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An Avalanche of Gratitude

   Grateful Every Day to Live in this Beauty!

Grateful Every Day to Live in this Beauty!

Dear God, I sit quietly in appreciation for You as the Source of omnipotent Abundance manifested everywhere through every thing and every one. I give thanks, albeit too infrequently, to You as the Source that brings people and events into my life at exactly the right time and place. Gregge Tiffen (The Power of Giving Thanks – November, 2007) 

So begins Gregge Tiffen’s letter to God in his November, 2007 booklet, one of five years of monthly booklets, each a potent mystical musing containing guidance on navigating life on this planet from a practical metaphysical perspective.

That short opening paragraph prompted my awareness of two important things. First, give thanks more often. Heck, I aim to make gratitude a way of life. Gregge’s words also prompted deep gratitude for the people in my life.

There’s little, if any, question that evoking feelings of gratitude positively impacts our health and well-being.  A quick Google search yields hundreds of sources and studies that measure and document just that.  

Our task is to use that knowledge moment to moment, day to day, no matter what we face. Individually and collectively we need to generate avalanches of gratitude. We need to allow ourselves to be overwhelmed with gratefulness for our blessings, those that are obvious and those that may hide in disguise. We do so with practice, moment to moment, day to day.

As I reflected, I felt guided to begin making a list of the people I’m grateful for. It began something like this:

  • Cousin Marty, James Michael and his family

  • Neighbors who shared their bountiful garden harvest much of the summer

  • Another neighbor who installed insulation in the crawl space under my mudroom

  • A community member who recently said to me ‘as a woman who also lives alone, you can call me anytime, 24/7, you need help’

  • Friends who shifted their plans to have me over for dinner and brought dinner here so I could take care of an ailing Cool Hand Luke

And, on my list went, soon going beyond my local community (colleagues worldwide, activists on the front lines of change, etc.).  My avalanche of gratitude had begun. Like a tiny movement that can create an avalanche of snow and ice in the mountains, my list kept growing, leading to vast, deep, heartfelt gratefulness.

As my heart opened, my list expanded to include those who ‘push my buttons’ whether it be posting snarky comments on social media or expressing negativity in conversation. It encompassed media as well as elected officials whose words, tone, and decisions I loathe. I’m grateful for each and every one because in their aggravation of me, they push me to define my boundaries, my standards, what I will stand up for, and what I will stand in opposition to.  We are living in a time when that will become more and more important, but for today I’m simply grateful for them all. What about you? Will you add some gratitude to life today?

   Grateful for my neighborhood!

Grateful for my neighborhood!

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Earth: Our Difficult Home

   A Path In The Woods Nearby

A Path In The Woods Nearby

Planet Earth is a very difficult proving ground, training ground, and a test laboratory. The condition that affects our planet is a changeable vibration level that comes at all times as a matter of testing. Gregge Tiffen (The Journey Continues: Mysterious Investigations – October, 2010)

I doubt that I’m alone in my need to be reminded that I’ve chosen to live on a planet where life is difficult. Life on Planet Earth requires us to learn to adapt on not just one level, but three: physical, mental, and spiritual. Gregge frequently reminded clients and students at his lectures that Earth is a difficult ‘post-graduate school’ in the universe and that it’s definitely not for sissies.

I needed this reminder as I reflected on events of the past few weeks, those in my life and those I’ve observed from a distance.  For the most part, life has felt intense, ripe with opportunity to reflect, consider, and adapt. 

It’s interesting, perhaps amusing on some level, that we chose this planet to learn the art of recalibrating ourselves, yet often we cling to the familiar and the comfortable (even when it’s not so comfy). We decide what’s acceptable (or not) often with little consideration, allowing ourselves to be swayed in by the opinions of others. We experience this in our individual lives and in society as changing conditions confront us.

Some conditions such as the change of seasons here in the mountains present routine annual rituals of preparation. Moving plants indoors and splitting/stacking kindling and firewood are two of many on my fall ‘to do’ list. Physically, I get a great workout in the beautiful fall weather when it’s not too hot, not too cold. Mentally, I’m challenged to make my list, check it twice, and maintain focus. Spiritually, the change of seasons reminds me that there is order in the universe, everything in its time. The seasonal change uses my re-adjustment ‘muscles’ and keeps me tuned into the requirement to constantly adapt.

