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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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Turn OFF The Sound

   Aspen Grove

Aspen Grove

One of the greatest areas of breakdowns in our society, individually and collectively, is our communication process. We honestly do not understand the basic communication procedure. … We have a way of communicating that does not communicate. We talk but we do not say what we mean. … It is true, we talk a lot and say nothing. Gregge Tiffen (Deeds Are Fruit, Words Are Leaves – October, 2008)

An unintended experiment this week has me reflecting on all the noise in our world, especially the empty words we all hear and that, sadly, most of us speak from time to time just to fill space.

Nowhere is this more evident to me than in television. Even though I mute most commercials, I find myself mindlessly watching pundits blather endlessly often making no sense. Sportscasters do the same, mixing statics, history and their biases into nonsensical run-on sentences. Noise, peace disrupting noise, (and a reason I watch so little TV).

But this week finds my beloved Houston Astros in the World Series. At the same time, I have guests here at the Dragonfly House (lovely, interesting poets from Wisconsin) who don’t share my passion for the team I once followed closely.  How could I fulfill my desire to watch the games and honor that my guests were here in part for the quiet beauty of the southern Rockies?  The obvious solution: watch without sound AND keep my cheering (and jeering) to myself.

In doing so, I discovered a most enjoyable experience (well, except for not cheering wildly when the ‘stros scored and won game 2). Turning off the sound required that I watch the screen to see what was happening. And, as the game unfolded that framed how I felt and how my body responded. I discovered a much lower, calmer level of intensity. Without the babble of the commentators to incite my nervous system, I could simply watch the game and observe my reactions to what I was seeing.

Late in the game messaging on Facebook with a Houston friend who was watching there, didn’t ramp up my adrenaline flow, even as Houston took then lost the lead and finally won the game. With this lower level of intensity, I found that I could truly enjoy watching these men perform their craft. I also happily discovered that it was relatively easy to get to sleep when the game was finally over.

My unintended experiment opened my eyes to the high cost of over-reliance on sound and demonstrated for me in a new way just how distracting the noise of the world can be.  It reminded me that some things are best enjoyed with a single sensory focus. In not allowing myself to be over-stimulated, the peace and satisfaction of the quiet hike in the mountains stayed intact as the highlight of my day.

In these days when we seem to be swimming in a sea of intense events, the experiment also offered a reminder to be self-observant and to choose carefully the quantity, quality, and sources of input and types of stimlus we allow in.  And, for all of that, I am most grateful.

   Creek Flow Contrasts

Creek Flow Contrasts

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Energy Balancing: The Power of Sound

   Blooming Sweetness in the Prickling Cacti

Blooming Sweetness in the Prickling Cacti

The work of keeping energy balance on earth, in terms of energy, is done through sound. … We are getting the effect of sound today as a result of the total sound history on this planet from its inception. That quality has left its mark on humanity as a whole, and that’s why we aren’t further along.  Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: An Honest Performance - June, 2011)

I’m blessed in my life to spend a lot of time listening. I listen to nature – the hummers are buzzing about in the early dawn this morning. I listen to Luke, a quiet creature who ‘speaks’ more through gestures except when he wants to engage another canine in play or is deep in a dream. And, I listen to people – those I host here at the Dragonfly House, coaching clients, folks whose paths I cross out and about in the community.

In the course of the past week filled with guests, clients, community I’ve heard lots. I wonder how much of what I heard contributes to keeping energy in balance. What do we/I say that makes a positive contribution to ourselves and to the energy of the planet? What might we/I want to think twice about before I give it voice?

