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Conviction

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Conviction, Conviction, Conviction

Cool Hand Luke says ‘A run in the snow is always a good aim!’

Cool Hand Luke says ‘A run in the snow is always a good aim!’

To take each step in the direction of your goals, you will need these three things:

  1. A conviction in yourself and in your uniqueness as an independent individual.

  2. A conviction in your cause, and that Life is better than you are experiencing it. And,

  3. A conviction in your outcome as worthy and powerful. Gregge Tiffen (Life: The Staircase of Many Steps – January, 2008)

 According to many experts, this is the week that people tend to veer off the track of the ambitious goals and resolutions made to start the new year.  You can find seemingly endless advice about avoiding the pitfalls and staying on track. So, in the spirit of the week, I’ll add my perspective – short and sweet:

 Your conviction is the key.

 As Gregge suggests, you need conviction in yourself, your cause, your outcome to provide the incentive to move toward your goal step by step. If your conviction isn’t present and strong, your opportunity is to grow it. Otherwise, you fall prey to the world and its distractions, finding yourself in overwhelm and feeling like a victim.

You can evaluate your conviction with questions such as:

  • When I look in the mirror, do I love and appreciate the person looking back at me? Do I know and value her/his uniqueness? Do I live fully into my individuality (or does the world determine my choices)?

  • Do I accept myself as the cause of how my life unfolds, not as blame, but as a sense of taking full responsibility? Do I appreciate the events in my life as opportunities presented for my benefit and my learning (yep, including the ones that ‘suck’)? Can I dance with the paradox of loving the life I have while knowing that as I learn and grow my experience of life can only get better?

  • How deeply do I care about what I’m aiming for? Does it consistently inspire and call me forth into action? Is it worthy and powerful, not as the world measures worth and power, but by measures of my understanding of my worth and my power.

As these questions unfolded, I notice areas that invite me to reflect and explore more deeply. Doing so is one of my aims this week. What about you?

And, for me, a gentle walk in the snow woods keeps the world in perspective.

And, for me, a gentle walk in the snow woods keeps the world in perspective.

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Anchoring In What Is Real

A Clear, Cold Winter Morning …

A Clear, Cold Winter Morning …

Life is apparently going to be more complex than we could have ever imagined. If we do not have something real to anchor ourselves we will possibly be swept away at sea. Gregge Tiffen (The Significance of Beginning – January, 2007)

I chuckle as I read Gregge’s words first published 12 years ago.  Indeed life is and seems to continue to become more complex, more chaotic.  THAT is our opportunity! WE get to deepen our learning in how to navigate the stormy seas of life on planet earth by anchoring in a foundation of what is real.

We’ve turned the page on yet another year. We made it through a year that for many was tumultuous at best. Hopefully, we made some progress – not simply in terms of how the world measures progress (money, career, etc.) – but progress in our capacity for self-awareness, self-belief, self-love and faith in the ultimate good of the Universe. THAT is where our opportunity lies.

Deepening our capacity to adapt to changing conditions and to respond to unexpected events is a requirement in a world that seems ever more chaotic. Otherwise we may be swept into the sea of the world’s chaos and find ourselves contributing to its intensity rather than living a life that counters the craziness.

We need more than a life raft. We need a solid foundation in which to anchor ourselves and our choices.  We need to be stable yet remain flexible. We need not to be stuck, but able to move. Adaptability is the key.

And, we won’t find adaptability ‘out there’. It’s an inside job that requires consistent attention and care if we are to deepen our capacity to not get caught up in the world’s chaos or in the unexpected events that life brings our way.  We measure our progress in how we navigate these each and every day.

Does the ringing phone that I ignore as I write this disrupt my train of thought? Yes. How much? How do I adjust and refocus?   Do I allow an event that could disrupt my holiday plans to do so?   Do I participate or not? How do I do so in a way that contributes positively and expresses my true being?

