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Self-satisfaction

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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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There Is No Bliss In Ignorance

Morning Greetings from Venus, Moon and Jupiter

Morning Greetings from Venus, Moon and Jupiter

It is your immediate experience that provides you knowledge. Gregge Tiffen (Life – The Staircase of Many Steps – January, 2008)

 …no knowledge can be stuffed away and not have an effect in terms of the living of the individual. Gregge Tiffen quoted in P-Systems’ PS 52, Series 11, Week 19.

The familiar phrase ‘ignorance is bliss’ suggests that bliss is the absence of worry. If we know, then we worry. If we don’t know, we don’t worry and, thus we are blissful. Really?

The idea may sound nice and cozy, even a quick path to living in bliss, except it can’t stand. Ignorance is contrary to the purpose of life: acquiring knowledge that can be distilled to wisdom.

We ignore this truth to our peril personally as I suggested last week (http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/more-than-paying-attention) when I shared the result of ignoring clues indicating a problem with my wood stove. Likewise, we are witnessing the effects of ignoring facts of history, science, current events on many fronts in our world today.

In exploring the words – ignore, ignorance, ignorant – all having roots in the Latin ignoratia, not knowing, I discovered that the latter two (ignorance and ignorant) were widely used in the 1800s, but are minimally used today while the verb, ignore, was rarely used back then, but is widely used today. Hmmm. Perhaps we’re ignoring too many things that need our attention these days. Perhaps we’re paying a price for what we’ve ignored in the past. Perhaps it’s time for correction, personally and globally.

 If we’re in pursuit of personal bliss (and on some level aren’t we all?) and, if we envision a world that works for all, ignoring is not an ingredient to add, an action to take (yes, to ignore is an act, conscious or not). Questioning, researching, studying, expanding, learning, listening, exploring, thinking, along with practicing openness and curiosity are just a few ingredients that support us on the path of living a life of joy and personal satisfaction and creating a more peaceful, hospitable world that works for all.

And, what could be more blissful than that?

A Cold, Clear Morning Looking Across the San Luis Valley

A Cold, Clear Morning Looking Across the San Luis Valley

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The Season for Nurturing and Nourishment

Sunset Over Blanca Peak on a Snowy Day

Sunset Over Blanca Peak on a Snowy Day

Nourishment is real faith. ...faith in yourself … If you are ever going to get this faith healthy and growing so it’s with you all year long, then you need to nourish it. Nourishment is your awareness in the continuity of life and in the efficacy of the Universe that you can believe in. … It’s the faith that you are what you are that brings about miracles.  Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Sacred Passageways – December, 2011) 

Several days ago, I received a weekly post that began to frame my reflections for this sacred winter season.  “… aware experience” it read, “that can give each of us in our own way the body, mind and spirit knowledge to know what is worth nurturing and what can intentionally be put into compost to decompose and fertilize new growth at another time (emphasis mine).” (from the 11th week of the 11th year/series of PS 52 written by Patrece on behalf of P Systems – www.p-systems.com).

I’d received a catalyst in the form of a question to frame my own personal ‘seasonal reflections’, along with a reminder that there is no waste in the Universe. Thoughts, beliefs, habits which we release as no longer needed can be lovingly discarded to decompose over time, for they too will recompose in their own time.

Honoring this time leading up to and including the Winter Solstice in just a couple weeks, I find joy in creating a festive, yet peaceful place here at home in which to settle in and call forth questions that will lead me to identify what I want to nurture and nourish in the year ahead as well as that which no longer serves me.

  • What is faith to me?

  • What do my thoughts, words and deeds say about where I place my faith?

  • How deep is my faith in the continuity of life and the efficacy of the Universe?

  • What will support me to understand and deepen, as well as use my faith more fully?

  • What is sacred to me?

  • What is the best in me that I aim to nourish and nurture in the coming year?

Going deep within is one of winter’s gifts that is all too often rushed or even forgotten in the hectic seasonal pace set by the world. Without a clear intention to honor the season, we can find ourselves replacing this time designed by nature for nourishment and nurturing with busy-ness and mundane goal setting.  But humanity and our precious planet, along with our own well-being, need us to pause for the restoration, self-reflection, and faith on which growth, expansion, and self-satisfaction rest.  May we each in our own way do just that.

