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Happy Solstice!

Summer is bursting into bloom!

Summer is bursting into bloom!

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)

A cycle ends. Another begins. Here, north of the equator, spring gives way to the summer season at 9:54am Mountain Daylight Time tomorrow, Friday June 21.  At the same friends south of the equator will bid adieu to autumn and celebrate the Winter Solstice.

Nature, quiet and restful in winter, began her slow awakening in late spring here in the Rocky Mountains of southern Colorado. Right on time, she is now bursting forth toward full bloom. Bird songs and the buzz of hummingbirds fill my listening heart with joy and gratitude for our planet and for where I’ve landed on it. The roar of Cottonwood Creek, just past peak flow from the snow melt, and the howl of coyote add their voices to morning’s song.

The cycle we call summer begins. It is a time of action, activity: planning, planting, having fun. Projects that languished in winter find new energy and focus. New opportunities present themselves abundantly, offering outlets for our attention. How will we choose to expand, to learn, to grow?

Summer Solstice is a sacred time to remember our partnership with nature. It is a time when heaven and nature sing ‘joy to the world’, not with ‘chestnuts roasting on an open fire’, but with the clear voices of birds and beasts responding to the renewal that the cycle of summer brings. Bountiful blooms and with the burbling Cottonwood Creek add to the chorus of auditory and visual delights. It is a time to remember that cycles of life move with nature, and that nature knows nothing of the clocks and calendars of man’s world.

As I write this morning, a mere 24 hours of spring remain. Having experienced a couple weeks with more scheduled, timed events than are usual for me, I look forward to celebrating the longest day of the year quietly here in the woods, enjoying the warm of the sun and allowing the flow of the day to inform me whether to move or not.

My celebration begins unexpectedly when, midway through writing, I open the door to check on Luke. New sounds entered the soundscape: clip-clop, clip-clop, the clip-clop of a horse’s hooves and a sound that I can’t describe, yet I knew it was my neighbor’s buckboard coming up the road. As she passed, I hollered a cheerful ‘good morning!’, and she invited me for a short ride. I accepted the gift as a reminder of the flow that is present always, in all ways. An auspicious beginning!

As I do in December with its partner, the Winter Solstice, I will use the Summer Solstice to recalibrate, syncing myself to the new cycle: the light that nature, my intimate partner on this journey, brings forth right on time. I invite you to give yourself some quiet time in nature to do the same.  

Flow! An unexpected start to my Solstice celebration!

Flow! An unexpected start to my Solstice celebration!

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The End of Time: A Fantasy of Possibility

New Rock Stacks on a Morning Walk

New Rock Stacks on a Morning Walk

The proper use of cycles is to evolve to a natural manifestation. Deadlines give pressure. Task-masters are brutal “Father Timers” who use time as a weapon. In our current society, this is being intensely perpetuated under the guise of progress. Gregge Tiffen (Father Time – June, 2007)

No, this is not a post about the end of the world. Rather, it’s about what emerged from stress I experienced in the midst of working with two synergistic professionals who I’ve engaged to support me in navigating a current challenge. 

Their work is invaluable to me. They helped with a gnarly event a couple years ago, so it was natural to reach out when a similar situation arose recently. Although their work is synergistic, how each deals with scheduling and time is different, and it’s guided by the nature of their work with clients. After working individually with each, I found myself caught in a dissonance between their two approaches when we came together. 

In dancing with that dissonance and, especially in exploring a way forward that will work for each of us (that part of the journey is still in process), I was reminded of my vision of a world that works for all. As I immersed myself in the vision, I saw ending the abusive, controlling concept of time as a key aspect toward real progress. Yikes!  

