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Harmony

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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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My Piece of Peace: Sowing Seeds of Harmony in Our Chaotic World

   Cool Hand Luke - Harmonizer in Chief

Cool Hand Luke - Harmonizer in Chief

… maintaining harmony in your individual space contributes to the harmony of the planet. Gregge Tiffen (It’s Springtime: Flow With the Power of Nature – March, 2007)

Harmony – a combination of parts into a pleasing or orderly whole; congruity. Webster’s New World Dictionary

As I enter the 12th and final month of my 67th journey around the sun (in this lifetime, that is), I’m focused on harmony and fueled by a deep desire to contribute to peace on the planet.

If you’ve been reading these posts for a bit, you know that I believe peace starts up close and personal within each of us. How we operate and the environments we create either contribute to harmony or detract from it. If I’m stirred up, fearful, agitated I’m contributing to the chaos. That knowing should stop me in my tracts and provoke me to clean up whatever is at the root. When I’m aware, it does and I’m able to make a shift. When I’m not aware … let’s just say ‘it’s messy’.

For the most part these days, I’m feeling harmonious with myself and with life. So, I wondered: how can it be that I’m experiencing harmony in the midst of the upset and chaos in the world coupled with the unknowns in my own life as I shift my attention to new, but not yet clear, domains of expression?

Upon reflection, I identified five strategies that help me create and maintain harmony:

  • Taking excellent care of my physical body including eating healthy foods; scheduling body work and acupuncture regularly; supplementing food with vitamins, herbs and other nutritional support; stretching; daily walks or hikes in nature with Cool Hand Luke; getting plenty of rest.
  • Committing to ‘no-pressure’ and no worry (care – yes; worry – no) around the unknowns. I’m committed to thoughtful consideration without worry of what my next work in the world will be and what sources of income will support me. My intention is to allow ‘what wants to emerge’ to do just that without forcing it. Embracing the unknown is key. I look out at the messy world with this same commitment.
  • Experimenting, discovering, and operating at my pace, not the pace I think the world has set for me. After decades of ‘fast’ – even knowing that I’m built for ‘slow’, I’m limiting the number activities I put into each day, risking the possibility of boredom (no way with the growing stack of books calling for attention!) by doing less and moving slowly.
  • Making space and clearing out ‘stuff’. In the wake of closing the bed and breakfast operation, I’ve cleared, cleaned and reorganized every shelf and drawer in closets and cabinets throughout the house. The garage will follow in its time as winter gives way to warmer weather.
  • Expressing kindness wherever I roam. Whether it’s a simple smile or a gentle hello as I engage with the world, withholding a snarky remark on Facebook, or offering to help a friend, these acts contribute to my well-being and remind me that I have a choice in each and every interaction.

In sowing seeds of harmony, I’m aiming to forge a new energy toward nurturing peace on the planet. Peace that puts attention on harmony not discord, on abundance not lack, on intelligence not its absence, on love not hate or fear, on the beauty that is in EVERY thing, on the power we each are granted that no man or system can take away without our cooperation, on joy and on life itself.

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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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The Spiritual Cost of Disposability

   Cool Hand Luke on our Solstice Trek to the Ziggurat

Cool Hand Luke on our Solstice Trek to the Ziggurat

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. Mahatma Gandhi

We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals. Immanuel Kant

Because it is inherent within nature to stay in balance with the harmonious frequency of the Universe, when we do something that sets things off balance, nature must respond by trying to put things back in balance. Our disharmonious administration of the planet causes us all – humans and the rest of the earth – to lose that balance. And nature ever operates to put things right. Gregge Tiffen (Life In The World Hereafter: The Journey Continues)

Earlier this week two viral posts crossed my path and made my heart ache.  The first was a short clip from a surveillance camera showing a puppy being abandoned by his family. The second was an article saying that pet abandonment is highest with the approach of holidays and vacation time. An accompanying photo showed a long line of people and their pets outside of a shelter where the people were about to “surrender” their pets. (Note: I’ve not verified the veracity of either, but a quick check of statistics on the number of pets arriving in shelters nationwide it heart wrenching in and of itself.)

In the midst of my anger and sadness, I wondered how it is that we came to this. How is it that so often our convenience beats our care? Up close and personal, what habits do I practice and beliefs do I hold that contribute to this darker side of our culture?

