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Emptiness At Solstice - 2017

   Winter Warmth

Winter Warmth

I bring you Solstice Greetings this day with my Solstice post from 2016. Take time to empty and prepare for the new this season …

 What I would exhort you to, what I would give as a gift to you, what I would lay down a soul for, would be for your awareness to recognize that this is a personal event for your life. It is the time that has been set up on this planet for you and Heaven to be with each other without interference. Gregge Tiffen (The Winter Solstice: Giving To Yourself – December, 2007)*

Emptiness seems like a strange word to ascribe to the season of winter holidays with their bright lights, joyful sounds, and festivities to match.  And, yet, giving yourself the gift of emptying is an important part of being prepared to receive the new that is sure to come as the sun begins her journey back to the north.  After all, the full glass cannot receive more wine.

In the Christmas Story, we are told that the inn was full. And, yet a receptive place for the birth was found. So it is for each of us.

We too need to empty and make ourselves receptive to the new.  Solstice is a time to declare one cycle complete, making way for another to begin. It is a time to embrace the realm of spirit and turn our backs on the material world, if only for a brief time. It is a time to bless and release all who have crossed your path in this cycle, knowing that those who are meant to return will be there in the new one.

And, perhaps most important of all, it is time to let go of who we were in the cycle that is completing.  The ‘you’ of that cycle is complete as well. And a new you of your design and making awaits.

As our planet prepares to celebrate her birthday, let us honor her by taking time to reflect this gift of the time when heaven and nature sing as one. May we each sing along in our own unique and harmonious way.

* The Winter Solstice has become my personal spiritual holiday over the years. You can read more about that here - http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/the-gift-of-solstice

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Prelude to Solstice 2017

   Curious Buck in the Evening Light

Curious Buck in the Evening Light

This post was originally published 10 Dec 2015 and is being shared in the spirit of the season as I travel and take a winter break.  This year rather than feeling pushed by last minute demands, I’m on the road to visit family and taking a break from weekly writing. Although the events are different this year, I take with me the desire to honor the season and create my own prelude to the Winter Solstice.

All of heaven and all of earth coordinate at the Winter Solstice. Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story)

This week amidst a community controversy in which the board that I chair is being challenged, I’ve felt out of sync with the season and out of sorts with myself.  I want to stop. I want to stop not just for a few minutes to catch my breath, center myself and move on to the next task or conversation, but I want to STOP and BE the winter. Quiet. Still. Peaceful.

My time for that will come. I feel her on the horizon. Until then, there are ‘miles to go before I sleep’ in these last days of autumn before that moment when heaven and earth synchronize at the Winter Solstice. I know without a doubt that I will be there.

I know too that I alone am responsible for choosing how I walk through the tasks along those miles. I choose calm, confident, clear, kind as my foundation. These are grounded in love.  My choice is simple; implementation, not always easy. Often when I’m challenged, fear interrupts and invites me to its prickly path of tension, harshness, unkind words spoken and not. Too much of the world is on that path. I don’t want to be a part of that crowd.

And, so I pause. Make time for a long morning walk with Luke to visit a favorite spot along the creek. I ignore the ringing phone and resist the temptation to see what new jab is posted on Facebook. I pick up Gregge’s booklet Winter Solstice. I find this message, perfect to remind me of the choices I can make now and moment to moment, before my time of winter solitude, and beyond winter into the spring:

Prelude*

There is nothing I can give you which you have not got; but there is much, very much, that while I cannot give it, you can take.

No Heaven can come to us, unless our hearts find rest in today.

Take Heaven

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant.

Take Peace

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness could we but see, and to see, we have only to look, I beseech you,

Look!

In the quiet there is tranquility. May your life move and radiate in that unity and your heart sing the hymn of peace to all mankind.

And so, at this time I greet you not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with prayer that for now and forever the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.

* Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story)

   Will There Be Snow by Solstice?

Will There Be Snow by Solstice?

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'Tis The Season To Nourish Your Inner Santa

   The sun sets on another day in the vast San Luis Valley.

The sun sets on another day in the vast San Luis Valley.

Santa is the outgrowth of the natural child in humanity’s mind that bears good tidings.  Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Sacred Passageways – December, 2011)

First a Confession:  I love Santa! And, I BELIEVE!  After all, there's a certain canine who consistently brings good tidings to my life. 

Just who is the jolly fellow that we remember this time of year? Most every culture, religious or not, has such a sacred icon.  Yet in the hustle, bustle and hyper-commercialism of this season, one can lose sight of just what Santa Claus represents. That is to our detriment individually and collectively.

