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Strike!

Day breaks in the woods out back.

Day breaks in the woods out back.

So many of us believe that we’re impotent when it comes to solving the larger problems of the world. Yet there is nothing impotent about the human mind. Even if you’re not the type of person to write letters or join protests, if you feel deeply about an issue, you can dedicate a period of time every day – five or ten minutes, sixty seconds even – when you sit still and send out your objections in a thought process. Then hold in your mind a feeling of appreciation of, respect for, and harmony with the Earth. Gregge Tiffen (Life in the World Hereafter - The Journey Continues)

I started to do something, take action, try to make a difference instead of sitting in despair. That changed my life. It gives your life meaning... To know you can have impact, it makes you feel a lot better. Greta Thunberg

Among other reflections, experiments and adventures this week, I’ve continued to consider how I will cooperate more fully with Mother Earth.  I started to write ‘how can I’, but that’s a cop-out. There are unlimited ways that I ‘can’, but what ‘will’ I do gets to the heart of the matter.

‘What will I do?’ is a question for each of us to ask. It matters not how big or how small our actions are. EVERY action we take, EVERY thought we think matters.

While Gregge Tiffen imparts the wisdom of the ages, Greta Thunberg inspires with her youthful caring and wisdom. She’s turned despair, fear, and anger into love in action. Listen! I chuckle as I notice that both share the initials GT. Then, I return to what really matters: their calls to action. And, to the Global Climate Strike, a focused week of action beginning tomorrow, September 20, 2019, and continuing across the globe through September 27.

How will I honor, not the event as an event, but the heart (and the future) of these young people, who are boldly challenging the establishment (and each of us enabling that establishment) to take action?

The nearest climate action event is some 60 miles away, so it would be quite incongruent to drive 120 miles to participate. I don’t have a ‘job’ and I’m not in school, thus I can’t walk out. So, how will I strike?

I begin to design my actions, starting with Day 1, September 20. I’ll unplug from all electronic connection for the day (no email, no Facebook, no phone).  I’ll spend time (at least two hours) in the woods out back, listening to the trees, the rocks, the land. I’ll thank the Earth.  I’ll return to reading Charles Eisenstein’s Climate: A New Story. I won’t shop or engage in any business activity. So far, it’s a pretty easy list. I add that I’ll eat raw (no cooking on the gas stove), and I’ll turn in when the sun sets.

Then, as I decide that I won’t use the car, I remember a physical therapy appointment scheduled weeks ago. I find myself face to face with how my schedule, my habits, my consumption, conflict with my desire to participate and to be more collaborative with the Earth. I’m reminded again that my choices contribute to Mother Earth’s stress. EVERY thing matters. We hit such conflicts whenever we aim to change. They are the places that can stop us, and the places where we get to choose what we value most.

In this case, I choose my health and well-being. I recognize that today, it’s a conscious choice, while most days I choose based on habit and convenience and with little awareness. I wonder about possibilities for future choices that honor both my well-being and the planet.

I’ll add this to my reflections in the week ahead. I’ll spend time each day reflecting on my commitment to collaborate with Mother Earth. I’ll find more places to shift, where I ‘will’ act. I’ll participate virtually in this event created by Listening to the Earth [Listening to the earth meditation] just before the UN Climate Summit begins. You can learn more about this group here.

Most of all, I’ll aim to make choices with greater awareness, doing my best to mitigate the negative impact and expand the positive.  However you strike (or not), hold in your mind a feeling of appreciation of, respect for, and harmony with the Earth. That’s a positive contribution no matter what other choices we make.

Grateful for the water, the trees, the rocks, the sky … the beauty along the Arkansas River

Grateful for the water, the trees, the rocks, the sky … the beauty along the Arkansas River


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Will (Continuing the Exploration)

Early Morning Sun on the Great Sand Dunes

Early Morning Sun on the Great Sand Dunes

There can be no exercise of will when there is fear. Gregge Tiffen (The Language of a Mystic: Awareness – July, 2009)

 When fear is used to control us, love is how we rebel. Rivera Sun (The Dandelion Insurrection : Love and Revolution)

 Last week’s musing about exercising will (http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/the-will-to-choose), coupled with an ongoing challenging personal situation, has kept ‘will’ in the forefront of my curiosity this week. As the time came to think about what I wanted to share, I reached back to previous posts and landed on one from 2017 that seems apropos both to decisions that are in front of me and to the world we are each participants in.  The essence is we must not be fearful.  And, the post in full is shared below.

