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Taking Pause

   Love that Prickly Feeling of a Niggling Thought

Love that Prickly Feeling of a Niggling Thought

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)

 Yep, I know that I’m using Gregge’s quote for a second week (http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/answer-the-call. Some concepts and ideas bear repeating, especially when their meaning expands and deepens.  That’s what I experienced this week as I began to recognize that I’d said ‘yes’ when ‘no’ would better serve this mission in my life.

 Recently, I made a decision without listening to my cells/myself completely, responding ‘yes’ based solely on business considerations in response to an opportunity. Being ‘practical’, I stepped past questions that gently niggled: ‘What about your soul?’ ‘What about your commitment to write?’

 But, as I began to engage in the project, my body tensed and my creativity vanished. Feeling a bit like the deer in the headlights, I paused. I observed that this is not bringing forth the best in me. I felt blocked from those qualities I want to express in the world.

 I’ve learned (or at least hope I have) the cost of ignoring the gentle nudges of niggling thoughts. So, I began to reassess, reflecting on the questions above. Other questions gently followed. ‘What about the flexibility and flow that makes your heart sing?’ ‘What does this opportunity hold for you?’ ‘Are you feeling joy and excitement about that?’ ‘What are you feeling?’

 As I reflected, I saw clearly that my ‘yes’ had been grounded in fear. It was taking me off course, away from my dance with life. The niggling had invited me to examine my fear, to see beyond it and to renew commitments about how I want to live this life.

 With that, new questions – ones filled with joy, excitement and possibility – have begun to emerge:

  • ·        What possibilities and choices are aligned with this ‘educational mission’?

  • ·        What do I need?

  • ·        What thinking needs to shift?

  • ·        What choices don’t serve me now?

  • ·        What new habits, routines and practices need to be put in place?

Niggling thoughts invite us to pause and allow our cells to inform our ‘selves’. When we honor these thoughts with a pause to reflect, we can find the best within us and discover how to express that best in the world that so badly needs our very best.

Color me grateful for the rapid wakeup call. Add in a splash of curiosity plus a dash (or two) of excitement as I pause, respond to myself and my cells, and once again, begin again discovering and expressing my best.

   Finding the Road to Our Best

Finding the Road to Our Best

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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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React!!! Or Not?

   A Fishy Surprise in Cottonwood Creek Nearby

A Fishy Surprise in Cottonwood Creek Nearby

You’re always in a position to decide if you want to have any reaction to what’s going on. Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: An Air of Optimism – May, 2011)

I fell asleep last night with this quote on my mind, sensing that it would guide the muse this week, a week of choices about reacting to events – right here at home and events in the world.  In the midst of having a crew here working on the house (cracks repaired, a new coat of stucco she’s receiving), I’ve been observant of my sense of being surrounded and of the sounds (voices, sanding, scraping, hammering, etc.) and of how I respond, both internally and externally.

I’ve been challenged to keep my cool and react with care in trying to have the crew understand that they can’t smoke outside due to a fire ban in our county (not because I’m a b____ who doesn’t like cigarettes).  I created a place for them to smoke and ditch the butts, so they wouldn’t inadvertently drop one in the dry grass.  They aren’t smoking on the property, but I don’t think they get the danger or understand the ban. So, I’ve practiced letting go. That’s challenging given that fire is a fear I’ve experienced for much of my life.

This week I also experienced a small set back in my breathing practices. I was bummed and, upon a bit of reflection, realized that I was pushing too hard (in total contradiction to the point of the work, which is to breathe less) and making up a story about what my daily ‘pause times’ should be.

And, then there are events in the world:  breaking trust and agreements, seemingly endless armed conflict and inhumane treatment of life on many fronts and in many forms, threats to the future of the internet that I depend upon … and so much more.