These are the choices we face each and every day, dozens of times. Many seem insignificant. We may not even notice them. Yet each is a building block that contributes to our quality of life AND to the atmosphere and quality of consciousness on the planet. Positive contribution is our opportunity.

Beyond reporting of the so-called news and the punditry of opinion that follows it is an unseen world of cycles within cycles, vortexes within vortexes. This infinite sea of pure, raw energy is what is real. This is the Universe. Events occur. We choose to step into an event or not using this energy. Play or don’t play. These are our choice points, new beginnings.

We are either caught in their chaotic spin or operating with the self-awareness, self-belief, and self-love to sail our own ship.  When we sail our own ship, we discover the Universe is pretty friendly, and our faith in something beyond, yet connected to, ourselves grows.

I continue to discover that when I make decisions that are true for me, choices from this foundation, they tend to serve me well, if not immediately, then certainly long term. Even decisions that don’t work out as planned turn out in my favor in the long run.

This week I invite you to take a deep look at what anchors you in the sometimes stormy sea of life. How rock solid is your foundation?  How might you strengthen it in the year ahead?

… And Cool Hand Luke LOVES It!

… And Cool Hand Luke LOVES It!



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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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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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The Energy of Love

Morning Clouds Bring Blessed Rain!

Morning Clouds Bring Blessed Rain!

There are billions of molecules of energy entering your aura all of the time. They are being attracted by the magnetism of your vortex. Gregge Tiffen, Deeds Are Fruit – Words Are Leaves ­– October, 2008

at whatever point we place our mental attention at that point the firm of God and company establishes a branch which is certain to be successful. Ernest Holmes Your Invisible Power quoted in Science of Mind, October, 2018

I woke to the sound of rain gently falling on the roof, its aroma wafting through an open window. I imagined for a moment how clean the rocks and trees will look and how soft the earth will feel under my feet when Luke and I venture out for our morning walk.

Rain is a blessed event here in this mountain desert, parched in drought conditions deemed “extreme” by experts who measure such things.

I take a few moments to feel gratitude deep in my bones and I speak a quiet, heart-felt ‘Thank you!’

This is where I place my attention as I begin this day.  I don’t do so with the intention of strengthening the branch of gratitude in my tree of life, yet I know that it will have that effect.

I allow, no I invite, Gregge’s words to sink in. I remember that we are energetic beings. The quality of the energy that we attract is determined by the qualities of our thoughts. Fear (and there is plenty of it ‘out there’ in our world) begets fear. Love magnetizes love. I choose love, expressing gratitude as one of love’s highest expressions.

I think about our world and my heart suggests that our greatest challenge in these times of chaos, cruelty, hostility aimed at making us fearful is to find loving ways to respond. I wonder how I might express my strong convictions about the current nominee for the Supreme Court to my senator from a foundation of love.

For love to inspire we need to invite it in with our attention, our thoughts and our gratitude. The energetic force of love deserves – no demands – our attention in these times. We need to call love forth as never before. Not as a superficial, airy/fairy concept, but as how we live – moment to moment, day by day.

Love does not cower in a corner waiting until it is safe to come forward. Love finds ways and words to express outrage and anger with care. Love invents approaches to navigate chaotic, even dangerous, events cautiously, yet without fear. Love fuels and finds ways to express strong, solid conviction. In the midst of darkness, love brings forth light. In the midst of drama, love is calm. In the midst of confusion, love seeks and finds clarity.

The conditions in our world need our attention but most all they need for that attention to be firmly grounded in love. As we each choose the messages and forms that best express our concerns, even our outrage, let the energy of love fuel us. As we make demands on elected officials to hear and respond to our voices, let us not seek to be the loudest, but the most loving. That is how we will build a world that we want to live in. Love is the answer.

Peek-A-Boo Showering Love on You!

Peek-A-Boo Showering Love on You!

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The Source of Aha Moments

A Sudden Burst of Fall!

A Sudden Burst of Fall!

