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Peace

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Peace, No Matter What

   I think of this spot as a Portal to Peace.

I think of this spot as a Portal to Peace.

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. Albert Einstein

… cause peace by becoming peace – not just being peaceful temporarily. To become peace requires embracing a mindset that recognizes all of creation as one organism expressing in myriad forms and committing to treat all others (human, non-human, animate and inanimate) with kindness and respect, no matter what. Rev. Trish Hall, founder Way2Peace (https://way2peace.org/)

The idea of ‘peace, no matter what’ is an ideal of the highest magnitude, or so it seems in a world hell-bent on destruction. Peace seems out of reach until we bring it home, seeking to maintain our personal sense of peace and making a commitment to peace in our hearts, minds, and homes. We do this moment by moment, choice by choice, conversation by conversation. Some are easy, natural, and effortless. Others choices call forth our conviction, invite us to step into the unknown, or even to swim upstream counter to friends, neighbors, or social norms.

That is way the way of change. That is way of creating peace. Those are the individual choices that we must make collectively if peace and love are to prevail on our precious planet.

Recently just such a choice presented itself. In the midst of reflecting on somewhat disconcerting conflicts and reactions in my community – events that have resulted in some friends deciding to arm themselves and others considering doing the same – these words came to me crystal clear as if someone was in the room speaking:

Disarmament of nations will only come when individuals shed the fear that has us keep weapons for our own protection.

While I wasn’t considering arming myself with a gun, a friend currently living in my home voiced that possibility for herself. Given the events, I understand why one might consider this choice. Yet, my initial reaction was ‘no!’. And after a day of thoughtful consideration, I was clear that this choice would stand. I was also clear that new criteria for sharing my home had emerged: no guns, no weapons – no matter what.

I feel a deep sense that my personal safety, like peace, comes first from within. The cause of war and violence in any of its forms is fear. Fear is the absence of love. The path to peace collectively is to expand and deepen our individual capacity to make choices grounded in kindness and respect – love, if you will – not in fear. I have work to do to increase my own capacity for kindness and respect to myself and to others, especially those with whom I disagree.

Too often we think of peace only as the business of nations. Governments engage in war to ‘win’ peace. Do you notice how broken this model is? Fear and dominance have had their time. Their time is done (though letting go for some will not be done without fight).

The time is now to end violence and to call forth peace, the peace that is our business – yours and mine – to create. The time for simple kindness, respect, and relationship is upon us.  Let our love shine light in the dark corners of fear. Let us each become portals to peace, putting our attention on the work that needs doing to build that peace – moment by moment, choice by choice, conversation by conversation, and even social media post by social media post.

   Blanca Peak, a place of peace to indigenous peoples for generations. Do you see the bear?

Blanca Peak, a place of peace to indigenous peoples for generations. Do you see the bear?

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Of Pests, Painting, Patience, and Peace

   'Patience Coach', Cool Hand Luke Skywalker watches over Mom as she prepares to paint.

'Patience Coach', Cool Hand Luke Skywalker watches over Mom as she prepares to paint.

We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves. … We cannot overcome anger and hatred simply by suppressing them. We need to actively cultivate the antidotes: patience and tolerance.  Dalai Lama

The more we practice patience, the greater our experience of the peace that follows.

So, remember the ants [click here if you missed last week’s post -- http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/the-open-door-of-missed-opportunity]?

They’re still here. Despite negotiations, pleading, and non-lethal ‘strong arm tactics’ (they don’t like peppermint) to force them to relocate, the mound is still active. They no longer have trails toward the house. Perhaps that’s a sign that their activity is focused on moving (hopefully far away). 

But alas, another pest has surfaced here at home.  I discovered evidence of a mouse in the house this week. Respectful of the hantavirus mice carry and its presence in our valley, I reluctantly set traps. Not the catch and release variety.

Pesky pests. I struggle knowing that any violence I perpetrate against myself or another living creature contributes to the culture of cruelty and violence on the planet. And, these days that culture needs no additional contributions.

As atrocious acts of violence and cruelty are being ordered and carried out right here in the United States and around the globe, the main course that’s needed is patience and peace. To that menu we need to add generous sides of understanding, compassion, kindness, and love.

