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Adaptability: A Pot of Gold!

There is definitely a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow!

There is definitely a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow!

In this planetary school where adaptability is one of the key teaching assignments, making adjustments is a constant demand.  Gregge Tiffen (The Language of a Mystic: Cycles – July, 2009)

This 313th post begins a new annual cycle, year seven for The Zone. I wonder what adjustments are ahead in this new cycle?  This week also finds me in the midst of adjusting to life without the heartbeat of my canine companion nearby.

My capacity to adapt is being engaged once again. Adapting to ‘life without Luke’ has evoked tears and laughter, sadness and relief, the stillness of reflection and movement into action.  As with all events in life these days, I aim to see my journey with Luke and this loss as an opportunity to learn and grow.

A beautiful rainbow here in the mountains late last week, reminded me what a blessing the need to adapt is. In the stillness of reflection, I came to see making adjustments, adapting if you will, as an abundant pot of gold, IF (and only IF) we embrace it with love, not fear.  For, if we face change with fear, it will be a molten pot of lead, heavily weighing us down, evoking struggle and pain.

In the presence of love, I discover that laughter accompanies tears and that sadness lives concurrent with relief. In the presence of love, the stillness of reflection brings clarity to the rearranging needed – inside and out.

In the presence of love, I discover that rearranging is mostly an inside job. I allow waves of sadness to wash over me as they appear and let them find their expression in tears. I want grieving to have its time, though I won’t allow it to drive the bus. I smile at a moment when some past time playing with Luke crosses my awareness. Without guilt, I embrace with gratitude the sense of relief and freedom I now feel. 

In the presence of love, I’m simply being with what is. I open myself to new possibilities and questions: what’s next? how do I want life to be now? what changes will serve me?

In the presence of love, being gives way to doing: putting away things not currently needed, packing some up and delivering to canine friends nearby, rearranging furniture, reviewing a manuscript, attending to projects set aside while Luke was ill, planning a short trip away.

In the presence of love, I experiment with new routines, allowing old habits and paths to give way to the new.

In the presence of love, I experience the grace of ease in the flow and I find heart rocks most every day.

Mined with love, I know that the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow brings forth abundant blessings. What else could be at the end of such beauty? Love Lives!

This week’s heart rock finds!

This week’s heart rock finds!

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Cycles, Symbols, & Letting Go

Love, Light & Treats - Honoring My ‘Ol Buddy, Ol Pal’ Luke

Love, Light & Treats - Honoring My ‘Ol Buddy, Ol Pal’ Luke

Cycles produce constant change. Gregge Tiffen (The Language of a Mystic: Cycles  – August, 2009)

This 312th post marks the completion of the sixth annual cycle of sharing these weekly mystical musings, a ritual that is one of the great joys in my life.

This post also marks a new cycle: the first written without the gentle, patient physical presence of my beloved canine companion, Cool Hand Luke Skywalker Reinhardt.  Last Thursday afternoon CHLS rested his head on my lap one last time.

Nature is intimately partnered with us in this physical experience, and that is perhaps the greatest boon of our incarnate existence, as nature is directly connected to and informed by the Universe. … Some of our most endearing partners are our pets. … they are there waiting for us, ready to fulfill our desire to feel all-giving and unconditionally accepting energy. Isn’t that what love is all about? They accept our tears, soothe our angst, and make us laugh. … Animals are here as companions and stabilizers. Having a direct connection to the earth, they serve the important function of being able to ground and stabilize our energies by taking our excess energy and feeding it back into the earth. They – along with plants – absorb a lot of negative energy. As we nurture and care for them, they leave us calmer in the midst of our sometimes chaotic incarnate experience. … When they die, all elements of nature are returned to the nature pool, where their energy can be used for whatever needs to be generated.  Gregge Tiffen (Life in the World Hereafter: The Journey Continues)

In my almost nine years with Luke at my side (or leading the way on a trail through the woods), he demonstrated nature as Gregge describes it. He was (and IS!) one ‘helluva’ teacher.

Leading the Way - One Last Time

Leading the Way - One Last Time

Like his human, Luke was private and stoic. When our vet discovered a large growth on his spleen in mid- May, he asked that I share the news sparingly. I honored his request, sharing only with a few close friends (“No mopers!” he directed.) and subtly suggesting that I was facing a ‘personal challenge’ in some recent posts.