As if to confirm today’s topic, first thing this morning, I cut my finger while slicing a lemon for my first of the day cup of warm lemon water. There was a time in my life when such an event would have triggered an angry outburst (directed at nobody but me, of course), huffing, puffing, and wasting loads of energy. How could I be so careless …? While I’m sure that I haven’t lost the ability to react in that way, this morning I smiled.  With thoughts about today’s post swimming in my head, I felt no emotional outburst – inside or out. I grabbed a towel to stop the bleeding and squeezed lemon in the cup before pouring on peroxide on my finger and applying a bandage.  As I sat down to let my thoughts flow onto paper, warm lemon water at my side, I had a sense of knowing, of gratitude, and of peace.

Little events like my cut finger show us where we are in relation to life, if we dare look. Seemingly insignificant, they offer clues to our relationships with ourselves, with others, and with the world we’re navigating.  With each event there is the possibility for awareness and learning.  Willingness is the ingredient that each of us must add.

That awareness and learning can take us to recognizing points of choice.  I and only I choose my reaction to a cut finger, noisy construction, setbacks in projects, and the decisions of our elected officials.

I’m discovering more and more that the foundation for these choices is squarely placed in my relationship to myself.  The bedrock of that relationship is my growing understanding and sense of peace about how the universe really works. When I embrace the concept that every event is here for me, there is no room for being the victim or at the effect of these events – even though I have no control over them.  My challenge is to be at choice.  Sometimes that’s ‘easy, breezy’ and seems to happen quite naturally.  When fear and anger creep in, choice can seem limited.

Three questions I find especially helpful in getting to a place of choice when my ability to choose seems illusive are these:

  • What is the meaning I am making of this?
  • What am I afraid of?
  • What is the outcome I desire?

What about you? How are you maintaining your sense of choice about reacting (or not) to events in your world?

   Sunday Visitor - First Western Tanager of the Season

Sunday Visitor - First Western Tanager of the Season

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The Political IS Personal

  The Dunes at Great Sand Dunes National Park on our Welcome Spring hike to the Zigurat

The Dunes at Great Sand Dunes National Park on our Welcome Spring hike to the Zigurat

We are in a constant battle by trying to stay alive as a mental individual who is capable of thinking, while our society is basically trying to keep us from thinking by overloading our circuits. This keeps us from identifying our target areas and computing the information that is important to us individually. That is dangerous and that is what is going on. Whatever causes us to shut down is our enemy. Gregge Tiffen (The Collected Works of Gregge Tiffen: Earth and Second Earth)

I’m taking a turn toward politics in this post, something that I rarely do directly. Yet politics as a force in our culture is never far from my thinking. Political decisions at every level of government create policies that impact every area of our daily lives. These policies either empower us or not. Sadly, mostly they do not.  

This morning I woke with chilling clarity about the current blatant attacks on education, on people who are educated, in short on those who dare think for themselves. Perhaps triggered by yesterday’s story about the University of Wisconsin proposing to end degree programs in several liberal arts/humanities areas of study in order to teach things that lead to a “clear career path”, I saw a tapestry of current attacks piling on to long running ones on teachers, public schools, so-called ‘intellectuals’ (I call them people who think!), and more.

I saw clearly the weaving together of dark, dense threads to smother the independent thinking and acting that, I believe, was envisioned by our nation’s founders (both fathers AND mothers!). Some threads scream ‘fake’ news in one direction. while manufacturing such news in another. Threads that tear down from within federal departments charged with education, diplomacy, environmental protection, and justice. These are the areas with the potential to empower (and, yes, it’s debatable how good a job they’ve done up to now) individuals and build a free and just society.  Other threads build up departments that aim for ‘power over’ – homeland security, military, and police as examples.

These attacks (and I use words of war intentionally – especially after last week’s post http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/bucking-the-culture-aint-easy) are not new, nor is my awareness of and concern about them.  Yet today, I’m taking them personally. These actions attack the freedom of individuals to think, learn and grow as we each choose (and as we are designed to do in the grand scheme of things universal). They are aimed at numbing, shutting down, and directing our minds to do someone else’s bidding. And, they are right there with all the other noise screaming for our attention.

