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Auld Lang Syne - 2017

   The Sun Sets on Another Year -- Adios, 2017

The Sun Sets on Another Year -- Adios, 2017

Another tumultuous year is behind us. My words written at the end of 2016 seem as apropos today as they did 12 months ago.

“Give up the last year. Get rid of all those things of the mundane world. Make room for the awareness of a whole new spiritual understanding that will carry you throughout the next year.” Gregge Tiffen (The Winter Solstice: Giving To Yourself, December 2007)

“… and when you have the willingness to accept who you are, you become aware of an internal flame that burns with a fire that is unquenchable. It’s your acceptance that dispels fears and inadequacies.”  Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Sacred Passageways, December 2011)

As the year winds to a close, we tend to look back on that year, its joys, its sorrows, what we accomplished, where we may have fallen short. Hopefully our review list includes acknowledging all that we learned from the opportunities and events that life presented.

As 2017 ends, many will breathe a sigh of relief that it is finally over and a breath of hope for better days in year ahead.  Some look ahead with dread.  These are what draw our attention when we focus on the world outside of us, the world we live IN but the world we are not OF.

The world we live in seems chaotic and uncertain. It is. But within each of us is a seed of understanding who we truly are. Nurturing that seed grows our faith in our capacity to be resilient in the face of the world’s chaos.  Perhaps we need it now more than ever.

The seed of faith is within us all. It is faith not in something outside of us. Rather it is faith in who we are, each as an individual, integral part of an intelligent Universe. It is a reminder that life is so much more than we experience and observe each and every day.

As you ring in 2018, I invite you to join me in nourishing your seed of faith in the 365 days that lie ahead.

Perhaps this prayer, one of my favorites of Gregge’s writing, will support you to deepen your faith in you and in understanding just how important you are in the Universal scheme of things.

Let me never forget how important I am to the Universal Picture. Without me there would be a blank space where there should be color.

Let me understand that the challenges of life are just that and not battles. I am not out there to win or to loose, only to develop my skills as an on-going student in an omnipotent school.

Let me understand that the difference between people is one of the wondrous realities of an infinite Universe. Giving those differences space to be is far more important than comparing them to my set of beliefs.

Let me be proud of what I do. To whatever my hand touches, let me remind myself that it was my effort that added to the result. Perfection is not my goal. Creativity is.

Let me remind myself that most of what I take seriously about myself also qualifies for a good laugh. Let me remember to be kind to myself. Loving companions are one of life’s treats, but they are not responsible for my care. Self-kindness can heal almost any hurt.

Let me take responsibility as a gift and not a burden. Within that effort is the grandest sense of accomplishment I could achieve.

 Let me be patient with life. Nature does not produce the flower before the roots have taken hold. If I recognize that the place I am in is the right place at the right time, it will always be the right place at the right time.

Gregge Tiffen (The Significance of Beginning, January 2007)

 ... and A Road To the New Year Soon Begins

... and A Road To the New Year Soon Begins

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The Power of Giving Thanks

   The Sun Sets on Another Glorious Day in the Rockies

The Sun Sets on Another Glorious Day in the Rockies

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

A couple of Thanksgivings ago, sitting quietly by the fire on a cold morning, I began to write in my journal. The words that came surprised me and took me to an unexpected place: gratitude for being me.  Today as I began to reflect on what I wanted to share this Thanksgiving week, I found that post from 2015.  In this moment, it expresses exactly the prayer of thanks that is in my heart this day.

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

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

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

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

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

When we give thanks for being who we are, we tap into the vitality of life. That vitality includes deep peace and the personal satisfaction of allowing myself to express gratitude for me. In whatever form you give thanks, may it bring you peace, joy, love and all that your heart desires.

