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Using These Times to Benefit YOU!

Gleaming Peaks in the Morning Light

Gleaming Peaks in the Morning Light

If there is anything you don’t want in life, it is to plateau out. You want life to challenging. You want it to give you all sorts of elements which allow you to use yourself in a variety of ways. … Humans have the opportunities to move within events and gain something from them. Gregge Tiffen Down to Earth as quoted in Open Secrets: Revealing Habits – February, 2011

Over my years of coaching I frequently heard ‘I just want to retire, stop, get out the rat race, do nothing’. I see it today in social media posts and in financial institutions advertising their services to lure people in to get to the so-called ‘good life’.  Like the side effects of drugs that seem, at least to me, to outweigh their benefits, stopping for anything other than a respite to restore is not in our interest. Doing so removes us from the flow of life and the energy of learning, our prime purpose on this sojourn.

In these, shall we say interesting times, we may find it easy to want to retreat from where the flow of life seems to be heading. For many it’s easy to fall into despair, anger, fear, overwhelm, or faithlessness when looking only at the surface of events globally. This is especially true when we forget that we are here to learn and that, indeed, we learn from the experiences provided in the events that engage us. The magnitude of those events matters not. We can learn from them all – from the ginormous life changing ones right down to our daily walks with the dog and taking care of ourselves.

Without a doubt, these are intense times. In the midst of such intensity we may forget that there is no ideal end state that we’re aiming to create (then everything will be hunky-dory) or that ‘if I just do this’ then ‘that’ suddenly everything will be okay (whatever the heck that means). 

This week I began to ask myself:

  • How are you using these intense times?

  • How do you want to use them?

  • What do you want to learn?

  • What do you want to contribute?

  • What more do you want out of this sojourn?

Questions like these bring me back to my center. That’s my purpose in reflecting on them.  I’m not aiming for enlightenment level ultimate answers, rather for a simple guidepost to my next step or two. Importantly, such questions remind me that I’m not a victim to the extremes at work in all aspects of life.

Remembering that I am an integral part of an infinite, intelligent, kind Universe moves me forward rather than into destructive patterns of thought. Coupled with remembering that I am here, now, on a brief learning journey – just one stop in the infinite journey that is my individual consciousness – puts the world in perspective. That world, crazy and hostile as it may seem, is merely the environment of the campus on this current school called ‘life’. From this place I can choose how and what I want to create and contribute.

Without a doubt, these are intense times. And, they are but a teeny, tiny blip on the infinite timeline of the Universe. Systems are crumbling and we know not what will be created in their place. Whether or not we are front and center on the lines of creating what is to come we are contributing, consciously or not, to their form and their qualities with every thought we think. Ponder on that. What are your contributions?

Icicles

Icicles

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The Blank Page

A Frosty Morning in the Sangres

A Frosty Morning in the Sangres

The blank canvas … has unlimited possibilities.  Stephanie Perkins

Touch lightly that nanosecond of time when your consciousness was released from the astral realm to the planet. Allow yourself to visit that sense of no longer being associated with the astral realm as well as not having anyone or anything identifying you here in the incarnate state yet. … the time and space of our release in consciousness to the planet is all ours and ours alone.  Patrece on behalf of P Systems (www.p-systemsinc.com)

 I feel empty, blank this morning as I attend to my commitment to create a weekly post. I don’t feel my emptiness as a burden as this Thursday morning process is one of my weekly joys. Typically, I’ve experienced or I’m in the midst of an experience that seems relevant to share as part of the process of adding to knowledge and, hopefully, distilling someday into a drop of everlasting wisdom.  A quote from Gregge Tiffen and some internal spark usually merge to guide the words that land on the page.

 This morning is different. In reflecting on events this week and reading from my stack of Gregge’s January booklets, I felt no spark, no inspiration. Blank. Page. Hmmm…

And, so I wondered: what’s had my attention this week?  I immediately knew it is the curiosity that bubbled inside me when I read the quote from Patrece above in the weekly series PS 52 that she’s been writing for over a decade.

But what can I say about this idea that we each have our very own nanosecond of time – ours and ours alone as we make our sojourn on this planet in this body? I barely grasp the concept. I can’t yet get my head around a ‘nanosecond’. And I wonder at what points in this life I’ve touched mine without awareness of doing so.  Yet, the idea seems to want to be shared, so I offer it for you to consider, explore (or even ignore).

In considering that the Universe makes no mistakes, it seems to me that, when I touch the moment of purity and clarity that is uniquely my nanosecond in time with awareness, I have the possibility of bringing my unique expressions of purity and clarity into navigating life on the planet.  And, I wonder, what possibilities would emerge if we each did the same?