 As the month that we in the U.S. celebrate ‘independence’ comes to a close and as I observe the chaos of our current public discourse, I’ve been thinking about the source of freedom and about what stands in the way of creating new systems that are true to that source.

 Freedom, justice, equality – key principles and qualities upon which the United States was founded – cannot be sustained where fear is present. And, today we live in a culture of fear – overt and covert. I see fear in the reactionary systems aimed at controlling ‘the other’. And, I see these systems breaking down. These breakdowns can feed fear as well where we have not made peace with the idea of not knowing. The tighter we grasp to save them, the faster systems move to their breaking points. Many are fearful of what lies beyond. We see this throughout our culture, not only in the U.S. but around the globe.

 When fear is present we lose our ability to think clearly and to recognize the reality of the conditions that are present. We defer to the will of others. Yet, one by one, step by step (with some stumbles along the way) we are waking to realize that free will is not granted (and, thus cannot be taken away) by government (or any person or system). Free will and the will to use it are gifts from the Universe. These gifts are our opportunity to discover the unique ‘I’ that each of us is as an individual cell of the infinite Universal whole.

 And, from our individual journeys of discovery, collectively we hold the opportunity, the potential to advance freedom, justice, equality for all.  Free will is a gift that grows when exercised and nurtured with love. Not gushy, ‘roses are red’ romantic love (though that is one form of expression) but love without conditions; love that is curious, thoughtful, and pure.

We make countless choices daily, each an opportunity to choose whether to exercise our will or to submit to the will of some other. Fear is what stands in the way of consistently exercising our will.

When I reflect on the chaotic conditions throughout the world, I see a world that has lost the moral compass of free will and uses fear in an effort to control. That approach doesn’t seem to be working so well. History teaches us that revolution based on fear may change conditions on the surface, but that any change will be temporary.

Lasting change in our systems will come – indeed IS coming – from those with the courage and grit to move beyond their fear and to act from a deep knowing that the source of free will is not any government or system or person. They recognize that free will is entrusted equally in each and every one by an infinite Universe.

Up close and personal, perhaps it’s time for each of us to take a look at our own exercise of will. In that spirit, I’m asking myself these questions: Where is my will lacking? What fear(s) have me (knowingly or not) defer to the will of others? What is possible when I surrender my fear, remembering my source is not the world but the infinite Universe of which this world is just a tiny part?

Early Morning in the Woods

Early Morning in the Woods

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The Will to Choose

Early morning moon over the San Luis Valley

Early morning moon over the San Luis Valley

… will is developed out of the analytical process through which you begin to understand what you want to do with your consciousness at any given point in your experience. Gregge Tiffen (The Language of a Mystic: Awareness – July, 2009)

Will I or will I not? Do I want to? Or, not? Such is the seesaw I’ve ridden this week over what I assess should be a simple decision.

I’ve made far bigger and seemingly more consequential decisions in my life with much less vacillation and much more clarity. What was stopping me? Or better asked: how was I stopping myself?

In the back and forth of my pros and cons, I’d missed a step, an important, perhaps the important question: What do I want to do with my consciousness?  Above and beyond ‘do I want to?’ ‘do I need to?’ ‘what is the cost?’ questions, I wasn’t analyzing the choice from the perspective of my consciousness, the potential to learn and grow.

I wasn’t considering the bigger picture of flow and opportunity that is ongoing in the pure nature of consciousness. I’d forgotten to apply a fundamental truth: consciousness doesn’t discern right or wrong in our choices, it only moves to the next sequential step.

When I framed the decision in terms of how I wanted to engage my consciousness, I began to feel a shift, lightness, accompanied by a willingness to look more deeply. I had a sense of opportunity and possibility. After steering myself away from attaching to a particular outcome, I took a deeper dive. I wanted to know what was in the way of making this choice, of exercising my will and moving on, letting the chips fall where they may whatever my decision.

On that dive I found a couple of related emotions: fear and sadness. I feared that what I might discover by participating would evoke sadness. At the same time, I feared that if I didn’t participate, I would miss an opportunity to discover something new about myself, about life. Or worse, that I would put myself out of sync with the flow of energy.

