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Reclaiming Softness

   Prickly Labyrinth Path

Prickly Labyrinth Path

Your voice was meant to be a lullaby giving comfort to the weary and security to the young. Gregge Tiffen (The Journey Continues: Economical Rates of Progress – August, 2010)

The Eco-Heroine’s Journey … is a path to understanding how deeply enmeshed we are in the web of life on this planet. … it is an antidote to the swashbuckling action-adventure that is the Hero’s Journey: it is a woman’s journey, based on a woman’s way of being in the world. Sharon Blackie (If Women Rose Rooted: The Journey to Authenticity and Belonging)

I just finished reading a book. I didn’t want it to end. And, I wanted it to end so I could begin to discover what it will come to mean in my life.

Sharon Blackie’s If Women Rose Rooted changed me – with my permission, my invitation in fact – in ways that today I only sense. I know few, if any, words that would do justice to how this book touched my soul. Read it!

For a while now my muses (surely I must have more than one!) have guided me to reflect on the nature of the feminine, a part (and only a part) of which is the softness so missing in today’s harsh world.  Blackie’s book arrived right on time to deepen that reflection, shining light on ideas I’d not yet considered and deepening my understanding of familiar themes.  

Having a sense of roots in a (geographic) place is a key point woven throughout the beautiful stories Blackie tells. My love this place from the vastness of the valley to the stunning beauty of the 14,000 foot peaks is no secret to anyone. I feel at home here, consistently nurtured by nature, and sometimes challenged by her harshness. From time to time, I’ve had a hunch there was more to know – really know at the deep soul level. Blackie’s book has inspired me to discover not only more of the stories about people and place, but to listen – really listen – to the land, the trees, the furry and feathered inhabitants. Perhaps, an awareness of the unseen, unheard beings in these woods and waterways will grace my knowing.

“Step out of and more deeply into your habits, your routines. Deepen your awareness.” I feel the subtle nudge of this message. And, I respond.

This morning, Cool Hand Luke and I forged a new route on our morning walk. When we returned home I walked the labyrinth as I often do. Today, though, I walked it barefoot. After dozen or so steps, each slow and gentle my feet seeking any softness they could find on ground made prickly with dried pine needles and broken pine cones, I sank first one foot, then the next under the surface. Softness! I found the softness of sand beneath the brambly surface. Softness! Like the crab soft under its hard shell. In the softness of the sand I experienced the softness of crab, symbol for the zodiac sign of Cancer, and this on a day when the moon is transiting that sign. Softness!

My journey continues, reclaiming softness and bringing my soft side more fully into the world. Not a particularly new or different journey, but the path has new illumination. I carry the beam, fueled with gratitude and joy and curiosity for this moment, the next, and beyond.

   Come on Mom. It's not that prickly!

Come on Mom. It's not that prickly!

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Coming To My Senses

   A little cone that caught my eye on a branch in the woods out back.

A little cone that caught my eye on a branch in the woods out back.

We progress by experiencing what is happening with our full awareness. We should never go through any condition or event without perceiving the full essence of that experience through our own senses. (Gregge Tiffen – a selection from Life in the World Hereafter: The Journey Continues found in The Journey Continues: The Legacy for Generations – November, 2010)

This post could just as easily be titled ‘What the World Series & Two Lovely Brits Taught Me About Life’.  Beyond being extremely happy that the Houston Astros won (5-1 in Game 7 of a history making series – in case you haven’t read anything but The Zone), I learned and was reminded of how much our senses have to tell us.  I also learned about grace and embracing life. Who knew that the World Series and two British women guests could do that?

Beyond signaling that something may be amiss (food tasting spoiled, smelling fire where there should be none, seeing a car coming before we cross the road) it is through our senses that we experience life. We choose whether to experience it fully, noticing sights, smells, tastes, sounds, and how something feels to our touch, or to move through life doing one thing after another without that awareness.

There are times when we move through life mostly unaware of what our senses are telling us. We operate robotically through much of daily life.  The World Series reminded me of just how often I do so.  That started last week when I turned off the sound for  game 2 and noticed the effects on my other senses (http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/turn-off-the-sound).