 I’m setting my intention to do just that. What about you?

Making Tracks in the Woods Out Back

Making Tracks in the Woods Out Back

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Bucking the Culture Ain't Easy

Of whims and harmony ... that is our way.

Of whims and harmony ... that is our way.

In silence, man and shadow met face to face, and stopped. Aloud and clearly, breaking that old silence, Ged spoke the shadow’s name and in the same moment the shadow spoke without lips or tongue, saying the same word: ‘Ged.’ And, the two voices were one voice. … Light and darkness met, and joined, and were one.  Ursula K. LeGuin, A Wizard of Earthsea

The truth of the matter is self-honesty in all things. Gregge Tiffen, Open Secrets: The Nature of Feminine Truth (March, 2011) 

Practicing oneness requires the self-honesty acknowledge the darkness within.

Slowly the light is returning. Soon the day will be equal in its light and darkness, and the darkness will give way to more hours of light. A cycle: one of many cycles within cycles that is the natural order of the Universe.

We humans though think we know better than the order of the Universe. We create tools of separation and control: calendars, clocks, daylight savings time and build a culture that honors such tools over the wisdom of the Universe.

This week, though I sprang my clocks forward, I chose to ignore them as much as possible. As is generally my habit, I’ve risen upon waking and allowed each day to flow from there. Even with few timed commitments, I found myself noticing the time and correcting thoughts about being ‘late’ as I went about my day. The exercise reminded me how deeply imbedded ‘time’ is in our culture.

Our culture also holds ideas about how we ‘should’ use our time. Since closing the B&B, I’ve felt a strong pull, guidance if you will, to ‘read, write, connect more deeply in nature, and empty’. I’ve followed that guidance less than I’d like to admit. After all there are taxes to prepare, firewood to stack, and – oh, yeah, shouldn’t I be doing something to generate income?

But these little things (yep, in the grand scheme they are but tiny blips despite how I allow them to interfere with my peace) pale in comparison to bucking the violence that pervades our culture. Violence is monetized (and, not just by the ‘war’ machine, but also in medicine, pesticides, and more). It is deeply imbedded in our language and our history.  Sadly, our cells know much about violence.

I’d like to believe that I’m not a part of this violence. But alas, there is a mirror that, in Oneness, reflects right back to me. In that mirror I see the justifications that I claim for my own acts of violence: if I don’t kill the mice, they will …; my blood type is ‘O’ so my body needs meat; my curiosity takes me to violent movies like Black Panther and Star Wars; mosquitos carry disease (and are sooo annoying!). These are only a few of the mindful choices I make. Sometimes I squish a spider before I’ve given it a thought.  And, so it is in our culture.

Creating a new culture requires facing up to my contributions to the culture we have. Practicing oneness requires the self-honesty acknowledge the darkness within.

As I look to the courageous students who walked out of schools yesterday calling for an end to gun violence, I’m filled with encouragement for the world they envision and the world that is theirs to create. I’m proud to march with them whether in spirit or body.  And, yet I wonder if I have the will to buck my own violent habits as a contribution to ending violence on our planet? For if I don’t, how can I expect others to do the same?

This is the challenge of our oneness with all things and with one another. I am all the beauty and the light in this world.  I am also the darkness. I am That, I am.

A Hazy Mountain Morning

A Hazy Mountain Morning

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Learning Love

Finally!  Snow on the Peaks

Finally!  Snow on the Peaks

We know, deep down, that it is the greatest power on earth. Are we afraid of such power? In order to use the power of love we need to drop all facades and show ourselves as trusting, uninhibited children of a loving Universe. … Love seeks no power over the mundane. Love wants no ego aggrandizement. Love turns from hatred and bears no arms in anger. Love accepts things as equal and is never short of tolerance. … To accept love, we must change.  Gregge Tiffen (The Numerology of Love – February, 2007)

Not one effort toward love is ever lost in the record of the Universe. It goes on imprinting into the hearts of total strangers, carried like a spark into generations untold. Rivera Sun (The Dandelion Insurrection)  a story of revolutionary lovers and love-in-action transforming the landscape of their world. Find it here: http://www.riverasun.com/online…/the-dandelion-insurrection/  Or here: https://www.amazon.com/The-Dandelion-Insurrect…/…/098481325X

Earlier in the week as I was journaling about something totally different (or so I thought), I found my pen putting these words on the page:  WAR does not work. Never has. Never will. No war on drugs, cancer, poverty, on anything can ever work because victory in a battle is transitory. Only personal transformation can bring peace. Nothing is built by tearing something or someone else apart. This I know.

