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Prelude To Solstice - 2018

   Winter’s Pure Beauty

Winter’s Pure Beauty

All of heaven and all of earth coordinate at the Winter Solstice.Regardless of all the stories and traditions, this is a personal event of your life. It is the time that has been set up for you and Heaven to be with each other without interference. Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story

 It’s all too easy to find ourselves hooked in the hustle and bustle of seasonal activities and ‘wrapping things up for the year’.  We’ve forgotten that which we know deep inside: this is our time to recalibrate from the inside out.  And, to do so we must empty, release, let go and recognize the wisdom that done is done.

 All too often we fear being empty – even for a brief moment in time. Emptiness seems like a strange word to ascribe to the season of winter holidays with their bright lights, joyful sounds, and festivities to match.  And, yet, giving yourself the gift of emptying is an important part of being prepared to receive the new that is sure to come as the sun begins her journey back to the north.  After all, the full glass cannot receive more wine.

 In the Christmas Story, we are told that the inn was full. And, yet a receptive place for the birth was found. So it is for each of us.

 We too need to empty and make ourselves receptive to the new.  Solstice is a time to declare one cycle complete, making way for another to begin. It is a time to embrace the realm of spirit and turn our backs on the material world, if only for a brief time. It is a time to bless and release all who have crossed your path in this cycle, knowing that those who are meant to return will be there in the new one.

 And, perhaps most important of all, it is time to let go of who we were in the cycle that is completing.  The ‘you’ of that cycle is complete as well. And a new you of your design and making awaits.

 As our planet prepares to celebrate her birthday, let us honor her by taking time to reflect this gift of the time when heaven and nature sing as one. May we each sing along in our own unique and harmonious way.

I find this excerpt from Gregge Tiffen’s ‘Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story’ a beautiful reminder of the choices I can make now and moment to moment, before my time of winter solitude, and beyond winter into the spring. May it support you as well to ease into the sacredness of this time.

Prelude*

There is nothing I can give you which you have not got; but there is much, very much, that while I cannot give it, you can take.

No Heaven can come to us, unless our hearts find rest in today.

Take Heaven

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant.

Take Peace

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness could we but see, and to see, we have only to look, I beseech you,

Look!

In the quiet there is tranquility. May your life move and radiate in that unity and your heart sing the hymn of peace to all mankind.

And so, at this time I greet you not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with prayer that for now and forever the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.

* Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story)

   Winter Blessings from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Winter Blessings from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

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The Season for Nurturing and Nourishment

   Sunset Over Blanca Peak on a Snowy Day

Sunset Over Blanca Peak on a Snowy Day

Nourishment is real faith. ...faith in yourself … If you are ever going to get this faith healthy and growing so it’s with you all year long, then you need to nourish it. Nourishment is your awareness in the continuity of life and in the efficacy of the Universe that you can believe in. … It’s the faith that you are what you are that brings about miracles.  Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Sacred Passageways – December, 2011) 

Several days ago, I received a weekly post that began to frame my reflections for this sacred winter season.  “… aware experience” it read, “that can give each of us in our own way the body, mind and spirit knowledge to know what is worth nurturing and what can intentionally be put into compost to decompose and fertilize new growth at another time (emphasis mine).” (from the 11th week of the 11th year/series of PS 52 written by Patrece on behalf of P Systems – www.p-systems.com).

I’d received a catalyst in the form of a question to frame my own personal ‘seasonal reflections’, along with a reminder that there is no waste in the Universe. Thoughts, beliefs, habits which we release as no longer needed can be lovingly discarded to decompose over time, for they too will recompose in their own time.

Honoring this time leading up to and including the Winter Solstice in just a couple weeks, I find joy in creating a festive, yet peaceful place here at home in which to settle in and call forth questions that will lead me to identify what I want to nurture and nourish in the year ahead as well as that which no longer serves me.

  • What is faith to me?

  • What do my thoughts, words and deeds say about where I place my faith?

  • How deep is my faith in the continuity of life and the efficacy of the Universe?

  • What will support me to understand and deepen, as well as use my faith more fully?

  • What is sacred to me?

  • What is the best in me that I aim to nourish and nurture in the coming year?