Here’s a sampling of the many words that, to me, are positive contributions:

  • “What a lovely job the volunteers did planting flowers in town!” – acknowledgement and gratitude
  • “Thank you.” – perhaps the best words we can speak, a prayer in itself
  • “I will do that.” – determination and will
  • “I’m clear on what I need to do next.” – clarity and direction
  •  “What do you think?” – seeking input

And, some that, again to me, may contribute more to chaos than to keeping energy (individual and collective in balance):

  • Loud, disconnected chatter about what he did, thought – confusion and jarring to the system
  • “I know she will …” "I know it will ..." – declaring what another will do or how some event will transpire, which is something we can’t know
  • “They should …” – me speaking about what’s none of my business unless I choose to actively participate

I could go on, but you get the drift. We each need to take responsibility for our immediate environment and for what sounds, especially the words, we put into the environment beyond. 

This week, I invite you to listen – to yourself, to others and to engage with the commitment to add your voice in ways contribute to balancing the chaotic energy of our planet. This doesn’t mean not speaking your truth … but that’s a story for another day.

   Planting Day has finally arrived ... pots ready (check) ...

Planting Day has finally arrived ... pots ready (check) ...

   Plants ready (check), blog posted (check) ... ready, set, PLANT!

Plants ready (check), blog posted (check) ... ready, set, PLANT!

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A Sound Beginning

   Nature sculpts interesting form.

Nature sculpts interesting form.

‘And God said, …’  We now know that Planet Earth is a planet manifested by sound.  Gregge Tiffen (The Story of Infinity)

The Bible as a code book of how our planet came to be, how the planet operates, and more importantly, how we humans are to operate here is a significant contribution of Gregge Tiffen’s work after his years of intense training in the Far East followed by extensive work in human energy management.  I was blessed to know Gregge and to be a client from 1980 until his passing in 2008.

I continue to be a beneficiary of his work through his published works (you can find them here – http://www.p-systemsinc.com/publications.htm)  and recordings of the many sessions that I had with Gregge.  As my posts are about navigating life and the learning that is available on this sojourn, these are most often the source of quotes and the inspiration for them. 

Having emptied ourselves in whatever way is our custom during the Solstice and Winter Holidays, we are receptive to the new in whatever forms that may take. A new calendar year begins. Many have created goals, resolutions, and aspirations for the year ahead. It is a time of expectation and of focus.  And, first it is a time to remember that everything manifested on Planet Earth begins with sound. 

For we humans, sound most often means the spoken word.  In the midst of the chaotic babble out there in the world, perhaps we prefer to simply not speak.  Yet, our words are needed to set our course as we begin anew. Our clarity for ourselves, our courage, our conviction, and our curiosity need to be spoken as we set out on this year’s journey. This world needs our voice. And, we need the experience of learning to use that voice, sound as it is intended to be used.  After all, that is how we begin.

Whether our intention is to bring home the dog or to build a thriving business, we begin by speaking our desire clearly:  ‘Luke come.’ ‘I will build a profitable business doing work that I love.’   If our intention is health, wealth, personal peace, or adventure, play, creative expression, likewise we begin with sound. 

I’m taking this to heart as I begin this year, carefully choosing my words, both their quality and quantity. I’m aiming for ‘less is more’: fewer words and words with the qualities of clarity, conviction, curiosity, and courage.  I’m intending that my words not add to the angst and chaotic babble of the world.  For those words also represent beginnings, just not beginnings that I prefer.

What about you? What words are you speaking to begin this year?  Do your words reflect what you want to manifest in your world?  Do your words feed the world’s babble in ways that you don’t intend?  Perhaps this is a good time to invoke the old adage: ‘think twice, speak once’.

Now, let’s begin …

   More snow's coming     

More snow's coming

 

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Speak Easy

   An exclamation point in the sky reminds me that every word I speak is magnified.

An exclamation point in the sky reminds me that every word I speak is magnified.