… there is an inner beauty within each of us that is hungering to be matched in outer experiences. When that moment happens in truth, some great affirmation leaps up within us and for a moment out of time we move beyond hope and belief to the conviction of certainty. Patrece, From Concept to Conviction: Experiment, PS 52, Series 10 Week 50 (Post Scripts is a weekly series written by Patrece on behalf of P Systems, an independent 501(c-3) non-profit corporation she established in 1983. www.p-systemsinc.com

The source of your aha moments is YOU!

The moment I read the above quote, it resonated deeply. Isn’t life about bringing forth what lies dormant in each of us, creating experiences that do just that: matching what Patrece suggests is our ‘inner beauty’ with our ‘outer experiences’.

My own ‘aha moment’ was recognizing this light within as the source of insights we call ‘aha moments’. The source of my aha moments is me, just as the source of your aha moments is you.

We tend to look upon ‘aha moments’ as those times when an insight comes to solve a problem or to see our way through a challenging situation. While that is certainly the case, the real beauty of an ‘aha moment’ is that it reveals more us to ourselves. And, in discovering more of self, we discover more about others, our world, and our relationships with both.

Perhaps we would do well to savor our flashes of insight by taking time to express our gratitude and to reflect on what our new awareness has to offer beyond the current concern it appears to address. What is the wider, deeper message of this insight? Where is its application in my life?

Beyond recognizing (remembering to be more accurate) inner beauty seeking expression as the source of insights (and for that matter, inspiration), I put attention on the words ‘within each of us’.  I invited that to settle in … each of us: all inclusive, each and every one. Not just some. Not just those with whom I agree. EVERYONE.

Aha! We each hold a piece of the Universal ‘puzzle’ that is beauty waiting patiently (or not) to be expressed. Those who make choices and take actions that I loathe are part of this great unfolding. Yes, even ‘him, her, them’. And …

NO! This awareness does not mean I give them a pass or that I look the other way, rather it reminds me that a part of my expression is compassion and care. It reminds me that diversity creates unity. It reminds me that polarity is a requirement for creation. It moves me ‘beyond hope and belief to the conviction of certainty’ that life in this chaotic time is but a blip in the eternity that is our infinite Universe.

My job, and yours, is to express the inner beauty that is ours and ours alone in everything we do moment to moment, day to day with love, not fear; with clarity, not confusion; with trust, not doubt. These expressions are our contribution to feeding the collective hunger for a world whose outer manifestation reflects what our hearts most desire.

A Shroud of Clouds and Blessed Rain in the Sangres!

A Shroud of Clouds and Blessed Rain in the Sangres!

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The Antler

The Antler of Wisdom & Awareness

The Antler of Wisdom & Awareness

Shedding is nature in action, the easy, effortless flow of life. Clinging upsets this natural flow, creating suffering, stress, and dis-ease.

The whole object of pruning is that it improves your growth, it regenerates your brain, and it opens up new opportunities. Experiences that are no longer being used in a positive manner should be cut from the creative tree inside of you and taken away. Gregge Tiffen (Give Nothing, Get Nothing – August, 2008)

 

Take a moment to imagine a male deer resisting shedding his antlers (my first thought was a beautiful buck dashing into the market looking for super glue) or a snake holding on to its outgrown skin (duct tape anyone?).  Imagine an autumn walk in the woods if the leaves weren’t falling from the trees. Or what we humans would look like if we didn’t constantly shed cells of our skin.

While no deer, snake or tree was interviewed for this musing, I’m quite certain that they don’t resist this natural process. And, I’m hardly aware of the daily loss of my skin cells.  Shedding is nature in action, the easy, effortless flow of life. Clinging upsets this natural flow, creating suffering, stress, and dis-ease.

