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Courage

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Answer The Call!

   Hints of Fall!

Hints of Fall!

Here is your educational mission: (1) Find the very best in you each day and use it; (2) Show the world your beauty, your courage, your understanding, your awareness, your creativity, your love. … If we are to live in joy and in accomplishment, we must release our cells from self-imposed restrictions so they can sense, interpret and move with us in the changing times. We need to be ready to respond, and to use experiences to our advantage. … there must be a willingness to let your cellular structure respond to the immediate event. Each day should be looked upon as the entrance to an adventure … Gregge Tiffen (What You Should Get From Education – September, 2007)

This week a deeper understanding and appreciation of my willingness to respond to what’s in front of me to is unfolding. I’m experiencing the joy and satisfaction of having responded to the flow of life in the moment rather than putting it off for a ‘more convenient’ time. And, I’m examining some habitual responses to life’s daily events.

Since closing the B&B, I often answer the phone only if I know who’s calling, and if it’s convenient, and if I want to engage. The unanswered calls go to voicemail to be checked later … sometimes much later. When I’m engaged in a focused project or conversation with someone else, this approach is great for maintaining flow, focus and concentration – necessary elements in business and life.

But, an event this week has me questioning my approach other than when it’s absolutely necessary.

A missed phone call on Monday morning – I didn’t reach the phone until the call had rolled to voicemail – and, not recognizing the number, I finished the task I was engaged in before checking to see if the caller left a message.

Yes, they did. “Hi, it’s ____ (a friend whom I’ve known for 10+ years). I’m in jail and … . Please call this number and let the sheriff know you got this message and whether you can help. Thanks!”

It took a few moments to get my head around what I’d heard. My heart kicked in as well. “Yes, I can bring money for your bond …” I said when I quickly returned the call and the sheriff brought my friend to the phone. I moved into action – calmly and clearly much to my surprise – transferring funds and stopping at the bank to withdraw cash (filled with gratitude that I was able to do so and knowing that I’d be repaid immediately). Cash in hand, I drove across the county, feeling calm, curious and aware of the opportunity to embrace and learn from a totally new experience. No, I’d never bailed someone out of jail before.

I had no idea what to expect in the process, why my friend was there, or what their state of mind would be. The process was straightforward and the sheriff on duty was one of the kindest, most professional public servants I’ve ever met. In sharing what had happened my friend said, “well, that’s an experience I’ve never had!” showing calm and courage in the midst of stressful conditions coupled with recognizing the event as a learning opportunity.

The day unfolded with several related events and adventures. In reflecting later I wondered ‘what if I’d not listened to that voicemail and responded fairly quickly?’ How would I feel and what opportunities might I have missed? What if the situation was reversed and I was the one in need of assistance?  In these reflections, I concluded that ‘it’s good to answer the call’.

My willingness to go with the flow, to “let my cellular structure respond to the immediate event” was reinforced as I recognized that a chance introduction on a morning walk several months back when I’d taken time to engage in a brief conversation manifested a friendship that expanded into a collaborative business opportunity taking shape just this week.

With our daily routines, our habits, jobs, responsibilities, etc. etc. it’s challenging to embrace each day as an adventure, an opportunity to “find the best in ourselves and use it” to show the world (and ourselves) our beauty, our courage, our understanding, our awareness, our creativity and our love. But in this week of surprising events and new awareness, I’m deepening my commitment to do just that.

What/Who is calling you right now? Pick up the call!

   Evening Shadows In the Sacred Sangres

Evening Shadows In the Sacred Sangres


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Independence Requires Letting Go Of Dependency

   The Freedom to Be Tree

The Freedom to Be Tree

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)

… we and we alone are the authors of our own freedom.

Reflect on Gregge’s quote for a few moments. You may discover a key to why you sometimes feel stuck, frustrated, or impotent. You may discover a deeper source of the pervasive angst in society. If you dig deep enough, you may discover as I have that breaking the bonds of dependence requires vigilance, courage, and commitment. Freedom isn’t a free ride. It’s not for the faint-hearted. Yet, it is your divine birthright.