   A Shrine On the Trail High in the Mountains

A Shrine On the Trail High in the Mountains

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The Twinkling of An Eye

   Solstice 2016 - The Light is Returning      The gift you give yourself is to be open and to make space for acceptance.  Gregge Tiffen  ( The Winter Solstice: Giving To Yourself,  December, 2007)     ‘Twas blog day before Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza and more  And, all through the house  I’m the only one stirring  There best be no mouse.     Luke is asleeping  And right at my feet.  What is today’s message?  Let’s be short and sweet!     It came without clatter  Of hooves on the roof  A friendly reminder  That needs no proof.     Amidst the hustle and bustle  You may find yourself in  Take time for yourself  Time to go within.     For in the season of giving  We often forget  The importance of receiving  But, please do not fret.     A few minutes at most  With a hot cup of tea  Will serve to remind you  About receptivity.     For giver and gift  Need YOU to receive  That is the cycle  So, please do believe.     Take this reminder  Wherever you go  With a twinkle in your eyes  Like the Santa you know. 

Solstice 2016 - The Light is Returning

The gift you give yourself is to be open and to make space for acceptance. Gregge Tiffen (The Winter Solstice: Giving To Yourself, December, 2007)

 

‘Twas blog day before Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza and more

And, all through the house

I’m the only one stirring

There best be no mouse.

 

Luke is asleeping

And right at my feet.

What is today’s message?

Let’s be short and sweet!

 

It came without clatter

Of hooves on the roof

A friendly reminder

That needs no proof.

 

Amidst the hustle and bustle

You may find yourself in

Take time for yourself

Time to go within.

 

For in the season of giving

We often forget

The importance of receiving

But, please do not fret.

 

A few minutes at most

With a hot cup of tea

Will serve to remind you

About receptivity.

 

For giver and gift

Need YOU to receive

That is the cycle

So, please do believe.

 

Take this reminder

Wherever you go

With a twinkle in your eyes

Like the Santa you know. 

   Snow Dusted Dunes - Solstice, 2016

Snow Dusted Dunes - Solstice, 2016

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'Tis The Season To Nourish Your Inner Santa

   The sun sets on another day in the vast San Luis Valley.

The sun sets on another day in the vast San Luis Valley.

Santa is the outgrowth of the natural child in humanity’s mind that bears good tidings.  Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Sacred Passageways – December, 2011)

First a Confession:  I love Santa! And, I BELIEVE!  After all, there's a certain canine who consistently brings good tidings to my life. 

Just who is the jolly fellow that we remember this time of year? Most every culture, religious or not, has such a sacred icon.  Yet in the hustle, bustle and hyper-commercialism of this season, one can lose sight of just what Santa Claus represents. That is to our detriment individually and collectively.

One of my personal early season rituals as I bring out the lights and a small, festive tree that’s travelled with me for 10 years is to bring out Gregge Tiffen’s writings about the season. I like to start with Santa as I did as a child sitting on his lap early in the season.  Today, I do so as a point of reflection and a reminder of what the jolly ol’ soul represents. And that provides just the reminder I need to nourish my own inner Santa.

Through Gregge’s mystical eyes, Santa represents faith. Not faith in things or people outside of us, but faith within.  And, in these times, that faith needs nourishment more than ever.  We need to nurture and nourish our innate ability to know what is right for us moment to moment, choice to choice and to trust that what is, simply is and is unfolding as it should.

… when you have the willingness to accept who you are, you become aware of an internal flame that burns with a fire that is unquenchable. It’s your acceptance that dispels fears and inadequacies. Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Sacred Passageways – December, 2011)

As I have written before, we live in a world that at every turn gives us choices to pull us away from who we truly are.  The world fears our power, and it invites us to put our faith in systems, institutions and even other people.

Turn down those invitations of the world that are not true to who YOU are.  RSVP to yourself. Take time during this season and beyond to recognize that YOU as a point in an infinite and benevolent Universe need only have faith in you and that Universe of which you are an integral part.

To whatever it might mean to you, in reality or symbolically, give yourself a period of time as a gift to yourself in which your faith is renewed. This gift is not faith in others or in the world around you but in yourself as the continuum of good operating in your life at all times under all circumstances.  Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Sacred Passageways – December, 2011)

This is the greatest gift of all.

It’s the faith that you are what you are that brings about miracles. Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Sacred Passageways – December, 2011)

 Spending time in nature’s beauty, singing, quiet time by the fire, laughing, and putting on a fun hat are some of the ways I renew my inner Santa. What about you?