Yet we humans cling. We hold on to ‘stuff’ – so much stuff that our garages have no room for our cars and ‘storage’ is a thriving business. We hold on to jobs, relationships, as well as to ideas, habits, and beliefs that, at best, we no longer need. Sometimes in our busy-ness we simply aren’t aware of what we are holding on to, much less its toll. For the most part we don’t look at events in our lives to discover their meaning, their gifts, and their clues to what we need to change.

One morning tending to my garden on the deck, I discovered several beautiful, almost ripe tomatoes had been partially eaten. Argh!!! I suppose the pesky pack-rats I later trapped (and relocated several miles away in an open field) concluded I didn’t need them since there was a box full in the house awaiting the dehydrator.  

Harvest time brings allergy season – itchy eyes for me, shedding and itching all over for Cool Hand Luke. In my angst over his apparent discomfort (and my annoyance at the almost constant biting, licking, scratching) I lost sight of the fact that shedding is natural, normal, and that I know how to ease Luke’s discomfort.

I was ‘dealing with’ these events without much thought and no reflection. Then, I found ‘the antler’.

Shed sometime in the late fall or winter by one of the many bucks that hang out here in our woods, ‘the antler’ woke me up, cueing me to the theme of ‘shedding’ present all around me and inviting me to that thoughtful, reflective place. I accepted the call.  As I walked home with the antler, I understood that I’m in a shedding period of my life. I’ve ‘shed’ the bed & breakfast creating the spaciousness for something new to emerge.

I became aware of Luke’s shedding as a normal part of canine life. I was aware of an eating habit that contributes to my itchy eyes and that now can be ‘shed’. And (ugh!) I was aware that the pack-rats, which come by that name quite honestly, were suggesting it was time to complete the culling of ‘stuff’ that I began several months ago (yep, what I culled in the house, is in the garage!).

I wondered, what else would it serve me to shed? Perhaps it’s time to shed my habit of using my ‘critical eye’ to judge the actions of others and aim it lovingly on my own actions.  

What other thoughts, beliefs or ideas no longer need to reside in me? Perhaps it’s time to banish thoughts that undermine my conviction that the Universe is a friendly place, unfolding as it must despite so much evidence to the contrary.

What distractions are blocking the emergence of something new? Perhaps my protective reaction to signs of growth and change popping up in our community provide a clue.

As I go about life, these questions are alive in me. No push. No rush. No clinging. Open heart to discover what to shed and prune next. And, simple gratitude for the space to receive these gifts.

Signs of Growth, Signs of Change in The Woods

Signs of Growth, Signs of Change in The Woods

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Fierce Softness: Life IS Sacred Service

A Teyuna Mamo with    Mary Gaetjens of Harmony with Earth Mother Initiative in Columbia

A Teyuna Mamo with Mary Gaetjens of Harmony with Earth Mother Initiative in Columbia

You carry your worth in your heart. Complete, constant, and impartial love radiates through you to all creatures. Gregge Tiffen (The Collected Works of Gregge Tiffen: Echo – Sept. 2012)

Teyuna mamos and zagas exist in deep communion with every living thing, a state they’ve preserved and grown since what is for most westerners time immemorial and what is for them easily recalled through living tradition. (Earth Law Center Website - https://www.earthlawcenter.org/blog-entries/2018/6/teyuna-foundation-launches)

Have you ever been in the presence of fierce softness? I imagine that in being with the Dalai Lama or Thich Nhat Hanh one might experience a sense of ‘fierce softness’. Historical figures such as Jesus or Ghandi likely held fierce softness in their presence. Gregge’s quote above begins to describe what I think fierce softness can be.

I’ve been with people who are fierce. Heck, sometimes I’ve been fierce in ways that are not so positive. I’ve also been with individuals who radiate love and softness. I aim to do the same (and, being human in our culture, I often miss the mark).

Until last week, I’d not experienced the two together: fierce AND soft. Perhaps the seed was planted by Sharon Blackie’s book which I wrote about last week (http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/reclaiming-softness). For sure, the book opened me to what I was about to experience here in Crestone at a ceremony for three Teyuna mamos and, two days later, at a healing ceremony that they offered.  