To whatever it might mean to you, in reality or symbolically, give yourself a period of time as a gift to yourself in which your faith is renewed. This gift is not faith in others or in the world around you but in yourself as the continuum of good operating in your life at all times under all circumstances. This is no myth!  Gregge Tiffen

Cool Hand Luke knows how to slow down in winter!

Cool Hand Luke knows how to slow down in winter!

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A Thread of Self-Satisfaction

From the Inside Out

From the Inside Out

You are an unquenchable flame. There is nothing you can do to yourself that will eradicate you from the Universal fabric. … Be happy with yourself. The joy you experience provides an indestructible armor against any misfortune. Your voice was meant to be a lullaby giving comfort to the weary and security to the young. You were meant to be the giver and the gift. Do not attempt to take that from yourself. It cannot be done any more than you can take the stars from the heavens. You have your place in the Universe. Accept it with grace and good humor.  Gregge Tiffen (The Journey Continues: Economical Rates of Progress - August, 2010)

What bright, cheerful thread will you weave into the fabric of life today?

All too often in life we forget to be happy. It’s easy to overlook our personal satisfaction in a world that seems ever more vitriolic, chaotic, and demanding. This week in the midst of washing windows I experienced self-satisfaction serving as a powerful motivator.

The awareness came as I was about to ‘throw in the towel’ on a project that I’d actually looked forward to doing: washing the outside of the windows my home that were splattered with residue from recent stucco work. I had the tools, plenty of time with no other pressing demands, and I’d save some money. Getting an early start, I gathered my tools, set myself up, and climbed the ladder for the first window.

Before it was complete, I began to question my DIY decision. The task was more challenging than I remembered (it’s been years since I washed the outside of windows and I’d not done them in this home). I felt a bit uneasy on the ladder, even though it was quite solidly placed. The woe is me line “I’ll never be able to do this” was coursing through my body, mind and spirit. I felt inadequate, frustrated, and ready to stop to call the local window washer.

I did stop. I took a breath. I asked myself what I wanted. The answer surprised me. Yes, I wanted clean windows. And, I wanted the satisfaction of doing the job myself. I took another breath to look beyond my feeling of failure.

In recognizing that I wanted more than clean windows and being clear that ‘more’ was the satisfaction of experiencing me doing the work, my energy shifted. I understood in a delightful new way just how motivating being satisfied with ourselves, our choices, and our actions can be. I knew too that the topic for this week’s post had revealed itself.

As I breathed new life and lightness into the project, I gave myself permission to take as long as needed to do the job well and with ease. I let go of ‘getting it done today’ and embraced not knowing how the energy and time would flow to completion. I moved from one window to the next and within a couple hours 12 of 14 were spic and span. After a bite of lunch, a rest, and a short walk with Luke, I tackled blinds and windows inside which I’d planned to do much later.

By the mid-afternoon of the second day, I’d completed the remaining two outside windows on the ground level, along with three small upstairs windows (in and out). The energy flow then carried me to other projects on my list: installing a fan in the office window, cutting insulation for several windows, and patching a water-damaged wall. 

I was reminded that this is the flow we create with clarity, awareness, and intention. I’d added a bright, cheerful thread into the fabric that is life.

Of course, there have been times when I did choose to quit. I’ve learned there is rarely, if ever, a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ decision. Rather there is an outcome and what we learn (or not) from the experience. Deciding to engage someone to do the work might have yielded an insight of equal value (and, for sure, some unused muscles that are a bit sore would be silent today).

But, had I taken that road, I would have missed the joy and satisfaction of looking out this morning knowing that I’d accomplished the ‘clean window’ task. More importantly, I would have missed adding the question ‘what will cultivate my personal satisfaction in this event?’ to how I evaluate choices in life.

What about you, what will bring you a sense of personal satisfaction today? What bright, cheerful thread will you weave into the fabric of life today?

The vast San Luis Valley and San Juan Mountains Greet Us in Early Morning.

The vast San Luis Valley and San Juan Mountains Greet Us in Early Morning.

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Consistency Need Not Be Repetition

Sunrises on Another Beautiful Day in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Sunrises on Another Beautiful Day in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

The Universe works on consistency. Gregge Tiffen (The Language of a Mystic: Change – May, 2009)

Consistent awareness brings living to life.

