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Gratitude

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It's NOT Beyond Me (or You)!

Fall Sunset over the San Luis Valley and San Juan Mountains Beyond

Fall Sunset over the San Luis Valley and San Juan Mountains Beyond

No matter what knowledge you want, no matter what guidance you seek,and no matter the circumstances, there is a place in the Universe that is personal and directly accessible for you to meet any one of your requirements.  Gregge Tiffen (Earth and Second Earth, Book 3 in The Collected Works of Gregge Tiffen)

A common thread that weaves through much of my adult life is a curiosity around tapping into knowledge, intelligence, wisdom that is beyond what I can observe using my five senses.

Perhaps I was born with it. As a child I would wander down to the pasture and talk with the cows. In this moment I don’t remember the substance of those conversations, but my guess is that they were more interesting and, perhaps, informative than interactions with people.  Indeed, most likely it was people particularly family and teachers, who interrupted that communication flow and my trust in it. After all, I’m sure their message was something like ‘be normal’ or ‘this is the right way’.

In college I was introduced to ‘Silva Mind Control’ and much of the reading and learning I’ve participated in over the years includes this idea of tapping into to ‘something’ beyond my five senses. As I reflect this morning, I’m grateful for what I know and use. I’m humbled by the tools that I’ve learned, but lie dormant, dusty even a bit rusty, from lack of use.

I wonder why that’s so in our world where science continues to ‘discover’ the ‘secrets’ known in ancient cultures?  Then, I remember my childhood in the pasture with the cows. That wasn’t considered normal. Whatever ‘it’ was, it wasn’t what needed to be learned or how to learn it.

Like many others, I was guided away from anything that wasn’t rational or logical. Beyond my own personal childhood experience, I see that logic and rationale are tools of control, used by us all to influence one another for good or for ill. And, used by those who want power over others.

The knowledge of our individual power and our personal, individual connection with the Universe has been drummed out of the culture for ages, hidden away by those who desire to control others.  As a result our systems – education, finance, business, health, politics, government, religion – have control as their foundation. They are based on power ‘over’ rather than power ‘of, by, and for’; domination rather than dominion.

Going beyond the logical, rational, mechanistic world is simply not supported by the systems around which our culture is organized. That we need new systems is a muse for another day. For now, I recognize that, though dormant, the seed of curiosity was planted, and whatever I’d learned was part of me. Stumped or confused about a decision I was facing, I shunned ‘I don’t know’ in favor of ‘I wonder if’. From time to time, I’d pull out and dust off a tool and apply it to whatever issue happened to be in front of me.

While that’s served me pretty darn well in life, I’m curious what more I can tap into. With deeper awareness what more do my cells have to say? What knowledge might the 70 plants that I’ve just moved indoors for winter have to impart? What messages do the creek, the sunrise, the sunset, the wind, the pines, the nuthatch hold for me if I will but listen? Beyond this plane, what knowledge and wisdom are within reach, if only I will listen within?

I’m grateful for remembering that nothing – NO thing – we need or want to know is beyond us IF we truly want to know and use our will to go beyond what’s normal, or easy. Then, with focus and courage apply ourselves to the quest.

Six of 70!

Six of 70!

INWARD and ONWARD!

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Tending the Creative Tree

Sunset in the Woods Out Back

Sunset in the Woods Out Back

You need to prune often especially after you have gone through a significant experience. … The whole object of pruning is that improves your growth, it regenerates your brain, and it opens up new opportunities. Experiences that are no longer being used in a positive manner should be cut from the creative tree inside of you and taken away. Gregge Tiffen (Lessons in Living: Give Nothing, Get Nothing)

Pruning is an apt description for how I’m feeling now in the wake of Luke’s passing four weeks ago. It also describes what I feel guided to do and how I want to be in this cycle of creating life anew.

Although I experienced a gigantic wave of grief and tears earlier this week, the sadness is waning. A sense of new growth and new possibilities lies beneath the surface. While not quite ready to burst forth, the creative tree has my attention and, as Luke often did, guides me to the care that it needs, IF I dare listen.