One of my personal early season rituals as I bring out the lights and a small, festive tree that’s travelled with me for 10 years is to bring out Gregge Tiffen’s writings about the season. I like to start with Santa as I did as a child sitting on his lap early in the season.  Today, I do so as a point of reflection and a reminder of what the jolly ol’ soul represents. And that provides just the reminder I need to nourish my own inner Santa.

Through Gregge’s mystical eyes, Santa represents faith. Not faith in things or people outside of us, but faith within.  And, in these times, that faith needs nourishment more than ever.  We need to nurture and nourish our innate ability to know what is right for us moment to moment, choice to choice and to trust that what is, simply is and is unfolding as it should.

… 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 I have written before, we live in a world that at every turn gives us choices to pull us away from who we truly are.  The world fears our power, and it invites us to put our faith in systems, institutions and even other people.

Turn down those invitations of the world that are not true to who YOU are.  RSVP to yourself. Take time during this season and beyond to recognize that YOU as a point in an infinite and benevolent Universe need only have faith in you and that Universe of which you are an integral part.

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.  Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Sacred Passageways – December, 2011)

This is the greatest gift of all.

It’s the faith that you are what you are that brings about miracles. Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Sacred Passageways – December, 2011)

 Spending time in nature’s beauty, singing, quiet time by the fire, laughing, and putting on a fun hat are some of the ways I renew my inner Santa. What about you?

Spending time in nature’s beauty, singing, quiet time by the fire, laughing, and putting on a fun hat are some of the ways I renew my inner Santa. What about you?

   Blanca Peak shows off her winter finery on a crisp sunny date in the Sangres.

Blanca Peak shows off her winter finery on a crisp sunny date in the Sangres.

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Controlling Your World

   A frosty morning at the labyrinth.

A frosty morning at the labyrinth.

Each moment holds the power of promise for you to exert your individuality, to expand in wisdom and to reflect only good. Universal intelligence is always working.  Begin with a promise to yourself that you will co-create with it.  Gregge Tiffen (The Significance of Beginning – January, 2007)

When things are chaotic in life, whether personally or in the bigger world beyond, I sometimes forget that while I do not control the event, I do control me.  As 2016 continues to march along, I’m finding the need to use that knowledge front and center in my life.

I made a decision a few weeks back that isn’t turning out as I hoped it would.   I say ‘hoped’ because the truth is that my gut told me otherwise and my intuition was to make a different decision. I didn’t listen. Ouch! 

And with the ‘ouch’, hallelujah!  The situation is providing rich territory to exercise and, hopefully, strengthen my tolerance muscle. I’m rediscovering just how important my home environment is to me and just how intolerant I am when I allow that be disrupted.

I’m challenged in this situation to ‘reflect only good’.  Just what is ‘good’, I’ve wondered.  I’ve found myself expressing my ‘cranky’ side, rather than feeling and expressing the kindness I need and want to express, the kindness that brings me peace and contributes to a higher vibration on the planet.

I’ve come face to face with just how ill equipped I am to consistently ‘exert my individuality’ in ways that are positive and contribute to creating the world I want to create.  It’s easy to say “be the change you want to see in the world”. It’s not always easy to do what’s required to be that change.

That doing includes controlling my internal chatter.  If I let it have its way, the ‘blah, blah, blah’ in my head does not support me either grace or tolerance.  Au contraire, it fuels intolerance and crankiness.  

Universal Intelligence is definitely at work, pointing the way to where I need to expand my capability.  It does so in all of the events of our lives.  Even those we might call ‘mundane’ are ripe with learning opportunity.  That is just what makes the journey the fabulous ride that it is, and this perspective is key to controlling my world.

   The breathtaking visual beauty of Universal Intelligence.

The breathtaking visual beauty of Universal Intelligence.

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A Holiday Wish

   Walking in the Snowy Woods ...

Walking in the Snowy Woods ...

May the greetings of Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and Blessed Solstice be a salutation not spoken lightly in passing to others as much as it is a greeting first to you, then to Heaven, then to both of you together in the ultimate form of Joy!  Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story)

Words are few this Christmas Eve morning as the dawn breaks to a fresh blanket of snow here in the woods.  My heart is full from sitting in the silence of Solstice, hiking with Luke, time with friends, and time for just me. 

I feel deeply blessed to be alive at this time and curiously concerned about how I and we will be with the future as it unfolds.  But that is for the new year just around the corner, not for this day.

Today, I simply wish you this ...

May the peace and balance of this Solstice time be with you through all the days to come.

   Solstice Tea

Solstice Tea

May you know the harmony of this time when all of heaven and all of earth coordinate.

   And Heaven and Nature SING!

And Heaven and Nature SING!

May your life be filled with joy.

   These are a few of my favorite things!

These are a few of my favorite things!

And, May you know the blessings of this holy season throughout the coming year!  

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Receive the Gift of Solstice

   It's Beginning to Look (&Feel) a Lot Like Winter!