Make no small visions! Stay with me and let’s envision together how this might unfold …

Open your mind and your heart, and imagine a world without time. No clocks to measure the seconds, minutes, and hours. No calendars to command your presence at some pre-set event.  If you manage to get beyond ‘no ____ way’, you’ll likely imagine chaos, confusion and the craziness of a world out of control. What? We have that already you say? Yep, we do. Hey, maybe our ‘progress’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Stretch yourself and envision that time as we know it does not exist. Rather that we (me, you, EVERYone) are deeply in touch with ourselves and our purpose on the planet. We are aware of our place in harmony with nature and others. We learn from nature how cycles work and how to dance in harmony with the cycles of life and the events in those cycles. We trust that in making choices that are true to our individual nature, events will unfold perfectly for our highest good and the good of all. Could this be what ‘natural manifestation’ looks like? Did I mention that trust and faith are key ingredients?

This is a vision, a fantasy if you like, that I’ve held for a very long time: perhaps for my entire life but only with awareness for the past four decades or so. This possibility is what engages my curiosity about mysticism and metaphysics, spurred my interest in personal and spiritual growth, and guided me toward coaching.  

More than a possibility, this is how I believe the Universe in general and life on our planet in particular is designed to be.

Like being on a long road trip still far away from the destination, we aren’t there … yet.  I’m not ‘there’ yet. But I am on the journey, and, heck, a few million millennia and lifetimes from now, I might just seize the elusive brass ring.

Posing on a Beautiful Morning

Posing on a Beautiful Morning

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Harmony Matters - Earth Day & Every Day

Dunes at the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Blanca Peak greet me this day!

Dunes at the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Blanca Peak greet me this day!

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)

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 the senses 365 days a year. From a windy, overcast day yesterday to the clear blue sky of this morning nature reminds me that nothing stays the same on this planet, our home.  Nature is always seeking the harmony that IS the Universe. We contribute with our own harmony.

The flow of Cottonwood Creek, frozen just two weeks ago, brings snowmelt from the peaks and 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 warm touch of the sun says that coats, hats and gloves can soon be put away and that the wood stove will soon rest until fall. Soon, I’m sure to hear the distinctive buzz of the season’s first hummingbird, and the itch to put seeds in the ground will need to be scratched.

After feeling a bit ‘under the weather’ yesterday, I was delighted to discover a clear, crisp morning as Luke and I set out for our walk. I planned a route – long enough for me to enjoy and for Luke to take care of business – as we headed out into the beauty of the day. Along that planned route, I was drawn off trail to a ridge that we rarely hike. Curious, I veered in that direction.

My first discovery was a disturbing one: off-road vehicle tracks and damaged flora. I checked my judgement and anger and reminded myself to walk gently on the tender vegetation, since I too was not on a designated trail. Reaching the top of the ridge, I was greeted with the vast expanse of the San Luis Valley, and morning shadows on the dunes at the Great Sand Dunes National Park some 20 miles away with gleaming Blanca Peak as their backdrop.

Daily I hold the intention to live in greater harmony with nature. I aim to hear and understand her messages more clearly.  Sometimes I simply enjoy the beauty of what is offered. Other times I take time to reflect on what message nature is sending. What can I learn from what I see, hear, smell, taste, feel?

This morning’s visual feast along with the warming sun reminded me yet again that the Universe is designed in harmony and our dominion over the Earth is to restore and maintain that harmony. With every thought, every word, every deed we are either making a harmonious contribution that supports nature or we are putting nature in the position of taking action to rebalance with our disharmonious  actions.  Our thoughts matter. Our words matter. How we maintain our bodies, our homes and care for our pets and our plants matters. How we walk through life moment to moment matters.