I was curious to continue the experiment in the games that followed – not just having the sound off, but rather intentionally being aware of the sensory experience while at the same time simply enjoying that ‘my’ Astros were playing in the Series (and trying not to obsess over the possibility that they might not win). Watching several games with different levels of sound (or no sound at all) and having B&B guests here for some games and not for others made for interesting self-observation and awareness.  As the series continued on, I was aware that the emotional roller coaster and tension was heightened with sound just as I noticed last week.  And, I noticed other senses as well.

During the final two games with the Championship on the line, I had the added bonus of two lovely British guests here at the Dragonfly House. I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to watch the games here (yes I had a plan b!), as these guests had come early to prepare for going into a two-week spiritual retreat at a nearby center. I explained my interest in the games and asked if they would mind quiet TV in the background. They graciously said ‘yes, of course’ and became curious about this thing called baseball. Their grace had me wonder if I would be the same were the roles reversed and I was preparing for a spiritual retreat.

They joined me to watch, and one was especially curious about the game and how it’s played. Responding provided a direction for my energy, dissipating some of my tension. And, it was a joy to share.

Despite my intention, I’m aware that I didn’t taste much of the dinner I’d prepared and ate as game 7 began. But, I do believe that I tasted victory in the chocolate consumed as the game neared the end and the win seemed certain. I definitely felt the tingling in my body as the tension released and I reveled in the celebration unfolding on the screen. My British guests retired before game’s end, but one came out this morning with her ipad to show me the British newspaper Guardian headline ‘Astros Win World Series’ and noted that she probably wouldn’t have noticed or had a clue what it meant.

Their curiosity and grace highlights for me the importance of embracing what life brings as these lovely women did. Combined with coming to greater awareness of my senses, I opened the door to gratitude, not just for the Astros victory, but for my heightened awareness of how much our senses have to offer and a newfound commitment to sustain that awareness as I navigate through this journey of life.

Color me grateful!

   Patterns in life

Patterns in life

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Earth Day: Harmony For The Planet Every Day

  Getting Ready for Earth Day at the Dragonfly House!

Getting Ready for Earth Day at the Dragonfly House!

God is the great mysterious motivator of what we call nature, and it has been said often by philosophers, that nature is the will of God. And, I prefer to say that nature is the only body of God that we shall ever see.  Frank Lloyd Wright (quoted in Life In The World Hereafter: The Journey Continues)

Nature is intimately partnered with us in this physical experience, and that is perhaps the greatest boon of our incarnate existence, as nature is directly connected to and informed by the Universe.  Gregge Tiffen (Life In The World Hereafter: The Journey Continues, 2006)

   You can knock me over, but I'll still grow up.

You can knock me over, but I'll still grow up.

I’m profoundly blessed and deeply grateful to live surrounded by nature’s beauty and bounty. I step outside my door into a veritable feast for my senses. Seeing the flow of Cottonwood Creek bringing the snowmelt from the peaks reminds me of the natural flow of life. The smell of freshness in the pines tells me that experiences in life are always new. The distinctive buzz of the season’s first hummingbird signals the joy of spring awakening. The warm touch of the sun says that coats and hats and gloves can soon be put away. With a bit of awareness and imagination, I can taste the freshness of spring.

   'Scout', first hummer of the season, making sure everything is in order before the charm arrives here at their summer home.

'Scout', first hummer of the season, making sure everything is in order before the charm arrives here at their summer home.

Daily I hold the intention to live in greater harmony with nature and to hear and understand her messages more clearly.  I almost never leave home without my little camera and I never know what visual treat the flora or fauna or rocks will provide.  Sometimes I simply enjoy the beauty of what is offered. Other times I wonder and reflect on what message nature is sending. What can I learn from what I see?

Yesterday, feeling a bit of a funk and choosing not to force myself into putting energy into one of several projects on my list, Luke and I set out to wander through the woods out back. No trails to stay on. Luke followed his nose. Mom set out to let visual wonders lead the way. Our paths rarely drifted far from one another despite the denseness of the woods and our different interests.

