For Better or for Worse

Collage of lilies of the valley on paper, biblical text with weddng rings, skeleton head with wedding rings

Until Death do Part

Let’s face it, the coronavirus stopped everything in its tracks. Closing businesses, schools, communities and entire countries shattered the world into millions of individualized personal universes. But, viewing this tragic pandemic through the paradoxical Tao, I see our rapidly moving globe suddenly falling apart to slow us down and turn our attention to what truly matters.

In Sickness and in Health

While I, too, grow weary of monotonous and lengthy confinement, I also see this time of sans distraction as optimal for looking within. The choice is simple. Do I feel better when my thoughts reside in devastation, or as the Chinese do in seeing opportunity in chaos? Shifting the focus from worse to better, this virus offers a prodigious gift. Besides the benefits of families making dinner together again, reading more books, and savoring nature, I’m talking about something extraordinary — a universal gift for humanity’s overall well-being and that of our planet.

Thinking and reality

According to Holy Ordinance

Reading this Abraham-Hicks sentiment some time ago, it was hard for me to believe. Quite honestly, I didn’t feel that powerful. But, since this message keeps popping up in my life and I can see the monumental effects from humanity’s darkness, I’m revisiting this concept, and largely out of hope.

“Each and every single person makes a difference,” Covid-19 tells us. So, why not use this time wisely to envision the post-virus world we wish to see?

To Love and to Cherish

The pandemic is a call to stop talking about the problems and to act, become directors of life post-pandemic. There’s a productive exercise in creatively envisioning the best that Dr. Elaine Aron calls an exercise in Big Reality. Big Reality is a pathway to global change and participating is easy:

  1. Alter your focus right now.
  2. Turn off the media’s fear mantra.
  3. Clear the virus from your mind and any troubles tainting your day.
  4. Take a few deep breaths.
  5. Make a list. Not the usual “to do” or “gratitude” list but one of a different type. Make a list of all the things that may end up better because of the coronavirus.

Neale Donald Walsch further explains. Think of life as a “huge, blank sheet of paper.” Let your thoughts, words and prayers be the instruments you use to color that sheet of paper. Is it dark or filled with light?

Torn paper revealing what you create with inscription "Director - You, Screenwriters - You, Producer - You, Cast - You"Think big. Universal, if you will. Create more than one blank page and make a new page at any time. Use your imagination to join a universal mind that can create a positive outcome from this pandemic. You may be skeptically asking, “Sure, sure, how is this going to make a difference?” But, is there any good reason not to try? We can’t say we don’t have the time…

As John Lennon sang in 1971, “Imagine.” Imagine the coronavirus eradicated. Imagine vibrant health for you, your loved ones, and community. Use your imagination to create your best self. The best planet. Best community and life. Imagination is the power of the mind to form images – positive, loving, indifferent, negative, funny, sad, or happy. How do you feel? What do you choose? What will you contribute to your spirit and to the health of our planet?

Here’s some of my Big Reality:

Palm with wedding ring opened toward spring branch of buds
Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash
  • Clear skies, vibrant waters and pristine lands
  • Governments worldwide immediately sharing vital health information
  • Politicians working and serving the people
  • Corporate and personal responsibility as the norm
  • Closed loopholes so corporations will pay their fair share
  • Violent films, videos and games will become passé
  • Spamming, computer hacking, and junk mail evaporating
  • Healthier people devoid of Diabetes, cancer, heart disease, obesity, anxiety and depression
  • Hot water in all public restrooms

    Wedding ring on dirty hands
    Photo by Jesse Orrico on Unsplash
  • Caring outdoing selfishness; simplicity and generosity replacing greed and hoarding; personal pride of “can do” instead of a helpless “I can’t” attitude; kindness and acceptance (tolerance at the very least) replacing hate. Oh, and common sense will be King!

It’s a tall order but why not? Why not think big?

From this Day Forward

The coronavirus gives us downtime. If I focus on the positive, the extra time is a gift. Will we recognize it and act on it, or quickly kick it aside as we have with Mother Earth? Will we engage with each other and nature?  Will a unified positive focus create a better world? Why not try? Isn’t it worth it?

Old world map with wedding rings and flower blossoms
Original photo by Luana Azevedo on Unsplash

I understand the coronavirus may end life as we’ve known it, but I must believe it is the transformation to something much better. What do you want to see as our world transforms?