I wonder: if I can’t be patient and co-exist with pesky pests, how can I expect others to make peace with those whose differences surfaces fear that can only be extinguished with love?  Indeed how can I make peace with others whose views differ from my own?  How do we get beyond the zero sum, win-lose approach to life?

Patience is key.  This week my ‘Patience Coach’, Cool Hand Luke Skywalker has his hands full. Beyond the pests, a few other pesky events this week are reminding me of the prayer: “Lord grant me patience, but please hurry”. Preparing to paint the garage trim, I discovered the masking tape preferred not to stick to the stucco. High winds didn’t help. Last night, wanting to wind down and relax with a video, the site I preferred to watch wasn’t working. Ugh!

On one level these little events pale in magnitude to the ‘big issues’ confronting humanity. But do they really? I’ve suggested before that there is no small thing in life. How we respond the seemingly inconsequential events in life is, indeed, consequential: cause and effect. Patience begets understanding, tolerance, peace. The more we practice patience, the greater our experience of the peace that follows.

If we truly understood and accepted this law our choices and actions would likely be very different.

How might I cultivate patience with the ants, with a mouse, with myself?  In those places where your patience is lacking, how might you?

PS - HAPPY SOLSTICE - Summer in the northern hemisphere, Winter in the south! 

  Not Quite Solstice Sunrise Over the Sangres

Not Quite Solstice Sunrise Over the Sangres

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The Open Door of Missed Opportunity

   Here Comes The Sun ... Sunrise in the Sangres

Here Comes The Sun ... Sunrise in the Sangres

You contribute to the situation by what you say. Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: An Honest Performance – June, 2011)

There is no small thing in life. Antsand their hills hold the potential to teach us how to climb life’s mountains, including the peak of creating peace in our world.

In our world that needs all the kindness and compassion we can muster, I missed an opportunity to be compassionate yesterday. Although I’m not beating myself up, I’m aware that an opportunity to be more of who I am is a terrible thing to waste. In noticing the miss, the door to greater awareness opened.

In hindsight I observed that when I’ve made a decision and am on a mission, I loose awareness of all else (focus is good and, like everything, has its shadow). That’s especially true, I discovered, if my decision is at odds which what I value. In this case ‘non-violence and honoring all life’ is what I say I value.

Yet, my mission was to purchase a ‘natural’ product to destroy a colony of ants. On some level, I set aside the fact that I wanted to kill, and I rationalized that using a commercial chemical formula was worse than my ‘natural’ approach. In my heart – the heart I ignored – I know that is false. Killing is killing regardless of method.

Negotiation so far had failed (Yes! I talked to the ants) but my missed opportunity suggested to me that perhaps I’d given up too soon (or perhaps my ant-speak needed to be clearer). Why are the ants an issue? I don’t want to experience the pain of another bite (they aren’t called ‘fire’ ants for nothing). I want Luke to enjoy his favorite outdoor napping spots without being attacked. And, I want the same for all my visiting two- and four-legged friends. But is killing the only answer?

As I write this, I’m aware of my ants as metaphor for viewing others whom we fear as ‘pests’ that need to be controlled. We try to dominate or conquer that which is different from us and those who we don’t understand. Oh life’s ‘little’ challenges! They have so much to teach us if we dare to be aware. But, I digress from yesterday’s missed opportunity that opened the door to this awareness.

I’m grateful to the Buddhist nun whose presence while I was on my mission to the local market provided the gifts of this reflection and the missed opportunity for compassion. She too was on an ‘ant mission’, going for the same product as I. While I was navigating around her to grab a box and go, she was standing in the aisle thoughtfully inquiring whether the product would kill or just deter them. She was aiming for the later: harm no thing. I quickly shared that the information I had was that the product would kill them. My missed opportunity for compassion continued as I responded to her question about what would deter without death in a somewhat frustrated tone, “I don’t know” and walked away.

I didn’t like what my voice and its tone contributed to this encounter. In hindsight I see that I didn’t want to confront my internal conflict. Heck, I’d made up my mind, let me buy the box of Borax and get on with my mission. Oh what a different conversation we might have had if I’d been aware and willing to engage.