I wondered how it is that I ‘know’ this and found an answer, at least in part, in Gregge’s words.  My knowing comes from that place deep inside, a Universal knowing of the power of love.  In those moments of quiet by the fire, I’d touched that place.

My journaling made its way back to the initial topic. I moved on into my day. But a seed had been planted, a curiosity about the true nature of love. I felt a deeper awareness that the systems, institutions, and other of man’s creations are grounded in fear and control not love, a sense that was supported by reading I did later in the day.

This isn’t new to me, but feels rather like an opening for something new to emerge. And, it pointed to how far I’ve come, as well as to how much I have yet to learn and experience in this domain. It evoked questions to consider and experiments to be conducted:

  • What facades do I hold on to – knowingly or not – that prevent me from using the power of love?
  • How can I trust the Universe more deeply and allow that to be reflected in relating to others and to the world?
  • How can I expand my understanding and increase my capacity for tolerance?
  • What new possibilities for activism and engagement arise as I grow in my capacity to use the power of love?
  • What changes do I need to make in order to be, to accept and to express the ever-present Universal love that our world so desperately needs?

In the midst of these reflections (and caring for a lost puppy that we found in the woods – a story perhaps for another day), the amazing Rivera Sun posted the above quote yesterday, reminding me that every word we utter, every action we take lives on forever as energy in this Universe.

So let our words – especially our words of resistance and change – be grounded in the power that is love.

As Gregge Tiffen so often said, ‘the journey continues’. I hope you’ll join me from your unique path and let’s bring more ‘love power’ to the planet.

Cool Hand Luke &   long walks in the woods

Cool Hand Luke & long walks in the woods

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You Are The Universe

Bear in the 'Hood, just off the back deck

Bear in the 'Hood, just off the back deck

You have to accept the same fundamental characteristics of the Universe as yours. Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Creative Power Released – July, 2011)

This morning finds me feeling deeply into a sense of being a part of this vast, infinite Universe. The words ‘You are the Universe. The Universe is you.’ are in my head and felt in my heart, despite living a world that seems hell-bent on denying my true nature. Sometimes that world leaves me spinning as I try to make sense of it and its small, controlling, finite ways.

But then Bear, a teacher who brings forth the unconscious, visits.  Not in a dream, but in the flesh (or the fur) outside, just beyond the deck.  The world doesn't make sense in mystical terms. It can't. It won't. 

Bear helps me remember the vastness that extends infinitely, of free will regardless of circumstance, and of the qualities of this amazing Universe that we are. To define infinity is to make it finite. I am infinite. So are you.

Unlike our world which labels things ‘good’ or ‘bad’ as part of its effort to separate and control, the Universe simply IS. I am. So are you.

The Universe doesn’t compare. It doesn’t worry over whether what it does or experiences today is more/less, better/worse that yesterday, last year, or eons ago. It doesn’t compare you to me or a pine to an oak. It simply flows as ever present energy. I am that energetic flow. So are you.

The Universe IS qualities that are present as potential in each and every one of us: abundance, beauty, harmony, joy, peace, power, love, light (intelligence), and life.

I am abundance. So are you.

I am beauty. So are you.

I am harmony. So are you.

I am joy. So are you.

I am peace. So are you.

I am power. So are you.

I am love. So are you.

I am intelligence. So are you.

I am life. So are you.

Imagine a world where we have learned to step beyond our potential and more fully into who we truly are.  Imagine your world when you dare to journey on that path. From a speck of awareness that You are the Universe and the Universe is You, what’s possible? What step will I take today to live more fully into that potential?

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Front and Center

Oh what a beautiful morning!

Oh what a beautiful morning!

Whatever you have in front of you is what you have in front of you. That’s it! Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Creative Power Released – July, 2011)

The simplicity of this statement struck me as I woke from a nap and reached for one of Gregge’s booklets in search of my focus for this week’s post.  Life truly is as simple as living in the now, focused on what is in front of us – front and center.

From ancient spiritual traditions to best-selling self-help books today, this teaching is found throughout. Yet simple does not mean easy. And, hey, it seems we humans have been working on this for a very long time.

We make life complex by layering past experiences or concerns about the future (and sometimes both at the same time) onto whatever is in front of us. Over time I’ve noticed that quite often whatever I’m fretting about in my head has nothing to do with what’s in front of me at that moment.

In its infinite wisdom, the Universe does not engage in the past or the future. It doesn’t worry over what it did yesterday or even billions of years ago. Done is done. And, the Universe doesn’t fret about tomorrow or the next election. What will be, will be.