Going deep within is one of winter’s gifts that is all too often rushed or even forgotten in the hectic seasonal pace set by the world. Without a clear intention to honor the season, we can find ourselves replacing this time designed by nature for nourishment and nurturing with busy-ness and mundane goal setting.  But humanity and our precious planet, along with our own well-being, need us to pause for the restoration, self-reflection, and faith on which growth, expansion, and self-satisfaction rest.  May we each in our own way do just that.

To whatever it might mean to you, in reality or symbolically, give yourself a period of time as a gift to yourself in which your faith is renewed. This gift is not faith in others or in the world around you but in yourself as the continuum of good operating in your life at all times under all circumstances. This is no myth!  Gregge Tiffen

   Cool Hand Luke knows how to slow down in winter!

Cool Hand Luke knows how to slow down in winter!

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Our Wise and Humbling Body

   Woof!Woof! Happy to be on the trails again!!!

Woof!Woof! Happy to be on the trails again!!!

Any part of your body has a lot to tell you. Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Invisible Action – November, 2011)

When we use our will and choose to listen, our cells provide valuable information that supports us to make choices that result in our being vibrant, healthy, and strong; not just physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. The body is wise and, as I’ve recently experienced, listening deeply can be humbling.

Experiencing a bout of discomfort and low energy along with an intuitive sense that something internal wasn’t working optimally, I sought to identify the source.  As quickly as I described these symptoms to a local DCM (Doctor of Chinese Medicine), she suggested ‘gallbladder’. Ugh! Before I could rein them in my thoughts were racing to thoughts of gallstones, surgery, bland food … Whoa!!

I paused.  I listened. First to the doc and her recommendations for dietary changes (no, it doesn’t have to be bland, but do curb the hot sauce and greasy fries for now), a formula of Chinese herbs, and, eventually a GB cleanse.  Whew! No need to call 911 and race to the hospital.  Her suggestions felt right on target.

As I made the adjustments and began to feel a bit more energy, my curiosity kicked in. What in my thinking – conscious and not – could be underneath these physical systems?  Louise Hay’s Classic You Can Heal Your Body quickly confirmed my hunch that pointed to bitterness, disdain, irritation, rancor, audacity …

What is and/or was so galling to me that my gallbladder sounded the call to attention?  Gulp. Dare I look at my sometimes harsh judgements and the language that follows when I observe the news, read Facebook posts, or even in conversation with someone whose views differ from my own? Dang, I thought I ‘that’ under perfect control. What audacity to think so!

I scratched a little deeper and found that part of me that loathes how the world conspires to pull me into its darkness, the part of me that fears I might respond, and the part of me that sometimes, when my will is weak and my awareness not strong, does pull me in.  Self-honesty is a (rhymes with) stitch, a humbling one, but her rewards are vast, going beyond to gaining self-knowledge that refines to wisdom someday. And gallbladder care, indeed care for the whole body, doesn’t stop with addressing physical symptoms.

We live in a world that aims to distract us from deeply listening to the knowledge and wisdom of our bodies and nature and one another. For example, ads for all manner of drugs break up segments of mind numbing programming, each suggesting that they know best what our ‘problem’ is and what we need to fix it.

The world and its systems would have us believe that they and it know us better than we know ourselves. Perhaps, but for me, I’m aiming to listen to my body first. I’ll call on the world when that seems like my best course of action.

   High Above Town in the National Forest

High Above Town in the National Forest


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The Power of Giving Thanks

   Sunset on another beautiful day in the Sangres

Sunset on another beautiful day in the Sangres

The power of giving thanks gives life its vitality! The power of giving thanks comes through your awareness that you are always in a position to receive all the elements the Universe has to offer. Everything is available to you.  Gregge Tiffen (The Power of Giving Thanks, November, 2007)

 Several Thanksgivings ago, sitting quietly by the fire on a cold morning, I began to write in my journal. The words that came surprised me and took me to an unexpected place: gratitude for being me.  As I ease into Thanksgiving Day 2018, I remember all that I have to be grateful for.

 I’m grateful that these words, penned three years ago still ring as true in my heart today as they did on that cold morning.