The missed opportunity though gave rise to a deeper insight, to a commitment to pause and go back to the drawing board of the internet for a non-lethal alternative, including reopening ‘negotiations’ with these industrious beings. That’s the gift of aiming to honor my values, of being willing and aware, and of taking time for quiet reflection.

There is indeed no small thing in life. As part of the natural world which has so much to share, ants symbolize industriousness, order, and discipline. ‘Why would I want to kill THAT?’ is perhaps a story for another day. For sure it has my attention.

Ants and their hills hold the potential to teach us how to climb life’s mountains, including the peak of creating peace in our world.

  Sunset on a Smokey Day in the Valley

Sunset on a Smokey Day in the Valley

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The Grace of the Universe

   Shadows Fall at Day's End in the Sangres

Shadows Fall at Day's End in the Sangres

You live by the grace of the Universe interacting with you. You do not live by yourself alone. … The Universe always magnifies your action. Gregge Tiffen (The Language of a Mystic: Change – May, 2009)

There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness. Dalai Lama

The grace of the Universe presents the challenge of our times. May we rise to meet it in kind.

Whether we are aware of it or not, the Universe is interacting with us 24/7, magnifying each and every action we take in its own way.

Think about that. Let it sink in for just a moment. Everything you do is magnified. EVERY THING!

Say a kind word, offer a smile to someone experiencing challenging times, listen deeply to another view, share an uplifting post on social media. MAGNIFIED!  Take action on a project; choose to eat healthy, nourishing food; call or write your elected representatives. MAGNIFIED!

The Universe is benevolent (at least that’s my belief), but it is not selective in what it magnifies (everything – remember?). We humans were given the gift of free will, the power of choice that the Universe did not keep for itself in this grand design called Life. Make a snarky remark. MAGNIFIED!  Engage in an act of violence. MAGNIFIED!  Protest in anger toward others. MAGNIFIED!  Shut down in fear. MAGNIFIED! 

I’ve been reflecting on this law of magnification in terms of what I want more of in my life as well as the kind of world that I’d prefer to live in.  That reflection brought me right back to where I live, the simple choices I make each day. If I want to be a writer, WRITE. Give the Universe words strung together into ideas and step back to allow the magnification. Know that magnification is happening even when I don’t see it. I’m making adjustments in how I create each day to do just that.

If the world I envision is one of peace, kindness, compassion then my responsibility is to choose thoughts, words, and deeds that are peaceful, kind, and compassionate. Give the Universe THAT to magnify.

Of course, the Universe does not magnify alone.  We are its agents, little magnifiers one and all. My words each week are a magnification of something I read, experienced (usually both!), or am in the midst of considering. You read those words and are inspired to make a change in your life, or to share the post with others, or to delete. Whatever your choice, your action magnifies mine and it offers your own to be magnified.  

The meadowlark sings its cheerful song each morning in the meadow where we walk. The president tweets. Both are magnified by a Universe that magnifies everything. But we, you and I, have the freedom and the power to choose what we magnify. Imagine a world where the meadowlark’s song or the Dalai Lama’s quote is the ‘breaking news’ of the day, and the president’s tweets go mostly ignored. Do the words peaceful, kind, compassionate come to your mind’s eye?

That world is possible if we have the will to choose to put our attention on peace over conflict, kindness over anger, and compassion over judgement. It’s already emerging daily in the thousands (perhaps millions) of thoughts, words and deeds that are peace-filled, kind, and caring. May we choose that path – moment to moment, when the choice is easy and, especially when it’s not.  The grace of the Universe presents the challenge of our times. May we rise to meet it in kind.

   Old Tree Greets Another Day

Old Tree Greets Another Day

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Bucking the Culture Ain't Easy

   Of whims and harmony ... that is our way.

Of whims and harmony ... that is our way.

In silence, man and shadow met face to face, and stopped. Aloud and clearly, breaking that old silence, Ged spoke the shadow’s name and in the same moment the shadow spoke without lips or tongue, saying the same word: ‘Ged.’ And, the two voices were one voice. … Light and darkness met, and joined, and were one.  Ursula K. LeGuin, A Wizard of Earthsea

The truth of the matter is self-honesty in all things. Gregge Tiffen, Open Secrets: The Nature of Feminine Truth (March, 2011) 

Practicing oneness requires the self-honesty acknowledge the darkness within.