Spending time in nature’s beauty, singing, quiet time by the fire, laughing, and putting on a fun hat are some of the ways I renew my inner Santa. What about you?

   Blanca Peak shows off her winter finery on a crisp sunny date in the Sangres.

Blanca Peak shows off her winter finery on a crisp sunny date in the Sangres.

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Going All Out

   Going All Out for Halloween!

Going All Out for Halloween!

Waste is the one thing that the Universe does not allow, and to ignore the ‘Great Pumpkin’ of why you are here is a waste. You become part of your own excitement when you recognize that you living your life is you being revealed to you. Now that is productive! Gregge Tiffen (The Great Pumpkin: Was Charlie Brown Right? October, 2007)

I’m away from my normal environment this week, spending time on Colorado’s Front Range in the Boulder/Denver area, a few days in suburbia and a few in the heart of the City. Being away typically stimulates different reflections and new points of awareness. This trip is no different. Among several such points of reflection was noticing the abundance of Halloween decorations on our walks in the neighborhood where I’m visiting a friend.

After an initial snarky judgement (who me?), I found myself curious about the idea of ‘going all out’. Since I generally don’t go all out for decorations, I asked myself just what I’m inspired to go ‘all out’ for.

Ah, the Great Pumpkin of life was inviting my attention, offering the possibility of new awareness from my observations and judgments. Something new was being revealed, a new lens from which to reflect and, perhaps, to make adjustments:

  • What does it mean to me to ‘go all out’?
  • What do I go all out for in my life?
  • What new possibilities offer the opportunity to go all out?

My quick first list included much of how I live my life: my self-care, care for Luke, care for my home, as well as care for my coaching clients, bed & breakfast guests, and friends. Creating this weekly post and my commitment to my personal and spiritual learning and growth are other areas that I identified. Pretty satisfying.

The list led me to realize that, for me, ‘going all out’ is an inside job before it becomes an outside expression. It means bringing forth the best that is in me whatever that is moment to moment, without regard for what I’m doing. It requires that I be clear and harmonious. I need to keep the world’s chaos at bay and maintain balance within.

‘Going all out’ for me means what Gregge calls “attending to our own creativity”, whether I’m engaged in the day to day activities that make up life or in a big creative project. From that perspective, I can ask ‘what do I want to go all out for now, next and I can stay tuned into me to discover just what that will be.  And, that’s a pretty exciting thought to take out for a walk with my friend and our beloved pups on this beautiful, warm autumn day.

   Or Maybe I'll Go Play With a Dragon ...

Or Maybe I'll Go Play With a Dragon ...

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A Holiday Wish

   Walking in the Snowy Woods ...

Walking in the Snowy Woods ...

May the greetings of Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and Blessed Solstice be a salutation not spoken lightly in passing to others as much as it is a greeting first to you, then to Heaven, then to both of you together in the ultimate form of Joy!  Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story)

Words are few this Christmas Eve morning as the dawn breaks to a fresh blanket of snow here in the woods.  My heart is full from sitting in the silence of Solstice, hiking with Luke, time with friends, and time for just me. 

I feel deeply blessed to be alive at this time and curiously concerned about how I and we will be with the future as it unfolds.  But that is for the new year just around the corner, not for this day.

Today, I simply wish you this ...

May the peace and balance of this Solstice time be with you through all the days to come.

   Solstice Tea

Solstice Tea

May you know the harmony of this time when all of heaven and all of earth coordinate.

   And Heaven and Nature SING!

And Heaven and Nature SING!

May your life be filled with joy.

   These are a few of my favorite things!

These are a few of my favorite things!

And, May you know the blessings of this holy season throughout the coming year!  

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Receive the Gift of Solstice

   It's Beginning to Look (&Feel) a Lot Like Winter!

It's Beginning to Look (&Feel) a Lot Like Winter!

What I would exhort you to, what I would give as a gift to you, what I would lay down a soul for, would be for your awareness to recognize that this is a personal event for your life. It is the time that has been set up on this planet for you and Heaven to be with each other without interference.