It dawned on me as I took out the trash this morning that we’ve created a culture of disposability. Despite my best efforts to reduce, recycle and reuse, I generate waste (hopefully far below the national average, but waste none-the-less).  That waste needs to be disposed of for practical reasons. But as we generate more waste and accept disposability of ‘stuff’ more, is it a leap to think that disposing of life could become more acceptable? Is it possible that our all too frequent disregard for life can be traced back to the boom in creating things that are ‘convenient’, thus disposable?  If so, how did we make that leap? And, more importantly, how can we restore our understanding that all of life is sacred? How can I conspire with nature to improve life on the planet rather than working against her (and, therefore, against myself)?

I don’t know. But this week I’m going to sit with these questions. I have a hunch that I won’t like everything I discover. I have a hunch that there will be some new possibilities, new choices, along with opportunities to reconcile past and future choices with my understanding of the dominion over the planet we humans were granted.

I invite you to reflect and adjust with me.

   The sun is ready to peek over the peaks.

The sun is ready to peek over the peaks.

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Energy Balancing: The Power of Sound

   Blooming Sweetness in the Prickling Cacti

Blooming Sweetness in the Prickling Cacti

The work of keeping energy balance on earth, in terms of energy, is done through sound. … We are getting the effect of sound today as a result of the total sound history on this planet from its inception. That quality has left its mark on humanity as a whole, and that’s why we aren’t further along.  Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: An Honest Performance - June, 2011)

I’m blessed in my life to spend a lot of time listening. I listen to nature – the hummers are buzzing about in the early dawn this morning. I listen to Luke, a quiet creature who ‘speaks’ more through gestures except when he wants to engage another canine in play or is deep in a dream. And, I listen to people – those I host here at the Dragonfly House, coaching clients, folks whose paths I cross out and about in the community.

In the course of the past week filled with guests, clients, community I’ve heard lots. I wonder how much of what I heard contributes to keeping energy in balance. What do we/I say that makes a positive contribution to ourselves and to the energy of the planet? What might we/I want to think twice about before I give it voice?

Here’s a sampling of the many words that, to me, are positive contributions:

  • “What a lovely job the volunteers did planting flowers in town!” – acknowledgement and gratitude
  • “Thank you.” – perhaps the best words we can speak, a prayer in itself
  • “I will do that.” – determination and will
  • “I’m clear on what I need to do next.” – clarity and direction
  •  “What do you think?” – seeking input

And, some that, again to me, may contribute more to chaos than to keeping energy (individual and collective in balance):

  • Loud, disconnected chatter about what he did, thought – confusion and jarring to the system
  • “I know she will …” "I know it will ..." – declaring what another will do or how some event will transpire, which is something we can’t know
  • “They should …” – me speaking about what’s none of my business unless I choose to actively participate

I could go on, but you get the drift. We each need to take responsibility for our immediate environment and for what sounds, especially the words, we put into the environment beyond. 

This week, I invite you to listen – to yourself, to others and to engage with the commitment to add your voice in ways contribute to balancing the chaotic energy of our planet. This doesn’t mean not speaking your truth … but that’s a story for another day.

   Planting Day has finally arrived ... pots ready (check) ...

Planting Day has finally arrived ... pots ready (check) ...

   Plants ready (check), blog posted (check) ... ready, set, PLANT!

Plants ready (check), blog posted (check) ... ready, set, PLANT!

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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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Conspiracy Theories

   Beauty in the Broken

Beauty in the Broken

You cannot separate yourself from the Universe, period! You just cannot do that and nothing can. That is the Law, and that is how the Law operates. The premise is that you are not different from the Universe from which you are drawn. Gregge Tiffen (The Language of a Mystic: Polarities – February, 2009)

So there. That’s that. You are the Universe. You are all its qualities. I am too, along with 7.125 billion humans scattered over the planet. In Universal terms none is greater or lesser than another. Oh to see one another through the eyes of the Universe, and then live from that perspective. I aspire, but I’m no saint. Yet my aspiration has offered up new insights this week.

The world constantly yaps that we are separate and, thus, should live in fear of one another. Some of those messages are overt and obvious. We hear them and recognize that we have a choice about whether to accept or reject. Others are more subtle and insidious. We may not even be aware that messages suggesting “that’s just the way things are” are swirling about. Hence, we don’t clearly see that we have a choice. We go along to get along. Both are messages of a system that puts power in the mundane, fame, fortune and seeks to control based on fear. And, both are erroneous.

In my quest to discover beauty in every thing last week (http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/an-atmosphere-of-well-being), I found myself going beyond the five senses to find beauty in those ways of the world that I abhor. Yet, beauty I found.