 I am grateful for how I live my life, the choices I make, the insight and curiosity I experience, my love of quiet and of nature’s beauty. I’m grateful that I take reasonably good care of myself. I’m grateful that I take time to ease into the day and enjoy the morning quiet with Luke curled up near-by. I’m grateful for my introspection and for how I see the world unfolding perfectly in this human experiment/experience despite events that are horrific beyond my understanding.

 I’m grateful for how I’ve faced the challenges in my life, even those events where in hindsight I saw a different way for me to be. Each offered a gift and I did my best to accept it.

 I’m grateful that I enjoy my own company as well as being in the company of others. Both are so very important, yet we humans so very often shun being alone for fear of being lonely, forgetting that in our aloneness we hear Your voice and feel Your presence.

 Thank You for always being with me/in me. Thank YOU for allowing and guiding me to be me. I feel so close You, God, in these quiet moments and I am so very grateful.

 Thankfulness and gratitude are often expressed for things external to us – our family, our work, our homes, our pets, our friends.  Yes, I am grateful, deeply grateful, for these many, many blessings in my life.  This week I’m especially grateful for Cool Hand Luke Skywalker as we and our annual ‘anniversary’ hike to celebrate his adoption eight years ago.

 When we give thanks for being who we are, we tap into the vitality of life. That vitality includes deep peace and the personal satisfaction of allowing myself to express gratitude for me.

 For those here in the U.S., as you list what you’re grateful for this week include gratitude for being you. And, if the Thanksgiving holiday isn’t on your national calendar, take a moment to be grateful for the same. In whatever form you give thanks, may it bring you peace, joy, love and all that your heart desires.

   Good Afternoon to you too!

Good Afternoon to you too!

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Authentically YOU!

   Nature’s Beauty Discovered Anew

Nature’s Beauty Discovered Anew

If you run your life according to the dictates of society, you will reap those concerns. Gregge Tiffen (Thanksgiving: The Power of Prayer, How it Works – November, 2006)

When we let society or culture determine what we should believe and how we live, we have abdicated our responsibility for ourselves. Gregge Tiffen (excerpt from Life in The World Hereafter, The Journey Continues in The Journey Continues: The Legacy for Generations – November, 2010)

Sometimes as I sit quietly, reflecting and ready to receive, a familiar message begins to form and I wonder ‘am I being too repetitive?’ Such is the case with my thoughts this week. A familiar theme: BE the unique YOU that you are, not the ‘you’ the world would have you be.

It’s a theme that shows up in my work with clients when they are seeking clarity about purpose and direction. Society and our culture would have us believe that they know best in terms of what ‘success’ is and how we should achieve it. Marketing and media experts extoll what we ‘must’ do to create massive email lists, enroll others, get our message out, etc. etc. And, while they may have good information and advice, overwhelm can set in if we try to follow that advice without a clear sense of who we are and what we believe. It’s important to know and acknowledge what we need at that particular stage of life. Then, we need to develop the skill AND the discipline to filter our choices through our individual lens of authenticity.

It’s simple in concept, and not always easy to implement. Living authentically often means living counter or contrary to the culture. It requires vigilance and consistent awareness because the world wants you to do its bidding, to follow its lead. The world’s voice is loud and pervasive and its tone, built on the quality of mass consciousness, is steeped in fear, scarcity, disrespect, discord and violence.

The qualities of mass consciousness today are the not the qualities of a loving, generous, abundant, infinite Universe. Mostly the Universe speaks softly, quietly and to hear we must stop and listen. The Universe does not bombard us with noise 24/7. It doesn’t shout, scream, or try to scare us into action.

As parts of the universal whole, at our core we are those qualities: love, light, abundance, harmony, beauty, peace. We find our power, our authenticity, in being and expressing them. In that power we find our true selves. And, from that power, we have the foundation of authenticity on which to build our lives, personally and professionally.

   Embracing The Universe

Embracing The Universe


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An Avalanche of Gratitude

   Grateful Every Day to Live in this Beauty!

Grateful Every Day to Live in this Beauty!

Dear God, I sit quietly in appreciation for You as the Source of omnipotent Abundance manifested everywhere through every thing and every one. I give thanks, albeit too infrequently, to You as the Source that brings people and events into my life at exactly the right time and place. Gregge Tiffen (The Power of Giving Thanks – November, 2007) 

So begins Gregge Tiffen’s letter to God in his November, 2007 booklet, one of five years of monthly booklets, each a potent mystical musing containing guidance on navigating life on this planet from a practical metaphysical perspective.