I’ve been thinking about consistency (and what I’d judged as my lack thereof) in terms of daily focus and action toward developing my next work in the world.  I’ve noticed resistance to getting into my office at a certain time each day, distractions and being pulled toward other activities (mostly ones that keep me outdoors in the beautiful mountain air – longer walks with Cool Hand Luke, working with and caring for plants that wintered indoors and new ones with their promise of tomatoes and pesto later in the season). And, I have a long list of other projects around the house. After all, my home is my castle.

Unlike my ‘work’ (which when it forms won’t be work at all), these tasks are clearly defined step by step activities. My ‘work’ on the other hand is forming, so there’s no clear path or plan of action yet. I’m exploring, experimenting, curious. Wait! Or am I?

Exploring and curious are easy ‘yeses’. I’m reading more than ever, journaling, and seeking out an odd, diverse array of information. But, am I really experimenting?

In the sense that everything is an experiment, yes, I’m experimenting. But, in a more focused, intentional sense – ‘let me try this and see if/how it fits into my work’ – I’m not consistent in my action. Rather, I’m seeking, searching, (hoping?) that my next work will simply magically appear.

I’d like to write ‘but, it won’t. You need to do xyz every day for 30 days … (blah, blah, blah). That’s the formula for success.’ But the truth is (for better or not) I operate differently. I know that my ‘next work’ will appear, perhaps it already has appeared, but in a form that I’m not yet prepared to embrace. Hmmm … that’s an interesting possibility. But, I digress from ‘consistency’, the topic at hand.

Beyond being pulled in other directions, I’ve held a concern that consistency breeds habit, habit breeds routine, and routine turns a blind eye to awareness. As I write that idea, my experience says it’s not true (unless I allow it). For the most part, I’m consistent without losing my awareness in many domains: weekly writing and posting this muse on Thursday mornings, daily walks with Luke, my morning journaling and reading practice, daily tasks that shift with the seasons, and daily habits of self-care.

Consistency isn’t just ‘doing’ those things. Consistency rests in the ‘how’ I’m doing them. Am I engaging with awareness or not? Am I aware of how my fingers feel on the keyboard when I write? Do I see the subtle changes of light playing on the mountains during our sunrise walks? What am I hearing, and how is that affecting my attention?

When I’m not aware, I’m inviting routine, repetition, boredom. I’m alive, but I’m not experiencing life as only life can be experienced.

In 250 weeks of writing and sharing my muse, I’ve never experienced repetition even in the routine log-ins and clicks that get these words from here on my laptop out into the world. Frustration at times, yes; but boredom, never. Although I consistently hold Thursday mornings as ‘sacred’ to write the post, the writing unfolds in different locations here at the house and in different sequence to other morning activities. Some weeks it unfolds before our morning walk in my journaling time/place. Today, I write on the back deck in the cool morning air amidst buzzing hummers under a bright blue sky.

Each morning walk is filled with new experiences, even though most summer mornings we walk the same path. Today Luke’s alert nose picks up some interesting scent. I keep a watchful eye while he explores rather than demanding he come back. Sunbeams create a visual feast on the Sangres that changes day to day. Coyotes howl at just enough distance that I allow Luke to continue to roam. I adjust my pace so that my breathing is light and easy, just how it’s meant to be.

As I come full circle, I’m aware of my consistency in an entirely new and satisfying way. Yes, I have room to improve in terms of consistent action to bring forth my work. And, I’m pretty darn consistent in ways that I never considered.  Consistent awareness brings living to life.

Color me grateful as I respond to the call of the plants reminding me that they need water and a bit of TLC.

Reminder to Mom: 'There is always something new to see, smell.'

Reminder to Mom: 'There is always something new to see, smell.'

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Awake? Or Not?

Is Awareness The Road Less Traveled?

Is Awareness The Road Less Traveled?

Have you considered that there are a lot of things you might be giving time to that are not teaching you anything? Gregge Tiffen (Pleasure Is Short, Wisdom Is Infinite – May, 2008)

When you’re truly awake, everything teaches you something.