I’m grateful that I maintain this perspective. Some folks prepare (or not) for winter grudgingly, grumbling that they wish the change wouldn’t come at all. ‘How do thoughts like this contribute to climate change?’ I wonder, allowing a slight detour in my train of thought. I notice that weather conditions consistently give us the gift of adapting. Perhaps that’s why many people complain about it so often. What difference might a subtle shift to embrace changing weather conditions make in mass consciousness? Or, in our individual lives?

Severe weather events like the hurricane currently raging across the southeastern United States, test our capacity, providing greater challenges and opportunities to adapt. In their wake, lives are lost, homes destroyed or severely damaged, basic services are lost. It’s not easy, yet we humans find ways to adapt. We help one another. We move on or we rebuild. Somehow we adapt. But I wonder, what is the deeper message of these events that we need to hear and adapt to?

Beyond changing weather and extreme weather events, collectively and individually, we are being presented with intense conditions in our communities and our countries around the globe. Our willingness and our ability to adapt are being tested and they will continue to be tested. That is the nature of life on our planet.

How will we/I rise to these tests? Will we cling to, even fight for, outdated ways of how we think things should be? Will I? Or, will we open ourselves to new thinking, new ways to call forth long-held ideals of justice, equality, fairness, and basic human decency? Will I?

   Snow on the Peaks and a Morning Glimpse of the Great Sand Dunes just above the treetops.

Snow on the Peaks and a Morning Glimpse of the Great Sand Dunes just above the treetops.


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Novel Experiences

   When a tree falls in the woods …

When a tree falls in the woods …

Your body is always looking at the planet through its five physical senses. It never looks beyond the planet. It looks at physical action only. … You find living here easier and a lot more fun when you respond to the planet and nature as you are designed to do. You understand that experience is here to increase your awareness at a certain point and for a certain reason. Gregge Tiffen (Learning Without Experience Is A Bell Without a Clapper – September, 2008)

 If the only prayer you said was ‘thank you’, that would be enough. Meister Eckhart

 It’s often said ‘the reason is love’. In this week of two ‘novel’ experiences, my reason is gratitude, feeling grateful and expressing my thanks.

The two experiences were vastly different, each novel in its own way. The first was a project occurring over several days with concentrated focus for a few hours each day. It was planned and orderly with the beginning, purpose and completion clearly defined at the outset. The second experience was an event that occurred instantly, no advance planning and ending in less than a minute.

 The project was ‘novel’ because I was reviewing the manuscript of a yet to be published novel. The event was novel because it was a first for me: a tree falling in the woods within arm’s-length of where I was standing. Only in hindsight do I connect them beyond the word ‘novel’. Upon reflection, I see how each brought me to gratitude.

 The project, being a beta reader for the forthcoming sequel to Rivera Sun’s fabulous novel, The Way Between, brought to awareness my gratitude for writers and activists who, like Rivera, are on the ‘front lines’ of change, working tirelessly to manifest social justice, equality, and non-violence in these times lacking all three. I’m grateful too for the opportunity to support this work doing something that I enjoy.

 The falling tree gifted me with an instant of simultaneously not knowing whether Luke and I would be alive in the next moment AND absolutely trusting that we would.

The adventure started with an afternoon break, heading out for a short hike on a beautiful, calm afternoon.  We’d reached our ‘turn-around’ point and were about to head back down the trail when I heard the unmistakable (though I’d never heard it before) sound of a tree cracking, breaking, about to fall. With no time to think, I made and executed two snap decisions – don’t call Luke and get face-down on the ground. In the next instant, I felt a thud as the tree hit the ground. Realizing that it hadn’t hit me, I called for Luke. He appeared quickly, a bit shaken (heck, we both were!), but otherwise just fine.  