Political decisions ARE personal in their impact. And, no impact is greater than distracting our mind from its most important task: learning what it/what we each came here to learn.

Yes, we need to pay attention and be involved in those matters that we most care about. But even more, we need to be vigilant, alert, and discerning in directing our attention, our minds to what is important to each of us on our unique learning sojourn. Focus. Discover. Focus again.

   Cool Hand Luke takes a look at the landscape from the Zigurat

Cool Hand Luke takes a look at the landscape from the Zigurat

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Learning: Questions & Curiosity

  The Woods Out Back -- Grateful for SNOW!

The Woods Out Back -- Grateful for SNOW!

Here is where your people have lost the path. You have spent too much time thinking that we humans are at the top of everything. You have spent too much time trying to learn about things and not enough time trying to learn from them. You have thought too much and honored too little. Dan, the Lakota elder speaking in Kent Nerbern’s the Wolf at Twilight: An Indian Elder’s Journey through a Land of Ghosts and Shadows -- https://www.betterworldbooks.com/product/detail/The-Wolf-at-Twilight--An-Indian-Elder-s-Journey-Through-a-Land-of-Ghosts-and-Shadows-9781577315780

Every point in the Universe is a point of experience. There is no void, and no point lacking in any experience. Consciousness moves from very definitive points of learning linked by other experiences that are also learning experiences. … Welcome the next moment with love and excitement. … The only means for growth is to observe, to analyze, to create, to experience. Gregge Tiffen (Fanned Fire and Forced Love Never Did Well – February, 2008) -- https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Gregge+tiffen+Fanned+Fire+and+Forced+Love&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3AGregge+tiffen+Fanned+Fire+and+Forced+Love

I begin writing this post without clarity about where to begin or, honestly, what I want to share beyond the quotes above.  Perhaps it’s that I don’t have words or even thoughts that seem adequate for expansion.

During this past week I’ve been deeply touched reading the second book in Kent Nerbern’s trilogy of stories that emerged from his association with a Lakota elder. My words feel lacking in their description as Nerbern shares the oral tradition of native peoples, telling their story using the wise elder’s voice.

Not only wisdom, but experience is shared. Not only lightness and humor, but the darkness and anger from a history lived, experienced. It is not the glossy, sanitized ‘Indian’  history I learned in school.  I’ve long believed that our treatment of those who were here when we Anglos arrived was, at best, unjust. But, I simply (and sadly) was not aware of the depth and breadth of the atrocities my ancestors perpetrated on those who had long made this land their home. 

I wonder, now that I begin to learn ‘about’ this side of history, how will what I’ve learned inform me going forward? What can I learn ‘from’ these stories to contribute to my growth?

I find myself with many questions and curiosity; few answers. A portal has opened to a point of learning from which to explore new territory. What experiences are on the path? What wisdom may be hidden in the depths and how might it contribute to my foundation, my capacity to hold a steady, loving course in the midst of the world’s chaos? What is being revealed to become a part of my expression in the world?  I hope you’ll stay tuned and, as always, share your thoughts.

P.S. Perhaps a new pattern for my weekly posts is emerging. Or, maybe it’s simply the nature of this time ending one phase (the bed & breakfast) and opening another that is just beginning to reveal itself. As I drafted this post and looked back to last week’s, I notice they end with questions – questions I’m in at these moments in time. Being in questions is familiar territory for me, sometimes keeping me from jumping in too quickly with what I know. Perhaps the joy of not knowing is a skill that we need to grow.

   Before the snow, gentleness and evening light in the woods.

Before the snow, gentleness and evening light in the woods.