It's Beginning to Look (&Feel) a Lot Like Winter!

What I would exhort you to, what I would give as a gift to you, what I would lay down a soul for, would be for your awareness to recognize that this is a personal event for your life. It is the time that has been set up on this planet for you and Heaven to be with each other without interference.

May the reindeers pull your sleigh filled with new awareness across the rooftops and into the fertile green valleys of a truly new season.  Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: Giving To Yourself)

Each year I seem to discover that my sense of the potential for reNEWal in this season deepens.  I savor this time when ‘all of heaven and all of earth coordinate’ for my benefit as a very personal ‘me to me’, ‘me to Thee’ and ‘Thee to me’ experience.

This season, the events leading up to Solstice brought me the gift of looking at my attitudes, up close and personal. Some serve me. Others do not. The later will not be invited to the new me, the one that emerges from the release at Solstice. They are not who I am and do not serve how I want to participate in the world.

I’ve called on last week’s post, Prelude to Solstice, several times this week as I walked through the local controversy, creating responses and proposing a way forward.  ‘Take Heaven.’  ‘Take Peace.’  ‘Look.’  Yesterday a friend reminded me to include grace.  In a flash, I realized that she had been working overtime. I know that ‘the day will break and the shadows flee away.’  Grace brings that knowing.

   Early Morning Coziness

Early Morning Coziness

I feel good about how I’m addressing the situation (and great about the team I work with). I’m not so pleased with the energy that’s been required and with those moments when I simply felt overwhelmed. Luke and the beauty of nature brought me back to balance.

I’m comfortable not knowing the outcome and how the public will respond. I totally trust its perfection – whether it’s an outcome I prefer or not.

As I put this experience, as well as business (and busy-ness too!) aside, I invite (really I implore) you to embrace the personal, individual nature of this season.  Take some time just for you.  Take homage at heaven and earth coming together. Feel the presence of nature.

And, let go. Release attitudes, be they good or bad. Release the people in your life, all of them – those that are meant to shall return.  Release hopes, dreams, fears, goals, regrets. Let go of EVERYthing.

It is only the empty goblet that can receive the next sweet taste of the abundance that life will most surely bring.

   My Goblet is Ready

My Goblet is Ready

   I wish you boundless blessings in this sacred season and in all the days ahead!

I wish you boundless blessings in this sacred season and in all the days ahead!

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Prelude to The Winter Solstice

   Early Morning Greeting from the Moon and Venus

Early Morning Greeting from the Moon and Venus

All of heaven and all of earth coordinate at the Winter Solstice. Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story)

This week amidst a community controversy in which the board that I chair is being challenged, I’ve felt out of sync with the season and out of sorts with myself.  I want to stop. I want to stop not just for a few minutes to catch my breath, center myself and move on to the next task or conversation, but I want to STOP and BE the winter. Quiet. Still. Peaceful.

My time for that will come. I feel her on the horizon. Until then, there are ‘miles to go before I sleep’ in these last days of autumn before that moment when heaven and earth synchronize at the Winter Solstice. I know without a doubt that I will be there.

I know too that I alone am responsible for choosing how I walk through the tasks along those miles. I choose calm, confident, clear, kind as my foundation. These are grounded in love.  My choice is simple; implementation, not always easy. Often when I’m challenged, fear interrupts and invites me to its prickly path of tension, harshness, unkind words spoken and not. Too much of the world is on that path. I don’t want to be a part of that crowd.

And, so I pause. Make time for a long morning walk with Luke to visit a favorite spot along the creek. I ignore the ringing phone and resist the temptation to see what new jab is posted on Facebook. I pick up Gregge’s booklet Winter Solstice. I find this message, perfect to remind me of the choices I can make now and moment to moment, before my time of winter solitude, and beyond winter into the spring:

Prelude*

There is nothing I can give you which you have not got; but there is much, very much, that while I cannot give it, you can take.

No Heaven can come to us, unless our hearts find rest in today.

Take Heaven

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant.

Take Peace

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness could we but see, and to see, we have only to look, I beseech you,

Look!

In the quiet there is tranquility. May your life move and radiate in that unity and your heart sing the hymn of peace to all mankind.

And so, at this time I greet you not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with prayer that for now and forever the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.

* Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story)

   A Gift of Love from Cottonwood Creek

A Gift of Love from Cottonwood Creek

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The Powerlessness of Control

   The Deep Quiet of Winter Begins to Settle In

The Deep Quiet of Winter Begins to Settle In

At some point it becomes necessary to realize that spiritual Power rests in giving up the issue of control as an attempt to control people outside yourself.  Gregge Tiffen (The Power of Giving Thanks – November, 2007)

On some level most of us know that controlling others doesn’t work. We’ve had experiences in close relationships, jobs, and organizations that show us this up close and personal. The violence, chaos, and crises in the world reflect attempts of one group or country to control another.  Our own culture of consumerism and competition, even politics, reflect attempts to control.