Another Independence Day is approaching here in the United States, the 242th since a small band of visionary revolutionaries, some of whom had deep mystical understanding, declared independence and set a course for a new nation.  As we make plans to celebrate once again, I wonder if we/I really know what freedom is. Do we/I know the importance of exercising our independence? Do we/I even know how?

As I observe the political landscape, I see and hear demands for freedom. Fear that someone who is ‘different from me’ will take our freedom away is rampant.  It seems 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. Independence is Universal law.  Dependence is a violation of that law.

And yet we’ve created and continue to support dependence in 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. So we revolt. Many lash 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.

A first step in taking responsibility is recognition that the tyranny of dependence is in part self-imposed. From that awareness we are in a position to declare our own, personal independence and begin to ‘unlearn’ dependence. This unlearning requires courage, awareness, commitment, self-honesty, and trust. It is not a project, but rather a life-long process.

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 written and posted on 7-7-2016.  With a bit of refreshing, 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. http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/breaking-the-chains-of-dependence

   Thanks for Letting Me Roam Free on Our Walks Mom.

Thanks for Letting Me Roam Free on Our Walks Mom.

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Bucking the Culture Ain't Easy

   Of whims and harmony ... that is our way.

Of whims and harmony ... that is our way.

In silence, man and shadow met face to face, and stopped. Aloud and clearly, breaking that old silence, Ged spoke the shadow’s name and in the same moment the shadow spoke without lips or tongue, saying the same word: ‘Ged.’ And, the two voices were one voice. … Light and darkness met, and joined, and were one.  Ursula K. LeGuin, A Wizard of Earthsea

The truth of the matter is self-honesty in all things. Gregge Tiffen, Open Secrets: The Nature of Feminine Truth (March, 2011) 

Practicing oneness requires the self-honesty acknowledge the darkness within.

Slowly the light is returning. Soon the day will be equal in its light and darkness, and the darkness will give way to more hours of light. A cycle: one of many cycles within cycles that is the natural order of the Universe.

We humans though think we know better than the order of the Universe. We create tools of separation and control: calendars, clocks, daylight savings time and build a culture that honors such tools over the wisdom of the Universe.

This week, though I sprang my clocks forward, I chose to ignore them as much as possible. As is generally my habit, I’ve risen upon waking and allowed each day to flow from there. Even with few timed commitments, I found myself noticing the time and correcting thoughts about being ‘late’ as I went about my day. The exercise reminded me how deeply imbedded ‘time’ is in our culture.

Our culture also holds ideas about how we ‘should’ use our time. Since closing the B&B, I’ve felt a strong pull, guidance if you will, to ‘read, write, connect more deeply in nature, and empty’. I’ve followed that guidance less than I’d like to admit. After all there are taxes to prepare, firewood to stack, and – oh, yeah, shouldn’t I be doing something to generate income?

But these little things (yep, in the grand scheme they are but tiny blips despite how I allow them to interfere with my peace) pale in comparison to bucking the violence that pervades our culture. Violence is monetized (and, not just by the ‘war’ machine, but also in medicine, pesticides, and more). It is deeply imbedded in our language and our history.  Sadly, our cells know much about violence.

I’d like to believe that I’m not a part of this violence. But alas, there is a mirror that, in Oneness, reflects right back to me. In that mirror I see the justifications that I claim for my own acts of violence: if I don’t kill the mice, they will …; my blood type is ‘O’ so my body needs meat; my curiosity takes me to violent movies like Black Panther and Star Wars; mosquitos carry disease (and are sooo annoying!). These are only a few of the mindful choices I make. Sometimes I squish a spider before I’ve given it a thought.  And, so it is in our culture.

Creating a new culture requires facing up to my contributions to the culture we have. Practicing oneness requires the self-honesty acknowledge the darkness within.

As I look to the courageous students who walked out of schools yesterday calling for an end to gun violence, I’m filled with encouragement for the world they envision and the world that is theirs to create. I’m proud to march with them whether in spirit or body.  And, yet I wonder if I have the will to buck my own violent habits as a contribution to ending violence on our planet? For if I don’t, how can I expect others to do the same?