   Two Trees ... growing together, growing apart amidst the curves and tangles of life.

Two Trees ... growing together, growing apart amidst the curves and tangles of life.

Our wandering reminded me that the Universe is designed in harmony and our dominion over the Earth is to maintain and restore that harmony. With every thought, every word, every deed we are making a contribution of harmony that supports nature on the planet or of disharmony that puts nature in the position of taking action to rebalance.  Our thoughts matter. Our words matter. How we maintain our bodies, our homes and care for our pets and our plants matter.  Even how we sleep matters.  

   Accepting death as a part of the natural cycle helps us harmonize with nature and ourselves.

Accepting death as a part of the natural cycle helps us harmonize with nature and ourselves.

Harmony matters. This earth day, I’m rededicating myself to my own personal harmony, within and without. What about you?

   Simple Beauty ... my version of eye candy and found in every direction.

Simple Beauty ... my version of eye candy and found in every direction.

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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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Joy: A Doorway to Power

   From Melt to Freeze ... Spring Inches Closer

From Melt to Freeze ... Spring Inches Closer

However, the joy of consciousness is not a sense of euphoric feelings of laughter about things that are occurring. It is the joy of knowing that you exist and that you are in harmony enjoying yourself. It is a sense of knowing above and beyond what the body may be involved in doing.  Gregge Tiffen (Echoing: Expectations – September, 2016)

A couple weeks back I shared Gregge Tiffen’s list of the nine characteristics of the Universe (http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/an-atmosphere-of-well-being). They are abundance, harmony, beauty, joy, love, light (intelligence), life, peace, and power. I explored beauty in that post, discovering (as Gregge shared) that where beauty was present, so too were the other characteristics. My discovery was reinforced this week as I explored the characteristic of joy.

We tend to think of joy as something we experience infrequently. You know, when you experience something terrific, you ‘jump for joy’. And, that joy passes. It’s joy triggered by something in the world. It’s an experience of the body and our emotions.

Those experiences are a part of life. While they bring a time of pleasantness and fun, this joy doesn’t represent the journey of the soul. It’s not consciousness.

In exploring joy this week, I discovered that difference. I found joy not it observing events of the world (although there are some amazing people, doing amazing things these days!), but rather in going back to basics: self-observation, quiet reflection, awareness, then, action.

I’d been stuck in a recurring physical health experience that I couldn’t get beyond. It’s lingered for months in varying degrees and discomforts, and my efforts to address it mostly with outside support weren’t having the lasting impact I desired.  And so, finally, I got quiet. I asked for guidance. And, I listened. I heard “You’ve been here before. You know what to do. That’s all.” Say what? I wanted explicit directions.

And, then I remembered. I’d experienced very similar symptoms, recurring over several months, 15 or more years ago. Instantly, I knew what to do (and I still had the book from that earlier experience to guide me). I went into action with clarity and sense of confidence. I knew.

Today, I feel a sense of joy far beyond the elation of disappearing symptoms.  I see clearly that where the pure joy of being exists, so to do abundance, beauty, harmony, love, light, life, peace and power. In particular I see that each is a doorway to the others and that joy was the door to unlock my personal power. I love the unity of these qualities and that we only need engage one to experience the others! How cool is that?

I’m grateful and deeply aware that we are each imbued with power that no one, no system, no thing can take away. But that’s a story for another day. Meanwhile, I invite to go back to basics with something that’s dogging you and won’t let go. Observe, reflect, listen, then, act. Notice the joy and power in that!

   Heart on Ice!

Heart on Ice!

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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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What Is The Question?

   It's beginning to look (and feel) like winter!

It's beginning to look (and feel) like winter!

When you are not focused on a question and not seeking an answer, you are not living. You are not feeding the planet, and the planet is not feeding you.  Gregge Tiffen (The Language of a Mystic: Universality, November, 2009)

In a world that honors knowing, questions often get a bad rap. We can feel inadequate when we don’t know something, hiding our unknowing by acting as if we do.  I’ve done that and, in doing so, I block the energy, the excitement, the joy and satisfaction of discovery. I block the energetic force of life.