May the reindeers pull your sleigh filled with new awareness across the rooftops and into the fertile green valleys of a truly new season.  Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: Giving To Yourself)

Each year I seem to discover that my sense of the potential for reNEWal in this season deepens.  I savor this time when ‘all of heaven and all of earth coordinate’ for my benefit as a very personal ‘me to me’, ‘me to Thee’ and ‘Thee to me’ experience.

This season, the events leading up to Solstice brought me the gift of looking at my attitudes, up close and personal. Some serve me. Others do not. The later will not be invited to the new me, the one that emerges from the release at Solstice. They are not who I am and do not serve how I want to participate in the world.

I’ve called on last week’s post, Prelude to Solstice, several times this week as I walked through the local controversy, creating responses and proposing a way forward.  ‘Take Heaven.’  ‘Take Peace.’  ‘Look.’  Yesterday a friend reminded me to include grace.  In a flash, I realized that she had been working overtime. I know that ‘the day will break and the shadows flee away.’  Grace brings that knowing.

   Early Morning Coziness

Early Morning Coziness

I feel good about how I’m addressing the situation (and great about the team I work with). I’m not so pleased with the energy that’s been required and with those moments when I simply felt overwhelmed. Luke and the beauty of nature brought me back to balance.

I’m comfortable not knowing the outcome and how the public will respond. I totally trust its perfection – whether it’s an outcome I prefer or not.

As I put this experience, as well as business (and busy-ness too!) aside, I invite (really I implore) you to embrace the personal, individual nature of this season.  Take some time just for you.  Take homage at heaven and earth coming together. Feel the presence of nature.

And, let go. Release attitudes, be they good or bad. Release the people in your life, all of them – those that are meant to shall return.  Release hopes, dreams, fears, goals, regrets. Let go of EVERYthing.

It is only the empty goblet that can receive the next sweet taste of the abundance that life will most surely bring.

   My Goblet is Ready

My Goblet is Ready

   I wish you boundless blessings in this sacred season and in all the days ahead!

I wish you boundless blessings in this sacred season and in all the days ahead!

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Prelude to The Winter Solstice

   Early Morning Greeting from the Moon and Venus

Early Morning Greeting from the Moon and Venus

All of heaven and all of earth coordinate at the Winter Solstice. Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story)

This week amidst a community controversy in which the board that I chair is being challenged, I’ve felt out of sync with the season and out of sorts with myself.  I want to stop. I want to stop not just for a few minutes to catch my breath, center myself and move on to the next task or conversation, but I want to STOP and BE the winter. Quiet. Still. Peaceful.

My time for that will come. I feel her on the horizon. Until then, there are ‘miles to go before I sleep’ in these last days of autumn before that moment when heaven and earth synchronize at the Winter Solstice. I know without a doubt that I will be there.

I know too that I alone am responsible for choosing how I walk through the tasks along those miles. I choose calm, confident, clear, kind as my foundation. These are grounded in love.  My choice is simple; implementation, not always easy. Often when I’m challenged, fear interrupts and invites me to its prickly path of tension, harshness, unkind words spoken and not. Too much of the world is on that path. I don’t want to be a part of that crowd.

And, so I pause. Make time for a long morning walk with Luke to visit a favorite spot along the creek. I ignore the ringing phone and resist the temptation to see what new jab is posted on Facebook. I pick up Gregge’s booklet Winter Solstice. I find this message, perfect to remind me of the choices I can make now and moment to moment, before my time of winter solitude, and beyond winter into the spring:

Prelude*

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

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

Take Heaven

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

Take Peace

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

Look!

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

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

* Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story)

   A Gift of Love from Cottonwood Creek

A Gift of Love from Cottonwood Creek

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Reverence for All Mothers

   Mother Nature Nurtures with Spring Snow to Increase Summertime Flow!

Mother Nature Nurtures with Spring Snow to Increase Summertime Flow!

