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YOU Are Important!

   A last bit of fall color before the snow.

A last bit of fall color before the snow.

We either recognize our importance by living an important life, as we see it, or we don’t. … Every word you have ever uttered, every move you have ever made and every thought you have ever had never dies. Gregge Tiffen (An Empty Heart Makes An Empty Purse – November, 2008)

If you don’t see your life as important, STOP. Reconsider. The Universe does not agree with you (although if you continue that point of view, the Universe will accept it and give it right back to you, magnified).

In Universal terms, terms of the flow of energy, there is no thought, word, or deed that does not matter. The Universe does not look at your thoughts, or hear the words you speak or observe the action you take and judge it (or you) as better than or less than any the thoughts, words, and deeds of anyone else.  The Universe does not compare, contrast, or choose.

The Universe receives, reflects back, and magnifies: EVERY thought from each and every one of us; EVERY word, and EVERY act.  It does so without regard to the tone of your skin, the language you speak, where or how you live, etc. The Universe doesn’t care how much money you have, how many hours you work, how much you give to others. It receives, reflects, and magnifies with no judgement.

The Universe does not categorize our thoughts, our words, or our deeds. The Universe does not care who wins the next election. Those choices are left to us and our free will to choose.  A Cherokee elder’s story to his grandson seems apropos to the power of our choices:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all.  One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."  The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?" The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Whether you see this time as one of doom and gloom or one of opportunity, the Universe will respond in kind. THAT is how important you are.

Let’s rise to the challenge of feeding the ‘good wolf’,  choosing thoughts, words, and actions out of love not fear, light not dark, abundance not lack, harmony not discord. Let’s lead where our so called ‘leaders’ don’t. We ARE that important!

   SNOW DAY! Let’s Play!!!!

SNOW DAY! Let’s Play!!!!

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To Senator Gardner

Dear Senator Gardner,

I am one of ‘those people’ to whom your majority leader referred to disparagingly this week. I am a constituent, a voter, and a very concerned citizen.

I hope that you will put country and the principles on which it was founded over partisanship as you consider the vote you will cast regarding the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

This nominee has clearly demonstrated that he does not have the qualities of impartiality or the temperament to listen with an open mind and render fair judgement. His disdain for some members of the Senate questioning him was, at best, an embarrassment. Has he demonstrated for you the qualities you would want in a judge hearing a case for a member of your family or a friend – particularly if that person happened to be a female and the issue one of gender? Many of your constituents, voters like me, have that concern for ourselves, our daughters, and our granddaughters.

We are concerned too about the volumes of information on this nominee’s background withheld not only from the public but from you, a Senator charged with ‘advising and consenting’. We are concerned about a so-called ‘investigation’ in which persons with information have not been contacted.  Surely if the other party were pulling such antics, you would be among the first to speak out.

I urge you to step forward and show yourself as a true leader in our country. You have an opportunity to lead your party and our country away from the dangerous precipice that putting this man on the highest court in the land represents. You have an opportunity to cast a vote that is clearly the will of the people, not the will of a political party that answers to the few.  I pray you will seize this opportunity to lead with courage, with care for all people, and with love for our country.

Sincerely,

Cindy Reinhardt, Constituent & Voter, Third Congressional District, Crestone, Colorado

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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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Claiming Independence and Individuality

   Individuality & Independence at Crestone's July 4th parade.

Individuality & Independence at Crestone's July 4th parade.

Dependency is a basic violation of Universal law. The Universe operates on independence. The Universe operates on individuality. It operates on separation in every shape and form. … The minute you become dependent upon anyone in any way you no longer have any power to move forward in your own pattern, in your own blueprint, and on your own behalf. You come to a halt. Gregge Tiffen (Finding Freedom: The Meaning of Independence, July, 2007)

Reflect on this for a few moments and you may come to discover a key to why we so often feel stuck and experience the frustration that accompanies that ‘stuck-ness’.