Slowly the light is returning. Soon the day will be equal in its light and darkness, and the darkness will give way to more hours of light. A cycle: one of many cycles within cycles that is the natural order of the Universe.

We humans though think we know better than the order of the Universe. We create tools of separation and control: calendars, clocks, daylight savings time and build a culture that honors such tools over the wisdom of the Universe.

This week, though I sprang my clocks forward, I chose to ignore them as much as possible. As is generally my habit, I’ve risen upon waking and allowed each day to flow from there. Even with few timed commitments, I found myself noticing the time and correcting thoughts about being ‘late’ as I went about my day. The exercise reminded me how deeply imbedded ‘time’ is in our culture.

Our culture also holds ideas about how we ‘should’ use our time. Since closing the B&B, I’ve felt a strong pull, guidance if you will, to ‘read, write, connect more deeply in nature, and empty’. I’ve followed that guidance less than I’d like to admit. After all there are taxes to prepare, firewood to stack, and – oh, yeah, shouldn’t I be doing something to generate income?

But these little things (yep, in the grand scheme they are but tiny blips despite how I allow them to interfere with my peace) pale in comparison to bucking the violence that pervades our culture. Violence is monetized (and, not just by the ‘war’ machine, but also in medicine, pesticides, and more). It is deeply imbedded in our language and our history.  Sadly, our cells know much about violence.

I’d like to believe that I’m not a part of this violence. But alas, there is a mirror that, in Oneness, reflects right back to me. In that mirror I see the justifications that I claim for my own acts of violence: if I don’t kill the mice, they will …; my blood type is ‘O’ so my body needs meat; my curiosity takes me to violent movies like Black Panther and Star Wars; mosquitos carry disease (and are sooo annoying!). These are only a few of the mindful choices I make. Sometimes I squish a spider before I’ve given it a thought.  And, so it is in our culture.

Creating a new culture requires facing up to my contributions to the culture we have. Practicing oneness requires the self-honesty acknowledge the darkness within.

As I look to the courageous students who walked out of schools yesterday calling for an end to gun violence, I’m filled with encouragement for the world they envision and the world that is theirs to create. I’m proud to march with them whether in spirit or body.  And, yet I wonder if I have the will to buck my own violent habits as a contribution to ending violence on our planet? For if I don’t, how can I expect others to do the same?

This is the challenge of our oneness with all things and with one another. I am all the beauty and the light in this world.  I am also the darkness. I am That, I am.

   A Hazy Mountain Morning

A Hazy Mountain Morning

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The Three G's of Power

   A Beautiful Afternoon in the Woods

A Beautiful Afternoon in the Woods

Today I sing my song with gusto, grace and gratitude. Rev. Dr. David Goldberg - Daily Guide for 7 February 2018 in Science of Mind magazine.

Power doesn’t need anything to support it other than the conviction that the Power is there. Gregge Tiffen - Fanned Fire and Forced Love Never Did Well – February, 2008

… security is silent and insecurity is loud. Senator John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) – 7 February 2018 interview, MSNBC

I love life! Even the ‘dumps’ and whatever events seem to take me there have gifts to share (though, being human, I don’t always recognize them in that moment).  I especially find joy in discovering several ideas which at first seem totally separate then, upon reflection, converge to create yet another gift. And, I’m quite jazzed when I see both a personal and a global application.

So, this morning finds me pumped, inspired by three words in an affirmation yesterday: gusto, grace, gratitude. Upon reflection, I discovered just how powerful those three words are up close and personal in my own life, as well as how relevant (and much needed!) they are in the world.

The three words resonated deeply when I first read them. ‘Gusto, Grace, and Gratitude’ gained more life during a conversation with a colleague/friend across the pond.  Later, I wanted to make an honest evaluation of how I measure up to each (not against any worldly yardstick, just my own self-satisfaction).