To Have and to Hold

When I hear talk about oneness, I prefer to think of it as a collective energy for the betterment of humanity and the world, not as a melting pot erasing geographical boundaries, individuality and ethnicity. What color will you bring to this universal canvas?

Two hands joined (one with a diamond ring) while facing the path ahead
Photo by Sarah Cervantes on Unsplash

 

 

Angels without Wings

Human girl standing in between a set of painted wings on a building.

Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life search for love and wisdom.

                                                                                                                                              —Rumi


Leaving the funeral director’s office, I silently expressed thanks to God and the Universe. I met a real angel. No coincidence our paths crossed.

Worthy guidance, a smile, understanding…from friends and those I do not know.

Shutting the door to my brother’s apartment one last time, I turned around to give thanks for the angels who swooped in to help me. And him. All seeming strangers. Like the folks I’ve connected with on WP but never actually met.

Out-of-the-blue kindnesses as powerful as an angel’s wings lifted my weary spirits so I could also pass the kindness along. I’m grateful, so grateful, this Thanks Giving for kindness.

A stone engraved with the words "Angels Gather Here" sits under a pot of vinca vines.
The long standing greeting at my entryway…

And you? Have you been graced in a time of need by unanticipated kindness? What’s on your list for this holiday week of giving thanks?

Be Still

“To be still, get still,” popped into my head while feeling dizzily over-stimulated from noisy store crowds, parties, and meandering traffic this week.   The holidays can drain anyone and especially with technology’s hastened pace and constant bombardment.

For many years I’ve chosen to celebrate the holidays through the beauty of the land.  Whether it’s gathering aromatic pine boughs on the morning of Christmas Eve or breathlessly climbing a steep slope of evergreens to gain fresh perspective on New Year’s Day — intimately connecting with Mother Nature is my holiday spirit.  It is the quiet, the crunch of my boots in the snow, the sun warming my face, and breathing in fresh pine, that speaks to me deep within.  Glowing candlelight and a poinsettia paint the mellow ambience I love.   Add in laughter, healthy food and hand drumming with friends, and voila’; I’ve created a non-traditional holiday out of love, not stressful obligation.  And as an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), I want for nothing more.

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This year, I’ve received wise words from unexpected sources — women I’ve never met but with whom I share a Nature-focused spiritual path:

  • Particularly comforting in the midst of losing so many trees to pipeline construction are the words of a Yoruba priest: “Nature is resilient. The trees will come and go – some naturally and some by the needs and destructiveness of man.  Don’t cry for the trees.  They have served their purpose and they have planted their seeds.  They have helped those of the earth in many ways – the humans, the animals, the air, the soil, and other nature beings. Their spirit is resilient and they will be reborn in other forms and once again, serve their purpose. Perhaps one of them lies in you.  This is the nature of life.” 

pine candle

 

 

 

The Sacred Science Pinecone Meditation

Find a pine cone and place it in front of you. Gaze at the pinecone for a full minute, then close your eyes and imagine the pinecone-shape behind your third eye. Envision the scales of the pinecone unfolding and opening to take in nourishment from Divine Light, and see your pinecone-shaped pineal gland energized and radiant. In this space, consider all the benefits of pine medicine and imagine this energy as a white light healing your mind, body, and spirit.

pinecone 12-17-17 001

The wisdom of the land is why I love it so.Santa Key Smile  It teaches me about living life.

 

Daily Prompt: Gratitude

I didn’t think much about gratitude while growing up.  Actually, I’d say I was pretty ungrateful in those years.  Raised in a dysfunctional family — although I didn’t know that’s what it was then, just that my father would rage at a moment’s notice — we often ran for our lives.  Literally.  It wasn’t until I married a man in a 12-step program that I considered the word gratitude.

While my new husband’s recovery from prescription painkillers opened the Al-Anon door for me,  I couldn’t relate to others struggling with loved ones’ active addictions because my husband already had three drug-free years when we met.  In times of angst, I turned to gardening but it couldn’t eradicate a darkness I felt deep within.  And then I found a different 12-step meeting — ACOA.  For the first time in my life I felt I belonged, and tasted true fellowship.

