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Keep Your Faith!

And there was light!

And there was light!

Evil thrives in darkness. We must let our courage and conviction shine, so that not even the smallest shadow shall find a doorway in which to hide. … No sacrifice is too great. No undertaking is too demanding. No commitment is too excessive, in order to maintain faith. Gregge Tiffen (It’s Springtime: Flow With The Power of Nature – March, 2007)

Light! Light! Light! The world needs our light, the light of our faith, the light of understanding, the light of knowing that we are here in this moment in time as a small, yet integral, part of an unfolding Universe. The darker the world seems, the more brightly our light is needed. The more we sense fear, the greater we need to love.

That is how we change the world. That is how we learn and grow.

Reversing its letters, ‘evil’ becomes ‘LIVE’. LIVE! Live is life. Life is light. In Universal terms, life is also abundance, beauty, harmony, joy, love, peace, power.

Evil is none of these. Indeed it is their absence. From ancient times to this moment, history is replete with the horrors of evil. Hence, the conviction of faith and strong beliefs along with courage are necessary for us to say ‘no’ to evil and ‘yes!’ to live life in its truest sense.

History is overflowing with examples of this choice as well: the love exuded by the man known as Jesus; the sage wisdom of the Buddha; and in more recent times the sacred, loving activism of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and elders who the peaceful ‘Water is Life’ movement at Standing Rock.

While we know these names, it is wise to remember that throughout history countless others have taken a stand for light as well. You have. I have. Each of us in our unique ways dared to shine a light to break the darkness where evil dwells. 

Daily we have innumerable opportunities to do the same. We do so when we choose kind thoughts and speak words that match them. A patient smile while standing in a slow moving line radiates light as does a sincere, quiet ‘Thank you’ when we are served.

We shine light in the darkness when we receive and return the love of our pets and of all the flora and fauna of nature. And, who among us has not experienced the shift of a good belly laugh (or, even a slight chuckle)? We shine light when we sing, whether alone in the shower or in harmony with others.

These seemingly small acts are, in fact, huge. When taken collectively, they have the power to crack open hearts and shift mass consciousness to a higher vibration from which evil gets no support.

Up close and personal, choosing light is important as well. Each of our seemingly small acts of light strengthens our personal capacity for compassion in the face of evil. Each builds our conviction and our courage to be bold in choosing light, to keep the faith. We hold the power to shine the light of life in the darkest shadows where evil dwells. May we do so moment to moment, step by step.

Need of a little inspiration to shine? click here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yUK0S_cEXY     

Morning Light Filters Through the Woods

Morning Light Filters Through the Woods

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There Is No Bliss In Ignorance

Morning Greetings from Venus, Moon and Jupiter

Morning Greetings from Venus, Moon and Jupiter

It is your immediate experience that provides you knowledge. Gregge Tiffen (Life – The Staircase of Many Steps – January, 2008)

 …no knowledge can be stuffed away and not have an effect in terms of the living of the individual. Gregge Tiffen quoted in P-Systems’ PS 52, Series 11, Week 19.

The familiar phrase ‘ignorance is bliss’ suggests that bliss is the absence of worry. If we know, then we worry. If we don’t know, we don’t worry and, thus we are blissful. Really?

The idea may sound nice and cozy, even a quick path to living in bliss, except it can’t stand. Ignorance is contrary to the purpose of life: acquiring knowledge that can be distilled to wisdom.

We ignore this truth to our peril personally as I suggested last week (http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/more-than-paying-attention) when I shared the result of ignoring clues indicating a problem with my wood stove. Likewise, we are witnessing the effects of ignoring facts of history, science, current events on many fronts in our world today.

In exploring the words – ignore, ignorance, ignorant – all having roots in the Latin ignoratia, not knowing, I discovered that the latter two (ignorance and ignorant) were widely used in the 1800s, but are minimally used today while the verb, ignore, was rarely used back then, but is widely used today. Hmmm. Perhaps we’re ignoring too many things that need our attention these days. Perhaps we’re paying a price for what we’ve ignored in the past. Perhaps it’s time for correction, personally and globally.