Committed to knowing and honoring what Luke wanted, I reached out to Miranda Alcott, the Animal Communications Counselor and medical intuitive who helped us several years back.  (https://mirandaalcott.com/).  Agreeing with our vet’s recommendation, Luke didn’t want to fight with surgery or aggressive treatment. He needed relief, and was open to ‘seeing how alternative treatment would help.’  The protocol was effective, easing his discomfort and increasing his energy. We were blessed to have two and a half months to walk daily, take a few short hikes, play, laugh, and hang out. 

During that time, Luke let me know that maintaining dignity was important to him. Both Miranda and our vet suggested that he would likely ask for help leaving his body before it seemed like the ‘right’ time (little did I know that this is common in dogs, a sign that we humans often miss in our quest to cling for life).  As best I could, I prepared to ‘hear’ and to honor the request when he made it. I was as ready as I could be when he asked to move on to the adventures in the nature pool across the rainbow bridge. Summoning all the conviction and courage I could muster, I wanted to show my love by letting go.  

Nature’s beauty is infinite, but the trail is empty without CHLS.

Nature’s beauty is infinite, but the trail is empty without CHLS.

Symbols serve as a true roadmap to assist us in getting through life with the minimum amount of difficulty and upset. Gregge Tiffen (Do The Angels Take a Vacation? – August, 2007)

Although my heart is heavy, I’m filled with love, peace, joy, and gratitude for the love, lessons, and laughter that we shared in our all too short (at least for me), yet divinely perfect, time together.  And, although this cycle is complete, Luke’s lessons and gifts live on.

After our final ‘goodbye old buddy, old pal’, the dear friend who accompanied us on that final journey and I decided that we needed to eat and ground ourselves for the hour drive back home. We went to a burger stand nearby, ordered burgers, and chose a remote picnic table. As I approached, I noticed something lying on the table and, when I arrived, I found a heart-shaped rock at the place where I planned to sit. LOVE lives! The table was damp, and we blotted it with a paper towel. When we turned it over, we found the image of a paw print. LOVE lives!

Parting is sweet and sacred. Luke is free from pain. And, I’m free from the worry and anticipation of saying goodbye.  The cycle of physical presence is complete. Yet, my learning from Luke continues since, in spirit, there is no end. LOVE lives!

Symbols - LOVE Lives!!!

Symbols - LOVE Lives!!!

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Discernment in Our Chaotic World

Early Morning Haze in the Sangres

Early Morning Haze in the Sangres

Truth and spiritual awareness need no trumpets or drums. Gregge Tiffen (Do The Angels Take a Vacation? – August, 2007)

What is true for each of us is that which inspires and deepens our awareness of our true power.

As I have a few times recently, this week has me calling forward a previously written post – updated what I’m observing currently.  The message seems especially appropriate given the political climate and, in my view, dearth of moral leadership in that arena.

Over the past several weeks as I’ve watched current events unfold and heard far too much fear-based rhetoric, I realized (not for the first time of course) just how disempowering the world’s messages are. The so called ‘news’ with its negativity, discord, confusion, conflicting information and disparate opinions that scream their version of what is true often fails to inform much less inspire or empower.

Beyond the news, everything in the world seems to calls for our attention jobs, family, friends, politicians, people in business who have something to sell. Take a look at your email in-box, your social media account, text messages, voice mail, and advertisements in places too numerous to mention. 

Are you inspired or empowered by what you see?  Or does the vista contribute to a sense of angst, confusion, chaos about conditions ‘out there’ beyond your control?

So, how the heck do you begin to know what’s ‘true’?  Within that question is perhaps one of the great opportunities of this time: learning the fine art of discernment – not what’s true ‘out there’, but what is true to you and for you. What are your criteria for discerning what to allow to enter your space (yes, you do have control over that!)?

If you know your criteria, are you rigorous in honoring them? (I’ll be taking some action in this regard this month!).

If you aren’t sure or your criteria could use buffing up (I’ll be doing some of that too!) give some attention to identifying the knowledge/tools/skills you have to guide you.

A great starting point is remembering the truth of what Gregge suggests in the quote above: truth is not boisterous or external, rather it is quiet and inside. The goal is to find your truth. What is true for each of us is that which inspires and deepens our awareness of our true power. What inspires you? What deepens your awareness of how powerful you truly are?