Pruning heads the list. My personal drumbeat is ‘marching’ me inward to identify and prune habits of mind, body and spirit that no longer serve my highest good.   In another verse that same beat calls me to look beyond my energetic body to the ‘stuff’ in my environment and to examine what is meaningful and useful to maintain. It is a time to cull, inside and out, preparing the field, my field, for what is to come.

When a cycle ends space is created. Often we rush to fill that space, especially when a cycle’s end is the passing of a loved one (human or of the furry kind). Several people have inquired if I have a new dog yet? No. I’m finding value sitting with the emptiness, even when it hurts like hell. Others want to know what I’m ‘doing’ and/or going to do? Not much that’s visible (at least for now); I’m allowing time to ‘be’ with no pressure to ‘do’. ‘Doing’ self-care and the tasks required prepare for winter in the woods is enough.

In the spaciousness of no pressure, insights come to guide me in tending my creative tree. I’m reminded that speed is not the issue; learning is.  After all, the pines in the woods out back have been growing for hundreds of years. They remind me to operate at my pace, on my frequency, just as they do.

At my pace I walk in peace, with loving gratitude for my life here in the mountains. On my walk this morning, I found several (okay 13, to be precise) heart rocks. I’ve found a few almost every walk these past four weeks. I recalled someone recently sharing that they never found heart-shaped rocks, and while we were talking, I reached down and picked one up on her driveway.

As I walked through the woods toward the labyrinth, I thought about the differences in how (from my perspective) that person and I approach life. I didn’t realize until that moment that these days I’m not looking for heart rocks on my walks, I’m looking AT love and loving all the beauty of my surroundings.  The heart-shaped rocks reveal themselves.

That’s not always been the case. In the past, I along with others, like the person I was talking with, looked for heart-shaped rocks much as we may look for love, abundance, success – without recognizing that we are swimming in the midst of all that and so much more.

From that experience and insight, I’m inspired to prune more. What habits of thought is it time to retire? What ‘stuff’ in the garage (and a few other places around the house) needs to be re-homed?  

“Inward, outward, forward march!” The creative tree needs pruning to burst into bloom.

Heart Rocks on the Trail

Heart Rocks on the Trail

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The Other End of the Rainbow

Sunset in the Sangres

Sunset in the Sangres

To realize Universal reality, we need only open ourselves to our innate, insatiable curiosity to seek the broader knowledge of many things – then to embrace the adventure. Then we will know ourselves as children of the Universe. Gregge Tiffen (Life in the World Hereafter: The Journey Continues)

… You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should … Max Ehrmann (Desiderata)

If, as I suggested last week, adaptability is a pot of gold at one end of the rainbow [http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/adaptability-a-pot-of-gold], then surely curiosity must be the gold at the other end. Or, heck, perhaps curiosity stirs the pot …

Gregge Tiffen’s words above struck a chord this morning as I began my day, curious about the direction of this week’s post.  What, I wondered, was the common thread among the week’s experiences that ranged from lots of time for quiet reflection to a few profound interactions with others?

What does the writer/social activist in the midst of revising her next book have in common with the woman whose daughter collapsed and was given a five percent chance of survival? What does the mystical writer have in common with a friend spending hours at her elderly mother’s bedside? What do I have in common with each of them and with the seasoned professional evaluating where to take her career and life next?

We are each on a quest. Beyond caring about results (we do!) we are curious to know what we’ll discover along the way. Each of us in our own individual way is using curiosity as a force: energy to move us forward (hopefully, more gently than not) on our own path, at our own pace.

But, curiosity does not operate alone. Perhaps more important than the thread of curiosity itself, I realized that curiosity operates within the context of our beliefs (duh! blinding flash of the obvious!).

When those beliefs are centered in gratitude and love, curiosity calls forth the commitment and courage necessary for us to step into action. While curiosity and love may not clear every obstacle (what fun would that be anyway?), with loving curiosity, obstacles become mere challenges and opportunities along the way.

With loving curiosity, we can embrace our childlike nature, knowing without a doubt that we are indeed children of the universe, and despite appearances to the contrary, a benevolent universe that is unfolding just as it should.