Mother Nature, planet Earth, gave us our power, our life, our energy. People who give allegiance to the trees, the wind, the sun recognize that the Earth has acted as a parent. They understand that the planet maintains them.  Gregge Tiffen (Mother Nature)

As Mother’s Day approaches here in the United States and many other countries, Mother Nature is doing some of her best nurturing here in the Colorado Rockies, offering periodic showers of rain in the foothills and new blankets of snow high on the peaks above.  Blessed moisture.

It reminds me of my own mother’s nurturing and love, always there when needed yet never smothering or too much. Marge mirrored nature’s balance and grace in many ways.  Although she departed this life some 36 years ago, I think of her often, always with gratitude and a smile: with reverence.

We would do well to learn more about our mothers. Not just our experience of them, but more deeply how the planet, Mother Nature, calls forth the perfect design of birth and surrounds us with the gentle guidance of how to live. If only we were trained and would take the time to listen. 

As I observe nature and explore energy more closely, some of the hardening of the world’s ways falls away. I soften. And, at the same time, I know that I am stronger from that connection with Mother Earth. She reminds me that at any age I can return to the childlike wonder I see in the pictures of my step-granddaughter who just celebrated her first cycle around the sun. 

As I begin to understand energy and nature more deeply, I find something that I can fully put my trust in. I may not always like her answers, but Mother Nature I can count on.  From that foundation of trust, I can allow my curiosity to run wild. I can tap into the energy of enthusiasm (the god inside). I can feel a sense of personal satisfaction that no one can give me. And, I can be generous with myself and with others.

We honor our mothers in many ways: with calls, cards, flowers and gifts of all sorts.  But perhaps the greatest reverence we can show is to tap into our inner Mother Nature, to expand, to grow, to consciously call upon the source from which our mothers received all that they have given us and from which we too receive all that we need to nurture ourselves, our family, our pets, our community and, indeed, the planet herself. 

So, let everyday be Mother’s Day. Glimpse the joyful flight of a humming bird and hear the whirr of her fast beating wings. Smell the rain. Taste fresh, organic food. Feel the earth under your feet and know that you are loved.

   The Coming of the Green!

The Coming of the Green!

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Thank YOU 2014!

crestone winter landscape

"Be happy with yourself. The joy you experience provides an indestructible armor against any misfortune. Your voice was meant to be a lullaby giving comfort to the weary and security to the young. You were meant to be the giver and the gift. Do not attempt to take that from yourself. It cannot be done any more than you can take the stars from the heavens. You have your place in the Universe. Accept it with grace and good humor." - Gregge Tiffen

As we often do when we prepare to turn the page on an old year and step into the blank slate of a new one, a look back is in order.

I started the year wondering how to go beyond the measures of success that the world suggests we use to evaluate. I posed these questions to myself and in my first post of 2014:

  • What am I here to learn?
  • What qualities in my life do I choose to more fully develop?
  • How well do I see everything in life as opportunity?
  • How strong is my belief in the personal power that I have been given?
  • How well am I using my capacity to live in the world without becoming of it?

As the 365 days of 2014 come to a close, I happy to say that I am happy with myself. I’m mostly pleased with how I walked through the year, its opportunities and challenges.

One year ago this week I started serious conversations with the owner (who is also a dear friend) about how I might purchase this home. I felt deeply that I was meant to be here, to steward the property, and to create a place for others to come for rest, renewal, and connecting deeply with nature. And, I didn’t see how that could be possible.

But I took a step, then another, and I continued to walk. I learned more deeply how to trust and to allow things to unfold. Unfold it did: a seller willing and able to negotiate, a gift received, a discovery that now was the best time to begin receiving my Social Security payments, and unexpectedly discovering that I could qualify for a mortgage.

Step by step the way revealed itself and the Dragonfly House was born, receiving her first guests in late July and throughout the month of August.

While I’m proud of simply accomplishing the goal, I’m most satisfied with what I gained in the process – a deeper conviction of the power I have as a co-creator in my life, a rediscovery of what ‘home’ means to me as a quality in my life, and a better understanding of the freedom living life on my terms brings.

As I bid adieu to my friend, 2014, and open the door to her successor, I do so with a deep bow of gratitude and with anticipation for what opportunities this year, 2015, has in store for each of us.

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