I was clear that saying ‘yes’ was the path I wanted to choose, but I hesitated … not vacillating all the way back to ‘no’ but honoring a niggle of doubt that wanted to be heard. Another dive revealed that I wanted a guarantee about the outcome. What? That one again! I thought THAT was conquered. Where have you gone curiosity? Re-enter please!

And, so my answer is YES!  I’m trusting that my indecision was just a part of the path to evoking divine timing and not a delay that upsets an unfolding cycle.  Consciousness and will exercised and engaged. Curiosity restored. Onward!

Cool Hand Luke loves being out  early as the sun peeks over the peaks!

Cool Hand Luke loves being out early as the sun peeks over the peaks!


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Three Legs of the Stool of Life

Warm, spring weather gives way to snow …

Warm, spring weather gives way to snow …

Freedom awaits on the other side of self-awareness and self-love. (Rev. Jane Beach - Science of Mind Magazine, Daily Guide for April 5, 2019)

These words caught my attention one morning last week as I read the SOM Daily Guide, part of my morning ritual.  They’ve stayed with me, aligned as they are with my beliefs and understanding about their importance to living a good life. Yet, despite that alignment, I sensed something to be missing. A solid stool needs three legs.

I hadn’t given the idea much thought until this morning as I began to put attention on this week’s post. What’s been my focus this week? What’s had my attention? The answer came quickly: self-care and rest.

 As I generally do on blog day, I opened one of Gregge Tiffen’s booklets to see what would catch my attention as a starting point. I opened it to the last page.

The spiritual purpose of sleep is to refurbish in order for you to create. … Life responds to you! (Gregge Tiffen - The Language of a Mystic: Application – April, 2009)

Hmm, I thought as I turned to the preceding page.

Ask your body what it needs in terms of stamina and maintenance. (Gregge Tiffen - The Language of a Mystic: Application – April, 2009)

Although I knew this post would flow from what I’d read, I didn’t sense the direction. I felt empty and tired so I set aside my journal, curled up and dozed in and out of awareness and with a sense of going deep within.

When I woke a short while later, I gulped. Self-honesty was the missing ingredient that I’d sensed. For some time I’ve ignored the awareness that my body will be healthier and happier if I eliminate sugar from my diet.

Honesty has become a premium in our time. Self-honesty has become like a lode of uranium. To the person who is willing to dig for it and carry it to the surface, the life rewards are abundant. (Gregge Tiffen - The Journey Continues: The Legacy for Generations – November, 2010)

I want a strong, healthy body, and I love chocolate.  The internal conversation around sugar is the same I experienced more than three decades ago when I (finally) quit smoking: I want to stop, but … I want to be healthy, but …. I discovered that the truth was I only desired to ‘want to stop’.

I needed to shift: from ‘wanting to want to stop’ to truly desiring to do so. Making that shift gave me the clarity to prioritize my health and to honor the request of my precious (and at that time precocious) young step-son who clearly saw the hypocrisy of smoking while saying and doing other things to be healthy.

In hindsight, I see how the three legs of self-awareness, self-love, and self-honesty were at play in coming to that choice. From that awareness and the dose of self-honesty that fell in my lap this morning, can I summon the self-love to fuel my will and honor what my body so clearly needs? Will I stop the game I’ll stop when _____ (this batch of cookies is eaten, this chocolate bar is gone)? Will I leap from ‘wanting to want to stop’ to ‘truly desiring  eliminating sugar’?

What are you ‘wanting to want to’ do or to stop? Are you ready to join me in making the leap?

Interesting shapes  naturally mark this trail in the woods.

Interesting shapes naturally mark this trail in the woods.

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Facing Fear, Exercising Will

From a distance of 12 miles or so, the fire looks like an afternoon rainstorm. It's not.

From a distance of 12 miles or so, the fire looks like an afternoon rainstorm. It's not.

There can be no exercise of will when there is fear. Fear traps you …  If you ignore your fear there is no way for you to activate your will … You cannot afford to go through life fear oriented. You will not be in control of yourself and your life. …You operate beyond negativity when you are in control of you and not attempting to control conditions. Gregge Tiffen (The Language of a Mystic: Awareness – July, 2009)

I’m in the midst of facing a long running, perhaps life-long, fear at a new deeper level: fire and possibility of my home being destroyed as a result.  I’m prepared to take any action required as events warrant (and I’ve kept a ‘go kit’ and prep lists at the ready for several years). But this week I experienced a lack of readiness to exercise my will to be calm and positive. I found myself on the edge of a feeding frenzy of fear, and I don’t want to step over the edge or into the frenzy. Yet, I know that our safety requires keeping informed and being vigilant. Let the dance with self begin.