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Learning Love

   Finally!  Snow on the Peaks

Finally!  Snow on the Peaks

We know, deep down, that it is the greatest power on earth. Are we afraid of such power? In order to use the power of love we need to drop all facades and show ourselves as trusting, uninhibited children of a loving Universe. … Love seeks no power over the mundane. Love wants no ego aggrandizement. Love turns from hatred and bears no arms in anger. Love accepts things as equal and is never short of tolerance. … To accept love, we must change.  Gregge Tiffen (The Numerology of Love – February, 2007)

Not one effort toward love is ever lost in the record of the Universe. It goes on imprinting into the hearts of total strangers, carried like a spark into generations untold. Rivera Sun (The Dandelion Insurrection)  a story of revolutionary lovers and love-in-action transforming the landscape of their world. Find it here: http://www.riverasun.com/online…/the-dandelion-insurrection/  Or here: https://www.amazon.com/The-Dandelion-Insurrect…/…/098481325X

Earlier in the week as I was journaling about something totally different (or so I thought), I found my pen putting these words on the page:  WAR does not work. Never has. Never will. No war on drugs, cancer, poverty, on anything can ever work because victory in a battle is transitory. Only personal transformation can bring peace. Nothing is built by tearing something or someone else apart. This I know.

I wondered how it is that I ‘know’ this and found an answer, at least in part, in Gregge’s words.  My knowing comes from that place deep inside, a Universal knowing of the power of love.  In those moments of quiet by the fire, I’d touched that place.

My journaling made its way back to the initial topic. I moved on into my day. But a seed had been planted, a curiosity about the true nature of love. I felt a deeper awareness that the systems, institutions, and other of man’s creations are grounded in fear and control not love, a sense that was supported by reading I did later in the day.

This isn’t new to me, but feels rather like an opening for something new to emerge. And, it pointed to how far I’ve come, as well as to how much I have yet to learn and experience in this domain. It evoked questions to consider and experiments to be conducted:

  • What facades do I hold on to – knowingly or not – that prevent me from using the power of love?
  • How can I trust the Universe more deeply and allow that to be reflected in relating to others and to the world?
  • How can I expand my understanding and increase my capacity for tolerance?
  • What new possibilities for activism and engagement arise as I grow in my capacity to use the power of love?
  • What changes do I need to make in order to be, to accept and to express the ever-present Universal love that our world so desperately needs?

In the midst of these reflections (and caring for a lost puppy that we found in the woods – a story perhaps for another day), the amazing Rivera Sun posted the above quote yesterday, reminding me that every word we utter, every action we take lives on forever as energy in this Universe.

So let our words – especially our words of resistance and change – be grounded in the power that is love.

As Gregge Tiffen so often said, ‘the journey continues’. I hope you’ll join me from your unique path and let’s bring more ‘love power’ to the planet.

   Cool Hand Luke &   long walks in the woods

Cool Hand Luke & long walks in the woods

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When The Roast Is Done

   Finally, some snow on the peaks!

Finally, some snow on the peaks!

... consistency establishes a vortex, and that is your responsibility to yourself. Take the information in, and distill it into your own knowledgeable terms because it is your essence that makes the system work for you. You then become strong in your conviction of who you are and what you are doing. No matter what the world says, you stick to it. Gregge Tiffen (Earth and Second Earth, a volume in The Collected Works of Gregge Tiffen)

When the roast is done, take it out of the oven.

I wavered this week. As I moved toward implementing my decision to close my bed and breakfast business (yep, I made that decision since my last post!), I hesitated. ‘Well, maybe it would work if I …’ I thought. ‘That last insurance quote wasn’t too bad, perhaps I should …’ On the surface, each thought was a good idea worthy of consideration. But they didn’t fit with what I know deep inside: I’m done with this.

I recognized the thoughts as doubts sourced in the all too pervasive scarcity consciousness perpetuated to control using fear. Recognizing the source helped.