Here are some other ways to develop and sharpen your discernment:

  • Engage curiosity, letting go of the need to know, understand or be right

  • Be open to other possibilities – open mind, open heart

  • Develop your instinct/conviction and listen to it while being open to making adjustments

  • Befriend paradox – in a world of infinite possibilities two ideas that appear contradictory may each be true even when they seem to be polar opposites

  • Be gentle (with yourself and others)

  • Avoid win/loose conflict, competition, and confrontation

  • Look to nature, her beauty, her rhythm

    Enjoy the journey to discovering and expanding all that which is truly you AND true for you! 

The Labyrinth - One of My Places for Finding What Is True for Me … Luke agrees!

The Labyrinth - One of My Places for Finding What Is True for Me … Luke agrees!

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Will (Continuing the Exploration)

Early Morning Sun on the Great Sand Dunes

Early Morning Sun on the Great Sand Dunes

There can be no exercise of will when there is fear. Gregge Tiffen (The Language of a Mystic: Awareness – July, 2009)

 When fear is used to control us, love is how we rebel. Rivera Sun (The Dandelion Insurrection : Love and Revolution)

 Last week’s musing about exercising will (http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/the-will-to-choose), coupled with an ongoing challenging personal situation, has kept ‘will’ in the forefront of my curiosity this week. As the time came to think about what I wanted to share, I reached back to previous posts and landed on one from 2017 that seems apropos both to decisions that are in front of me and to the world we are each participants in.  The essence is we must not be fearful.  And, the post in full is shared below.

 As the month that we in the U.S. celebrate ‘independence’ comes to a close and as I observe the chaos of our current public discourse, I’ve been thinking about the source of freedom and about what stands in the way of creating new systems that are true to that source.

 Freedom, justice, equality – key principles and qualities upon which the United States was founded – cannot be sustained where fear is present. And, today we live in a culture of fear – overt and covert. I see fear in the reactionary systems aimed at controlling ‘the other’. And, I see these systems breaking down. These breakdowns can feed fear as well where we have not made peace with the idea of not knowing. The tighter we grasp to save them, the faster systems move to their breaking points. Many are fearful of what lies beyond. We see this throughout our culture, not only in the U.S. but around the globe.

 When fear is present we lose our ability to think clearly and to recognize the reality of the conditions that are present. We defer to the will of others. Yet, one by one, step by step (with some stumbles along the way) we are waking to realize that free will is not granted (and, thus cannot be taken away) by government (or any person or system). Free will and the will to use it are gifts from the Universe. These gifts are our opportunity to discover the unique ‘I’ that each of us is as an individual cell of the infinite Universal whole.

 And, from our individual journeys of discovery, collectively we hold the opportunity, the potential to advance freedom, justice, equality for all.  Free will is a gift that grows when exercised and nurtured with love. Not gushy, ‘roses are red’ romantic love (though that is one form of expression) but love without conditions; love that is curious, thoughtful, and pure.

We make countless choices daily, each an opportunity to choose whether to exercise our will or to submit to the will of some other. Fear is what stands in the way of consistently exercising our will.

When I reflect on the chaotic conditions throughout the world, I see a world that has lost the moral compass of free will and uses fear in an effort to control. That approach doesn’t seem to be working so well. History teaches us that revolution based on fear may change conditions on the surface, but that any change will be temporary.

Lasting change in our systems will come – indeed IS coming – from those with the courage and grit to move beyond their fear and to act from a deep knowing that the source of free will is not any government or system or person. They recognize that free will is entrusted equally in each and every one by an infinite Universe.

Up close and personal, perhaps it’s time for each of us to take a look at our own exercise of will. In that spirit, I’m asking myself these questions: Where is my will lacking? What fear(s) have me (knowingly or not) defer to the will of others? What is possible when I surrender my fear, remembering my source is not the world but the infinite Universe of which this world is just a tiny part?

Early Morning in the Woods

Early Morning in the Woods

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The Will to Choose

Early morning moon over the San Luis Valley

Early morning moon over the San Luis Valley

… will is developed out of the analytical process through which you begin to understand what you want to do with your consciousness at any given point in your experience. Gregge Tiffen (The Language of a Mystic: Awareness – July, 2009)

Will I or will I not? Do I want to? Or, not? Such is the seesaw I’ve ridden this week over what I assess should be a simple decision.

I’ve made far bigger and seemingly more consequential decisions in my life with much less vacillation and much more clarity. What was stopping me? Or better asked: how was I stopping myself?