This is the challenge of our oneness with all things and with one another. I am all the beauty and the light in this world.  I am also the darkness. I am That, I am.

   A Hazy Mountain Morning

A Hazy Mountain Morning

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Changing the World

   Evening Moon in the Woods

Evening Moon in the Woods

Every thought we have has an effect on us and our planet as well. We can be mindful of our thoughts. Every time we indulge in a negative thought, we produce disharmony on both the non-physical (or non-visible) level as well as the manifested level. Our effect is enormous. Commuting negative thoughts to positive ones would begin to change the world from what it is to the place it was originally intended to be – a place of graciousness, compassion, harmony, and beauty.  Gregge Tiffen (Life in the World Hereafter – The Journey Continues)

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.    …  I have decided to stick to love...Hate is too great a burden to bear. Martin Luther King Jr.

It’s easy to become angry, discouraged, hopeless and more in the wake of the chaos and disorder in our world. Massive storms, flooding, fires, displacement, famine, wars are occurring around the globe.

We like to place blame for these events on governments, politicians, corporations, and the like. That’s easier than taking responsibility for the part we play through our thoughts and the words and deeds that follow them.

Through our thoughts, we’re creating this world. And, through them, we can change it. (Yes, action is required, but first we need new understandings and new thoughts to guide our actions.)

Angry thoughts about current events, current leaders, indeed ANYthing, only serve to create more of the same. Blaming ‘them’ – whoever they may be is not the issue. I am. You are. Each of us bears some responsibility for the chaos and discord in the world.  Who among us has not railed about the despicable behavior of others? Who among us has not reacted in fear to some event? Who does not feel some degree of angst about the future? These are all thoughts that contribute darkness rather than bring forth light.

What if indeed our thoughts matter as Gregge suggests? What if they never die, but rather continue to exist in the cosmos FOREVER?  What about my thoughts about the things and people I fear? What about my snarky comments – the ones that come in reaction and ‘seem’ to disappear in a flash as if they don’t matter?

They matter.  They matter a lot. Current events are rooted in our collective thinking. Surely I – and we – can do better than this. Surely we can create a world where light prevails and where compassion and harmony drive our choices. At least we can begin to turn the tide. We ARE that powerful.

In quiet moments I envision a world where dominion is expressed through care for the planet and all of her creatures. I envision a world where we hold a common understanding of how the Universe operates so that we can operate in concert with rather than opposition to Universal law. And, in those same moments, I wonder if I have the courage to accept responsibility – without guilt, without blame - for my part in the state of our world? Do I have the will to be more mindful and diligent in my thoughts so that my contributions are toward a more positive future.   

 

This week I’m aiming for my activism, in whatever form, to be grounded in care and compassion. As I share my opinions about the decisions of our leaders, I’m going to hold them in light and remember that, like me, they are here on a learning journey that is unique to them. And, I’m going to take time to send thoughts of care to and harmony with the planet into the cosmos. Join me?

   Morning Moon Over the Valley

Morning Moon Over the Valley

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Only Good Karma

   Eclipse Effect

Eclipse Effect

Karma is not some debt you pay. Karma is a system within the Law of Resistance. Would you believe that the karmic condition is one of the best things you have going for you? That’s right. For every degree of positive energy you put out, you will bring back an equal and positive effect. The opposite is also true. Therefore, since you can’t run from the conditions set in motion, you’d better learn to love them.  Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Karmic Identifiers – August, 2011)

There is no such thing as ‘bad’ karma. There is only cause and effect, an infinite cycle of co-creation.

I’ve been thinking about cause and effect this week on many levels.  At the global level, I muse about the conflicts and divisiveness present in our culture.  I catch myself casting aspersions and blame.  Then I remember that my thoughts matter. They become a part of mass consciousness, and my negativity does nothing to raise that consciousness.  On the contrary, negativity keeps me stuck in beliefs about right/wrong, good/bad as if those are real.  And, it contributes to keeping mass consciousness stuck in that which perpetuates conditions of discord.