I discovered beauty in the vast learning opportunities our chaotic world is offering moment to moment, day by day, 24/7. Perhaps the greatest learning of all is to remember that we are at the very core of our being all of the qualities of the Universe from which we can and of which we are a vital part.

  •         We are beauty. Learn to BE that beauty.
  •         We are harmony. Learn to BE that harmony.
  •         We are abundance. Learn to BE that abundance.
  •         We are peace. Learn to BE that peace.
  •         We are power. Learn to BE that power.
  •         We are joy. Learn to BE that joy.
  •         We are light. Learn to BE that intelligence.
  •         We are life. Learn to BE that life.
  •         We are love. Learn to be that love.

I found beauty in unexpected places because I was making the choice to see beauty in those places. I was reminded to remember my Source and to choose THAT as my expression in the world.

   Love on the Road!

Love on the Road!

And, I discovered that the qualities of Source (or the Universe, if you prefer) are inseparable from one another. Where I found beauty I found each of the others.  No matter which is the focus or the lead, when I found beauty, love, peace, joy and the others easily followed. Then, just beyond I found the gift of gratitude.

So, while some conspire to conquer and control others, the loving Universe seems to have a conspiracy of its own: granting us the opportunity and privilege to learn along with the power to make that choice.

While our individual choices may separate us from the pack, choosing to learn offers something the pack can never offer: strengthening awareness of our connection to the Source from which we came and of which we are forever a part. That learning becomes wisdom to carry with us into the great beyond. 

Last week I conspired with beauty to take the lead. This week, I’m choosing joy. What about you?

   Elephant in the Woods (can you find it?)

Elephant in the Woods (can you find it?)

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An Atmosphere of Well-Being

   It may still be winter, but the spring flow has begun!

It may still be winter, but the spring flow has begun!

I am what I am what I am, and I cannot do any better than that. (Gregge Tiffen – The Journey Continues: Communication with the Living – February, 2010)

 

We are what we are and we’re creating what we are going to be. (Patrece – undated personal communication)*

In this world where well-being seems pushed aside in favor of an agenda founded on divisiveness, fear, and use of force, I’m noticing that maintaining an attitude of well-being requires consistent awareness and adjustment.  While we are at choice about how and how much of the world we allow into our space and awareness, we are still IN this world.

As I noticed myself leaning toward overwhelm and despair (not atmospheres of well-being and not ones I would pick from the shelf at the atmosphere store), I went in search of knowledge and wisdom from others to apply in these times.

A personal communication from Patrece (www.p-systemsinc.com) from some years back (likely when I was in some other of life’s funks) reminded me that I only need “a speck of inspiration” which I can then expand upon. Of course the corollary is also true, and today there seems to be much negative that I definitely don’t want to expand upon. Indeed, I want to maintain a personal atmosphere to counter that.

Let me find positive specks of yeast to braid with the dough of life. Let THAT rise. Tapping into Universal wisdom with awareness and intention is a place to start, and Gregge Tiffen’s enumeration of the nine characteristics of the Universe provided my next ingredient. Those characteristics are:  Harmony, Peace, Beauty, Joy, Power, Life, Love, Abundance, Light (or Intelligence).

In the booklet quoted above, Gregge writes about these characteristics that “… you can apply any single one of them in totality, and the other eight will automatically be included.” Wow!  What, I wonder, might unfold if a speck of beauty was expanded and applied in its totality? What indeed does ‘in totality’ encompass?

   I'm blessed to live surrounded by nature's beauty, a reminder of the beauty in all.

I'm blessed to live surrounded by nature's beauty, a reminder of the beauty in all.

The possibilities seem worthy of experimentation. Aiming to focus on the beauty in everything (and every one!) seems as though it maintain the atmosphere of well-being that I know is so important for me in what seems to be a chaotic and divisive time. Might I even find beauty in the chaos that is so ugly on its surface? 

And so I begin a quest to discover and name the beauty that is in my world every day. My intention is that no thing and no one be excluded on this path.  I neither expect nor put pressure on myself to be perfect in this endeavor. I am, after all, experimenting. Who will join me on this journey?

As I begin, I’m reminded of Ray Stevens’ song Everything is Beautiful which seems a good theme song for the journey (hear it here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0a45z_HG3WU

*Patrece writes on behalf of P Systems, an independent 501(c-3) non-profit corporation she established in 1983. You can find her work and publications at www.p-systemsinc.com.

   Mr. Handsome, beauty of the canine kind

Mr. Handsome, beauty of the canine kind

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