The Heart Rock Collection Grows!

The Heart Rock Collection Grows!

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Adaptability: A Pot of Gold!

There is definitely a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow!

There is definitely a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow!

In this planetary school where adaptability is one of the key teaching assignments, making adjustments is a constant demand.  Gregge Tiffen (The Language of a Mystic: Cycles – July, 2009)

This 313th post begins a new annual cycle, year seven for The Zone. I wonder what adjustments are ahead in this new cycle?  This week also finds me in the midst of adjusting to life without the heartbeat of my canine companion nearby.

My capacity to adapt is being engaged once again. Adapting to ‘life without Luke’ has evoked tears and laughter, sadness and relief, the stillness of reflection and movement into action.  As with all events in life these days, I aim to see my journey with Luke and this loss as an opportunity to learn and grow.

A beautiful rainbow here in the mountains late last week, reminded me what a blessing the need to adapt is. In the stillness of reflection, I came to see making adjustments, adapting if you will, as an abundant pot of gold, IF (and only IF) we embrace it with love, not fear.  For, if we face change with fear, it will be a molten pot of lead, heavily weighing us down, evoking struggle and pain.

In the presence of love, I discover that laughter accompanies tears and that sadness lives concurrent with relief. In the presence of love, the stillness of reflection brings clarity to the rearranging needed – inside and out.

In the presence of love, I discover that rearranging is mostly an inside job. I allow waves of sadness to wash over me as they appear and let them find their expression in tears. I want grieving to have its time, though I won’t allow it to drive the bus. I smile at a moment when some past time playing with Luke crosses my awareness. Without guilt, I embrace with gratitude the sense of relief and freedom I now feel. 

In the presence of love, I’m simply being with what is. I open myself to new possibilities and questions: what’s next? how do I want life to be now? what changes will serve me?

In the presence of love, being gives way to doing: putting away things not currently needed, packing some up and delivering to canine friends nearby, rearranging furniture, reviewing a manuscript, attending to projects set aside while Luke was ill, planning a short trip away.

In the presence of love, I experiment with new routines, allowing old habits and paths to give way to the new.

In the presence of love, I experience the grace of ease in the flow and I find heart rocks most every day.

Mined with love, I know that the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow brings forth abundant blessings. What else could be at the end of such beauty? Love Lives!

This week’s heart rock finds!

This week’s heart rock finds!

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Cycles, Symbols, & Letting Go

Love, Light & Treats - Honoring My ‘Ol Buddy, Ol Pal’ Luke

Love, Light & Treats - Honoring My ‘Ol Buddy, Ol Pal’ Luke

Cycles produce constant change. Gregge Tiffen (The Language of a Mystic: Cycles  – August, 2009)

This 312th post marks the completion of the sixth annual cycle of sharing these weekly mystical musings, a ritual that is one of the great joys in my life.

This post also marks a new cycle: the first written without the gentle, patient physical presence of my beloved canine companion, Cool Hand Luke Skywalker Reinhardt.  Last Thursday afternoon CHLS rested his head on my lap one last time.

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. … Some of our most endearing partners are our pets. … they are there waiting for us, ready to fulfill our desire to feel all-giving and unconditionally accepting energy. Isn’t that what love is all about? They accept our tears, soothe our angst, and make us laugh. … Animals are here as companions and stabilizers. Having a direct connection to the earth, they serve the important function of being able to ground and stabilize our energies by taking our excess energy and feeding it back into the earth. They – along with plants – absorb a lot of negative energy. As we nurture and care for them, they leave us calmer in the midst of our sometimes chaotic incarnate experience. … When they die, all elements of nature are returned to the nature pool, where their energy can be used for whatever needs to be generated.  Gregge Tiffen (Life in the World Hereafter: The Journey Continues)

In my almost nine years with Luke at my side (or leading the way on a trail through the woods), he demonstrated nature as Gregge describes it. He was (and IS!) one ‘helluva’ teacher.