In the back and forth of my pros and cons, I’d missed a step, an important, perhaps the important question: What do I want to do with my consciousness?  Above and beyond ‘do I want to?’ ‘do I need to?’ ‘what is the cost?’ questions, I wasn’t analyzing the choice from the perspective of my consciousness, the potential to learn and grow.

I wasn’t considering the bigger picture of flow and opportunity that is ongoing in the pure nature of consciousness. I’d forgotten to apply a fundamental truth: consciousness doesn’t discern right or wrong in our choices, it only moves to the next sequential step.

When I framed the decision in terms of how I wanted to engage my consciousness, I began to feel a shift, lightness, accompanied by a willingness to look more deeply. I had a sense of opportunity and possibility. After steering myself away from attaching to a particular outcome, I took a deeper dive. I wanted to know what was in the way of making this choice, of exercising my will and moving on, letting the chips fall where they may whatever my decision.

On that dive I found a couple of related emotions: fear and sadness. I feared that what I might discover by participating would evoke sadness. At the same time, I feared that if I didn’t participate, I would miss an opportunity to discover something new about myself, about life. Or worse, that I would put myself out of sync with the flow of energy.

I was clear that saying ‘yes’ was the path I wanted to choose, but I hesitated … not vacillating all the way back to ‘no’ but honoring a niggle of doubt that wanted to be heard. Another dive revealed that I wanted a guarantee about the outcome. What? That one again! I thought THAT was conquered. Where have you gone curiosity? Re-enter please!

And, so my answer is YES!  I’m trusting that my indecision was just a part of the path to evoking divine timing and not a delay that upsets an unfolding cycle.  Consciousness and will exercised and engaged. Curiosity restored. Onward!

Cool Hand Luke loves being out  early as the sun peeks over the peaks!

Cool Hand Luke loves being out early as the sun peeks over the peaks!


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The Gift of Retrograde Planets

On the trail out back as the sun peeks over the peaks

On the trail out back as the sun peeks over the peaks

The need for adjustments within our personal life cycles exists for the same reason that galaxies are kept from bumping into one another; both are a consequence of some extremely intelligent avatars somewhere in space having created and continuing to create planet Earth within the whole scheme of the harmonic flow of energy often heard in the music of the spheres. (Patrece on behalf of P Systems – www.p-systemsinc.com)

The more we are aware of retrograde conditions and their possible influences, the more we are able to navigate through our life experiences with greater control and clarity. (Gregge Tiffen - https://www.g-systems.com/)

First, a disclaimer: I’m no expert in astrology. What I’m sharing comes not from decades of studying the planets and their influence. Rather it comes from considering what Patrece and Gregge Tiffen have shared on this topic and from observing my own life’s conditions and events. It also comes from my conviction that, despite so much evidence to the contrary, we live in a universe that is divinely ordered and anchored in love, a universe in which we are not victims unless we choose not to receive the gifts the universe offers.

What inspires me to share is that the planet Mercury went retrograde earlier this week as it does several times each year. It reminded me of the prevailing attitude when planets go retrograde: life is disrupted, ‘bad’ things happen, and that we just need to suffer through. Such an attitude casts us as victims, putting attention on the disruption and ignoring the opportunities planets in retrograde offer: gifts from a benevolent universe.

Planets do not go retrograde without purpose. Their doing helps maintain order in the cosmos, ensuring the universal “harmonic flow of energy”. Adjustments are required. Planets adjust.

As above, so below. As a part of this intelligent universe, we are given the opportunity to use the cycle of time when a planet is retrograde to do the same: adjust. Taking time to assess and to make changes during these cycles can help us avoid bumping into ourselves, one another, and the events life brings our way. (Imagine a world where we each did that, including our leaders!)

When it went retrograde this week, Mercury joined four other planets that were already in retrograde. Yes, your math is correct: five planets are currently in retrograde. Perhaps you’ve wondered why the world (and maybe your life) seems crazier and disrupted to the extreme.  Rather than looking at the chaos, I’m choosing to look to the opportunities to slow down and consider what adjustments might serve me.