 “Thank you!” I repeated several times, thinking in that moment only that both of us were safe. But as we walked back – on a road, not the trail - my shakiness gave way to a deeper, expansive gratitude. I felt gratitude to be alive in this body, on this planet, at this time, as well as gratitude for all life in all forms, formlessness, and infinity.  

 This week and beyond, may I not forget gratitude. May I feel it, and remember to say a heartfelt ‘thanks’.

   Coming Soon to a Bookseller Near YOU …

Coming Soon to a Bookseller Near YOU …

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Magical Morning Moments

   Morning Magic over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Morning Magic over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

A cycle that is finished is finished. What is done is done. You cannot go back and change one element of it.  Gregge Tiffen (The Winter Solstice: Giving To Yourself – December, 2007)

This morning just as I was about to settle in with my tea, journal, and a nice fire going, I glanced outside and saw the beginning of a brilliant pink sky. It gently invited me out to see the beauty unfold and to feel the chill of a 20 degree morning in the air.  So, camera in hand, out I went to watch the show.

Such pink and orange morning moments don’t last long. Their cycle is short. Like our children and our cuddly puppies who all too quickly grow up, the sky transforms into a mature day, open to discover whether it will be clear or if clouds will form to bring forth needed moisture to the earth below.

Raven flies high as the color begins to fade, a reminder of magic, shapeshifting, and creation in its many forms.  Raven’s cycle of power (Ted Andrews, Animal Speak) is the Winter Solstice.  I’ve already begun to think about the Solstice.  I wonder how I will celebrate the end of this cycle. I ask myself what remains undone in this cycle that seeks completion before the cycle is done.

I know the importance of recognizing that ‘what is done IS done’. I cherish the truth in that.

As one cycle ends, another is sure to begin as it has throughout all time. And, that’s a post for another day.

  Morning Magic in the Woods

Morning Magic in the Woods

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Points of Reflection

   Flowing Reflections

Flowing Reflections

In principle, ideas, people, and events reflect back to you, according to your individualized consciousness, through the life you live. … The benefits you derive in life are the influence of frequency vibrations. The idea is to erase limitations through new points of reflection. Gregge Tiffen (Echo - September, 2010 in The Collected Works of Gregge Tiffen)

With a break of several days between having guests here at the Dragonfly House, I turned my attention to other things. Beyond the personal satisfaction of beginning to work through that list, I discovered a deeper understanding of the universal law of reflection, especially the power of new information and insight when used as points of reflection with awareness.

We each have some understanding that major life changes – new careers, new jobs, new relationships, changes in any one of these, moving, marriage, death, birth – create new points of reflection. We observe. We learn. We adapt to the new. We fight change or we embrace it. When we resist, we create struggle and stress. When we embrace an event as a learning opportunity, we create greater ease and flow – yes, even in the most challenging situations.

I notice that in my reactions to the world. For example, what do I experience when hearing the words and tone thrown recklessly out by politicians and further stoked by media reporting. When I observe with curiosity (What is this saying about the world? What can I learn about how the world works? What do I need to know about this to inform my choices?) I hold the possibility of learning something new and useful for my life. But, when I watch for entertainment or to be distracted or with no sense of why I’m watching I find myself agitated (or worse).

Do I have new information, insight, or a new point of reflection that may be useful? Or, am I taking in garbage (and we know the output from that!).  Either answer provides valuable insight a presents a pivot point to shift. So don’t go shaming on yourself for going through the garbage. Take a moment to consider what you’re looking for. Then decide the best place to find it.

Among the things I’m attending to this week are health – both mine and Luke’s. (We’re both fine, but the change of seasons is presenting some symptoms that I felt deserve attention.) In the process I’ve discovered new information for each of us that resonated as accurate and useful – new points of reflection to support us both.

Points of reflection can drag us down, or they can lift us up. They can provide magical insights that protect, heal, and spur our growth. Points of reflection are abundant. Anytime can be harvest time. We simply have to wake up and see the rich potential in whatever is in front of us. But, harvest with care. Like mushrooms, some varieties can be hazardous to your health.

   Moon, Blue Sky, and Leaves Ready to Fall

Moon, Blue Sky, and Leaves Ready to Fall

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