I don’t yet (and may never) have words to fully describe my experience. Powerful, healing, amazing, transformational are each accurate, but they miss the mark of complete expression. I’m integrating their words, the exercises we did, and their presence to make meaning and apply it my life.

For now, ‘fierce softness’ best describes the energy I experienced and received as these elders guided us through a powerful exercise to connect with the earth.  In both of my encounters with the Teyuna every word, every action, every step was clear, gentle and showed heartfelt and powerful intensity.  It was clear to me that they listen deeply to Mother Earth and respond with exactly what is needed in each moment.

The intense care for people, the planet, and for every living thing was palpable. I felt that I witnessed life as it is meant to be lived: in reverence and deep communion. That is ‘fierce softness’. That is service to life.

The Teyuna understand that as caretakers of the planet, we humans must take care of and heal ourselves in order to fulfill our sacred responsibility. No one can do it for us. The journey is an individual one, unique for each of us. As we heal ourselves, we heal our relationship to Mother Earth. We begin to live life as sacred service to our home rather than as a race to see who can collect the most toys and do the most harm.

Fierce softness. I’m exploring what it means to live from that place. Where is my softness needed – in my life, in the world? Where do I have the opportunity to soften? How might it look to be fierce in my softness? This week I invite to learn more about the Teyuna – here https://www.earthlawcenter.org/blog-entries/2018/6/teyuna-foundation-launches or watch the movie Aluna (available on Amazon.com) about their journey. And, I invite you to reflect on bringing ‘fierce softness’ to your expressions of life.

The Fierce Softness of Grandmother Pine lives on.

The Fierce Softness of Grandmother Pine lives on.

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Buoy Your Buoyancy

Stormy Weather - A Bit of Blessed Snow

Stormy Weather - A Bit of Blessed Snow

If you realize that your strength is in knowledge, which is your experience and the resiliency of your consciousness, no one can affect you. Not even the Universe can diminish that one whit.  Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Mystical Longings)

Let us strengthen our resolve to bring the natural resilience of consciousness into our lives – moment to moment, step by step, each and every day.

In a world that seems hell bent on destruction, some days it seems hard to stay afloat. We need to buoy our spirits to operate above the fray of negativity that encompasses the world.  We need buoys to mark our way in the chaos that constantly tries to pull us off course – our individual path of learning, experimentation, and personal development.  Let us strengthen our resolve to bring the natural resilience of consciousness into our lives – moment to moment, step by step, each and every day.

As a result of experiencing a lingering ‘bug’ that zapped my energy for a couple weeks and prompted by a discussion about resiliency in a weekly publication I receive, I’ve been reflecting on the foundations of resilience and how to strengthen it – physically and energetically.

In that exploration I discovered three interconnected keys: health, habits, and beliefs.  When one key is shaky, calling forth another stabilizes and strengthens. Failure to use one key to buoy the others weakens my capacity to bounce back and navigate life with at least a modicum of grace and ease (translation: I’m neither tolerant nor tolerable, so best I snuggle under the covers until I recoup and can regroup).  I don’t know about you, but sometimes that’s simply the best I can do.

Being resilient after all doesn’t mean perfection or even unreasonable self-expectation. We are human. We are navigating a world swimming in chaos and negativity. Most of us have a ‘bad’ day now and then. When we’re resilient, ‘bad’ days are rare. We don’t get stuck in the energies of apathy, anger, fear or conflict.  We take responsibility. We don’t blame.

Being resilient requires health, the energy and commitment to engage in habits that increase our capacity to bounce back. Habits or practices of self-care strengthen health. Habits of thought strengthen our beliefs. Each action we take and every thought we entertain either builds our resilience or contributes to its (and our) destruction.