Up close and personal, I found myself labelling several issues around the house and Luke’s annual August allergies as ‘problems’ that I needed to ‘solve’, burdens to handle so I could get on with ‘life’.  I noticed that I was snappy with myself and my beloved pet. I caught myself barreling toward victim mode, just short of casting a strong dose of self-blame and sentencing myself to hours (or days) of self-inflicted misery.  

And, then I remembered I could choose differently.  

Choosing differently doesn’t mean putting on a fake smiley face and pretending that ‘all is right with the world’. It isn’t.  For me it means maintaining consistent awareness of my thoughts about current events and mindful of how I respond, both internally and externally. I notice the huge learning opportunity that presents.  When, where and how do I express my care and my values in ways that make a positive contribution?  Without clear answers, I can only listen within, follow my inner-guidance, notice what shows up, and do my best to maintain peace within along the way.

The ‘stuff’ that presents itself in daily life and business maintenance likewise presents what Joan Borysenko calls the choice “to practice stress or to practice peace”.  

Each choice is a karmic one. Moment to moment, day to day we are choosing, consciously or not, how to be in life. We are choosing whether to engage positively or negatively with life conditions. With each choice we are putting out energy that will bring back an effect. At the surface, our choices are simple. But, like so many simple things, implementation is not always easy.   Choosing to practice peace and to put out positive energy requires attention, awareness, intention and the courage to buck the world’s call to join its pity party.

This week I invite you to join me in consciously and courageously choosing peace and positivity.

   Days End - A Beautiful Sunset in the San Luis Valley

Days End - A Beautiful Sunset in the San Luis Valley

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Will

   The Sangres from the valley floor

The Sangres from the valley floor

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)

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?

   A Chorus of Morning Clouds

A Chorus of Morning Clouds

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Nature's Passion

   A feast for eyes and ears - the beauty of a mountain stream.

A feast for eyes and ears - the beauty of a mountain stream.

Passion does not know anything but success. Gregge Tiffen (The Journey Continues: Sex, Lies, and Assumptions – June, 2010)

On our walk this morning I was reminded of the passion that comes from the expression, in whatever form, of the individuality within each of us. I hear it in the bubbling of Cottonwood Creek – the sound of a mountain stream is one of my favorite ‘songs’ – as the water makes its way over rocks, branches and around bends following the natural path of the land. As the volume of snow melt increases, the intensity of the stream’s song builds.

While the water doesn’t know ‘passion’ as we humans do, it flows naturally, and I imagine passionately, designed by the Universe. It worries not about what we think. It knows nothing of failing. It simply flows. Success.

I heard that same natural passion from at least a half dozen different song birds singing their individual, distinctive songs in the cool morning air. Each is singing the song they were given as if they are calling forth the perfect order of their day. What could be more successful and passionate than that?

   Robin sings its song.

Robin sings its song.

Connection with and gratitude for the beauty of nature has become an important part of my life over these almost nine years in the Rockies. As I listened to nature’s songs this morning, I felt a deep gratitude for the reminder that when I engage in authentically expressing what is within, I experience passion, joy, and no room for anything but success. Not success on the world’s terms, but real success on terms that matter beyond this life.

Sadly, we live in a world that all too often lures us to follow paths that are not true to our unique design. We see the results in angst, anger, conflict, disease to name a few symptoms. Most of us have experienced one or more of them at various times in our lives. From time to time we lose sight of the wonders of the Universe that lie beyond the trap that says ‘survival is all there is’.  We lose our capacity to live with passion.

The gift of such times is that they can nudge (sometimes gently, sometimes NOT) us back to tapping into curiosity for exploring and discovering the path that is uniquely ours to experience and express.

Beyond survival is passion, the passion and courage to discover and live life from the inside out, letting go of the world’s bidding to follow the path of what we each want to do because THAT is what we came here to do. What could be more successful than THAT?

   I haven't learned to hear the tree's song of growth, but it's here surely as Spring.