Leading the Way - One Last Time

Leading the Way - One Last Time

Like his human, Luke was private and stoic. When our vet discovered a large growth on his spleen in mid- May, he asked that I share the news sparingly. I honored his request, sharing only with a few close friends (“No mopers!” he directed.) and subtly suggesting that I was facing a ‘personal challenge’ in some recent posts.

Committed to knowing and honoring what Luke wanted, I reached out to Miranda Alcott, the Animal Communications Counselor and medical intuitive who helped us several years back.  (https://mirandaalcott.com/).  Agreeing with our vet’s recommendation, Luke didn’t want to fight with surgery or aggressive treatment. He needed relief, and was open to ‘seeing how alternative treatment would help.’  The protocol was effective, easing his discomfort and increasing his energy. We were blessed to have two and a half months to walk daily, take a few short hikes, play, laugh, and hang out. 

During that time, Luke let me know that maintaining dignity was important to him. Both Miranda and our vet suggested that he would likely ask for help leaving his body before it seemed like the ‘right’ time (little did I know that this is common in dogs, a sign that we humans often miss in our quest to cling for life).  As best I could, I prepared to ‘hear’ and to honor the request when he made it. I was as ready as I could be when he asked to move on to the adventures in the nature pool across the rainbow bridge. Summoning all the conviction and courage I could muster, I wanted to show my love by letting go.  

Nature’s beauty is infinite, but the trail is empty without CHLS.

Nature’s beauty is infinite, but the trail is empty without CHLS.

Symbols serve as a true roadmap to assist us in getting through life with the minimum amount of difficulty and upset. Gregge Tiffen (Do The Angels Take a Vacation? – August, 2007)

Although my heart is heavy, I’m filled with love, peace, joy, and gratitude for the love, lessons, and laughter that we shared in our all too short (at least for me), yet divinely perfect, time together.  And, although this cycle is complete, Luke’s lessons and gifts live on.

After our final ‘goodbye old buddy, old pal’, the dear friend who accompanied us on that final journey and I decided that we needed to eat and ground ourselves for the hour drive back home. We went to a burger stand nearby, ordered burgers, and chose a remote picnic table. As I approached, I noticed something lying on the table and, when I arrived, I found a heart-shaped rock at the place where I planned to sit. LOVE lives! The table was damp, and we blotted it with a paper towel. When we turned it over, we found the image of a paw print. LOVE lives!

Parting is sweet and sacred. Luke is free from pain. And, I’m free from the worry and anticipation of saying goodbye.  The cycle of physical presence is complete. Yet, my learning from Luke continues since, in spirit, there is no end. LOVE lives!

Symbols - LOVE Lives!!!

Symbols - LOVE Lives!!!

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Happy Solstice!

Summer is bursting into bloom!

Summer is bursting into bloom!

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)

A cycle ends. Another begins. Here, north of the equator, spring gives way to the summer season at 9:54am Mountain Daylight Time tomorrow, Friday June 21.  At the same friends south of the equator will bid adieu to autumn and celebrate the Winter Solstice.

Nature, quiet and restful in winter, began her slow awakening in late spring here in the Rocky Mountains of southern Colorado. Right on time, she is now bursting forth toward full bloom. Bird songs and the buzz of hummingbirds fill my listening heart with joy and gratitude for our planet and for where I’ve landed on it. The roar of Cottonwood Creek, just past peak flow from the snow melt, and the howl of coyote add their voices to morning’s song.

The cycle we call summer begins. It is a time of action, activity: planning, planting, having fun. Projects that languished in winter find new energy and focus. New opportunities present themselves abundantly, offering outlets for our attention. How will we choose to expand, to learn, to grow?

Summer Solstice is a sacred time to remember our partnership with nature. It is a time when heaven and nature sing ‘joy to the world’, not with ‘chestnuts roasting on an open fire’, but with the clear voices of birds and beasts responding to the renewal that the cycle of summer brings. Bountiful blooms and with the burbling Cottonwood Creek add to the chorus of auditory and visual delights. It is a time to remember that cycles of life move with nature, and that nature knows nothing of the clocks and calendars of man’s world.