But what tipped the scales and moved me into action was a keen awareness based in self-observation over the past several months. My enjoyment of hosting was waning, despite the lovely people who visit. When I received a very expensive insurance quote that simply didn’t work financially, my soul cheered. Every cell in my body knew it was time to end this chapter. Yet my gut clinched at declining to accept reservations as I weighed the decision carefully. ‘Maybe I can find a better insurance option’ I thought. One did emerge that made a bit more financial sense. In the end that didn’t shake the knowing that I was done and the soft calling of some new focus.

Remembering the high cost of continuing when something is done helped. Whether it’s a roast in the oven, a job that no longer inspires (or is barely tolerable), a stale relationship, done is done. Keeping a roast in the oven not only burns the roast, it leaves no room for the chocolate cake that you yearn to be bake. And …

Pouring water in a full glass wastes water and makes a mess.

Operating the B&B had become a ‘full glass’. Observing the energy I expended with a guest here recently confirmed that. This roast is done. To continue wouldn’t serve me or future guests. And, I’ve ridden in this ‘rodeo’ before, ending chapters (jobs, partnerships, relationships, housing, etc.) not knowing what the next would bring. Without exception each brought what I needed and, they’ve all turned out just fine.

As with changes past, I discovered that I changed, grew, expanded from the B&B experience. My future growth requires something new, and that’s not yet clearly defined. After a fantastic four year ride, that ‘something’ is calling for my focus, my energy, my interest and attention. I’m closing with much gratitude and the conviction that my decision to do so is as ‘right’ as the decision to dive in four years ago. That time too was one of questioning, not knowing, and being open to what’s next. Guidance and clarity brought the path. I stepped on it and began the walk, step by step. What a journey!

Each step (and the missteps too!) brought learning. With learning, a deepened understanding of who I am continues to emerge.

So, let the next chapter begin! And, let me stick to living life confident in what I know and in learning even more.

What about you? Is there a ‘roast’ in your oven that’s done? A chocolate cake yearning to be baked? This week, I invite you to take a look inside. Discover what may be complete. And, bake a new cake!

   End of the Bed & Breakfast Chapter of the Dragonfly House

End of the Bed & Breakfast Chapter of the Dragonfly House

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Life Is Learning. Learning IS Life

   Ever vigilant Luke on a Christmas Day hike.

Ever vigilant Luke on a Christmas Day hike.

It’s unfortunate that life, as a learning experience provided by the Universe, isn’t seriously considered very early in life. If it were, you’d embrace, utilize, and enjoy what life experience is giving you all the time. Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Mystical Longings – January, 2011) -- [You can find it here: https://smile.amazon.com/Open-Secrets-Mystical-Gregge-Tiffen-ebook/dp/B01LG9UBFM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1515626615&sr=1-1&keywords=Mystical+Longings+-+Gregge+Tiffen]

This week I found myself imagining a world where we humans aren’t bumping into one another so much. That is, a peace-filled world rather than the one we’re navigating where it seems we have to be ever vigilant to maintain our sense of self – self-control, self-worth, and self-commitment.

In reflecting on this need to be hyper-observant, even careful (can you imagine ‘filled with CARE’?) in the midst of the world’s chaos, I came back to a Universal tenet that anchors me when I look out at and need to engage with that world:  Life is for learning. Remembering this is especially helpful when I’m in the midst of a challenging event. I am here – in this body at this time to do just that - learn. So are we all. And, wow, the opportunities are vast, perhaps even infinite!

But just how do we embrace the concept that ‘life is learning; learning is life’ with ease? How do we avoid overwhelm and pressure at the sheer vastness of what is available for us to learn? Here are some possibilities to consider.