Another Independence Day has come and gone here in the USA, the 241th since a small band of visionary revolutionaries, some of whom had deep mystical understanding, declared independence and set a course for a new nation.  We’ve celebrated our freedom once again. But I’ve come to wonder if we/I really know what freedom is. Do we/I know the importance of exercising our independence? Do we/I even know how?

As I observe the political landscape, I see and hear demands for freedom. Fear that someone who is ‘different from me’ will take our freedom away is rampant.  It seems we have lost our understanding that the source of freedom and independence is not man or government. Rather, free will is our gift from the Universe. Independence is Universal law.  Dependence is a violation of that law.

And yet we have created and continue to support dependence in our systems of government, education, business. We give life to these systems when we depend on them as our source. We’ve become dependent on bosses, clients, government agencies and circumstances for our happiness and well-being.  And, in doing so, we give away our freedom, our power to choose.

When I’m deeply honest with myself, I can see dependence imbedded in personal relationships and friendships as well.  We expect others to ‘be there’ for us and we may even be dependent on them needing us as well.

It’s no wonder that the level of frustration, angst, and fear has reached revolutionary proportions. We aren’t being true to our nature. We desperately want to find our way back. So we revolt. Many lash out at the ‘powers that be’ as if they are the source. Others wisely recognize that change starts within and that responsibility is key to the exercise of freedom.

A first step in taking responsibility is the recognition that the tyranny of dependence is in part self-imposed. From that awareness we are in a position to declare our own, personal independence. I’ve discovered that ‘unlearning dependence’ requires the willingness and self-honesty to look inside to what motivates my action. When I help out a neighbor am I simply using the opportunity as expression of my best self or do I have a hidden (mostly to me) agenda to fill an unmet need?

We restore our independence by our willingness to look honestly step by step and choice by choice. We learn from experience and commitment that our independence is mostly an inside job. That job is made more challenging in a culture that fosters dependence as a means to control.  Yet, in the final analysis we and we alone are the authors of our own freedom.

NOTE – this post was originally written and posted on 7-7-2016.  It still seems apropos today as I reflect on the sad state of governance not just in the United States but in many corners of the world.  http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/breaking-the-chains-of-dependence

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Power From The Source

   Symbols abound when you walk in love and wonder.

Symbols abound when you walk in love and wonder.

To expect the Power of our Potent Force to be handed to us by some physical person, situation or experience is to deny acceptance of our own Universal Power. … If we refuse to take our proper and rightful place, it will be filled by someone or something to exert power over us. Whether we like it or not, we will have to live with the realization that we have abdicated our throne. We will have turned our potent forces over to the negative forces of the world that will use that power to keep us in bondage. We must never forget that a rightful force unused will, by the law of its own character, become a force misused.  Gregge Tiffen [Deserve Success and You Will Command It – March, 2008]

As I observe politics these days and make choices about my participation, I’m aiming to do so from my position of power. Not from anger. Not from fear. Not from impotence. Even though, from time to time, I find myself feeling them. At those times, I’m aiming to remember to go within to remind myself that true power, Universal Power, comes, not from man and the world’s systems but from Universal Source.

As I seek to understand what I observe, I wonder where and how ‘we the people’ have abdicated that Power. It seems that we must have done so to find ourselves where we are: divided in oh so many ways and continuing to believe that by force (the antithesis of power) we can control. History tells us otherwise. The illusion of control is just that, a fleeting illusion.

Force and its allies are not characteristics of the Universe.  Power and its allies (abundance, beauty, harmony, joy, peace, love, light, life) are.

While the political science major (yes, I was) in me is fascinated by current events, the ‘me’ that I’ve come to be cares more about the learning opportunities these events present. As messy as the world seems there must be gazillions. Or, as the optimist digging in a pile of manure said when asked ‘why’, “with all this sh__ there must be a pony in here somewhere”.

In the midst of all the behaviors, words, bills, policies that I find troubling – what might I learn? How do I navigate this world from my Power?

I sense we have vast opportunities to do just that: participate knowing the Source of our true Power. From that awareness and with each of us participating in our own unique ways, a different world is possible.

I’m looking for the pony. What about you?