I needed to step back, breathe, and look within. I needed to face the fear beyond the level of physical preparation. I needed to remember who I am and what I believe. Beyond remembering the crippling and negative impact of fear, I needed to remember consciousness, that part of me beyond the physical.

We live in an ocean of consciousness that is boundless. All things in the ocean have available to them the same things. All of love, happiness, and freedom are available in the ocean of consciousness. … Your consciousness is connected to the Universe is the Universe! G.Tiffen

Beyond remembering, I now need to let that knowing sink into my being. Simply being present to my own senses and keeping abreast of relevant information about the nearby Spring Fire is providing daily practice in doing just that.

We’re not in any immediate danger. As the crow flies, the fire that has raged for eight days and as of yesterday has burned over 95,000 acres is 30-40 miles away. But pillars of smoke are visible daily just beyond the mountains to the south. This morning there is a thick haze over the peaks here. Peaks to the south and west are totally obscured. Overnight I heard doors and windows rattle as strong winds blew smoke into our community. I smell the smoke, and I feel the heaviness when I step outside. At times this week, I’ve tasted fear – my own and the fear I witness in others.

My senses remind me to be observant and to tap into the energy flow of consciousness, directing my own energy to operate naturally and easily no matter what – that’s a full time job in itself.

In the midst of readiness and awareness, this seems to be a time for extra kindness to myself and others, for listening, and for responding to opportunities to serve. It’s also a time to imagine gentle rains falling on the parched earth, protecting, healing and nourishing our planet and all life.

A river respite along the Rio Grande, 30 or so miles from the fire.

A river respite along the Rio Grande, 30 or so miles from the fire.

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The Grace of the Universe

Shadows Fall at Day's End in the Sangres

Shadows Fall at Day's End in the Sangres

You live by the grace of the Universe interacting with you. You do not live by yourself alone. … The Universe always magnifies your action. Gregge Tiffen (The Language of a Mystic: Change – May, 2009)

There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness. Dalai Lama

The grace of the Universe presents the challenge of our times. May we rise to meet it in kind.

Whether we are aware of it or not, the Universe is interacting with us 24/7, magnifying each and every action we take in its own way.

Think about that. Let it sink in for just a moment. Everything you do is magnified. EVERY THING!

Say a kind word, offer a smile to someone experiencing challenging times, listen deeply to another view, share an uplifting post on social media. MAGNIFIED!  Take action on a project; choose to eat healthy, nourishing food; call or write your elected representatives. MAGNIFIED!

The Universe is benevolent (at least that’s my belief), but it is not selective in what it magnifies (everything – remember?). We humans were given the gift of free will, the power of choice that the Universe did not keep for itself in this grand design called Life. Make a snarky remark. MAGNIFIED!  Engage in an act of violence. MAGNIFIED!  Protest in anger toward others. MAGNIFIED!  Shut down in fear. MAGNIFIED! 

I’ve been reflecting on this law of magnification in terms of what I want more of in my life as well as the kind of world that I’d prefer to live in.  That reflection brought me right back to where I live, the simple choices I make each day. If I want to be a writer, WRITE. Give the Universe words strung together into ideas and step back to allow the magnification. Know that magnification is happening even when I don’t see it. I’m making adjustments in how I create each day to do just that.

If the world I envision is one of peace, kindness, compassion then my responsibility is to choose thoughts, words, and deeds that are peaceful, kind, and compassionate. Give the Universe THAT to magnify.

Of course, the Universe does not magnify alone.  We are its agents, little magnifiers one and all. My words each week are a magnification of something I read, experienced (usually both!), or am in the midst of considering. You read those words and are inspired to make a change in your life, or to share the post with others, or to delete. Whatever your choice, your action magnifies mine and it offers your own to be magnified.  