Mercury (Ruler #2*) is the planet that influences decision making and communication, including all of the technology we use in both. In retrograde it presents opportunities (indeed more than one!) to slow down and pay close attention to detail in all communication, that coming in and that we’re sending out. (I’m doing my best to practice this message as I focus on this post.) This is also a time to identify and make adjustments to communication habits or patterns that aren’t working well, to examine how you manage time and energy, to assess projects underway and adjust to get/keep them on track. Notice what puts you on edge as a guide to where adjustments are needed. Mercury’s retrograde is short – ending on July 31 – but it’s potential is powerful.

Saturn (Ruler #7) retrograde invites us to look at how we use our minds. This is a good time to observe and eliminate clutter in our thought processes and to bring forward mental qualities that may be dormant. Exercise your mind and explore what keeps you from manifesting the results you’d like and refine your operating style. This retrograde ends on September 19.

Pluto (Ruler #8) influences money and success. When in retrograde it invites us to review and make sure our financial house is in order. A key question to ask is ‘what needs to be reworked to put myself on a more solid financial footing?’ This opportunity exists until October 4.

Jupiter (Ruler #6) retrograde provides opportunities to look at health and relationships, including your relationship with you, and to explore how your home environment supports you (or doesn’t). Jupiter ends its retrograde cycle on August 10.

Finally, the influence of Neptune (Ruler #9) retrograde is mostly beneath the surface, offering the opportunity to look deep within to what inspires us and what gives life meaning. It’s a time when deep reflection and solitude can serve us well. We have this opportunity until November 27.

How will you unwrap, receive, and put the gifts of these retrogrades to use? Start by slowing down, paying attention, and being curious.

* Gregge used a numbering system rather than the customary planet names in his work, as you’ll see if you visit his website for more detail on these retrogrades. Here’s the link: https://www.g-systems.com/wordpress/?cat=9

Cool Hand Luke pauses for a photo op on an early morning hike to the Zigurat

Cool Hand Luke pauses for a photo op on an early morning hike to the Zigurat

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Independence - Reflections 2019

July 4th - The Crestone Schooner Rides Again!

July 4th - The Crestone Schooner Rides Again!

Dependency is a basic violation of Universal law. The Universe operates on independence. The Universe operates on individuality. It operates on separation in every shape and form. … The minute you become dependent upon anyone in any way you no longer have any power to move forward in your own pattern, in your own blueprint, and on your own behalf. You come to a halt. Gregge Tiffen (Finding Freedom: The Meaning of Independence - July, 2007)

 Earlier this week, I had the good fortune to attend a web presentation by my friend, author Rivera Sun, on the history of nonviolence in the American revolutionary period. Although I’d read a few snippets about this hidden aspect of U.S. history, I was amazed at the acts of nonviolent resistance that were carefully organized and executed over the decade preceding the Declaration of Independence in 1776. And, the role of women in that phase of the American Revolution is a story in itself.

 Underneath the historical facts that Rivera shared, I saw clearly how divinely guided and in tune with the Universe and its laws these colonists were. They understood freedom for the inside job that it is – moment to moment, day to day. And, they took action aligned with their desire to be free of the constraints imposed by the King.  They understood Universal law and followed it. When she posts the webinar, I’ll share the link. Meanwhile, here’s an excellent essay she wrote on the topic - http://www.riverasun.com/the-nonviolent-history-of-american-independence

 Rivera’s thoughtful, informative presentation expanded the context for what’s become my annual musing about independence.

 If you reflect on Gregge’s quote, you may discover the source underneath feeling stuck, frustrated, or impotent. You may discover a deeper source of the pervasive angst in society. If you dig deep with a commitment to your own independence, you may discover that breaking the bonds of dependence requires vigilance, courage, and commitment. Independence requires practice. Freedom isn’t a free ride. It’s not for the faint-hearted. And, it is our divine birthright.

As the 243rd  July 4th approaches here in the U.S. I wonder if we/I really know what freedom is. Do we understand what the source of our freedom is?  Do we/I know the importance of exercising our independence? Do we/I even know how?

 Observing the political landscape, I hear demands for freedom. I notice the fear that someone who is ‘different’ will take our freedom away is rampant.  We’ve lost our understanding that the source of freedom and independence is not man or government. Rather, freedom is our gift from the Universe.

 And, we’ve created and continue to support dependence upon our systems of government, education, business, as well as in our personal relationships. We give life to these systems and to other people when we depend on them as our source. We’ve become dependent on jobs, clients, government agencies and circumstances for our happiness and our well-being. We expect others to ‘be there’ for us, and we may be dependent on them needing us as well.  In doing so, we abdicate our freedom, our power to choose, and to express our authentic selves.

