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Resiliency

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Knowing

Broken …

Broken …

‘Knowing’ – This piece is about trusting, trusting that you can find peace within the storm. Deana Fisher Wilfong

…completion. An aspect of knowledge is now a part of you to such an extent that nothing can diminish it or be added to it. … Completion is the natural progression of the planet established out of the characteristics of the planet. Gregge Tiffen, The Language of a Mystic: Completion – September, 2009

Nine years or so ago, I purchased a beautiful sculpture at a local charity fundraiser. I’d come to know the artist shortly after moving here and often admired her work in our local cooperative artisans gallery. I fantasized that when I ‘won the lottery’ I’d purchase a Wilfong sculpture.

I didn’t win the lottery, but the stars aligned the evening of the fundraiser and ‘Knowing’ came home with me. She was beautiful in so many ways: sensuous yet strong, soft yet rugged, a bit sassy, mystical, perfectly imperfect in reflecting a deep sense of ‘Knowing’. The artist’s statement of the piece’s meaning spoke deeply to me, a reflection of my soul’s conviction about trust.

And, Wilfong’s description of the firing process (15 days in the beauty of the New Mexico desert, including 7 days  in a kiln reaching 2419 degrees Fahrenheit with constant attention), the teamwork and trust required enhanced my sense of the deeper meaning as I contemplated the sculpture from time to time. Noticing her in my home always reminded me to trust.

One evening several years later in the midst of some excited human and canine play, ‘Knowing’ toppled to the floor, breaking into three pieces, a few small shards and a bit of dust.  I don’t recall, but I probably cried.

Broken …

Broken …

I packed her away in a box. I had no idea of what to do, yet I was committed to saving her from the landfill.

Months later I mustered the courage to tell the artist what had happened. She assured me that repair was possible and that she’d even help. We didn’t make that happen right away, and, after a while, ‘Knowing’s’ repair slipped from my awareness as I moved, settled in a new home, and engaged in life. Several years passed.

Then, one day last year I pulled the box off the shelf and contemplated bringing ‘Knowing’ back to life. The artist instructed me on the materials needed and encouraged me to do the repair solo. “Don’t try to hide the repair,” she said, even suggesting that I might paint the seams gold.

Over the next several months, stretching into a year, I started the process several times, testing the material, yet not feeling quite ready. Sometimes a life event came along that took my attention away. But I didn’t pack ‘Knowing’ away. Her pieces lay patiently in full sight on a shelf in my office.

Finally, a few weeks back, I knew it was time. I was ready. I prepared the repair mixture and put the two larger pieces together. They didn’t look or feel right. And, they weren’t staying together. Hmm … Life is like that, we finally dive in to make things right, then something doesn’t quite fit. I realized that I’d started late in the day. The lighting was poor, and I was more tired than focused. I cleaned the pieces and decided to start fresh the next morning with fresh material and better light.

As I worked, I thought about events in life that sometimes seem to break us. Resilient beings that we are, we put the pieces together and begin anew. We carry those life experiences in our cells. They are a part of us.

With that insight, I decided not to paint the repair seam gold. I liked how the new material blended with the original and thought the seam would be the perfect place to use the small shards and ceramic dust. ‘Knowing’ now carries them with her.

I waited a few days to repeat the process, this time, to attach the head. Smaller and more intricate, I found myself wanting to hide the repair. But, ‘Knowing’ would have none of that. She was delighted to be coming back, a reminder of the beauty in bouncing back from life’s curve balls. She guided me to make the seam thick, like an adorning necklace, and to add something new. A small shard of flint, found by a friend on a recent hike and beautifully matching ‘Knowing’s’ color palette, was perfect.

At long last, I embraced the sweet satisfaction of successful completion and acknowledged the learning that had come along the way. Through our journey to completion, ‘Knowing’ reminded me that every event in life adds to our knowledge. While, as Gregge Tiffen suggests, that knowledge cannot be diminished nor taken away, it is up to each of us to tap into it, use it, and keep that knowledge in our awareness.

Indeed, the completion we experience sets the stage for another cycle in the natural progression of life. Onward!

‘Knowing’

‘Knowing’

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Buoy Your Buoyancy

Stormy Weather - A Bit of Blessed Snow

Stormy Weather - A Bit of Blessed Snow

If you realize that your strength is in knowledge, which is your experience and the resiliency of your consciousness, no one can affect you. Not even the Universe can diminish that one whit.  Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Mystical Longings)

Let us strengthen our resolve to bring the natural resilience of consciousness into our lives – moment to moment, step by step, each and every day.