That short opening paragraph prompted my awareness of two important things. First, give thanks more often. Heck, I aim to make gratitude a way of life. Gregge’s words also prompted deep gratitude for the people in my life.

There’s little, if any, question that evoking feelings of gratitude positively impacts our health and well-being.  A quick Google search yields hundreds of sources and studies that measure and document just that.  

Our task is to use that knowledge moment to moment, day to day, no matter what we face. Individually and collectively we need to generate avalanches of gratitude. We need to allow ourselves to be overwhelmed with gratefulness for our blessings, those that are obvious and those that may hide in disguise. We do so with practice, moment to moment, day to day.

As I reflected, I felt guided to begin making a list of the people I’m grateful for. It began something like this:

  • Cousin Marty, James Michael and his family

  • Neighbors who shared their bountiful garden harvest much of the summer

  • Another neighbor who installed insulation in the crawl space under my mudroom

  • A community member who recently said to me ‘as a woman who also lives alone, you can call me anytime, 24/7, you need help’

  • Friends who shifted their plans to have me over for dinner and brought dinner here so I could take care of an ailing Cool Hand Luke

And, on my list went, soon going beyond my local community (colleagues worldwide, activists on the front lines of change, etc.).  My avalanche of gratitude had begun. Like a tiny movement that can create an avalanche of snow and ice in the mountains, my list kept growing, leading to vast, deep, heartfelt gratefulness.

As my heart opened, my list expanded to include those who ‘push my buttons’ whether it be posting snarky comments on social media or expressing negativity in conversation. It encompassed media as well as elected officials whose words, tone, and decisions I loathe. I’m grateful for each and every one because in their aggravation of me, they push me to define my boundaries, my standards, what I will stand up for, and what I will stand in opposition to.  We are living in a time when that will become more and more important, but for today I’m simply grateful for them all. What about you? Will you add some gratitude to life today?

   Grateful for my neighborhood!

Grateful for my neighborhood!

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YOU Are Important!

   A last bit of fall color before the snow.

A last bit of fall color before the snow.

We either recognize our importance by living an important life, as we see it, or we don’t. … Every word you have ever uttered, every move you have ever made and every thought you have ever had never dies. Gregge Tiffen (An Empty Heart Makes An Empty Purse – November, 2008)

If you don’t see your life as important, STOP. Reconsider. The Universe does not agree with you (although if you continue that point of view, the Universe will accept it and give it right back to you, magnified).

In Universal terms, terms of the flow of energy, there is no thought, word, or deed that does not matter. The Universe does not look at your thoughts, or hear the words you speak or observe the action you take and judge it (or you) as better than or less than any the thoughts, words, and deeds of anyone else.  The Universe does not compare, contrast, or choose.

The Universe receives, reflects back, and magnifies: EVERY thought from each and every one of us; EVERY word, and EVERY act.  It does so without regard to the tone of your skin, the language you speak, where or how you live, etc. The Universe doesn’t care how much money you have, how many hours you work, how much you give to others. It receives, reflects, and magnifies with no judgement.

The Universe does not categorize our thoughts, our words, or our deeds. The Universe does not care who wins the next election. Those choices are left to us and our free will to choose.  A Cherokee elder’s story to his grandson seems apropos to the power of our choices:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all.  One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."  The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?" The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Whether you see this time as one of doom and gloom or one of opportunity, the Universe will respond in kind. THAT is how important you are.

Let’s rise to the challenge of feeding the ‘good wolf’,  choosing thoughts, words, and actions out of love not fear, light not dark, abundance not lack, harmony not discord. Let’s lead where our so called ‘leaders’ don’t. We ARE that important!

   SNOW DAY! Let’s Play!!!!

SNOW DAY! Let’s Play!!!!