We tend to think that life’s learning mostly comes from big events. In particular, we look for the ‘life lessons’ in problems and challenges that we face. ‘What is my learning from this illness, accident, death, being fired, fighting with my best friend?’ we ask.  And rightly so, since life’s challenges consistently come with opportunities to learn. Life’s joyful events (weddings and celebrations of all kinds come to mind) likewise hold learning for us, and not just when something goes awry.

Considering the above question in one of Gregge Tiffen’s dandy little booklets of wisdom, I came to a deeper awareness that life’s learning isn’t just in the big stuff. Every moment is an opportunity to learn … IF I’m awake, aware, and want to do so.

Everything holds the potential to inform or teach me something. From observing, reading, taking in information in any form I learn ‘about’ things. I learn ‘from’ those things when I experiment with applying what I’ve learned about. Such experiments teach me what works (and what doesn’t).

Over the years I’ve learned to be less frustrated by experiments that don’t work and more curious about how to make something work. When an attempted repair here at home doesn’t work, I aim first to understand just what is ‘broken’. With that understanding, I can look for an approach that addresses that issue.  There was a time in my life when being unsuccessful at tightening a cabinet hinge that had pulled loose would have sent me into a near tirade of self-abuse. This week, realizing that the holes were stripped, I employed two toothpicks and a bit of wood glue with little ado. A good dose of self-satisfaction followed. I’d learned a new repair tactic, and I’d experienced a touch of how I’ve grown.

When I’m awake, I’m aware of how much Cool Hand Luke teaches me about caring for another being and of how much I’ve learned about the basics of caring for a pet.  When I’m awake, I learn how my choices about investments of time, energy, and money reflect my priorities. Or, I discover that I may want to choose differently.

As I awaken to greater self-awareness, it seems that the only things I “give time to that don’t teach me anything” are things that I do without that awareness.  When I look back at what I’ve given time to this week (or any week for that matter), I realize that my choices reflected my priorities in the moment.  When I’m awake to learning, the age-old bugaboo about ‘wasting time’ is silenced. From a game or two of mahjongg solitaire on the computer, I become aware that sometimes I need a bit of distraction.  From more than a couple games, I learn that I’m bored and/or avoiding something. From witnessing violence in the news, I learn how sensitive I am. 

Indeed, I’ve learned that when I’m truly awake, everything teaches me something.

Early morning wisps.

Early morning wisps.

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52 x 4

The Joy of Breakfast!

The Joy of Breakfast!

“Speak what you think today in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson’s quote and “Welcome” were the first words of The Zone written four years ago, August 15, 2013. Hence, today marks the 208th issue. A bit of celebration and reflection are in order.

That I’ve honored my commitment to write and share each week is personally satisfying and rewarding. That you read and respond is humbling. I’m grateful for both.

In that first post, I promised to “share what I think today; offer a quote for your muse to both muse and use; and propose an experiment designed to support your journey.”  I’m batting 1000 on the first promise, quite a bit less on the weekly experiment. 

I promised to be eclectic and to share from a variety of sources, systems and doctrines. Then, somewhere along the way, I felt drawn to mostly share the work and words of Gregge Tiffen. Instead of writing, then searching for a quote to fit, I found myself reflecting on what I was observing and/or experiencing at the time. Once I found a quote that deepened my reflection or understanding, I began to use that as a starting point for the week’s message.  You can read more about Gregge and my work with him here - http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/who-in-the-world-is-gregge-tiffen?rq=Gregge%20Ti

In that first post, I declared The Zone would be “a place to explore what success means; how its meaning fits with dreams and values; what shifts may be called for; approaches for creating your personal Success Zone; and an assortment of resources for the journey.” And, that the focus was intended to be “individually and collectively reclaiming personal power, a right and responsibility that we aren’t very well prepared for in our culture … look at where we’ve abdicated power and how to gain it back through the lens of ancient mysticism, brought forward to practical application in today’s world.”  It’s in these areas that Gregge’s work shines and continues to offer guidance on my own personal journey.

These four years and ‘52 x 4’ posts have deepened my understanding of life, of nature, and of my piece of the universal puzzle. While I continue to experiment and search for the ‘hows’, I’m clear that my focus and intention in the world is as it was when I began “… supporting a shift from the ‘more is better’/’win-loose’ paradigm to the paradigm of care, compassion, cooperation, collaboration, community with abundance for all.”

Next week begins year five.  While, I can’t say what the next four years or even four weeks of posts will look like, these weekly explorations will continue with these intentions intact.