In a world that seems hell bent on destruction, some days it seems hard to stay afloat. We need to buoy our spirits to operate above the fray of negativity that encompasses the world.  We need buoys to mark our way in the chaos that constantly tries to pull us off course – our individual path of learning, experimentation, and personal development.  Let us strengthen our resolve to bring the natural resilience of consciousness into our lives – moment to moment, step by step, each and every day.

As a result of experiencing a lingering ‘bug’ that zapped my energy for a couple weeks and prompted by a discussion about resiliency in a weekly publication I receive, I’ve been reflecting on the foundations of resilience and how to strengthen it – physically and energetically.

In that exploration I discovered three interconnected keys: health, habits, and beliefs.  When one key is shaky, calling forth another stabilizes and strengthens. Failure to use one key to buoy the others weakens my capacity to bounce back and navigate life with at least a modicum of grace and ease (translation: I’m neither tolerant nor tolerable, so best I snuggle under the covers until I recoup and can regroup).  I don’t know about you, but sometimes that’s simply the best I can do.

Being resilient after all doesn’t mean perfection or even unreasonable self-expectation. We are human. We are navigating a world swimming in chaos and negativity. Most of us have a ‘bad’ day now and then. When we’re resilient, ‘bad’ days are rare. We don’t get stuck in the energies of apathy, anger, fear or conflict.  We take responsibility. We don’t blame.

Being resilient requires health, the energy and commitment to engage in habits that increase our capacity to bounce back. Habits or practices of self-care strengthen health. Habits of thought strengthen our beliefs. Each action we take and every thought we entertain either builds our resilience or contributes to its (and our) destruction.

Resilience requires resolve, a clear purpose to stand firm on our convictions as we encounter life’s challenges. Our capacity to recover quickly asks that we be mindful of what we are receptive to, to close the gates to sources that feed despair, and to seek out those that uplift our spirits. This doesn’t mean being ignorant of what’s happening in the world, for we do live in it. Resilience invites us to learn to be ‘in’ the world without being ‘of’ it.

The universe has given us the opportunity to tap into the natural resiliency of consciousness.  Maintaining our physical health, along with the health of our habits and beliefs supports that resiliency and strengthens our capacity to navigate life with clarity, awareness and choice. 

And, Beyond the Stormy Weather ...

And, Beyond the Stormy Weather ...

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What The World Needs Now

A few of my favorite things -- Cool Hand Luke, Cottonwood Creek, and a beautiful crisp morning!

A few of my favorite things -- Cool Hand Luke, Cottonwood Creek, and a beautiful crisp morning!

What the world needs now is love, sweet love… (lyrics by Hal David, music by Burt Bacharach)

Without our faith in the unseen, the reality becomes too overwhelming, too horrible to bear. It is from the unseen that we draw the courage to deal with the reality that confronts us. (Gregge Tiffen – It’s Springtime: Flow With The Power of Nature – March, 2007)

What the world needs now IS love, the vibration of love from every being on the planet.  Love is a characteristic of the Universe. With love come the other Universal characteristics: abundance, beauty, harmony, joy, light (intelligence), life, peace, and power. The world needs these as its foundation.  We need them in order to navigate that world.

This week I’m struck by the level of despair that I’ve heard in listening to the world: to news reports, to Facebook posts, to conversations with others.  With all my heart, I beg you: DENY DESPAIR.  Yes, I know that in the view of many, the world as we know it is falling apart. Change is upon us. Our opportunity is to be the love on which a new foundation can be built.

Allowing despair and any other members of the family of fear to take hold of your being is just what the world would like. Despair, you see, leads to abdication. And, that is how the world controls. As contemporary author and activist Rivera Sun says in The Dandelion Insurrection, “When fear is used to control us, love is how we rebel.”

I want change to be grounded in love, not in fear. And, since I have no control over others, it seems that my job is to muster all the love, the harmony, the light that I can in my own walk through this world.  I notice that it’s easy for me to get caught up in the drama that seems to be the world today. Yet I want to stay informed.

In reflecting on how to do so, I was reminded by something my coach wrote this week that we have two eyes – one to focus on the world, the other to focus on the Universe. I have two ears as well. Perhaps the same applies. Listen to the world with one. Listen to the Universe with the other.

For certain I need an antidote to what I see and hear when I look at/listen to the world. For me, the Universe offers just that in the form of nature and, perhaps more important, quiet time to listen to the small, still voice inside.  I also find inspired places in the world to explore: art, inspirational writing, and music to name a few. Then, I can see and hear the world from a different perspective. This I know. And this I am learning to apply and to practice.

What about you? Are your ‘sources’ of input only from the world’s chaos? Or are you giving equal time to the Universe so that you can find and contribute the love that our world so needs?  

May we have the clarity and flow of a mountain stream.

May we have the clarity and flow of a mountain stream.

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