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Listening to others traumas from similar or worse upbringings lessened the impact of my own.  I now realized my family wasn’t the only one that didn’t look like Norman Rockwell Freedom from Want or Freedom from Fear paintings.  Feeling safe and unjudged, I unveiled the shame that overshadowed three decades of my life.  I now understood my father as a rageaholic and how this ill-affected our family.  (This is the early 1990’s before recovery became a buzzword and rehabs became multi-million dollar businesses.)

Twelve Step meetings — of any kind — frequently discuss gratitude and suggest keeping a gratitude journal to heal the spirit.  My gratitude can be as simple as I’m grateful the sun is shining, for the joy my dog gives to me, or for my eyes to see the beauty around me.  It is a daily prompt in my thoughts illuminating my heart.

A gift of the Twelve Steps is learning to live life instead of just surviving,  existing,  staying sober or stopping an addiction.  Hearing someone share, “I was so busy looking at the thorns that I didn’t see the rose,” changed my life forevermore.  I now look for gifts in unanticipated circumstances rather than see challenges as problems.   The more I became grateful, the more I’ve had to be grateful for.

A few more decades later, I’m still evolving and learning other shades of gratitude.  I’ve come to realize and feel grateful that the darkness of my youth led me to 12-step recovery.  The Twelve Steps expanded my spirituality and lessened my fears to try new things and be who I really am.  I evolved to become passionate about hand drumming which led to my interest in the Tao.  My understanding of the Tao and life grows through gardening.  Coming full circle, I more fully understand and am grateful for all the layers of my life.  As my 12-step friend once told me, “The gift is as great as the pain.”

 

 

Daily Prompt: Coincidence…

via Daily Prompt: Coincidence

…is a word I’ve replaced with synchronicity mostly after working through Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way book.  Before that, I viewed coincidence in the sense that there are no coincidences, meaning God has a hand in everything.  And I’m not referring to God of any particular religion but God as in a Higher Power.

When my thinking evolved toward synchronicity, I continued to view things in a spiritual way.   Like manifesting my dreams.  I became more aware and more in tuned to the little things that were helping me along my way.

My most recent synchronistic experience relates to my lifelong dream of visiting Scotland, along with some other recent nudges.  Since practicing Qigong the last few years, my thoughts of God and the Universe are directed toward nature which has led to an interest in studying the Tao.  Participating in World Tai Chi & Qigong Day (WTCQ) has also been on my list but scheduling conflicts prevented me from taking part in this annual international event.  (It’s always held at 10AM on the last Saturday of April.)

But, this year I was free to drive an hour-and-a-half to participate in WTCQ Day with a group of seeming strangers in a lovely rolling green park dotted with blooming cherry blossoms.  (A favorite springtime site that takes my breath away.)  Imagine my delight when I heard the announcement, “We have a monthly discussion group on the Tao.  If anyone is interested please see me for details.”   Wow!  Did I hear that right?  Two dreams come true via one event.

A month or so afterward, while perusing Dr. Elaine Aron’s website for Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs),  she discussed spiritual pilgrimages and the varieties to choose from.  Hmmm.  I began rethinking my trip to Scotland.  I never travel as a typical touristy tourist and having a loose framework of where I want to go, this concept appealed to me.

Then, when I first attended the Tao discussion meeting in July, I learned that one of their mutual friends runs sacred travel pilgrimages in Scotland.  Woo hoo!  Synchronicity at it’s finest, I’d say.  A week later I ran into a fellow yogi I hadn’t seen for a while.  “I  just got back from Scotland yesterday,” she reported.  “Already I can’t wait to go back!” She smiled and I smiled too.  Another confirmation the Universe was guiding me toward satisfying this long time desire.

Coincidence and synchronicity are mystical experiences for me.  My thinking has changed over the years from too good to be true to believe in the magic.   Awareness is the key for so many things, and particularly for unlocking the gifts of this phenomenon.  I believe synchronicity is happening all the time, I only need open my eyes and see.  Then, I open my heart in gratitude and smile wide.jongjit-pramchom-211559 cherry blossom

 

Who’s There?

When is the last time you were alone in the forest

and heard creaking wood?

What did you think?  Were you no longer alone?

Have you ever looked up to see sun rays

streaming through the clouds?

What did you think?  Did it give you hope?