As I said at the beginning, “I want to challenge your thinking (and mine!), to poke around the edges of what’s possible, explore how nature and ancient wisdom define and guide us to success. As Emerson suggests this eclectic approach may sometimes be contradictory. Yet, that represents the diversity and flow of life.  Things change. We change.  We can reconsider and adapt. Or resist and be left behind. Always there is choice.”

Thank you for the privilege of sharing my journey with you.  Seriously, it is a privilege to land in your in-box each week. 

Experiment for the Week: Notice your energy flow. What energizes you? What drains your energy? What new choice(s) are you invited to make?

Another Beautiful Day Dawns in the Sangres

Another Beautiful Day Dawns in the Sangres

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Light In The Darkness

A New Day Dawns ... 

A New Day Dawns ... 

The Universe did not send you here to match you up with the puzzle of society. What you do with you is your contribution. … Picture what it would be like if you were at your ultimate advancement. The power vibrating from you at that point boggles the mind. It would be like a bright light in a dark room. The world as we know it today is a dark room.  Gregge Tiffen (Pleasure Is Short, Wisdom Is Infinite – May, 2008)

This quote was written in response to a question about how to contribute to the world almost a decade ago and, it rings especially true for me today. That’s the way of Universal truths. They don’t change. And, the ways in which we can apply them are infinite.

I’ve grappled with the question ‘what does the market need/want?’ throughout the 30+ years I’ve been in business. It’s ‘the’ question that comes early in every marketing ‘how to’.  No matter how the question is posed, to this day it stops me cold.  I literally freeze when I think about defining my ‘target market’ and what ‘they’ need/want? Heck, it’s a full time job knowing what I need/want. In the many courses I’ve taken over these years, I’ve guessed, faked answers or simply ignored the question.

Instead, I’ve put most of my attention on finding ways to express me in the best ways I can whether coaching, or writing, or welcoming guests to my bed & breakfast.  I want to learn to be in the world on my terms, not the world’s. That’s the only path I see to be true to me. And, if I’m not true to me, then there’s little chance I will offer any light in the darkness.

I’m not sure what my “ultimate advancement” would be like. But, when my feet hit the floor each day, using my energy to be the best expression of me I can be seems like a path worth following. And, one that puts at least a little beam of light on the path with each step I take.

Imagine the light that could be brought to this world …

Nature Doesn't Ask What The Market Needs, Yet Harmony Abounds ...

Nature Doesn't Ask What The Market Needs, Yet Harmony Abounds ...

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Life: Sandbox or Sandpaper?

Robin sings and brings new beginnings of Spring

Robin sings and brings new beginnings of Spring

As willing adults, we are able to trust, be curious, be enthused, be pleased with ourselves, and be fully generous once again. We are able to know and feel and experience the peace, joy, and love creatively produced by Mother Nature as we live in harmony with Her.  Gregge Tiffen (Mother Nature – May, 2007)

I’m feeling my childlike nature come alive as the temperatures warm, the songbirds sing songs of courtship, and the green of new growth appears on the aspens and cottonwoods. The creek is flowing more freely and swiftly, and budding cones are forming on the pines. Will I embrace new growth and life as my sandbox? Or, will I succumb to the dreary news and the ways of the world that grate like sandpaper on my soul?

The bright green of new growth as the snow melts and Cottonwood Creek flows

The bright green of new growth as the snow melts and Cottonwood Creek flows

I have children on my mind and in my heart this week. Up close and personal, my stepson’s daughter is about to celebrate completing her third year on the planet and begin her fourth. We haven’t met yet other than via the wonders of technology, yet she’s always in my heart.  That same heart aches at the suffering we humans have created for one another, especially for the children who face survival early on in life. Surely we can do better. We must.

It is the nature of a child to be trusting, curious, enthusiastic, satisfied with self, and generous. Those childlike ways of being are pure energetic qualities that we each have access to. They are the sandbox of life.

Somewhere along the way sandpaper arrived on the scene. We lost touch with our nature. Someone, maybe many, told us it was time to ‘grow up’ or ‘get serious’. They didn’t understand that life is a sandbox. Education and other systems of the world echoed this sad message.