 It’s no wonder that the level of frustration, angst, and fear has reached revolutionary proportions. We aren’t being true to our nature. We desperately want to find our way back. Many people revolt, lashing out at the ‘powers that be’ as if they are the source. Others wisely recognize that change starts within and that individual responsibility is key to the exercise of freedom.

 We restore our independence by identifying dependencies we’ve allowed to creep in: awareness by awareness, step by step, choice by choice. We learn from experience and commitment that our independence is mostly an inside job, made more challenging in a culture that fosters dependence as a means to control.  Yet, in the final analysis we and we alone are the authors of our own freedom.

 NOTE – This post was originally posted on 7-7-2016, and, updated a bit, it still seems apropos today as I reflect on the sad state of governance and on our misunderstanding of the true source of our independence.

July 4th Crestone Style!

July 4th Crestone Style!

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Passion, Consciousness, Life

In the Woods with Cool Hand Luke

In the Woods with Cool Hand Luke

Little children listen to consciousness before the age of five, and they are passionate about a lot of things. They have not developed the personality of restrictions. We need to make this a way of life, not just something that comes around every twenty or thirty years. Gregge Tiffen (The Journey Continues: Sex, Lies, and Assumptions – June, 2010)

 Yesterday morning a curious stream of consciousness emerged when pen met paper during my journaling time.

Activism starts in the heart

Nothing to prove

Only conviction to express

With art.

Art.

The art of living

Full out

Not busy

Engaged

As your unique

Expression of the divine.

Wisdom.

Live wisely.

Only you know the meaning

To you, for you, of YOU

Revealing herself

In events

Around every corner

Opportunities to awaken.

Be present

Gifting self

Gifting others

Your gifts to life.

 Hmm, I thought as the stream ended. I smiled. Although I was curious about its meaning for me now, I set my journal aside and headed out for my early morning walk with Cool Hand Luke.  I had a vague sense that the stream might be intended for this week’s post, but no clarity until this morning when I picked up one of Gregge’s booklets in search of inspiration and direction.

 It opened not to page 1, but to the page that began with the quote above. The page ended with this additional wisdom from Gregge: Consciousness recognizes Life not society. It recognizes that knowledge is not hidden under rocks, but is right there in front of you. All you have to do is to see It, study It, and learn from It. I’d found meaning along with inspiration and direction.

 Ah, living a life guided by consciousness and passion, not by the world’s standards and demands. How do we do that? We wake up. We break free of the ‘personality of restrictions’ that those standards and demands try to impose. We discover our values and live in alignment with them. We examine our beliefs and let go of those formed by limitation, replacing them with an understanding that we live in an abundant Universe. We make choices and practice ways of being that are aligned with our beliefs and values.  We experiment. We observe. We experiment again.

 And, as we do these things, our faith deepens. We live more at ease; artful, perhaps. We discover the many faces of passion from quietly hugging a tree or enjoying a stream’s gentle burbling to marching on the front lines of change for causes our heart cares about. We hear consciousness speak quietly above the roar of the crowd. We embrace life with passionate abandon and put the ‘personality of restrictions’ in its proper place as a vague, shadowy relic of where we’ve been on this journey of life. We live! 

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? Mary Oliver

Burbling Cottonwood Creek

Burbling Cottonwood Creek

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Happy Solstice!

Summer is bursting into bloom!

Summer is bursting into bloom!

Nature is intimately partnered with us in this physical experience, and that is perhaps the greatest boon of our incarnate existence, as nature is directly connected to and informed by the Universe. Gregge Tiffen (Life in the World Hereafter – The Journey Continues)

A cycle ends. Another begins. Here, north of the equator, spring gives way to the summer season at 9:54am Mountain Daylight Time tomorrow, Friday June 21.  At the same friends south of the equator will bid adieu to autumn and celebrate the Winter Solstice.

Nature, quiet and restful in winter, began her slow awakening in late spring here in the Rocky Mountains of southern Colorado. Right on time, she is now bursting forth toward full bloom. Bird songs and the buzz of hummingbirds fill my listening heart with joy and gratitude for our planet and for where I’ve landed on it. The roar of Cottonwood Creek, just past peak flow from the snow melt, and the howl of coyote add their voices to morning’s song.