Resilience requires resolve, a clear purpose to stand firm on our convictions as we encounter life’s challenges. Our capacity to recover quickly asks that we be mindful of what we are receptive to, to close the gates to sources that feed despair, and to seek out those that uplift our spirits. This doesn’t mean being ignorant of what’s happening in the world, for we do live in it. Resilience invites us to learn to be ‘in’ the world without being ‘of’ it.

The universe has given us the opportunity to tap into the natural resiliency of consciousness.  Maintaining our physical health, along with the health of our habits and beliefs supports that resiliency and strengthens our capacity to navigate life with clarity, awareness and choice. 

And, Beyond the Stormy Weather ...

And, Beyond the Stormy Weather ...

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The Three G's of Power

A Beautiful Afternoon in the Woods

A Beautiful Afternoon in the Woods

Today I sing my song with gusto, grace and gratitude. Rev. Dr. David Goldberg - Daily Guide for 7 February 2018 in Science of Mind magazine.

Power doesn’t need anything to support it other than the conviction that the Power is there. Gregge Tiffen - Fanned Fire and Forced Love Never Did Well – February, 2008

… security is silent and insecurity is loud. Senator John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) – 7 February 2018 interview, MSNBC

I love life! Even the ‘dumps’ and whatever events seem to take me there have gifts to share (though, being human, I don’t always recognize them in that moment).  I especially find joy in discovering several ideas which at first seem totally separate then, upon reflection, converge to create yet another gift. And, I’m quite jazzed when I see both a personal and a global application.

So, this morning finds me pumped, inspired by three words in an affirmation yesterday: gusto, grace, gratitude. Upon reflection, I discovered just how powerful those three words are up close and personal in my own life, as well as how relevant (and much needed!) they are in the world.

The three words resonated deeply when I first read them. ‘Gusto, Grace, and Gratitude’ gained more life during a conversation with a colleague/friend across the pond.  Later, I wanted to make an honest evaluation of how I measure up to each (not against any worldly yardstick, just my own self-satisfaction).

  • Gratitude – my strongest of the three G’s. I’ve come to live in deep gratitude and express it frequently. “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for this day” is the mantra that begins and ends each day. I’m aware of my gratitude when I step out the door or look out the window at the natural beauty that surrounds me and when I get a gentle nudge from Cool Hand Luke reminding me to take a break. The list could go on (and on, and on …). What I’ve come to understand from practicing gratitude, is that she opens the way to all of the good in my life. She even lights the path that helps me see purpose in the ‘monsters’ that lurk in the corners.
  • Grace – gaining strength in my life, in part thanks to gratitude. I’ve come to walk through life with a greater sense of ease and patience with myself and others. I aim to have a strong sense of what is right without being self-righteous and to be thoughtful in how I respond to people and ideas that I find repulsive. Remembering that we are each part of a larger whole, each with her/his unique and individual learning to do on this earthly sojourn helps me maintain (and, hopefully, express) grace.
  • Gusto – at first glance, not my strong suit. Yet, as I explored its meaning (keen enjoyment, enthusiasm, appreciation, zest, relish; great vigor or liveliness), I realized that gusto doesn’t need to be loud or flashy. Like power and security, gratitude and grace, gusto is very much an inside job that finds reflection in how I walk through the world. What I wrote to begin this post sounds a lot like ‘gusto’ to me.

So, what about ThreeG Power in the world? Military might, chest thumping, and parading the weaponry of coercive force are not signs of strength or power.  Name calling and negative comments keep us mired in the muck, distracted from the business of life, peace, justice, compassion and creating a world where all are honored and valued.  

I see amazing power from putting the Three G’s into practice in our lives. Imagine what’s possible when we add gobs of gratitude, grace and gusto to mass consciousness to counter the destructive forces of fear and negativity in the worlds of politics, commerce, religion, media, et cetera. Imagine the transformation that’s possible in our individual disagreements with one another.

Which of the Three G’s speaks most powerfully to you? What will you do this week to nurture them all?

All Seeing Eye of the Majestic Pine

All Seeing Eye of the Majestic Pine

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