me to be immersed in it and somehow stand on the periphery simultaneously, but I’ve been asking to experience this even amidst suffering.

Is there a hierarchy of emotions, some are desirable, some are not?  Could the true extent of my suffering simply exist through my refusal to be with whatever emerges in consciousness?  Was this an area to which my own loving-kindness was excluded? And finally, was there something to be learned from suffering?

It was to these questions I came when three of my girlfriends began an email exchange yesterday.  One of those friends has suggested that I share my part on the blog:

I have found that suffering is only a bad thing when I judge it to be a bad thing. Otherwise suffering is just (yes, really just) another way of life’s longing to know itself in form.  Who am I to declare that joy is better than suffering, that decaying leaves that will nourish this earth are better than budding pink cherry blossoms? Why is any expression better or lesser than another?  It’s not, until I judge it so.

So here I am …

low to the ground
my heart pressed close to it
listening for the sounds
among decaying leaves
and finding life amidst all of it
suffering as I judge it,
and just being with, as I don’t.

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Blessings Day 309: remembering today what and who I am serving … am I serving a temporary, time bound, conditioned based label: tired, fearful, sad, happy, weak, strong, worried, anxious, victim, empowered, inadequate, confident, overweight, fat, thin, in shape, out of shape, competitive or non-competitive, smart, savvy, the list goes on….

I was a servant to a number of labels today.

If I am going to be a servant, let it be of Divine Consciousness, a moving, fluid, boundless, timeless, formless, unconditional, eternal consciousness.

And when I return to time bound labels, as I often do, nudge me dear God (but not too hard!), and remind me of my divine purpose … to reflect that I “dwell in the house of the Lord” and *this* is who I really am.

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Blessings Day 306: I confess that sometimes the world really is “too full to talk about”. I confess that I am blessed to be a part of it.

I confess that if I am willing to witness deeply all that is beautiful in this world, then everything else pales in comparison.

I confess there is more light than shadow, and that even the shadow contains the light.

I confess that the underpinning of this Universe is a loving wisdom. I confess that there are times when I have held myself apart from that.

I confess, thankfully, that if I press my ear up to the heartbeat of All That Is, it will always guide me Home.

I confess that sometimes I am moved to tears just in remembering this.

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fear8454306326_d943005bf9_zBlessings Day 304: I met with my fear counsel/council this morning. We decided to let myself have two specific fears before breakfast today. Meaning give it a soft space of acknowledgment, don’t push it away.

Then again before breakfast, I met further with my fear counsel/council – the wise elders who know a thing or two about fear. The counsel I received was to take action on three things. I did. Then finally I had breakfast!

It wasn’t so scary after all, it was pretty clean cut and meeting one of those fears gave me so much encouragement about next steps. Thank you fear council, I couldn’t have done this without you today.

If I ignore that fear, it’s still in the driver’s seat, it’s got me by the proverbial balls anyway. I can say yes to fear, let it have its say, and it has a lot to teach me about who I am being in the world at the deepest levels and even more, how I can lean into it, instead of running from it.

“All any feeling wants is to be welcomed with tenderness. It wants room to unfold. It wants to relax and tell it’s story.” From Women, Food, and God by Geneen Roth.


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Blessings Day 301: ah, fear, master teacher that you are, visiting at all times of the day and without seeming invitation. You even invade my dreams.

Are you afraid fear that I won’t see you, I won’t accept you, I will abandon you, or perhaps you think I will stuff you with another glass of wine, a cheese danish perhaps, at the very least, a change in the subject. Do you need to have a soft place to be with me, do you need me to be with you awhile, acknowledge you tenderly, let you trickle down the crook of my arm, not getting stuck here or there, freely flowing and letting the current carry you?

I’m here to let you know that I care about you fear, you were friend and teacher when I cried foe. I will kneel beside you like my own child, sweep you into my arms and kiss all your fears. I won’t tell you they’re wrong, I’ll tell you they have their place. Fear, and your friend courage, I ask that he be with me while I let myself be with you, Fear. Maybe, really for the first time in my life.

“come here, fear
I am alive and you are so afraid
of dying.”  ~Joy Harjo

And in your fear you cling tighter.  I will give you that soft space to be, neither denying you nor swept away in you.  You, who have left no earthly visitor untouched.  You only asked one thing: to be welcomed with an unshielded tenderness, the way we do with our children.

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Last post I shared some quotes from “The Afterlife of Billy Fingers”.  This is a sister’s account of her dead brother’s communication to her from the other side. Billy Fingers led a colorful life, and in the last part of his life he was homeless and a recovering heroin addict.

I have dog-eared several pages, so I may be quoting from it through out the new year.

“Remember this … remember this.  What you achieve on earth is only a small part of the deal.  If there’s a secret I could whisper, and that you could keep, it would be that it’s all inside you already.  Every single thing you need.  Earth is just a stopover.  A kind of game. …If I could give you a gift, it would be to teach you how to stay free inside that game, to find the glory inside yourself, beyond the roles and the drama, so you can dance the dance of the game of life with a little more rhythm, a little more abandon, a little more shaking-those-hips.”  ~The Afterlife of Billy Fingers

Now, who wants to join me on the wild side?  Wild for it’s freedom and abandon, not because it hasn’t been tamed, but perhaps precisely because it has been.  I postulate that the latter half of life is unlearning every way of being that was designed to please others.  All of us were told at some point, you will be accepted and loved if you act more like this, and less like your true inner nature.   Billy Fingers suggests that it’s all a game, why not have some fun while we play the game?

Therefore, with the power vested in me (I have none) I now bestow a crown upon all of your heads, and dub thee the kings and queens of Shaking-Those-Hips … go forth have fun, make light of the serious things, and don’t let anyone convince you of what you should be doing.  Tell the shoulds – gimme 10 – but not 10 pushups – 10 shaking-those-hips.  I’ll bet that will loosen those shoulds up a bit!

Have fun with it all, and where you’re not — when the seriousness has your full and undivided attention, engage with it, take a seat and grab the popcorn.  This is your precious life!

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I’m reading “The Afterlife of Billy Fingers”.  The story of a former heroin addict who dies, and comes back many times to give his sister messages from that other realm.  I approach these things with a skeptical eye.  I don’t know for sure if Billy really did transition and come back to write this book with his sister.  What I do know is truth in wisdom when I come across it, and that’s what I share with you all today …

“There is no right way for things to turn out.  Some endings are happier, some not so happy, but it’s not just the happiness percentage that matters.  It’s the music of it.  Most people’s lives don’t have enough music.  I was lucky; my life was a rock opera.” ~The Afterlife of Billy Fingers

Ah, “it’s the music of it”.  So then the main event isn’t about measuring how much joy we experienced, is it?   How then do you measure a life?  I don’t have that answer, but, hey, let’s go make some music!!

“Close your eyes, let your spirit start to soar
And you’ll live as you’ve never lived before

Grasp it, sense it, tremulous and tender

Softly, deftly, music shall caress you
hear it, feel it, secretly possess you
Open up your mind, let your fantasies unwind

Let your mind start a journey to a strange new world

Floating, falling, sweet intoxication
Touch me, trust me, savor each sensation

You alone can make my song take flight
Help me make the music of the night.”
~excerpts from The Music of the Night/Phantom of the Opera

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