It wasn’t until I looked at an event in my own life this week through the lens of Gregge Tiffen’s quote above that I began to understand the high personal cost of my own efforts to control things outside of me.

This week I was reminded that trying to control others and situations involving others takes me away from being me and lands me square in a place of exhaustion – physically, mentally, and spiritually. In hindsight, I realized that allowing myself to skip the most important part of my day, my morning quiet time, set me on this particular path to stress.

In my quest to provide an awesome experience for my bed and breakfast guests this week, I forgot that others and situations are not mine to control.  An early morning plumbing problem in the shared guest bath, combined with a talkative guest in one room and a quiet guest in the other, found me trying to control the volume of conversation, which logs went on the fire, while I dealt with an overflowing toilet.

The plumbing problem fixed itself. Guests had their breakfast and happily moved on into their day. The clock read just shy of 10am. I was tired and found it difficult to focus my thoughts and energy on the day’s work that I wanted to accomplish. 

I slogged through that day and the next, still experiencing feeling tired and unfocused. A day later, in the quiet of my morning reflection time, I read Gregge’s words above. The dots were connected and I realized the source of the drain on my focus and energy.  I learned yet again the futility of trying to control others. And, I learned its cost:

Attempting to use your power to control others is exhausting.

This point of reflection leads me to wonder whether and how collective exhaustion in society contributes to creating the chaos we witness daily.  What might be possible in our world with just a bit more time and effort for quiet, personal reflection and the peace and personal power evoked from that awareness?

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Life Flows

   A beautiful, soft morning across the San Luis Valley to start my day.

A beautiful, soft morning across the San Luis Valley to start my day.

We are part of a natural flow of experiences in which all that we are really doing is allowing ourselves to participate in the flow.  Gregge Tiffen in Deeds are Fruit, Words are Leaves (October, 2008)

Events, many unexpected, seem to show up right on time to benefit me in some way.  I’m learning to trust more deeply that natural flow.  Beneficial events aren’t just those that feel good or bring me pleasure. Especially when I look back, I can clearly see how challenging, unpleasant events brought growth.

I don’t always get to that perspective immediately. When I do, I’m able to meet the event with curiosity, gratitude, and (hopefully) a modicum of grace.  It’s humbling and gratifying to remember that I and I alone choose how to walk through life’s events.

And, so do you. Life flows and we choose how to participate. As I prepared to participate in a somatics course this week (graciously offered by two awesome colleagues and Newfield Network), I was reminded that life flows in all directions. To paraphrase master somatics teacher, Stuart Heller:

Life flows up and Life flows down. Life flows forward and Life flows back. Life flows in and Life flows out. Life flows right and Life flows left.

Stop for a moment and let that sink in.  Better yet, stand up and move in each direction: up, down, forward, back, in, out, left, right.

Life flows out. The course and the flow reminder were just in time for me to demonstrate the power of how we walk (and sit) through life’s events to a coaching client who was trying to figure out how to broach a sensitive topic with a team member. As we explored possibilities, I suggested that she shift how she was sitting. After shifting from sitting on the edge of her chair and leaning forward to occupying the whole seat, leaning back and opening her chest, she discovered a new range of language was possible to engage in the conversation.  

Life flows in. Recently I’ve received several surprise presents that made my heart smile.

   Warning signs sometimes flow into life to wake us up.

Warning signs sometimes flow into life to wake us up.

Life flows down. An issue with my health presented the opportunity to explore the depth of my conviction about my body’s ability to, with proper support, heal itself.  As I scheduled acupuncture appointments, body work, drank my herbs, adjusted my eating habits, I realized a missing ingredient: bringing my belief and my intention consciously and clearly into the process.

Life flows up. So, I’m creating a new practice to engage all of me in the healing process.

Life flows back.  As the bed & breakfast high season winds down and winter is on the horizon, I found myself experiencing some angst about money and completing the ‘get ready for winter’ list of household tasks. I needed to gently guide my thoughts to a track other than worry.

Life flows forward. Within a couple days of putting my attention on remembering that ‘all my needs are met’, I received a phone call from a woman needed temporary housing. We created an agreement that meets both of our financial requirements. In addition, she’s helping with the winter chores (a good thing as temps are dropping and we could be graced with our first snow soon) AND caring for Luke and our home while I travel next week.

Life flows. Stop for a moment and look at the events in your life over the past week. What do you notice?  How do you feel?  How are you meeting life’s flow, especially when its direction may not be exactly what you thought it would be?

   Winter's white blanket is edging our way.

Winter's white blanket is edging our way.

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