 If we’re in pursuit of personal bliss (and on some level aren’t we all?) and, if we envision a world that works for all, ignoring is not an ingredient to add, an action to take (yes, to ignore is an act, conscious or not). Questioning, researching, studying, expanding, learning, listening, exploring, thinking, along with practicing openness and curiosity are just a few ingredients that support us on the path of living a life of joy and personal satisfaction and creating a more peaceful, hospitable world that works for all.

And, what could be more blissful than that?

A Cold, Clear Morning Looking Across the San Luis Valley

A Cold, Clear Morning Looking Across the San Luis Valley

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Auld Lang Syne

The sun sets on Luke, the Labyrinth, and another year …

The sun sets on Luke, the Labyrinth, and another year …

Another year, tumultuous for many, is (almost) behind us. My words first written at the end of 2016 seem as apropos today as they did 24 months ago.

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

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

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

 As 2018 ends, many will breathe a sigh of relief that it is finally over along with a breath of hope for better days in the year ahead.  The world we live in seems chaotic and uncertain. It is. Those who put attention on the world forgetting that it is the world we live IN, NOT the world we are OF may look ahead with dread.

 That need not be.

 Within each of us is a seed of understanding who we truly are. Nurturing that seed grows our faith in our capacity to be resilient in the face of the world’s chaos.

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

 As you ring in 2019, I invite you to join me in nourishing your seed of faith in the 365 days that lie ahead.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let me be patient with life. Nature does not produce the flower before the roots have taken hold. If I recognize that the place I am in is the right place at the right time, it will always be the right place at the right time.

Gregge Tiffen (The Significance of Beginning, January 2007)

and the moon rises faithfully in her cycle, reminding us to be the light wherever we are in the world.

and the moon rises faithfully in her cycle, reminding us to be the light wherever we are in the world.

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Prelude To Solstice - 2018

Winter’s Pure Beauty

Winter’s Pure Beauty

All of heaven and all of earth coordinate at the Winter Solstice.Regardless of all the stories and traditions, this is a personal event of your life. It is the time that has been set up for you and Heaven to be with each other without interference. Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story

 It’s all too easy to find ourselves hooked in the hustle and bustle of seasonal activities and ‘wrapping things up for the year’.  We’ve forgotten that which we know deep inside: this is our time to recalibrate from the inside out.  And, to do so we must empty, release, let go and recognize the wisdom that done is done.

 All too often we fear being empty – even for a brief moment in time. 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.

I find this excerpt from Gregge Tiffen’s ‘Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story’ a beautiful reminder of the choices I can make now and moment to moment, before my time of winter solitude, and beyond winter into the spring. May it support you as well to ease into the sacredness of this time.

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)

Winter Blessings from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Winter Blessings from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

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Peace, No Matter What

I think of this spot as a Portal to Peace.

I think of this spot as a Portal to Peace.

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. Albert Einstein

… cause peace by becoming peace – not just being peaceful temporarily. To become peace requires embracing a mindset that recognizes all of creation as one organism expressing in myriad forms and committing to treat all others (human, non-human, animate and inanimate) with kindness and respect, no matter what. Rev. Trish Hall, founder Way2Peace (https://way2peace.org/)

The idea of ‘peace, no matter what’ is an ideal of the highest magnitude, or so it seems in a world hell-bent on destruction. Peace seems out of reach until we bring it home, seeking to maintain our personal sense of peace and making a commitment to peace in our hearts, minds, and homes. We do this moment by moment, choice by choice, conversation by conversation. Some are easy, natural, and effortless. Others choices call forth our conviction, invite us to step into the unknown, or even to swim upstream counter to friends, neighbors, or social norms.

That is way the way of change. That is way of creating peace. Those are the individual choices that we must make collectively if peace and love are to prevail on our precious planet.

Recently just such a choice presented itself. In the midst of reflecting on somewhat disconcerting conflicts and reactions in my community – events that have resulted in some friends deciding to arm themselves and others considering doing the same – these words came to me crystal clear as if someone was in the room speaking:

Disarmament of nations will only come when individuals shed the fear that has us keep weapons for our own protection.

While I wasn’t considering arming myself with a gun, a friend currently living in my home voiced that possibility for herself. Given the events, I understand why one might consider this choice. Yet, my initial reaction was ‘no!’. And after a day of thoughtful consideration, I was clear that this choice would stand. I was also clear that new criteria for sharing my home had emerged: no guns, no weapons – no matter what.