The curious eyes of Cool Hand Luke trained on a turkey vulture high on a limb stretching to dry its wings

The curious eyes of Cool Hand Luke trained on a turkey vulture high on a limb stretching to dry its wings

But changing our nature is not the way of nature. In nature there is consistency, nurturing, and growth. From a seed in the ground a tiny sapling pushes through the earth and, through all of its years, fulfills the pattern in its seed. It keeps on being that tree through cycles, weather events, nesting birds and insects who find a home there.

In staying true to its nature, the tree invites us to do likewise – stay true to our nature as trusting, curious, enthusiastic, self-satisfied, generous beings. As humans with consciousness, awareness and free will it is our choice to do so. Or not. Moment to moment, day to day we can develop our capacity to return to the life affirming nature of our childlike ways.

We do so by accepting the care and protection of the Universe and having unwavering trust in that protection. We experiment curiously with life’s events to discover how life works (and, in the process, we discover things that don’t). We expect and allow our curiosity to nurture enthusiasm as we experiment, explore, and, yes, even when things don’t turn out as we aimed for them to. We allow ourselves to be satisfied. Even when we think we’ve fallen short, we trust that we gave it our best shot and that tomorrow will dawn anew. Finally we give what we naturally have to give – a warm smile, a hug, a word of encouragement, a helping hand, a laugh and, oh, so much more.

When we embrace life’s events as a sandbox with everything needed to build castles in the sky, the rub of sandpaper fades away and we move forward in our natural state to create the world, our world, anew.

Spring! A fertile time for bunnies, ideas, and other new growth.

Spring! A fertile time for bunnies, ideas, and other new growth.

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Cheerful Journey Inward

Snowy Trail on the Journey

Snowy Trail on the Journey

Let us look to Nature for guidance as our code book for everything we need to know or to understand. Gregge Tiffen (Tax Time: Are You Taxing Yourself? – April, 2007)

I saw my first meadowlark of the season (a Western Meadowlark for those birders among you) on April 1st (no joke!) and heard its song the following morning, a snowy one, on a hike to the Ziggurat. The cheerful song accompanied beautiful views in all directions: the Great Sand Dunes and Blanca Peak to the south, San Juan Mountains to the west, the Collegiate Peaks to the north, and, our home, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east.  The beautiful, vast San Luis Valley floor surrounded us on three sides.  Ah, nature.

The Great Sand Dunes and the vast San Luis Valley

The Great Sand Dunes and the vast San Luis Valley

This vastness is in contrast to the woods that surround us here at the Dragonfly House.  Except for a few glimpses of Crestone and Kit Carson Peaks, there’s little indication of the vastness to be seen a short walk away.  Here I see each tree, up close and personal.  I see the unique form each has taken on its journey of life. I see how shape is formed by how much light, space and moisture are available and by storms that have broken or redirected limbs.  I can gaze with contentment on a tree for a very long time, imagining its stories.

Nature speaks deeply and wisely. I wonder how deeply and wisely I’m listening.  Meadowlark reminds me to let the journey inward be a cheerful one (Ted Andrews – Animal Speak).  Much like me, meadowlark lives and stays close to the ground, home, the self.  I’m reminded to not stray too far from that which is my responsibility.

Nature reminds me that in life there is no purpose for complaint, for blame, for competition or comparison. These distractions are created by man. They separate us from our true nature and from nature herself.

I smile knowing that in my humanness I engage in such acts, even though I know that they contribute nothing to my growth or to happiness and joy. They hold no beauty, harmony or love. The smile acknowledges nature’s wisdom so much deeper than my own.  In nature I see acceptance, cooperation, and the unfolding of its blueprint as each seed falls on fertile ground.  Nature has much to teach me.

Again, I wonder how deeply and wisely I’m listening. 

Before my walk this crisp, clear morning, that was the last sentence of this week’s post. But nature held a different plan. She gently reminded me of another attribute: there is no death, no end.  Snow melts or evaporates. That’s a simple change of form. A tree ceases to add new growth and slowly rots, providing housing for many creatures before it crumbles and returns into soil. 

And, so it is with you and with me.  At some point the body ceases to function, and it changes form.  Consciousness, the soul, moves onward as well, just as it has for eons of time, if only we remembered just how long our true journey has been.

Beauty Without End. Amen!

Beauty Without End. Amen!

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