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All Hallows' Eve - 2018 Edition

   Autumn Fades …

Autumn Fades …

Life is an enormous power to be understood and used as energy. Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Ancient Rituals – October, 2011)

This week, as mild autumn weather begins to give way to winter’s cold, I’m shifting my morning quiet/reflection/reading/writing time to the living room where I build and enjoy the warmth of a fire in the woodstove. Such will be my ritual each morning for months, beyond the calendar’s turn to a new year and until winter finally breaks to bring forth spring.

This first musing by the fire finds me thinking about rituals, particularly ancient ones.  I’ve caught my falling leaf for luck (more about that ritual here - http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/catch-a-falling-leaf). After a day of blessed, gentle rain and with the energy of yesterday’s full moon in Taurus, my attention turns to rituals celebrating the connection between the incarnate and discarnate sides of life on our planet and those who have made the transition from their earthly incarnate form.

All Hallows’ Eve (http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/all-hallows-eve) was celebrated long before churches existed, and despite religious institutions’ objections, Day of the Dead continues to be celebrated in many forms worldwide. Last year’s award winning animated film Coco beautifully depicts the celebration and family conflicts about it in Mexico. The song ‘Remember Me’ is one of my favorites (you can hear it here  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iDxU9eNQ_0)

Coco and ‘Remember Me’ are reminders of Gregge Tiffen’s teaching that “Each of us is a living spirit. … When you’re dead, you’re not dead. You are very much alive.

In his informative, fun booklet Ancient Rituals Tiffen encourages us to take time to remember those who are no longer with us in their incarnate form and to know that “they are attached to the planet in a discarnate format.” In a world so fearful of death, the knowledge that I’m simply using this form temporarily reminds me that each of us - you, me, and EVERY-one - is but a tiny drop in an infinite universe. And, each drop lives forever.

I find it helpful to remember and honor the connection of close family and friends who have made their transition to the discarnate. Next week on Halloween evening I plan to do just that. Gregge suggests candles, fresh flowers, perhaps something symbolic of your connection, along with quiet time to reflect. He continues, “You’re meant to feel very comfortable about participating with the use of things that are special to you as a way to be in touch with life as you know it and death as you conjure it up to be in your mind, or as you know it from your own experience. Don’t be reluctant to participate.

Perhaps I’ll pour a shot of bourbon for Marge, my beloved mom who left this life 39 years ago.

What about you? Will you take time remember and connect at this sacred time when the veil between this plane and the discarnate invites us to explore and discover the journey that continues?

   … and Snow Falls on the Sacred Sangres

… and Snow Falls on the Sacred Sangres

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Peace, No Matter What

   I think of this spot as a Portal to Peace.

I think of this spot as a Portal to Peace.

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. Albert Einstein

… cause peace by becoming peace – not just being peaceful temporarily. To become peace requires embracing a mindset that recognizes all of creation as one organism expressing in myriad forms and committing to treat all others (human, non-human, animate and inanimate) with kindness and respect, no matter what. Rev. Trish Hall, founder Way2Peace (https://way2peace.org/)

The idea of ‘peace, no matter what’ is an ideal of the highest magnitude, or so it seems in a world hell-bent on destruction. Peace seems out of reach until we bring it home, seeking to maintain our personal sense of peace and making a commitment to peace in our hearts, minds, and homes. We do this moment by moment, choice by choice, conversation by conversation. Some are easy, natural, and effortless. Others choices call forth our conviction, invite us to step into the unknown, or even to swim upstream counter to friends, neighbors, or social norms.

That is way the way of change. That is way of creating peace. Those are the individual choices that we must make collectively if peace and love are to prevail on our precious planet.

Recently just such a choice presented itself. In the midst of reflecting on somewhat disconcerting conflicts and reactions in my community – events that have resulted in some friends deciding to arm themselves and others considering doing the same – these words came to me crystal clear as if someone was in the room speaking:

Disarmament of nations will only come when individuals shed the fear that has us keep weapons for our own protection.

While I wasn’t considering arming myself with a gun, a friend currently living in my home voiced that possibility for herself. Given the events, I understand why one might consider this choice. Yet, my initial reaction was ‘no!’. And after a day of thoughtful consideration, I was clear that this choice would stand. I was also clear that new criteria for sharing my home had emerged: no guns, no weapons – no matter what.