 This doesn’t mean that we don’t reflect on and learn from our past. That’s a natural and necessary ingredient for our growth and development. Likewise, it doesn’t mean that we don’t care about and put attention on the direction of our future. We give each their time. We learn. We make adjustments. At their time, each is front and center. Then we move to what’s next. With discipline and practice, we do so without the past or future successfully claiming bit parts in our present.

Pure and simple, no matter how great or how small (but, who cares about size?), the opportunity before you IS. That’s it. With full attention on THAT, take a step, then another. Leave the past in its place. Let the future unfold as it is sure to do.

P.S. In the three short hours since I penned this post, I’ve been humbled (yet again) by how easily my thoughts wander and by the vast range of that wandering. On our morning walk I caught myself revisiting an old conflict rather than fully taking in the beauty of the mountains and the sky as the sun made its way to the top of the ridge. I chuckled as I put my attention on that and bid the past adieu. A short while later as I watered the garden I noticed myself being annoyed by what needed to be done there later rather than putting attention on the water falling on the bounty.  What’s in front of me is simple. Putting my full attention there requires commitment, awareness, and vigilance. Step by step may I rise to what is front and center NOW.

When I'm present, I notice the subtle beauty of first light filtering through the woods.

When I'm present, I notice the subtle beauty of first light filtering through the woods.

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Earth Day: Harmony For The Planet Every Day

Getting Ready for Earth Day at the Dragonfly House!

Getting Ready for Earth Day at the Dragonfly House!

God is the great mysterious motivator of what we call nature, and it has been said often by philosophers, that nature is the will of God. And, I prefer to say that nature is the only body of God that we shall ever see.  Frank Lloyd Wright (quoted in Life In The World Hereafter: The Journey Continues)

Nature is intimately partnered with us in this physical experience, and that is perhaps the greatest boon of our incarnate existence, as nature is directly connected to and informed by the Universe.  Gregge Tiffen (Life In The World Hereafter: The Journey Continues, 2006)

You can knock me over, but I'll still grow up.

You can knock me over, but I'll still grow up.

I’m profoundly blessed and deeply grateful to live surrounded by nature’s beauty and bounty. I step outside my door into a veritable feast for my senses. Seeing the flow of Cottonwood Creek bringing the snowmelt from the peaks reminds me of the natural flow of life. The smell of freshness in the pines tells me that experiences in life are always new. The distinctive buzz of the season’s first hummingbird signals the joy of spring awakening. The warm touch of the sun says that coats and hats and gloves can soon be put away. With a bit of awareness and imagination, I can taste the freshness of spring.

'Scout', first hummer of the season, making sure everything is in order before the charm arrives here at their summer home.

'Scout', first hummer of the season, making sure everything is in order before the charm arrives here at their summer home.

Daily I hold the intention to live in greater harmony with nature and to hear and understand her messages more clearly.  I almost never leave home without my little camera and I never know what visual treat the flora or fauna or rocks will provide.  Sometimes I simply enjoy the beauty of what is offered. Other times I wonder and reflect on what message nature is sending. What can I learn from what I see?

Yesterday, feeling a bit of a funk and choosing not to force myself into putting energy into one of several projects on my list, Luke and I set out to wander through the woods out back. No trails to stay on. Luke followed his nose. Mom set out to let visual wonders lead the way. Our paths rarely drifted far from one another despite the denseness of the woods and our different interests.

Two Trees ... growing together, growing apart amidst the curves and tangles of life.

Two Trees ... growing together, growing apart amidst the curves and tangles of life.

Our wandering reminded me that the Universe is designed in harmony and our dominion over the Earth is to maintain and restore that harmony. With every thought, every word, every deed we are making a contribution of harmony that supports nature on the planet or of disharmony that puts nature in the position of taking action to rebalance.  Our thoughts matter. Our words matter. How we maintain our bodies, our homes and care for our pets and our plants matter.  Even how we sleep matters.  

Accepting death as a part of the natural cycle helps us harmonize with nature and ourselves.

Accepting death as a part of the natural cycle helps us harmonize with nature and ourselves.

Harmony matters. This earth day, I’m rededicating myself to my own personal harmony, within and without. What about you?

Simple Beauty ... my version of eye candy and found in every direction.

Simple Beauty ... my version of eye candy and found in every direction.

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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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Auld Lang Syne

White Christmas was NOT a dream!

White Christmas was NOT a dream!

“Give up the last year. Get rid of all those things of the mundane world. Make room for the awareness of a whole new spiritual understanding that will carry you throughout the next year.” Gregge Tiffen (The Winter Solstice: Giving To Yourself, December 2007)

“… and when you have the willingness to accept who you are, you become aware of an internal flame that burns with a fire that is unquenchable. It’s your acceptance that dispels fears and inadequacies.”  Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Sacred Passageways, December 2011)

As the year winds to a close, we tend to look back on that year, its joys, its sorrows, what we accomplished, where we may have fallen short. Hopefully our review list includes acknowledging all that we learned from the opportunities and events that life presented.