  • Gratitude – my strongest of the three G’s. I’ve come to live in deep gratitude and express it frequently. “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for this day” is the mantra that begins and ends each day. I’m aware of my gratitude when I step out the door or look out the window at the natural beauty that surrounds me and when I get a gentle nudge from Cool Hand Luke reminding me to take a break. The list could go on (and on, and on …). What I’ve come to understand from practicing gratitude, is that she opens the way to all of the good in my life. She even lights the path that helps me see purpose in the ‘monsters’ that lurk in the corners.
  • Grace – gaining strength in my life, in part thanks to gratitude. I’ve come to walk through life with a greater sense of ease and patience with myself and others. I aim to have a strong sense of what is right without being self-righteous and to be thoughtful in how I respond to people and ideas that I find repulsive. Remembering that we are each part of a larger whole, each with her/his unique and individual learning to do on this earthly sojourn helps me maintain (and, hopefully, express) grace.
  • Gusto – at first glance, not my strong suit. Yet, as I explored its meaning (keen enjoyment, enthusiasm, appreciation, zest, relish; great vigor or liveliness), I realized that gusto doesn’t need to be loud or flashy. Like power and security, gratitude and grace, gusto is very much an inside job that finds reflection in how I walk through the world. What I wrote to begin this post sounds a lot like ‘gusto’ to me.

So, what about ThreeG Power in the world? Military might, chest thumping, and parading the weaponry of coercive force are not signs of strength or power.  Name calling and negative comments keep us mired in the muck, distracted from the business of life, peace, justice, compassion and creating a world where all are honored and valued.  

I see amazing power from putting the Three G’s into practice in our lives. Imagine what’s possible when we add gobs of gratitude, grace and gusto to mass consciousness to counter the destructive forces of fear and negativity in the worlds of politics, commerce, religion, media, et cetera. Imagine the transformation that’s possible in our individual disagreements with one another.

Which of the Three G’s speaks most powerfully to you? What will you do this week to nurture them all?

   All Seeing Eye of the Majestic Pine

All Seeing Eye of the Majestic Pine

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Magnetic Fields

   There is always flow whether we see it or not.

There is always flow whether we see it or not.

You own the magnetic field that surrounds you. Gregge Tiffen (The Journey Continues: Mysterious Investigations – October, 2010)

That’s the good news, excellent in fact. Our challenge is taking responsibility for ourselves and our field – first, last, always in all ways. That’s the rub, because the world tells us a very different story.

The world sees ownership as possessing and hanging on to things – houses, cars, clothing, investments, etc. – and bristles at any change that might threaten them.  Hence, we take up violence – in our language and as a way of navigating life. We fight. Someone ‘wins’ and another loses, in a never-ending cycle until we (individually and collectively) develop our capacity to say ‘enough!’.

Our bodies, convinced by the world’s ways that survival is the issue, find it easy to enter the fray. We suffer. We live in fear. We lash out. We defend.

We ignore the field that we create around us when we choose this path.

Deep in our soul is the wisdom that knows we err. The soul understands that the nature of our being is just that – nature. The soul knows that what is ‘ours’ is not things or even a body, but rather our infinite beingness. The soul knows that the body is but a borrowed vessel for navigating the planet and acquiring all the experience that it can.

The soul knows that the magnetic field we create is formed and fed by our beliefs, our thoughts, our words, and our actions. It knows that the field is ours to tend to – no matter what events we encounter.

We tend to our field like the wise gardener, tending her crops. She takes care that the seeds she plants are pure and the varieties nourishing. After carefully planting the chosen seeds, she nurtures them with proper food and water. She weeds out other plants, volunteers that don’t have the nourishing qualities she has chosen. She harvests with gratitude and allows the soil time to lie fallow.

We tend our field by remembering, despite the world seeming to crumble all around us, that what we see crumbling is not real in Universal terms. What IS real is you and your field, me and mine, and the infinity in which we and our fields dance forever.

   Abundant evidence of change in the woods.

Abundant evidence of change in the woods.