I haven't learned to hear the tree's song of growth, but it's here surely as Spring.

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Matter Matters

   Last Icicles of The Season??? I wonder ...

Last Icicles of The Season??? I wonder ...

Uncovering a learning point within ourselves is the fuel that fans the flame for moment-by-moment discoveries.  View your whole day as a fantastic learning opportunity.  Gregge Tiffen (Fanned Fire and Forced Love Never Did Well – February, 2008)

Yikes! I needed that reminder this week as I navigated several breakdowns here at the Dragonfly House.  As the first round wound down, I reminded myself that this a planet where our greatest learning opportunities may be simply learning about matter – the physical world and how to navigate  physical circumstances such as our health, nutrition, movement, as well as building and maintaining such things as our homes, our cars, our ‘stuff’.

That’s not to minimize our spiritual growth or expanding our mental capacity, but what if, on this planet, a key pathway to that growth is through dealing with physical matter, i.e. learning to navigate the physical?

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes find myself feeling burdened and annoyed by the demands of the physical world. I race through attending to the needs (sometimes demands) of my body, my home, my ‘stuff’ so that I can move on to the important business of life like my ‘spiritual’ growth or even thinking about how to creatively grow my business.

That’s where I planned my attention to be this week. Life had other plans requiring that I put attention on my home and, a few days later, on office equipment.   To ignore the demands would be ignorant, so as the first day of events ended I took myself to a place of reflection and curiosity.  The botched delivery of a washer and dryer was not a world crisis, though it added inconvenience and cost to the process. And, if it wasn’t corrected soon, it would impact my ability to host guests in the B&B; and, thus my income, a potential stressor.

In reflecting on my observations of the day, in particular my reactions, I gave myself mixed reviews. But, more importantly, I realized in a new way what a gift matter, the physical, offers up in terms of learning. So rather than a burden or a distraction from ‘important’ things, I’ve embraced the events as opportunities to learn. I see that being inventive and proactive on my behalf in the domain of the physical contributes to my spiritual and mental capabilities as well.

I’m discovering riches in acknowledging how much I know about responding when things break down. There’s a wealth of opportunity in identifying gaps in my knowledge and skills to develop.  I’m experimenting with how to hold my ground with grace in the face of a corporation whose recorded messages tell me how important my customer feedback is while I wait for a ‘customer service’ representative who is not empowered to serve, but only to give rote responses that don’t address the concern I’m presenting.  It’s a curious dance to explore maintaining a centered presence while making demands.

So matter matters. Yes, in its physical form for the safety and comfort it provides.  And, navigating the matter of physical matter, rather than being a burden or distraction to rush through is a point of learning which makes it easier to embrace each day as a fantastic learning opportunity.  Onward!  And, stay tuned for updates...

  Cottonwood Creek this week ... always my place of sweet peace.

Cottonwood Creek this week ... always my place of sweet peace.

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Shine Your Light

   In The Company of Light Beings ... 

In The Company of Light Beings ... 

Evil thrives in darkness. We must let our courage and conviction shine, so that not even the smallest shadow shall find a doorway in which to hide. Gregge Tiffen (It’s Springtime: Flow With The Power of Nature – March, 2007)

When I read this passage earlier in the week, I was struck by the fact that reversing the letters of the word ‘evil’ gives us ‘live’. Live is life. Life is light. And, in Universal terms, life is also abundance, beauty, harmony, joy, love, peace, power.

Evil is none of these. Indeed it is their absence. From ancient times to this moment, history is replete with the horrors of evil. Hence, the conviction of faith and strong beliefs along with courage are necessary for us to say ‘no’ to evil and ‘yes!’ to live life in its truest sense.

History is overflowing with examples of this choice as well: the love exuded by the man known as Jesus; the sage wisdom of the Buddha; and in more recent times the sacred, loving activism of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, the elders leading the peaceful  ‘Water is Life’ movement at Standing Rock.

While we know these names, it is wise to remember that throughout history countless others have taken a stand for light as well. You have. I have. Each of us in our unique ways have dared to shine light to break the darkness where evil dwells.