I feel a deep sense that my personal safety, like peace, comes first from within. The cause of war and violence in any of its forms is fear. Fear is the absence of love. The path to peace collectively is to expand and deepen our individual capacity to make choices grounded in kindness and respect – love, if you will – not in fear. I have work to do to increase my own capacity for kindness and respect to myself and to others, especially those with whom I disagree.

Too often we think of peace only as the business of nations. Governments engage in war to ‘win’ peace. Do you notice how broken this model is? Fear and dominance have had their time. Their time is done (though letting go for some will not be done without fight).

The time is now to end violence and to call forth peace, the peace that is our business – yours and mine – to create. The time for simple kindness, respect, and relationship is upon us.  Let our love shine light in the dark corners of fear. Let us each become portals to peace, putting our attention on the work that needs doing to build that peace – moment by moment, choice by choice, conversation by conversation, and even social media post by social media post.

Blanca Peak, a place of peace to indigenous peoples for generations. Do you see the bear?

Blanca Peak, a place of peace to indigenous peoples for generations. Do you see the bear?

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Of Pests, Painting, Patience, and Peace

'Patience Coach', Cool Hand Luke Skywalker watches over Mom as she prepares to paint.

'Patience Coach', Cool Hand Luke Skywalker watches over Mom as she prepares to paint.

We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves. … We cannot overcome anger and hatred simply by suppressing them. We need to actively cultivate the antidotes: patience and tolerance.  Dalai Lama

The more we practice patience, the greater our experience of the peace that follows.

So, remember the ants [click here if you missed last week’s post -- http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/the-open-door-of-missed-opportunity]?

They’re still here. Despite negotiations, pleading, and non-lethal ‘strong arm tactics’ (they don’t like peppermint) to force them to relocate, the mound is still active. They no longer have trails toward the house. Perhaps that’s a sign that their activity is focused on moving (hopefully far away). 

But alas, another pest has surfaced here at home.  I discovered evidence of a mouse in the house this week. Respectful of the hantavirus mice carry and its presence in our valley, I reluctantly set traps. Not the catch and release variety.

Pesky pests. I struggle knowing that any violence I perpetrate against myself or another living creature contributes to the culture of cruelty and violence on the planet. And, these days that culture needs no additional contributions.

As atrocious acts of violence and cruelty are being ordered and carried out right here in the United States and around the globe, the main course that’s needed is patience and peace. To that menu we need to add generous sides of understanding, compassion, kindness, and love.

I wonder: if I can’t be patient and co-exist with pesky pests, how can I expect others to make peace with those whose differences surfaces fear that can only be extinguished with love?  Indeed how can I make peace with others whose views differ from my own?  How do we get beyond the zero sum, win-lose approach to life?

Patience is key.  This week my ‘Patience Coach’, Cool Hand Luke Skywalker has his hands full. Beyond the pests, a few other pesky events this week are reminding me of the prayer: “Lord grant me patience, but please hurry”. Preparing to paint the garage trim, I discovered the masking tape preferred not to stick to the stucco. High winds didn’t help. Last night, wanting to wind down and relax with a video, the site I preferred to watch wasn’t working. Ugh!

On one level these little events pale in magnitude to the ‘big issues’ confronting humanity. But do they really? I’ve suggested before that there is no small thing in life. How we respond the seemingly inconsequential events in life is, indeed, consequential: cause and effect. Patience begets understanding, tolerance, peace. The more we practice patience, the greater our experience of the peace that follows.

If we truly understood and accepted this law our choices and actions would likely be very different.

How might I cultivate patience with the ants, with a mouse, with myself?  In those places where your patience is lacking, how might you?

PS - HAPPY SOLSTICE - Summer in the northern hemisphere, Winter in the south! 

Not Quite Solstice Sunrise Over the Sangres

Not Quite Solstice Sunrise Over the Sangres

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The Open Door of Missed Opportunity

Here Comes The Sun ... Sunrise in the Sangres

Here Comes The Sun ... Sunrise in the Sangres

You contribute to the situation by what you say. Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: An Honest Performance – June, 2011)

There is no small thing in life. Antsand their hills hold the potential to teach us how to climb life’s mountains, including the peak of creating peace in our world.