I feel a deep sense that my personal safety, like peace, comes first from within. The cause of war and violence in any of its forms is fear. Fear is the absence of love. The path to peace collectively is to expand and deepen our individual capacity to make choices grounded in kindness and respect – love, if you will – not in fear. I have work to do to increase my own capacity for kindness and respect to myself and to others, especially those with whom I disagree.

Too often we think of peace only as the business of nations. Governments engage in war to ‘win’ peace. Do you notice how broken this model is? Fear and dominance have had their time. Their time is done (though letting go for some will not be done without fight).

The time is now to end violence and to call forth peace, the peace that is our business – yours and mine – to create. The time for simple kindness, respect, and relationship is upon us.  Let our love shine light in the dark corners of fear. Let us each become portals to peace, putting our attention on the work that needs doing to build that peace – moment by moment, choice by choice, conversation by conversation, and even social media post by social media post.

   Blanca Peak, a place of peace to indigenous peoples for generations. Do you see the bear?

Blanca Peak, a place of peace to indigenous peoples for generations. Do you see the bear?

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Earth: Our Difficult Home

   A Path In The Woods Nearby

A Path In The Woods Nearby

Planet Earth is a very difficult proving ground, training ground, and a test laboratory. The condition that affects our planet is a changeable vibration level that comes at all times as a matter of testing. Gregge Tiffen (The Journey Continues: Mysterious Investigations – October, 2010)

I doubt that I’m alone in my need to be reminded that I’ve chosen to live on a planet where life is difficult. Life on Planet Earth requires us to learn to adapt on not just one level, but three: physical, mental, and spiritual. Gregge frequently reminded clients and students at his lectures that Earth is a difficult ‘post-graduate school’ in the universe and that it’s definitely not for sissies.

I needed this reminder as I reflected on events of the past few weeks, those in my life and those I’ve observed from a distance.  For the most part, life has felt intense, ripe with opportunity to reflect, consider, and adapt. 

It’s interesting, perhaps amusing on some level, that we chose this planet to learn the art of recalibrating ourselves, yet often we cling to the familiar and the comfortable (even when it’s not so comfy). We decide what’s acceptable (or not) often with little consideration, allowing ourselves to be swayed in by the opinions of others. We experience this in our individual lives and in society as changing conditions confront us.

Some conditions such as the change of seasons here in the mountains present routine annual rituals of preparation. Moving plants indoors and splitting/stacking kindling and firewood are two of many on my fall ‘to do’ list. Physically, I get a great workout in the beautiful fall weather when it’s not too hot, not too cold. Mentally, I’m challenged to make my list, check it twice, and maintain focus. Spiritually, the change of seasons reminds me that there is order in the universe, everything in its time. The seasonal change uses my re-adjustment ‘muscles’ and keeps me tuned into the requirement to constantly adapt.

I’m grateful that I maintain this perspective. Some folks prepare (or not) for winter grudgingly, grumbling that they wish the change wouldn’t come at all. ‘How do thoughts like this contribute to climate change?’ I wonder, allowing a slight detour in my train of thought. I notice that weather conditions consistently give us the gift of adapting. Perhaps that’s why many people complain about it so often. What difference might a subtle shift to embrace changing weather conditions make in mass consciousness? Or, in our individual lives?

Severe weather events like the hurricane currently raging across the southeastern United States, test our capacity, providing greater challenges and opportunities to adapt. In their wake, lives are lost, homes destroyed or severely damaged, basic services are lost. It’s not easy, yet we humans find ways to adapt. We help one another. We move on or we rebuild. Somehow we adapt. But I wonder, what is the deeper message of these events that we need to hear and adapt to?

Beyond changing weather and extreme weather events, collectively and individually, we are being presented with intense conditions in our communities and our countries around the globe. Our willingness and our ability to adapt are being tested and they will continue to be tested. That is the nature of life on our planet.

How will we/I rise to these tests? Will we cling to, even fight for, outdated ways of how we think things should be? Will I? Or, will we open ourselves to new thinking, new ways to call forth long-held ideals of justice, equality, fairness, and basic human decency? Will I?

   Snow on the Peaks and a Morning Glimpse of the Great Sand Dunes just above the treetops.

Snow on the Peaks and a Morning Glimpse of the Great Sand Dunes just above the treetops.


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