The cycle we call summer begins. It is a time of action, activity: planning, planting, having fun. Projects that languished in winter find new energy and focus. New opportunities present themselves abundantly, offering outlets for our attention. How will we choose to expand, to learn, to grow?

Summer Solstice is a sacred time to remember our partnership with nature. It is a time when heaven and nature sing ‘joy to the world’, not with ‘chestnuts roasting on an open fire’, but with the clear voices of birds and beasts responding to the renewal that the cycle of summer brings. Bountiful blooms and with the burbling Cottonwood Creek add to the chorus of auditory and visual delights. It is a time to remember that cycles of life move with nature, and that nature knows nothing of the clocks and calendars of man’s world.

As I write this morning, a mere 24 hours of spring remain. Having experienced a couple weeks with more scheduled, timed events than are usual for me, I look forward to celebrating the longest day of the year quietly here in the woods, enjoying the warm of the sun and allowing the flow of the day to inform me whether to move or not.

My celebration begins unexpectedly when, midway through writing, I open the door to check on Luke. New sounds entered the soundscape: clip-clop, clip-clop, the clip-clop of a horse’s hooves and a sound that I can’t describe, yet I knew it was my neighbor’s buckboard coming up the road. As she passed, I hollered a cheerful ‘good morning!’, and she invited me for a short ride. I accepted the gift as a reminder of the flow that is present always, in all ways. An auspicious beginning!

As I do in December with its partner, the Winter Solstice, I will use the Summer Solstice to recalibrate, syncing myself to the new cycle: the light that nature, my intimate partner on this journey, brings forth right on time. I invite you to give yourself some quiet time in nature to do the same.  

Flow! An unexpected start to my Solstice celebration!

Flow! An unexpected start to my Solstice celebration!

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Father Time

Gently Resting in the Shady Woods

Gently Resting in the Shady Woods

A wise and benevolent father protects the day-by-day life of his progeny and prepares them for an endless journey of growth, development, and maturity.  Gregge Tiffen (Father Time – June 2007)

In what was a big leap into possibility last week (you can read it here http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/the-end-of-time-a-fantasy-of-possibility), I suggested what the world might be like without clocks and other tools we use to control one another. I’ve continued to reflect on this for myself, reexamining my own relationship to cycles and time.

As I began to think about this week’s musing, I found myself reviewing previous June posts. I wasn’t surprised to find that I’d explored time several years back. And, that I’d done so just in time for Father’s Day here in the U.S. (Good timing, I’d say!). My musing then rings true today, so, I brushed off and polished that post just a bit to share this week.

In his early writing, Gregge Tiffen reflected on time, the clock and how it is used as a mechanism for manipulation and control.  His writing along with my own struggles with time led me to think that we might be wise to look at time anew.

This week, in many parts of the globe fathers and father figures will be celebrated for their roles in preparing us for this journey called life.  For some, the benevolent, wise father created context and order in our early life giving us a foundation on which to set sail on our course in life.  For them, we are grateful.

Others lived a different experience: fathers, who lacking wisdom and benevolence, sought to control. For them, with forgiveness, we can also be grateful. Perhaps that forgiveness can come more easily when we understand that fathers often feel trapped in systems that equate success with control and that honor time over natural instinct and cycles.

Harmony is the essence of nature, instinct, and natural cycles. As I continue to experiment with living less by the clock and more by awareness of my personal cycles, I feel more harmonious within.  Doing so is not so easy in this 24/7, fast-paced world.

We use time as a weapon. Finding it hard to let go and trust that events will unfold in divine perfect time, we set deadlines. I’ve come to understand just how ‘deadly’ they are. I wonder: How deeply have I bought into this world’s accepted systems where time is used to control? How might life be if we were more compassionate with ourselves and others about time?  How can I be wiser and more benevolent with time?

At one time or another, we’ve all put pressure on ourselves with words and beliefs about scarcity of time (‘I don’t have time …’). Some years ago, I broke the habit of using that language and replaced it with ‘I have enough time for everything that is important in my life’. Slowly that became my belief. It feels like wisdom, and it opens the door to being benevolent to me and to others.

With practice we can ease the pressure and begin to make choices that honor our natural rhythms – not as a program to complete, but as exploration of a different way to live. Eat when you’re hungry. Rest when you’re weary. Bloom when you’re ready. That may be the best of benevolence and wisdom in a world that sometimes seems to have lost both. 

Romping Through Water on the Trail

Romping Through Water on the Trail

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