  Snow and ice cover Cottonwood Creek today after a snow ...

Snow and ice cover Cottonwood Creek today after a snow ...

   What a difference a day makes!

What a difference a day makes!

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Resistance With LOVE!

  As the snow melts, the gentle flow of Cottonwood Creek comes to the surface.

As the snow melts, the gentle flow of Cottonwood Creek comes to the surface.

Love is long suffering and kind. Suffering does not mean endurance but rather the willingness to permit and allow the kind of person someone is. Love recognizes individuality and respects individual freedom. If I love who I am, then my love for you will include the tolerance to let you be yourself without censure or critique.  Gregge Tiffen (The Numerology of Love – February, 2007)

When fear is used to control us, love is how we rebel. Rivera Sun (The Dandelion Insurrection - http://www.riverasun.com/)

Love is the most potent, powerful force on the planet. It is a characteristic of the Universe. Love’s power can guide us to create a world of peace and plenty. And, as history shows us, love misplaced or misunderstood, begets fear, fighting and scarcity.

In forgetting that we are each created as unique individuals with our own characteristics, strengths, foibles and lessons to learn, what have we lost in terms of awareness of the individual contribution we are each here to make? Have we forgotten that EVERY ONE has THEIR story? That we are all different and we are all the same?  Even, especially perhaps, those with whom we disagree.

Across the ages, right up to this very moment our ignorance has led us to fear the ‘other’ and to engage in cruelties beyond my comprehension. And yet, in quiet, reflective moments I wonder ‘is there a line, some circumstance or event that would provoke me to physical violence?’ I pray that the answer is ‘no’, but I know that I am capable of thinking and speaking harsh words and that I can suddenly find myself in a stream of consciousness that is far afield from recognizing and respecting the individuality of those with whom I disagree. That is especially so when their decisions appear to have the ability to impact my choices, my lifestyle. I noticed that a sort of ‘how dare they …’ attitude is often what spurs me to act. 

Recognizing that this attitude is grounded, not in love, but in fear, led me to begin to explore how to pour love into the acts of resistance I choose to take. After all, why pour gasoline – acting out of fear – on a fire that is already raging? 

I hit the ‘pause’ button on taking action and realized that before joining the crowd in reacting to the latest outrage (of which there are plenty), I need to tend to my heart. It’s important to connect with what I am FOR even as I speak out against those things with which I disagree. What I am FOR is, I believe, grounded in love – justice, human rights, free speech (indeed freedom in all its forms!).  I’m aiming to engage from love.

Whether I’m signing a petition, writing a letter or email, or making a call I’m aiming to take time to infuse it with love. Love that “recognizes individuality and respects individual freedom”. Love that speaks what is true for me in the moment and, hopefully, opens the door for the other to consider. Love that opens me to other points of view – deeply, honestly.

I don’t know all the ways to make this shift, but I’m up for the learning. Whether you’re actively engaged in either ‘side’ of the current political divide or simply observing, I invite you to join me in exploring and experimenting how to pour love into your action.

One by one, let us deepen our love of self so that we can pour love into all that we do.

Give yourself a little treat and enjoy “All You Need Is Love” The Beatles:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsxtImDVMig

   Sunrise lights up the San Juan Mountains across the valley.

Sunrise lights up the San Juan Mountains across the valley.

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Practicing Gentleness

   Winter Icicles, Shadows, and More

Winter Icicles, Shadows, and More

The Universe loves you enough to agree to your request to be here now.  Gregge Tiffen (Fanned Fire and Forced Love Never Did Well – February, 2008)

Sadly, the world is not a gentle place. It seems more extreme, more violent, more ‘in your face’ than ever in my lifetime.  The pace of change in the world’s systems and its rules seems to be at warp speed. We are a nation and a world divided by these rules, who they serve, who they seem to punish. We aren’t gentle with one another or even with ourselves.

And, in the ever abundant, loving, infinite Universe, this world offers us vast opportunities for learning and growth.   I’ve been reflecting on that as I observe events triggered by political ‘leaders’ and how these events land in my experience.