And, each day we have innumerable opportunities to do the same. We do so when we choose kind thoughts and speak words that match them. A patient smile while standing in a slow moving line radiates light as does a sincere, quiet ‘Thank you’ when we are served.

We shine light in the darkness when we receive and return the love of our pets and of all the flora and fauna of nature. And, who among us has not experienced the shift of a good belly laugh (or, even a slight chuckle)? We shine light when we sing, whether alone in the shower or in harmony with others.

These seemingly small acts are, in fact, huge. When taken collectively, they have the power to crack open hearts and shift mass consciousness to a higher vibration. With that attitude, evil gets no support.

Up close and personal to each of us, choosing light is important as well. Each of our seemingly small acts of and for light strengthens our personal capacity for compassion in the face of evil. Each builds our conviction and our courage to be bold in choosing light.

We each have the power to shine the light of life in the darkest shadows where evil dwells. May we make choices each day that build our courage, conviction and capacity to do just that no matter what events we find ourselves in.

And, if you find yourself in need of a little inspiration to shine click here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yUK0S_cEXY

   Light Brings Clarity

Light Brings Clarity

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Practicing Gentleness

   Winter Icicles, Shadows, and More

Winter Icicles, Shadows, and More

The Universe loves you enough to agree to your request to be here now.  Gregge Tiffen (Fanned Fire and Forced Love Never Did Well – February, 2008)

Sadly, the world is not a gentle place. It seems more extreme, more violent, more ‘in your face’ than ever in my lifetime.  The pace of change in the world’s systems and its rules seems to be at warp speed. We are a nation and a world divided by these rules, who they serve, who they seem to punish. We aren’t gentle with one another or even with ourselves.

And, in the ever abundant, loving, infinite Universe, this world offers us vast opportunities for learning and growth.   I’ve been reflecting on that as I observe events triggered by political ‘leaders’ and how these events land in my experience.

I’ve come to the conclusion (duh!) that it is an important time for personal stability and clarity so that we aren’t caught up in the spin and we don’t become victims of what’s happening ‘out there’.  Yes, we are IN this world. No, we are not OF it unless we allow ourselves to be entrapped in its energy.  And, boy does the world want to entrap us as a means of control? Yes, I think so.  I’m reminding myself of these things frequently, so (spoiler alert), it’s likely to be repeated often in these weekly musings.

This week, my path to that stability is practicing gentleness although, interestingly, I didn’t start with that as my intention.  To the contrary, my plan for the week was to be a disciplined task master and ‘get things done’. 

I discovered gentleness along the way, when something happened on the way to the ‘to do’ list: a question from my coach – “What are your priorities?” Rather than trying to ‘figure that out’, I sharpened my self-observation and noticed what my daily choices were telling me.  I noticed that self-care, Luke-care, and my home environment are what matter most to me right now. 

 From that awareness, I allowed myself to experiment with different choices:

  •      longer, slower walks with Luke;
  •     taking more time to prepare and savor nourishing food;
  •      engaging in household tasks with joy and appreciation for my home;
  •      not rushing from one thing on the ‘to do’ list to the next
  •     and, more importantly, not feeling guilty about my slower pace;
  •       taking time to rest and read during the day;
  •       reading news sources rather than listening to them.
   Yea Mom!  We haven't been on this trail in a long time. Thanks!!!

Yea Mom!  We haven't been on this trail in a long time. Thanks!!!

That’s when I began to experience gentleness from within. Yes, business matters. Yes, political involvement matters. Heck, even the projects on the ‘to do’ list matter. And, their place is not at the front of the line.  They will have their time there when it’s time. That time is not now.

Now is the time for stability, clarity and gentleness to counter what the world is dishing out.  That is the foundation on which I can stand and a place where I can breathe easily with conviction and courage as the world’s craziness swirls just beyond.

This week I invite you to reflect, explore, experiment, and find your gentleness within. Bring it forth to stand confidently IN the world.  Your gentleness matters, as do you!

   A Sky Reminder of LOVE!

A Sky Reminder of LOVE!

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