The meadowlark sings its cheerful song each morning in the meadow where we walk. The president tweets. Both are magnified by a Universe that magnifies everything. But we, you and I, have the freedom and the power to choose what we magnify. Imagine a world where the meadowlark’s song or the Dalai Lama’s quote is the ‘breaking news’ of the day, and the president’s tweets go mostly ignored. Do the words peaceful, kind, compassionate come to your mind’s eye?

That world is possible if we have the will to choose to put our attention on peace over conflict, kindness over anger, and compassion over judgement. It’s already emerging daily in the thousands (perhaps millions) of thoughts, words and deeds that are peace-filled, kind, and caring. May we choose that path – moment to moment, when the choice is easy and, especially when it’s not.  The grace of the Universe presents the challenge of our times. May we rise to meet it in kind.

Old Tree Greets Another Day

Old Tree Greets Another Day

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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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Step By Step

On The Road ...

On The Road ...

Whatever step you choose will take you closer to where you want to be.   … Creative force is the energy necessary to begin a new experience. … Energy is always in motion.  Gregge Tiffen – Life: The Staircase of Many Steps – January, 2008

Happy New Year! The page has turned, and here we are with the blank canvas of a new year to paint. 361 more days to engage in life - to live, to love, to experiment, to learn, to grow - before we complete the cycle of this calendar year.

Traditionally we set goals, make ‘resolutions’ and plans, to start a new year. And, all too often ‘life’ steps in with other ideas. Or, resistance in some form rears its head.

Overwhelm happens when we forget that all we need to do is take a step. Then another and another, continuing on step by step allowing each step to reveal the next.  When we do this moment by moment, day to day we have the potential to make huge progress on our journey.

The Beauty of Exploration - Hoar Frost on The Palouse - Pullman, Washington

The Beauty of Exploration - Hoar Frost on The Palouse - Pullman, Washington

It’s oh so simple, yet from time to time most of us find ourselves stopped, stuck, resisting anything resembling movement.  For me, that’s the time to remember that my body doesn’t give a hoot about love, life or learning. It sees the new, the adventure, and growth as dangerous threats to its sole concern – survival.

Clever in its ways, the body throws out all manner of reasons to not participate in life.  I’m tired. It doesn’t matter. It’s not worth it. I don’t know how. These are the cloaks my body wears to hide what I’m coming to understand is simply resistance. They are clues that I need to step up, challenge, and command my body to MOVE, to take a step, to be in action.

In responding to these clues I’m strengthening my ability to call forth my will.  It helps me to remember that the journey of 1,000 miles begins with turning on the ignition and that the journey is complete mile by mile. The 2656 mile road that I took in December is a fresh reminder as I look ahead to what I want to accomplish in 2018.

I also find that engaging curiosity counters the lethargy of resistance. The simple shift from ‘I don’t know how’ to ‘I wonder how/what I can learn’ is powerful fuel for moving into action.

As I practice these skills, I notice that the creative force needed to engage in new experiences comes forth more naturally and that a gentle flow of life’s events seems to emerge. Step by step through these events I live, I love, I learn, I grow.

Step by step we can accomplish much in this year that is just beginning. May we each step fully into the energy that is always in motion!

Almost Home ... Sangres in the Distance

Almost Home ... Sangres in the Distance

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Changing the World

Evening Moon in the Woods

Evening Moon in the Woods

Every thought we have has an effect on us and our planet as well. We can be mindful of our thoughts. Every time we indulge in a negative thought, we produce disharmony on both the non-physical (or non-visible) level as well as the manifested level. Our effect is enormous. Commuting negative thoughts to positive ones would begin to change the world from what it is to the place it was originally intended to be – a place of graciousness, compassion, harmony, and beauty.  Gregge Tiffen (Life in the World Hereafter – The Journey Continues)

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.    …  I have decided to stick to love...Hate is too great a burden to bear. Martin Luther King Jr.

It’s easy to become angry, discouraged, hopeless and more in the wake of the chaos and disorder in our world. Massive storms, flooding, fires, displacement, famine, wars are occurring around the globe.

We like to place blame for these events on governments, politicians, corporations, and the like. That’s easier than taking responsibility for the part we play through our thoughts and the words and deeds that follow them.

Through our thoughts, we’re creating this world. And, through them, we can change it. (Yes, action is required, but first we need new understandings and new thoughts to guide our actions.)