As I write this morning, a mere 24 hours of spring remain. Having experienced a couple weeks with more scheduled, timed events than are usual for me, I look forward to celebrating the longest day of the year quietly here in the woods, enjoying the warm of the sun and allowing the flow of the day to inform me whether to move or not.

My celebration begins unexpectedly when, midway through writing, I open the door to check on Luke. New sounds entered the soundscape: clip-clop, clip-clop, the clip-clop of a horse’s hooves and a sound that I can’t describe, yet I knew it was my neighbor’s buckboard coming up the road. As she passed, I hollered a cheerful ‘good morning!’, and she invited me for a short ride. I accepted the gift as a reminder of the flow that is present always, in all ways. An auspicious beginning!

As I do in December with its partner, the Winter Solstice, I will use the Summer Solstice to recalibrate, syncing myself to the new cycle: the light that nature, my intimate partner on this journey, brings forth right on time. I invite you to give yourself some quiet time in nature to do the same.  

Flow! An unexpected start to my Solstice celebration!

Flow! An unexpected start to my Solstice celebration!

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Lifting the Fog of Indecision

A foggy spring day in the Sangres

A foggy spring day in the Sangres

Weariness can occur as a result of thinking we know but not knowing that causes all sorts of indecision. Patrece on behalf of P Systems (PS 52 Series 11 If So, What Now? Week 31) www.p-systemsinc.com

Earlier this week, the words above landed on me like a bright ray of sunshine breaking through fog. This week’s PS 52 landed in my inbox right on time, adding clarity to my morning journaling and connecting the dots of energy and indecision.

My early morning observation started with awareness that when I speak of ‘my energy’ (as in ‘my energy has been really low’) I separate myself from the pure, raw energy that we all create with/from. Yep, I know, that’s not possible to actually do, but I had one heck of a mental construct supporting my illusion.

I was the victim of my ‘low energy’. I’d been experiencing a sense of feeling scattered, unfocused, and unable (or perhaps unwilling) to exert my will. I felt tired. I remembered hearing Gregge Tiffen share his practice of speaking the words ‘let the energy flow through me’ to energize action. THAT felt like an invitation to life and living fully. I felt an internal energetic shift (it’s truly challenging not to write ‘my energy shifted’ here, but I’m clear that I hold no ownership of energy) head to heart to toes.

I felt gratitude for the awareness of what seemed to be deepening into my bones. I was ready to bring on the list of projects and to-do’s so I could focus and take action. I had new clarity about energy and a reminder that it’s my job to direct it. Onward!

But before I dove in, this week’s PS 52 landed in my box, offering even greater clarity. What I’d labeled as ‘my low energy’, weariness if you will, was (at least in part) the effect of not making clear, intentional decisions to take action.  Indecision was leading me to meander wearily through many days, scattering my attention, and, if I was ‘lucky’, accomplishing a few tasks in the process.

I (re)discovered that when I do make clear, intentional decisions, the action (mostly) comes easily. The energy flows through me from one action to the next.  One decision paves the way for another. A course of action becomes clearer. My sense of ‘low energy’ dissipates. My will is strengthened.

I’m feeling deeply grateful and blessed for being shown this connection. And, I’m under no illusion that my new awareness is a ‘magic pill’ or ‘silver bullet’. I’m betting I’ll have days where I simply want to pull the covers over my head to rest. I’m sure to experience days where the path doesn’t seem so clear and choices seem hard. I aim to allow such foggy days to be and to bring to them my curiosity about what they have to offer, for surely they too have purpose. The energy flowing through me is here for me. And, it’s here for you. Let it flow! Let us flow!

And, as she always does, the sun breaks through!

And, as she always does, the sun breaks through!

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A Reflection on Awareness

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Life is awareness. Gregge Tiffen (The Journey Continues: A Taste of Devotion – April, 2010)

Consciousness equals awareness. … When you begin to enjoy life, you begin to learn, but you can’t learn under pressure or negativity. … Consciousness sees everything as joy and harmony. Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: The Hidden Worth of New Wealth – April, 2011)

I’m drawing a blank this morning as I reflect on and open to what wants to be shared this week. Sometimes when I’m not aware of the topic as I begin my day, our morning walk calls it forth. Not on this day.