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

The vast, beautiful San Luis Valley

The vast, beautiful San Luis Valley

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Elk, Meadowlark and the Setting Moon

Almost Full Moon Setting on Spring

Almost Full Moon Setting on Spring

Springtime.  It is the season to shake out the metaphysical carpet and throw off the heavy, winter blankets that may still seem so cozy even as the fresh breeze calls us outside. It is time to let our mind and spirit, still groggy with winter stories and pictures, move out to embrace the fun of spiritual adventure and inner blossoming. Gregge Tiffen (It’s Springtime: Flow with the Power of Nature – March, 2007)

Happy spring! Although snow is in our forecast overnight, today is the first full day of spring for those of us in the northern hemisphere. I may throw off the heavy winter blankets, but it will be a while before I pack them away. And, yet spring is in the air: warmer, longer days and the first hints of green grasses and wildflowers breaking through the ground into the light of day. The hard, frozen ground is giving way to the softness of sand and soil.

I too am opening to spring’s softness, breaking through my own cozy wrap of winter and beginning to envision how I’d like to see the next few months unfold.  As I do so, several tweaks to my home as well as business ideas have my attention – all in the planning stages now, but activity will soon ramp up.

And what, you might be wondering, does that have to do with elk, meadowlark and the setting moon?

Yesterday an early morning drive to take a friend to catch the daily bus to Denver gave Luke and me the opportunity to hike a trail that we love, but only do so occasionally.  Although the morning was cold (a chilly 13 degrees Fahrenheit) and the sun had yet to crest the 14,000 foot peaks, I was happy to have a special walk on this day of spring’s arrival.  I was curious to discover what would get the attention of my senses so that I might later reflect on any meaning and messages to consider.

On our trip to the bus stop we were heading west, observing the almost full moon as it gently moved toward the horizon. By the time Luke and I reached the trail, it was hazy and just beginning to meet the treetops. I sensed that this beautiful, almost full moon was setting on winter and calling forth spring.

Strength, Power and Nobility Embodied

Strength, Power and Nobility Embodied

As Luke and I set out on our walk, our first encounter was a large elk herd 200 yards or so from the trail. I stopped, watched and listened as they became aware of our presence and began to chatter. Their high pitched voice belies the strength and power of these amazing creatures. We watched them as they watched us. Those closest moved away, closer to the rest of the herd.  Luke sat patiently as ‘mom’ snapped pictures.  The herd settled, seemingly judging that we were not a threat, and I assessed that it was safe for us to continue.

A bit further along the trail I heard the unmistakable cheerful song of meadowlark.  Again, I stopped, listened and looked, but never spotted this cheerful character whose voice never fails to give me a smile. As the loop trail turned and we were headed back toward the car, a ray of sunlight hit the snow on one of the peaks. Such beauty!  I suddenly realized how cold I felt in the early morning shadow of the mountains. I picked up my pace and Luke happily followed suit as we trotted toward the car and its promise of warmth (and, for Luke, a treat!).

I felt deeply blessed by the presence and gifts of the moon, the elk and the meadowlark song, knowing that as I reflect more deeply over the coming days, the spiritual part of the journey will continue as the gifts of inner blossoming will show themselves ever more clearly. For now, I’m content with my curiosity – wondering how this experience will inform me as I spring into the projects ahead. Happy spring!

First Rays Hit the Peaks

First Rays Hit the Peaks

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Make Every Day NEW!

Green grass, green leaves, and a fascinating museum in Biloxi , MIssissippi

Green grass, green leaves, and a fascinating museum in Biloxi , MIssissippi

Nature is always moving forward and manifesting that which is truly new!  … By failing to make an experience new, we recycle ourselves into stunted growth patterns. By making such choices, we fall out of synchronicity with the Universe and produce boredom instead of development.  Gregge Tiffen (It’s Springtime: Flow With the Power of Nature – March, 2007)

I just returned from the warmer climates of Mississippi and Texas where spring is popping out in all her glory: green grass, green leaves, colorful camellias and azaleas in bloom and even a few early bluebonnets along a Texas roadway.

It was good to leave the snowy landscape and daily tasks of winter behind even though I love the cold, the snow and find joy and satisfaction in living at 8000 feet. Yes, I did miss Cool Hand Luke who stayed behind.