I’ve come to the conclusion (duh!) that it is an important time for personal stability and clarity so that we aren’t caught up in the spin and we don’t become victims of what’s happening ‘out there’.  Yes, we are IN this world. No, we are not OF it unless we allow ourselves to be entrapped in its energy.  And, boy does the world want to entrap us as a means of control? Yes, I think so.  I’m reminding myself of these things frequently, so (spoiler alert), it’s likely to be repeated often in these weekly musings.

This week, my path to that stability is practicing gentleness although, interestingly, I didn’t start with that as my intention.  To the contrary, my plan for the week was to be a disciplined task master and ‘get things done’. 

I discovered gentleness along the way, when something happened on the way to the ‘to do’ list: a question from my coach – “What are your priorities?” Rather than trying to ‘figure that out’, I sharpened my self-observation and noticed what my daily choices were telling me.  I noticed that self-care, Luke-care, and my home environment are what matter most to me right now. 

 From that awareness, I allowed myself to experiment with different choices:

  •      longer, slower walks with Luke;
  •     taking more time to prepare and savor nourishing food;
  •      engaging in household tasks with joy and appreciation for my home;
  •      not rushing from one thing on the ‘to do’ list to the next
  •     and, more importantly, not feeling guilty about my slower pace;
  •       taking time to rest and read during the day;
  •       reading news sources rather than listening to them.
   Yea Mom!  We haven't been on this trail in a long time. Thanks!!!

Yea Mom!  We haven't been on this trail in a long time. Thanks!!!

That’s when I began to experience gentleness from within. Yes, business matters. Yes, political involvement matters. Heck, even the projects on the ‘to do’ list matter. And, their place is not at the front of the line.  They will have their time there when it’s time. That time is not now.

Now is the time for stability, clarity and gentleness to counter what the world is dishing out.  That is the foundation on which I can stand and a place where I can breathe easily with conviction and courage as the world’s craziness swirls just beyond.

This week I invite you to reflect, explore, experiment, and find your gentleness within. Bring it forth to stand confidently IN the world.  Your gentleness matters, as do you!

   A Sky Reminder of LOVE!

A Sky Reminder of LOVE!

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Count On THIS!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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A Moment in Time

   Another beautiful day dawns in the Sangres.

Another beautiful day dawns in the Sangres.

Everything we know about the Universe shows movement and change. No one thing remains the same. Planets move in their orbits never staying in the same place. On the planet, trees change leaves year-by-year, and seasons come and go. However, we work to keep our systems in society from changing, or, at the very least, try to control the change and how it manifests. We suffer the debts that society is suffering because of that very effort.  Gregge Tiffen (Finding Freedom: The Meaning of Independence Day – July, 2007)

There are many things that I could write about how ‘we work to keep our systems from changing’. Indeed, if you read between the lines of many of my posts, you’re likely to discover that theme.  Heck, sometimes it’s right on the line.

But today I simply want to mark a moment in time, a historic moment. Rather two such moments. First was the moment earlier this week when a woman was formally nominated by a major political party to serve as President of the United States of America.  The second will occur tonight when Hillary Clinton accepts that nomination.

In the loud noise of political controversy and probably far too much commentary, the significance of this shift may not be obvious. But on the tree of the emergence of feminine leadership in our world, another leaf is opening. Another glass ceiling has been shattered.

Set aside everything you’ve thought, heard, or think that you know about Hillary Clinton for just a moment. Take time to allow the event to sink in.  As events often are, this event is bigger than the person.

Without over-exaggerating it, I believe this is a big deal in the experiment we call the United States of America. The event itself represents real change despite any of her views or her past decisions aimed at just what Gregge suggests: keeping the systems from changing. 

This change is yet another moment in history that we are privileged to dance in.  What dance we will do, what we will make of it is very much up to each of us.  Will we walk away in disgust because we don’t like the music?  Or will we step up and dance, making the most of the opportunities that this, like all events, presents?

   The garden   offers a visual feast to match the bounty of our harvests.

The garden offers a visual feast to match the bounty of our harvests.

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