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Autumnal Celebrations

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The planet does not need more successful people. The planet needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds. Dalai Lama

One of the first keys of learning how to get along here unusually well is to remember, whether you like it or not, manifestation is going to occur. Gregge Tiffen (Learning Without Experience Is A Bell Without A Clapper – September, 2008)

Autumn, the season of harvest, is upon us. Fall arrives around 4 pm Eastern time here in the U.S. tomorrow, September 22.  My heart is heavy that much of our harvest is that of natural disasters. When will we come to understand that every thought, word, deed matters in ways far beyond our immediate reach?

What chaff do I need to release in order to contribute only peace to our planet? That is the question I take into my quiet reflection as I welcome the new season. ‘What habits do I carry forward?’ I ask as I walk the labyrinth as the sun rises over the mountains this early morning.

Today is International Peace Day, a day to celebrate the possibility of peace, and first declared by the United Nations in 1981. This year’s theme: Together for Peace: Respect, Safety, Dignity for All. May we harvest peace whenever we can and may we daily plant seeds of peace in our thoughts, our words, our actions. On Tuesday the moon entered a new phase in the sign of Libra, a sign that emphasizes greater cooperation and graciousness. Each new moon represents a time of new beginnings. In the midst of threats of destruction by world leaders, I found the irony of this timing stunning.

This week also finds two of the world’s religions beginning celebrations.  Navrati, the nine-day Hindu celebration of the Goddess Durga, the divine feminine, begins today as does Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, celebrating ‘the head of the year’ with the belief that “just as the head controls the body, our actions on Rosh Hashanah have a tremendous impact on the rest of the year” (Chabad.org).

Religious and spiritual celebrations are important times of reflection. What reflections will you bring to this time of harvest?

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Only Good Karma

   Eclipse Effect

Eclipse Effect

Karma is not some debt you pay. Karma is a system within the Law of Resistance. Would you believe that the karmic condition is one of the best things you have going for you? That’s right. For every degree of positive energy you put out, you will bring back an equal and positive effect. The opposite is also true. Therefore, since you can’t run from the conditions set in motion, you’d better learn to love them.  Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Karmic Identifiers – August, 2011)

There is no such thing as ‘bad’ karma. There is only cause and effect, an infinite cycle of co-creation.

I’ve been thinking about cause and effect this week on many levels.  At the global level, I muse about the conflicts and divisiveness present in our culture.  I catch myself casting aspersions and blame.  Then I remember that my thoughts matter. They become a part of mass consciousness, and my negativity does nothing to raise that consciousness.  On the contrary, negativity keeps me stuck in beliefs about right/wrong, good/bad as if those are real.  And, it contributes to keeping mass consciousness stuck in that which perpetuates conditions of discord.

Up close and personal, I found myself labelling several issues around the house and Luke’s annual August allergies as ‘problems’ that I needed to ‘solve’, burdens to handle so I could get on with ‘life’.  I noticed that I was snappy with myself and my beloved pet. I caught myself barreling toward victim mode, just short of casting a strong dose of self-blame and sentencing myself to hours (or days) of self-inflicted misery.  

And, then I remembered I could choose differently.  

Choosing differently doesn’t mean putting on a fake smiley face and pretending that ‘all is right with the world’. It isn’t.  For me it means maintaining consistent awareness of my thoughts about current events and mindful of how I respond, both internally and externally. I notice the huge learning opportunity that presents.  When, where and how do I express my care and my values in ways that make a positive contribution?  Without clear answers, I can only listen within, follow my inner-guidance, notice what shows up, and do my best to maintain peace within along the way.

The ‘stuff’ that presents itself in daily life and business maintenance likewise presents what Joan Borysenko calls the choice “to practice stress or to practice peace”.  

Each choice is a karmic one. Moment to moment, day to day we are choosing, consciously or not, how to be in life. We are choosing whether to engage positively or negatively with life conditions. With each choice we are putting out energy that will bring back an effect. At the surface, our choices are simple. But, like so many simple things, implementation is not always easy.   Choosing to practice peace and to put out positive energy requires attention, awareness, intention and the courage to buck the world’s call to join its pity party.

This week I invite you to join me in consciously and courageously choosing peace and positivity.

   Days End - A Beautiful Sunset in the San Luis Valley

Days End - A Beautiful Sunset in the San Luis Valley

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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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