When I was invited to make the trip, I was a little wary. Who would care for Luke and the house? Did I want to step into the hassles of travel?  What about  _____?

Despite my reservations (or perhaps, excuses), I felt a deep, strong nudge to say ‘yes’. I yielded to that guidance, and the experiences along the way made me grateful that I did.

Starting with my decision to ride the bus and rail to the Denver airport, each day held new experiences. In Mississippi, I met new people and was treated to the best in southern hospitality and cuisine. I walked on and later drove along the beach, discovered new artists, enjoyed colorful Mardi Gras decorations galore, and saw many remnants of Hurricane Katrina, the deadly storm that devastated much of the Gulf coast in 2005.

The Texas leg reconnected me with family and a friend from college that I don’t see often. On a mission to savor some great Texas barbeque, I visited the small town where I worked in my first post-college job. The small ‘joint’ I remembered had moved and expanded, but the rustic ambiance and amazing quality remained four decades later. As we drove away (stuffed and happy), I saw a ‘municipal park’ sign and rediscovered the city park that I helped build in that first job. The park too has grown and changed, but the beauty of nature remains its centerpiece. I found new in the old.

When it was time to head home, I was full and ready to return to the mountains I love. In experiencing the new (including the new in the old), I was reminded to make each day’s tasks a new experience – EVERY day.

I’ll recycle paper, glass, plastics, cans and such, but not the experiences that make my life, MY LIFE. While Luke and I frequently walk the same paths, I aim to notice what is new, what is different each day. How much snow has melted? How does the earth feel under my feet? Where is Luke roaming?  When I build a fire each morning, I do my best to remember that, when I listen deeply, each piece of wood lets me know when it’s ready to burn. Each fire, each day has a different character.

I aim to put the same attention and intention on EVERY task I undertake and event I engage in. Sometimes I speed up and forget and find myself out of sorts and out of sync, gentle reminders to slow down and make what’s familiar new.

If you find yourself weary, bored or out of sorts this week, pause and consider ‘how can I make this new?’

Enter here for GREAT barbeque in Lockhart, Texas

Enter here for GREAT barbeque in Lockhart, Texas


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Harmony Is Our Nature

Listen to the wood …

Listen to the wood …

Nature cannot step up and act upon us, except as it must respond to its basic need to be in balance. We have the power either to create a flourishing cornucopia of life to nurture and support us or to create hurricanes, melting polar ice caps, and swarms of locusts. … Every thought we have has an effect on us and our planet as well. We can be mindful of our thoughts. Gregge Tiffen (Life In The World Hereafter: The Journey Continues)

Listen to the wood.

I ‘heard’ those words one morning recently just after adding logs to my early morning fire, wondering afterwards whether I’d added too many too fast to get a quick hot burn going in the wood stove.  It reminded me that all of nature speaks her gentleness, consistency, stability, strength. In these mountain woods, I’m surrounded these gifts.

Nature also has the quality of harmony. Harmony is central to nature’s existence and she will do what is necessary to reach and maintain her harmonious state. If nature’s harmony is upset, she will respond, violently if necessary, in order to bring harmony back to the planet. Yes, those so-called ‘acts of God’ have a purpose.

Mother Nature will prevail. Our beautiful blue/green planet will exist as long as she has a purpose in the heavens, though we humans may not always be along for the ride. We have plundered too much, exploiting natural resources as commodities to be used up, sold for profit. We dominate and attempt to control rather than practicing the dominion of the planet we were granted: loving and listening to mother earth and considering her needs and her care as part of the equation of an abundant life.

We do so not just with destructive deeds, but with our negativity as well: fearful thoughts that in their angry expression forget the truth of our being, angry thoughts that in their fearful expressions resort to war and violence in both words and deeds.

This is not just ‘the other’, it is us – me and you – for none of us are yet free of anger and fear as sometime motivators and guides. And, that’s another gift, for planet Earth provides us the place to learn, to experiment, and to nurture the seeds of our infinite sojourn through an infinite and energetic universe.