While I appreciate the emptiness and spaciousness of not knowing, I yearn to honor this weekly commitment and to be in the rhythm that’s evolved since I launched ‘The Zone’. It’s Thursday, and that’s blog day in my world.

Early this morning as I began to read and think about the post, the quotes above from Gregge Tiffen drew my attention. I typically see a connection to some experience I’ve had or observation I’ve made and the post flows from there. However, this day there’s a gap between my experiences and Gregge’s wisdom. What awareness am I missing? Surely that holds the key.

Late last week, I traveled to visit a friend to celebrate a new year, the beginning of the last year of my seventh decade on the planet (you do the math!).  I scheduled a couple activities, had a list of things I wanted to do, and trusted the trip would unfold perfectly. It did, although not exactly as planned.

The weather forecast (high wind and snow in the mountains) along with an awareness that my energy was lagging on the day before we planned to meet friends for a hike in the mountains, led me to suggest an alternative. That choice worked perfectly for all, the canines who got to run, romp and get plenty dirty and for their peeps who took great joy in observing the purity of their play. Once again, Cool Hand Luke fulfills his role as teacher, having much fun in the process!

Other activities, including time out to rest, fell beautifully into place. I was honored to help a friend make some adjustments to the beautiful labyrinth (a complex, heart-shaped one with amazing energy!) she recently built. We laughed, talked, and enjoyed great food and a bit of March Madness with another friend. We shopped, discovering an unannounced sale just getting underway (a sale we would have missed had we kept to the original plan). I departed at a perfect time to miss heavy urban traffic and enjoy and easy drive home.

It’s easy to grasp life’s joy and harmony when life seems to be going our way.  It’s not so easy to trust that all is well and to look for the harmony when life throws us curveballs. And, yet, I’m discovering more and more that life is about just that: awareness not just of conditions that we’re a part of, but awareness of what consciousness knows as the perfect unfolding of our lives in all their conditions and forms.

Our human task as we learn to navigate our bodies through life on this physical plane is to remember what consciousness knows:  joy and harmony are present in the very essence of life. We do that step by step, day by day, experience by experience. Another week, another blank filled in. Awareness. Life.  Joy. Harmony. Color me grateful!

@ Sam's in Erie 012.JPG

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Make Every Day NEW!

Green grass, green leaves, and a fascinating museum in Biloxi , MIssissippi

Green grass, green leaves, and a fascinating museum in Biloxi , MIssissippi

Nature is always moving forward and manifesting that which is truly new!  … By failing to make an experience new, we recycle ourselves into stunted growth patterns. By making such choices, we fall out of synchronicity with the Universe and produce boredom instead of development.  Gregge Tiffen (It’s Springtime: Flow With the Power of Nature – March, 2007)

I just returned from the warmer climates of Mississippi and Texas where spring is popping out in all her glory: green grass, green leaves, colorful camellias and azaleas in bloom and even a few early bluebonnets along a Texas roadway.

It was good to leave the snowy landscape and daily tasks of winter behind even though I love the cold, the snow and find joy and satisfaction in living at 8000 feet. Yes, I did miss Cool Hand Luke who stayed behind.

When I was invited to make the trip, I was a little wary. Who would care for Luke and the house? Did I want to step into the hassles of travel?  What about  _____?

Despite my reservations (or perhaps, excuses), I felt a deep, strong nudge to say ‘yes’. I yielded to that guidance, and the experiences along the way made me grateful that I did.

Starting with my decision to ride the bus and rail to the Denver airport, each day held new experiences. In Mississippi, I met new people and was treated to the best in southern hospitality and cuisine. I walked on and later drove along the beach, discovered new artists, enjoyed colorful Mardi Gras decorations galore, and saw many remnants of Hurricane Katrina, the deadly storm that devastated much of the Gulf coast in 2005.