By the very virtue that you open your mouth, there is an affect upon you.  Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: An Honest Performance - June, 2011)

It’s your honesty in attitude that controls your voice box. (Open Secrets: An Honest Performance - June, 2011)

When I’m truly honest with me and look at results and patterns that are not as much to my liking as the day above, I can find clues in words spoken without that care.  And, that’s a story for another day. http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/voice-your-power

Today is the day for that other story that I digressed to several weeks back. I do so humbly as over the past week or so I’ve noticed an old habit creep back into my way of being: a sharp tongue voiced in reaction to some little event (usually one with little obvious consequence). For the most part (though not exclusively) these little explosions are not directed toward or in response to another person. No, they’re the curses (small but intense) that come out when the hose crinkles stopping the flow of water or some other minor annoyance.

They’ve been especially abundant over the past week. I dislike how I feel about me when I utter them. And, I know deep inside that my words have an impact not just on me.  They contribute to the noise and chaos that is roaring in our culture, adding fuel to an already dangerous fire.

That’s not how I want to contribute to our world.  And, it’s certainly not the attitude I want to carry with me in my immediate environment. I notice how one creates a path to the next and the next and beyond. I feel their impact. They drain my energy and undermine my clarity as I look beyond to the places where I want to put my energy: a project for the water and sanitation board, making the Dragonfly House ready and inviting for guests, a series of webinars to reignite my coaching, loving on Cool Hand Luke and simply enjoying each and every moment of the day.

Gregge’s words appear as I read and I’m reminded of all that I know about the power and the impact of my voice.  I take a breath. Express gratitude for the awareness. And, I ask ‘now what?’ How will I use this awareness to speak easy to me, to Luke, and beyond?

   Cottonwood 'snow' on Cottonwood Creek. Ah, summer in the Sangres!

Cottonwood 'snow' on Cottonwood Creek. Ah, summer in the Sangres!

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Voice Your Power

   Sunrise over the Sangres

Sunrise over the Sangres

The use of your voice, in the simplest of conversations, activates an energy flow and an energy pattern.  Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: An Honest Performance – June, 2011)

This week I experienced a profound energy shift. When I looked back at the experience, I noticed that the shift seemed to have been activated by words I spoke in the quiet of the woods. 

I awoke the day of a scheduled appointment in a nearby town with a sense of ‘don’t go’ so strong that I couldn’t ignore it. The day before I’d had a touch of angst about going, but I set that aside (or perhaps I ignored it). I went through the litany of reasons not to cancel, including the probability that I’d pay for the appointment because I’d be cancelling so late. 

I thought of the many times in life I’ve ignored a strong pull to do or not do something, and the consequences of my ignorance. I decided that as soon as the office opened, I’d call and cancel anyway.

Decision made, Luke and I set out for our morning walk.  After a beautiful long walk in the cool morning and enjoying the sun as it rose over the mountains. As we often do, we ended our walk at the labyrinth. When I reach the center each visit, I acknowledge and give gratitude to the six directions and what I see as I turn my attention to each: the mountains of the east, the tree of the south, the valley to the west, the forest of the north, the vast sky above, the solid earth below. I did just that and felt the lightness and joy that a labyrinth walk brings as I walked the circles back to the beginning.

And, as it generally does, that lightness and peace was a part of me as we came in for breakfast.  As I began to think about the day, now a blank slate since I was cancelling the appointment, I noticed that the energy had shifted.  I felt drawn to keep the appointment, run the other errands that I do when I go to this particular town, and treat myself to lunch by the river.  I took a few breaths and checked in to be sure.  None of the foreboding sense of ‘don’t go’ remained.  I moved onward into the day as planned, one that turned out to be quite pleasant and an easy flow.

I can’t prove or perhaps even know for certain that my voice in the woods initiated the shift. But, it certainly seems that way to me. That is just how powerful we are!

I’m reminded to be mindful in all the words I speak, whether to the woods or to another or even to myself.  When I’m truly honest with me and look at results and patterns that are not as much to my liking as the day above, I can find clues in words spoken without that care.  And, that’s a story for another day.

   Luke sporting his 'summer cut' at our favorite spot on Cottonwood Creek.

Luke sporting his 'summer cut' at our favorite spot on Cottonwood Creek.

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