May we do so as reflections of nature’s highest and best qualities!

Gentleness on the road out back.

Gentleness on the road out back.

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I Am NEW! Solstice 2018

HAPPY SOLSTICE!

HAPPY SOLSTICE!

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

Winter Solstice is the time of natural transformation, newness that comes forth with or without our awareness. Winter Solstice is the time when our receptivity is heightened in consciousness. Is it any wonder that with fewer hours of daylight, we are drawn inside into our homes, perhaps under the covers, and definitely drawn to be inside ourselves at this time of year?

Solstice is the birthday of the Planet and was celebrated as such with reverence and respect in ancient times by our ancestors who lived in close harmony with the Planet’s rhythms.

Solstice is the time of completion and of new beginnings. The old cycle (year) is done. We are presented with the opportunity to declare completion and move on with awareness of the seed of newness that is planted inside. A new ‘you’ with its potential to bring wondrous change in the cycle ahead is ready, provided you are willing to claim it.

In keeping with my understanding of ancient traditions, I take time at Solstice to create a personal ‘silent night’, a time harmonize my rhythms to those of the Planet, to with love and gratitude let go of everything from the year behind, and to acknowledge the seed of newness inside.  And, I invite you to take a few moments or even a few hours to create your own and to acknowledge and embrace the potential of the newness in you.

Start by harmonizing with nature. If you are blessed as I am to live in nature’s beauty, take a walk. Observe and honor the rhythms of nature, whether the slow steady growth of a tree or the daily cycles of ocean tides. If nature is not outside your door, then sit quietly and imagine your favorite place in nature. Feel yourself in that place. Allow those rhythms to bring you the quiet peace of the season.

Next, create an atmosphere and attitude of gratefulness and let go of everything that has come to you in the cycle ending. Your aim is to empty and prepare a space for the new. Thus, let go of not only what doesn’t serve or suit you, of those things you consider ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’, but of everything: every attitude, your wants and desires, your fears, your hopes, your stories about the events of the year ending, the people in your life.

Finally, when you are ready (perhaps after only a few moments, perhaps a few hours), evoke the sound of newness with the declaration “I am new”.  This is the place where heaven and earth come together in you, as you. The new you is ready to meet, greet and receive the gifts of the new cycle. 

May the blessings of your unique newness follow you into and throughout the year ahead!

*My understanding and celebration of Solstice, while it is my own interpretation, comes primarily from the work of Gregge Tiffen. You can learn more about Gregge’s work at www.g-systems.com. And, you can purchase from his collected works, including his telling of Winter Solstice – The Christmas Story, on www.amazon.com

May the joys of the season light your way!

May the joys of the season light your way!

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Prelude To Solstice - 2018

Winter’s Pure Beauty

Winter’s Pure Beauty

All of heaven and all of earth coordinate at the Winter Solstice.Regardless of all the stories and traditions, this is a personal event of your life. It is the time that has been set up for you and Heaven to be with each other without interference. Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story

 It’s all too easy to find ourselves hooked in the hustle and bustle of seasonal activities and ‘wrapping things up for the year’.  We’ve forgotten that which we know deep inside: this is our time to recalibrate from the inside out.  And, to do so we must empty, release, let go and recognize the wisdom that done is done.

 All too often we fear being empty – even for a brief moment in time. Emptiness seems like a strange word to ascribe to the season of winter holidays with their bright lights, joyful sounds, and festivities to match.  And, yet, giving yourself the gift of emptying is an important part of being prepared to receive the new that is sure to come as the sun begins her journey back to the north.  After all, the full glass cannot receive more wine.

 In the Christmas Story, we are told that the inn was full. And, yet a receptive place for the birth was found. So it is for each of us.