Angry thoughts about current events, current leaders, indeed ANYthing, only serve to create more of the same. Blaming ‘them’ – whoever they may be is not the issue. I am. You are. Each of us bears some responsibility for the chaos and discord in the world.  Who among us has not railed about the despicable behavior of others? Who among us has not reacted in fear to some event? Who does not feel some degree of angst about the future? These are all thoughts that contribute darkness rather than bring forth light.

What if indeed our thoughts matter as Gregge suggests? What if they never die, but rather continue to exist in the cosmos FOREVER?  What about my thoughts about the things and people I fear? What about my snarky comments – the ones that come in reaction and ‘seem’ to disappear in a flash as if they don’t matter?

They matter.  They matter a lot. Current events are rooted in our collective thinking. Surely I – and we – can do better than this. Surely we can create a world where light prevails and where compassion and harmony drive our choices. At least we can begin to turn the tide. We ARE that powerful.

In quiet moments I envision a world where dominion is expressed through care for the planet and all of her creatures. I envision a world where we hold a common understanding of how the Universe operates so that we can operate in concert with rather than opposition to Universal law. And, in those same moments, I wonder if I have the courage to accept responsibility – without guilt, without blame - for my part in the state of our world? Do I have the will to be more mindful and diligent in my thoughts so that my contributions are toward a more positive future.   

 

This week I’m aiming for my activism, in whatever form, to be grounded in care and compassion. As I share my opinions about the decisions of our leaders, I’m going to hold them in light and remember that, like me, they are here on a learning journey that is unique to them. And, I’m going to take time to send thoughts of care to and harmony with the planet into the cosmos. Join me?

Morning Moon Over the Valley

Morning Moon Over the Valley

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Will

The Sangres from the valley floor

The Sangres from the valley floor

There can be no exercise of will when there is fear. Gregge Tiffen (The Language of a Mystic: Awareness – July, 2009)

When fear is used to control us, love is how we rebel. Rivera Sun (The Dandelion Insurrection – love and revolution)

As the month that we in the U.S. celebrate ‘independence’ comes to a close and as I observe the chaos of our current public discourse, I’ve been thinking about the source of freedom and about what stands in the way of creating new systems that are true to that source.

Freedom, justice, equality – key principles and qualities upon which the United States was founded – cannot be sustained where fear is present. And, today we live in a culture of fear – overt and covert. I see fear in the reactionary systems aimed at controlling ‘the other’. And, I see these systems breaking down. These breakdowns can feed fear as well where we have not made peace with the idea of not knowing. The tighter we grasp to save them, the faster systems move to their breaking points. Many are fearful of what lies beyond. We see this throughout our culture, not only in the U.S. but around the globe.

When fear is present we lose our ability to think clearly and to recognize the reality of the conditions that are present. We defer to the will of others. Yet, one by one, step by step (with some stumbles along the way) we are waking to realize that free will is not granted (and, thus cannot be taken away) by government (or any person or system). Free will and the will to use it are gifts from the Universe. These gifts are our opportunity to discover the unique ‘I’ that each of us is as an individual cell of the infinite Universal whole.

And, from our individual journeys of discovery, collectively we hold the opportunity, the potential to advance freedom, justice, equality for all.  Free will is a gift that grows when exercised and nurtured with love. Not gushy, ‘roses are red’ romantic love (though that is one form of expression) but love without conditions; love that is curious, thoughtful, and pure.

We make countless choices daily, each an opportunity to choose whether to exercise our will or to submit to the will of some other. Fear is what stands in the way of consistently exercising our will.

When I reflect on the chaotic conditions throughout the world, I see a world that has lost the moral compass of free will and uses fear in an effort to control. That approach doesn’t seem to be working so well. History teaches us that revolution based on fear may change conditions on the surface, but that any change will be temporary.

Lasting change in our systems will come – indeed IS coming – from those with the courage and grit to move beyond their fear and to act from a deep knowing that the source of free will is not any government or system or person. They recognize that free will is entrusted equally in each and every one by an infinite Universe.

Up close and personal, perhaps it’s time for each of us to take a look at our own exercise of will. In that spirit, I’m asking myself these questions:

Where is my will lacking?

What fear(s) have me (knowingly or not) defer to the will of others?

What is possible when I surrender my fear, remembering my source is not the world but the infinite Universe of which this world is just a tiny part?

A Chorus of Morning Clouds

A Chorus of Morning Clouds

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