  • Recognize that you are always learning, even if you discover that you aren’t.
  • Give yourself credit for ALL you have learned during this sojourn, whether it’s learning to tie your shoes or discovering what you don’t yet know. Celebrate how much you know and what is still to be discovered.
  • Avoid comparing your learning to that of others. Your learning is as unique to you as your fingerprint.
  • Use what you know. Experiment. There’s no ‘good, bad, right, wrong’ in learning only discovery of what works and what doesn’t.
  • Acknowledge that no one is grading your learning! The Universe does not make mistakes.
  • Embrace the idea that learning is a never-ending journey. There is no end, and each new tidbit of knowledge is a completed step on the path.
  • Define what you want to learn, and take your first step toward acquiring that knowledge.
  • Expect the unexpected and delight in new information and insights that seem to come out of nowhere.
  • Question everything, especially things that you think you already know.
  • Use your senses – all five + one of them. Some of our greatest learning can come from strengthening our ability to gain information from our senses.
  • Listen to your ‘gut’ (your instinct or whatever name you give your innate sense of knowing) over what the world tells you.
  • Travel the learning road at your pace. Adjust your speed to fit conditions.
  • Recognize that all knowledge has the potential to become wisdom, and allow that wisdom to emerge in its time.
  • BREATHE! Plop yourself in the driver’s seat. Fasten your seat belt. Relax. Have fun. Enjoy the ride!
   Gentleness resting in the woods out back.

Gentleness resting in the woods out back.

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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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Self-Honesty

   Fueling up for the journey south ... which will be coming up soon.

Fueling up for the journey south ... which will be coming up soon.

To accept an event as your opportunity to reveal more self honesty is the issue for effective and efficient rates of progress. Gregge Tiffen (The Journey Continues: Economical Rates of Progress – August, 2010)

So often we think of self-honesty as a drag. And we forget that the events of life – no matter how big or how small – are simply there for us as learning opportunities. It isn’t especially hard to remember, yet vigilance and practice are required.  This week provided opportunities for both vigilance and practice.

I don’t respond well when someone engages in behavior that annoys me (those who know me are nodding in agreement about now). Having people in my home (most of them strangers whom I’ve never met other than via email or perhaps a telephone conversation) provides frequent events where I have the opportunity to choose not to allow others to disturb my personal peace. As people come and go and interact, I have numerous opportunities to remember that we are all different AND we are all the same.

Sometimes I forget. I get hooked by something a guest says or does. I forget to choose peace and find myself in a (cess)pool of internal thoughts, indignantly criticizing their behavior and imagining just what I might say to set them straight (are you laughing yet?). I forget that these thoughts are a gross misuse of my energy. And, I fail to be aware of the damage they inflict, personally and in the world beyond.

Then, at some point, I remember. I stop. I breathe. I acknowledge that I’ve veered off course, invoking self-honesty sans guilt and self-criticism. I breathe again. I invoke curiosity to discover what different thoughts will shift me and the situation. I breathe. I forgive myself. I find gratitude for the event and the person who brought it forth as a learning opportunity. I remember that they too are on their own unique learning journey. I breathe. I acknowledge how far I’ve come on this journey to build my tolerance of others’ choices.  I smile. I breathe. And, I remember too that my learning in this domain is not complete, for while sometimes this is a quick and easy road, for other events I may need hours or days to come to his place. I breathe again with a smile.

We are ONE is a popular theme today. For me this theme overlooks what Gregge Tiffen spoke of as ‘diversity within unity’. Each of us is an individual being with our own unique expressions in life. At the same time, we are each a tiny, integral part of consciousness, the infinite universe.  To make the whole work, we need to respect and honor all of the parts. We have countless, if not infinite, opportunities in life to experiment and, hopefully, gain wisdom about how to do so.

Like me, you may get discouraged when you look beyond your immediate environment to the chaos, negativity and disrespect that fills the air waves. But the issue at hand, though it relates to that greater whole, is the events that are in front of us moment to moment, day to day and how we handle them.  This is what matters in terms of our individual learning and progress toward knowledge that becomes wisdom through the ages.

   Can you spot the faint end of the rainbow? 

Can you spot the faint end of the rainbow? 

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