Perhaps in part this is old residue from school days where having the right answer brought cheers, while the wrong answer or, worse yet, no answer at all evoked jeers (or worse).  What if ‘I don’t know, but I’m going to find out’ was seen as the best answer?

The theme of discovery emerged this week amidst finding myself in a post-election funk, having allowed some of the energy of the masses to enter my being. I realized that I’d lost any sense of curiosity and wonder about what is happening in the world.  I forgot my belief that all is unfolding as it should in the universe. ‘It’ seems all wrong and depressing to consider.  

In the thick of the funk, I was aware that when I walk through life’s events with curiosity, I’m energized, engaged, and have the capacity to hold life lightly.  That’s true of even the seemingly insignificant, but necessary, daily tasks in life. 

On the other hand, when I engage with a sense of obligation, my energy quickly fades carrying with it peace, happiness and satisfaction.  And, without a sense of something to be discovered, obligation seems to rule.  In musing about how to cultivate a culture of discovery, the question ‘so, what is the question?’ emerged. Forming a question is key to cultivating wonder and curiosity.

I have some what I consider to be ‘big’ questions. Those are the questions that there’s no quick, easy answer to. Rather, they live and they help me frame the more immediate questions, those learning opportunities that in due time solve the mystery.  I’m curious about what it means to be ‘in the world and not of it’. And, I’m curious how to live that.  I’m curious about universal law and how energy works, more specifically, how can I use the energy of each day more effectively?

When I’m fully aware, these questions guide my choices about what I read, what I participate in and how I do so.  More importantly, they help me cultivate my sense of wonder around life’s daily events where the learning opportunities are ever-present whether I recognize them as such or not. 

There are gems to be uncovered in every choice we make. Questions help me recognize them when I’m willing to ask and then seek to discover. 

What about you? What question will cultivate your sense of wonder today?  Tomorrow?  And, beyond?

   Our favorite spot on Cottonwood Creek is putting on its winter cloak.

Our favorite spot on Cottonwood Creek is putting on its winter cloak.

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Count On THIS!

  I can always count on Luke's 'Treat Please!' shadow

I can always count on Luke's 'Treat Please!' shadow

No matter what the outcome, the sun will rise tomorrow … President Barack Hussein Obama, November 8, 2016

We have an abundant Universe. We have an infinite Universe. We have an omnipotent, creative Universe, and all these things are available to us. We are willing to receive and willing to give thanks as an integral part of creation. Gregge Tiffen – The Power of Giving Thanks – November, 2007

Yesterday I grieved. I allowed the sobs and tears to flow each time they rose from deep within. The tears of joy seeing moms and dads with their daughters and sons placing “I voted” stickers on the grave of Susan B Anthony and my expectation that election day would bring the shattering of a thick glass ceiling,  became sobs of grief as the results of election night rolled in. If the results landed differently for you, I honor that our choices diverge.

In the wee hours of Wednesday morning when I finally put my tearful head on the pillow, President Obama’s words, “the sun will rise tomorrow …” offered a measure of comfort and a reminder to return to my wisdom, my core beliefs. I’d even found a surprising touch of hope in the tone and words of President-elect Trump’s victory speech.

After a few hours of restless ‘sleep’, I woke to the quiet and allowed the depths of my sorrow to rise with me. Through the sorrow, I realized indeed that the sun had risen. In nurturing myself in nature, I found solace. Like the sun, the mountains were in their place as beautiful and majestic as ever. The trees seemed to hold me in their care, embracing me before I reached out to hug them. And, Cool Hand Luke was his unconditionally loving self. Ah, This, This I can count on.

   In nature, I count on the gentle, sweet presence of deer giving me a watchful eye from time to time.

In nature, I count on the gentle, sweet presence of deer giving me a watchful eye from time to time.

Throughout the day I sought wisdom and understanding, mostly within on my ‘inner-net’, the receptive heart and soul of my being.  Receive and give thanks.