 We too need to empty and make ourselves receptive to the new.  Solstice is a time to declare one cycle complete, making way for another to begin. It is a time to embrace the realm of spirit and turn our backs on the material world, if only for a brief time. It is a time to bless and release all who have crossed your path in this cycle, knowing that those who are meant to return will be there in the new one.

 And, perhaps most important of all, it is time to let go of who we were in the cycle that is completing.  The ‘you’ of that cycle is complete as well. And a new you of your design and making awaits.

 As our planet prepares to celebrate her birthday, let us honor her by taking time to reflect this gift of the time when heaven and nature sing as one. May we each sing along in our own unique and harmonious way.

I find this excerpt from Gregge Tiffen’s ‘Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story’ a beautiful reminder of the choices I can make now and moment to moment, before my time of winter solitude, and beyond winter into the spring. May it support you as well to ease into the sacredness of this time.

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)

Winter Blessings from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Winter Blessings from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

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The Antler

The Antler of Wisdom & Awareness

The Antler of Wisdom & Awareness

Shedding is nature in action, the easy, effortless flow of life. Clinging upsets this natural flow, creating suffering, stress, and dis-ease.

The whole object of pruning is that it improves your growth, it regenerates your brain, and it opens up new opportunities. Experiences that are no longer being used in a positive manner should be cut from the creative tree inside of you and taken away. Gregge Tiffen (Give Nothing, Get Nothing – August, 2008)

 

Take a moment to imagine a male deer resisting shedding his antlers (my first thought was a beautiful buck dashing into the market looking for super glue) or a snake holding on to its outgrown skin (duct tape anyone?).  Imagine an autumn walk in the woods if the leaves weren’t falling from the trees. Or what we humans would look like if we didn’t constantly shed cells of our skin.

While no deer, snake or tree was interviewed for this musing, I’m quite certain that they don’t resist this natural process. And, I’m hardly aware of the daily loss of my skin cells.  Shedding is nature in action, the easy, effortless flow of life. Clinging upsets this natural flow, creating suffering, stress, and dis-ease.

Yet we humans cling. We hold on to ‘stuff’ – so much stuff that our garages have no room for our cars and ‘storage’ is a thriving business. We hold on to jobs, relationships, as well as to ideas, habits, and beliefs that, at best, we no longer need. Sometimes in our busy-ness we simply aren’t aware of what we are holding on to, much less its toll. For the most part we don’t look at events in our lives to discover their meaning, their gifts, and their clues to what we need to change.

One morning tending to my garden on the deck, I discovered several beautiful, almost ripe tomatoes had been partially eaten. Argh!!! I suppose the pesky pack-rats I later trapped (and relocated several miles away in an open field) concluded I didn’t need them since there was a box full in the house awaiting the dehydrator.  

Harvest time brings allergy season – itchy eyes for me, shedding and itching all over for Cool Hand Luke. In my angst over his apparent discomfort (and my annoyance at the almost constant biting, licking, scratching) I lost sight of the fact that shedding is natural, normal, and that I know how to ease Luke’s discomfort.

I was ‘dealing with’ these events without much thought and no reflection. Then, I found ‘the antler’.

Shed sometime in the late fall or winter by one of the many bucks that hang out here in our woods, ‘the antler’ woke me up, cueing me to the theme of ‘shedding’ present all around me and inviting me to that thoughtful, reflective place. I accepted the call.  As I walked home with the antler, I understood that I’m in a shedding period of my life. I’ve ‘shed’ the bed & breakfast creating the spaciousness for something new to emerge.

I became aware of Luke’s shedding as a normal part of canine life. I was aware of an eating habit that contributes to my itchy eyes and that now can be ‘shed’. And (ugh!) I was aware that the pack-rats, which come by that name quite honestly, were suggesting it was time to complete the culling of ‘stuff’ that I began several months ago (yep, what I culled in the house, is in the garage!).

I wondered, what else would it serve me to shed? Perhaps it’s time to shed my habit of using my ‘critical eye’ to judge the actions of others and aim it lovingly on my own actions.  