As 2016 ends, many will breathe a sigh of relief that it is finally over and a breath of hope for better days in year ahead.  Some look ahead with dread.  These are what draw our attention when we focus on the world outside of us, the world we live IN but the world we are not OF.

The world we live in seems chaotic and uncertain. It is. But within each of us is a seed of understanding who we truly are. Nurturing that seed grows our faith in our capacity to be resilient in the face of the world’s chaos.  Perhaps we need it now more than ever.

The seed of faith is within us all. It is faith not in something outside of us. Rather it is faith in who we are, each as an individual, integral part of an intelligent Universe. It is a reminder that life is so much more than we experience and observe each and every day.

As you ring in 2017, I invite you to join me in nourishing your seed of faith in the 365 days that lie ahead.

Perhaps this prayer, one of my favorites of Gregge’s writing, will support you to deepen your faith in you and in understanding just how important you are in the Universal scheme of things.

Let me never forget how important I am to the Universal Picture. Without me there would be a blank space where there should be color.

Let me understand that the challenges of life are just that and not battles. I am not out there to win or to loose, only to develop my skills as an on-going student in an omnipotent school. 

Let me understand that the difference between people is one of the wondrous realities of an infinite Universe. Giving those differences space to be is far more important than comparing them to my set of beliefs. 

Let me be proud of what I do. To whatever my hand touches, let me remind myself that it was my effort that added to the result. Perfection is not my goal. Creativity is.

Let me remind myself that most of what I take seriously about myself also qualifies for a good laugh. Let me remember to be kind to myself. Loving companions are one of life’s treats, but they are not responsible for my care. Self-kindness can heal almost any hurt. 

Let me take responsibility as a gift and not a burden. Within that effort is the grandest sense of accomplishment I could achieve. 

Let me be patient with life. Nature does not produce the flower before the roots have taken hold. If I recognize that the place I am in is the right place at the right time, it will always be the right place at the right time.  Gregge Tiffen (The Significance of Beginning, January 2007)

Add Snowy to Cordial and Cheerful.

Add Snowy to Cordial and Cheerful.

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Difficult Times

An especially beautiful sunrise over the mountains: snow, a fog bank, and sunlight in the trees

An especially beautiful sunrise over the mountains: snow, a fog bank, and sunlight in the trees

When you are in difficult situations, ask yourself what your life is trying to show you. Gregge Tiffen, Life in the World Hereafter: The Journey Continues (available from P-Systems - http://www.p-systemsinc.com/publications.htm and on amazon.com)

I wanted to title this post ‘The Most Important Question You Can Ask’, but I resist the temptation to shout what I understand to be mystical truth.  I don’t know about you, but I learn best when something comes to me understated.  I like to be surprised when some new piece of knowledge or an experience exceeds my expectations. My ‘critical eye/I’ kicks in when I experience something as less than I thought was promised.

What is true for me now however is that approaching all of life, especially difficult times, as learning opportunities is the most important shift that I have made in my 66 years of this life.

Sincerely asking the question ‘what does this event in my life want to teach me?’ with an open mind and an open heart is an elixir that helps me move from struggle and suffering to greater ease and peace.  With an attitude of genuine curiosity, I can engage in necessary actions that step-by-step often lead to inspiration and deep insight. Hidden possibilities are revealed in holding the question lightly even in the darkest of situations.

Old habits and patterns stagnated some aspect of my growth can emerge with an invitation to be released to make way for new growth.  Shedding skins and dropping leaves are two of nature’s many reminders that the way must be prepared for the new. Difficult times in our lives are like weather changes that signal the time for growth is nigh.  New growth signals our resilience and our adaptability, and it builds these strengths.

Life’s events are meant to be our teachers. We are not meant to enter them knowing what to or what the outcome will be.

They exist FOR us, for our experimentation and our learning. They are opportunities to call forth our will. Though they may bring pain, sadness, angst, even fear, life’s events –each and every one- are gifts of an omnipotent universe. That universe knows what we need on our path of learning to navigate on this planet, in this life, and beyond.

Wherever you find yourself this week, whether easy or difficult times are upon you, give yourself the gift of tapping into that omnipotence with the question: what can this event teach me?  Then, be willing to listen and to learn.

And equally beautiful in the west, a morning rainbow across the valley

And equally beautiful in the west, a morning rainbow across the valley

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