I ventured outward with cautious, selective curiosity seeking very little input yet wanting to know whether Hillary had spoken and what thoughts a few select colleagues and friends were sharing. I listened to a replay of Hillary’s message and found her generous, clear, consistent, committed, humble and grateful. Following that I listened to President Obama’s steady, graceful words reminding us of the fundamentals of our democracy and reaching out to wish the new president well.

How many among us can reach out after being as viciously attacked as the President and wish our attacker well?  I think of and am inspired by the Water Protectors at Standing Rock reaching out to the police who have attacked them. Could I be so graceful, so courageous?

How many among us could suffer a stunning setback and, within hours, stand tall publicly to gracefully wish our opponent well as Hillary did?

I looked in the mirror and reflected on how I’ve engaged in recent conflicts. Perhaps ‘grace in conflict’ as a learning opportunity doesn’t resonate for you, but I know that it is a part of my learning path as I seek to navigate ‘in’ this world without being ‘of’ it.  I aim to muster the courage to put my feet in the water of that muddy pond, and to experiment, up close and personal.

Deep in my soul, so deep that sometimes it is out of reach, I know that a divine plan is unfolding. It does so in ways I don’t expect, sometimes don’t like, and frequently don’t understand in human terms. My cells know this, but my awareness in this body and with this mind has not fully reached that level of acceptance. But the words of a mentor and friend yesterday reminded that I have eons of time and as many lifetimes as I need to experiment and to learn.

   And I count on the nourishing beauty of the mountains and the trees.     

And I count on the nourishing beauty of the mountains and the trees.

 

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Tasting the Sweet Nectar of Joy

   It's easy to connect with the divine seeing the gentle joy of three guys resting in the woods nearby ...

It's easy to connect with the divine seeing the gentle joy of three guys resting in the woods nearby ...

It is happiness within yourself that gives you that joy in which all feelings of the world leave you because you are so filled with the feeling of yourself.  Gregge Tiffen (soon to be published in the Collected Works of Gregge Tiffen)

At first read, you might experience a reaction to the words ‘so filled with the feeling of yourself’.  It may even sound egotistical. After all, we look askance at people who are ‘full of themselves’.  

But look, read again. Just what does it mean to be ‘filled with the feeling of yourself’ to the point of joy?  Is it only those transcendent moments that many seek in mediation?  Or might joy be simply recognizing, feeling if you will, the divine that is you as you move through and experience the most basic events in life?

This week I’ve had the opportunity to review some soon to be published material from Gregge Tiffen that is being compiled as The Collected Works of Gregge Tiffen. (YES! I’ll let you know just as soon as it’s available.) In this material he reminds the reader (at least this reader!) that spiritual awareness, connection to the Divine (Universe, God, or whatever label you choose) can be experienced in the simplest and most basic activities. He includes responding to the call of nature when you really need to go along with other daily activities that, for the most part, we take for granted.

Have you ever really rested in a restroom or do you just get relief? (Written in 1989 in a creativity workshop offered by Gregge)

But what if we took these ‘routine’ activities for the miracles and creative opportunities they are? 

This need not be a long, ponderous process. Indeed it is not!  It is developing a new habit of allowing everyday activities to be joy-filled for just an instant. It is recognizing “the great feeling of release and cleanliness from that which had the body all tied up” (GT – unpublished work) as the miracle of life that it is - for just a moment.

It is taking time to taste the sweet nectar of joy in all of life.  As I reflected on this, I challenged myself to recognize just how much sweetness and joy I experience in a day’s events and to be present to that joy. 

Daily, each of us engages in activity and has moments with the potential to touch our divine nature. Perhaps that’s needed today more than ever as our own personal counter to the anger and angst that seem to fill our world.

In the week ahead I invite you to join me in tasting the sweetness that is your life.  From the bathroom basics to the challenge of a difficult situation, fill yourself with the feeling of you, the you that IS the divine.  And, when you lay your head on the pillow each night, count those blessings.

   ... and, in the wonder of unusual clouds hanging over the Sangres.

... and, in the wonder of unusual clouds hanging over the Sangres.

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