What other thoughts, beliefs or ideas no longer need to reside in me? Perhaps it’s time to banish thoughts that undermine my conviction that the Universe is a friendly place, unfolding as it must despite so much evidence to the contrary.

What distractions are blocking the emergence of something new? Perhaps my protective reaction to signs of growth and change popping up in our community provide a clue.

As I go about life, these questions are alive in me. No push. No rush. No clinging. Open heart to discover what to shed and prune next. And, simple gratitude for the space to receive these gifts.

Signs of Growth, Signs of Change in The Woods

Signs of Growth, Signs of Change in The Woods

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Fierce Softness: Life IS Sacred Service

A Teyuna Mamo with    Mary Gaetjens of Harmony with Earth Mother Initiative in Columbia

A Teyuna Mamo with Mary Gaetjens of Harmony with Earth Mother Initiative in Columbia

You carry your worth in your heart. Complete, constant, and impartial love radiates through you to all creatures. Gregge Tiffen (The Collected Works of Gregge Tiffen: Echo – Sept. 2012)

Teyuna mamos and zagas exist in deep communion with every living thing, a state they’ve preserved and grown since what is for most westerners time immemorial and what is for them easily recalled through living tradition. (Earth Law Center Website - https://www.earthlawcenter.org/blog-entries/2018/6/teyuna-foundation-launches)

Have you ever been in the presence of fierce softness? I imagine that in being with the Dalai Lama or Thich Nhat Hanh one might experience a sense of ‘fierce softness’. Historical figures such as Jesus or Ghandi likely held fierce softness in their presence. Gregge’s quote above begins to describe what I think fierce softness can be.

I’ve been with people who are fierce. Heck, sometimes I’ve been fierce in ways that are not so positive. I’ve also been with individuals who radiate love and softness. I aim to do the same (and, being human in our culture, I often miss the mark).

Until last week, I’d not experienced the two together: fierce AND soft. Perhaps the seed was planted by Sharon Blackie’s book which I wrote about last week (http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/reclaiming-softness). For sure, the book opened me to what I was about to experience here in Crestone at a ceremony for three Teyuna mamos and, two days later, at a healing ceremony that they offered.  

I don’t yet (and may never) have words to fully describe my experience. Powerful, healing, amazing, transformational are each accurate, but they miss the mark of complete expression. I’m integrating their words, the exercises we did, and their presence to make meaning and apply it my life.

For now, ‘fierce softness’ best describes the energy I experienced and received as these elders guided us through a powerful exercise to connect with the earth.  In both of my encounters with the Teyuna every word, every action, every step was clear, gentle and showed heartfelt and powerful intensity.  It was clear to me that they listen deeply to Mother Earth and respond with exactly what is needed in each moment.

The intense care for people, the planet, and for every living thing was palpable. I felt that I witnessed life as it is meant to be lived: in reverence and deep communion. That is ‘fierce softness’. That is service to life.

The Teyuna understand that as caretakers of the planet, we humans must take care of and heal ourselves in order to fulfill our sacred responsibility. No one can do it for us. The journey is an individual one, unique for each of us. As we heal ourselves, we heal our relationship to Mother Earth. We begin to live life as sacred service to our home rather than as a race to see who can collect the most toys and do the most harm.

Fierce softness. I’m exploring what it means to live from that place. Where is my softness needed – in my life, in the world? Where do I have the opportunity to soften? How might it look to be fierce in my softness? This week I invite to learn more about the Teyuna – here https://www.earthlawcenter.org/blog-entries/2018/6/teyuna-foundation-launches or watch the movie Aluna (available on Amazon.com) about their journey. And, I invite you to reflect on bringing ‘fierce softness’ to your expressions of life.

The Fierce Softness of Grandmother Pine lives on.

The Fierce Softness of Grandmother Pine lives on.

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