The Texas leg reconnected me with family and a friend from college that I don’t see often. On a mission to savor some great Texas barbeque, I visited the small town where I worked in my first post-college job. The small ‘joint’ I remembered had moved and expanded, but the rustic ambiance and amazing quality remained four decades later. As we drove away (stuffed and happy), I saw a ‘municipal park’ sign and rediscovered the city park that I helped build in that first job. The park too has grown and changed, but the beauty of nature remains its centerpiece. I found new in the old.

When it was time to head home, I was full and ready to return to the mountains I love. In experiencing the new (including the new in the old), I was reminded to make each day’s tasks a new experience – EVERY day.

I’ll recycle paper, glass, plastics, cans and such, but not the experiences that make my life, MY LIFE. While Luke and I frequently walk the same paths, I aim to notice what is new, what is different each day. How much snow has melted? How does the earth feel under my feet? Where is Luke roaming?  When I build a fire each morning, I do my best to remember that, when I listen deeply, each piece of wood lets me know when it’s ready to burn. Each fire, each day has a different character.

I aim to put the same attention and intention on EVERY task I undertake and event I engage in. Sometimes I speed up and forget and find myself out of sorts and out of sync, gentle reminders to slow down and make what’s familiar new.

If you find yourself weary, bored or out of sorts this week, pause and consider ‘how can I make this new?’

Enter here for GREAT barbeque in Lockhart, Texas

Enter here for GREAT barbeque in Lockhart, Texas


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The Courage to Sleep

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie …

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie …

… we wouldn’t go to sleep each night if we weren’t willing to give ourselves over to the protection of the universal flow of energy and give up our human concerns in favor of the sleep of the innocent. Patrece on behalf of P Systems (PS52, Series 11, Week 21)

I love this idea linking innocence and courage (or at least an absence of fear) to sleep. Upon reflection, it makes sense to look at laying our head on the pillow each night in this way: trusting the universe enough to let go. We rest. We sleep. At least that’s the design: end a cycle, rest, begin again.

I’m blessed to sleep really well almost every night. It’s my practice to fall asleep in a sea of gratitude (actually, in my world it’s more like a dense forest of gratitude, or sometimes a prairie of gratitude grasses gently swaying in the breeze). I create this field by saying ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you for this day’ as soon as my head meets the pillow. Many nights that’s the last awareness that I have: feeling and expressing gratitude to me (for my choices, my learning, my body, my awareness, my care), to my environment (my home, Cool Hand Luke, nature’s beauty and her messages, the flora in these woods, the creatures who made their home here long before me – and who, mostly, graciously share), to the infinite Universe for its order underlying the chaos of this school, Planet Earth, and for the guides that gently support me along the way.

Sometimes I linger and make it through the entire list. Sometimes I chat with my body, reminding ‘it’ (that would of course be me) of its ability to guide me in showing what it needs as well as to heal. I tell it that I do my best to listen … and, that ultimately I’m in charge. The cells are listening and I want to make amends for any conflicting, contradictory, or confusing input I may have put forth during the day.

Ending a cycle, letting go is like that, offering a time for course correction and redirection. What a gift to stop, rest, and begin again.

In a world where we so often strive to control, it can be challenging to surrender to ‘the sleep of the innocent’. I love that phrase, don’t you? Take a moment to say it out loud to yourself. Give it a moment to sink in. When you lay your head on the pillow, imagine entering into that protected, sacred space. Trust that in sleep, as an important part of healthy living, you are protected.

I look to Luke for inspiration in this regard (he’s in the sleep of the innocent just behind my chair as my fingers fly across the keyboard). Ever alert and using all his senses when awake, he just as naturally and easily curls up and is fast asleep. Guru!

If you live in the camp of bragging that you don’t need much sleep, think again and do a bit of research on its importance. If sleep doesn’t come easily, begin to practice gratitude (‘count your blessings instead of sheep’ as an old song says) and gently remind yourself that in sleep, the protection of the Universe is yours. It IS safe to let go, end the cycle of this day, knowing that you will begin again tomorrow.

Winter’s Blanket in the Woods

Winter’s Blanket in the Woods

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