In our world that needs all the kindness and compassion we can muster, I missed an opportunity to be compassionate yesterday. Although I’m not beating myself up, I’m aware that an opportunity to be more of who I am is a terrible thing to waste. In noticing the miss, the door to greater awareness opened.

In hindsight I observed that when I’ve made a decision and am on a mission, I loose awareness of all else (focus is good and, like everything, has its shadow). That’s especially true, I discovered, if my decision is at odds which what I value. In this case ‘non-violence and honoring all life’ is what I say I value.

Yet, my mission was to purchase a ‘natural’ product to destroy a colony of ants. On some level, I set aside the fact that I wanted to kill, and I rationalized that using a commercial chemical formula was worse than my ‘natural’ approach. In my heart – the heart I ignored – I know that is false. Killing is killing regardless of method.

Negotiation so far had failed (Yes! I talked to the ants) but my missed opportunity suggested to me that perhaps I’d given up too soon (or perhaps my ant-speak needed to be clearer). Why are the ants an issue? I don’t want to experience the pain of another bite (they aren’t called ‘fire’ ants for nothing). I want Luke to enjoy his favorite outdoor napping spots without being attacked. And, I want the same for all my visiting two- and four-legged friends. But is killing the only answer?

As I write this, I’m aware of my ants as metaphor for viewing others whom we fear as ‘pests’ that need to be controlled. We try to dominate or conquer that which is different from us and those who we don’t understand. Oh life’s ‘little’ challenges! They have so much to teach us if we dare to be aware. But, I digress from yesterday’s missed opportunity that opened the door to this awareness.

I’m grateful to the Buddhist nun whose presence while I was on my mission to the local market provided the gifts of this reflection and the missed opportunity for compassion. She too was on an ‘ant mission’, going for the same product as I. While I was navigating around her to grab a box and go, she was standing in the aisle thoughtfully inquiring whether the product would kill or just deter them. She was aiming for the later: harm no thing. I quickly shared that the information I had was that the product would kill them. My missed opportunity for compassion continued as I responded to her question about what would deter without death in a somewhat frustrated tone, “I don’t know” and walked away.

I didn’t like what my voice and its tone contributed to this encounter. In hindsight I see that I didn’t want to confront my internal conflict. Heck, I’d made up my mind, let me buy the box of Borax and get on with my mission. Oh what a different conversation we might have had if I’d been aware and willing to engage.

The missed opportunity though gave rise to a deeper insight, to a commitment to pause and go back to the drawing board of the internet for a non-lethal alternative, including reopening ‘negotiations’ with these industrious beings. That’s the gift of aiming to honor my values, of being willing and aware, and of taking time for quiet reflection.

There is indeed no small thing in life. As part of the natural world which has so much to share, ants symbolize industriousness, order, and discipline. ‘Why would I want to kill THAT?’ is perhaps a story for another day. For sure it has my attention.

Ants and their hills hold the potential to teach us how to climb life’s mountains, including the peak of creating peace in our world.

Sunset on a Smokey Day in the Valley

Sunset on a Smokey Day in the Valley

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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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The Three G's of Power

A Beautiful Afternoon in the Woods

A Beautiful Afternoon in the Woods

Today I sing my song with gusto, grace and gratitude. Rev. Dr. David Goldberg - Daily Guide for 7 February 2018 in Science of Mind magazine.

Power doesn’t need anything to support it other than the conviction that the Power is there. Gregge Tiffen - Fanned Fire and Forced Love Never Did Well – February, 2008

… security is silent and insecurity is loud. Senator John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) – 7 February 2018 interview, MSNBC

I love life! Even the ‘dumps’ and whatever events seem to take me there have gifts to share (though, being human, I don’t always recognize them in that moment).  I especially find joy in discovering several ideas which at first seem totally separate then, upon reflection, converge to create yet another gift. And, I’m quite jazzed when I see both a personal and a global application.

So, this morning finds me pumped, inspired by three words in an affirmation yesterday: gusto, grace, gratitude. Upon reflection, I discovered just how powerful those three words are up close and personal in my own life, as well as how relevant (and much needed!) they are in the world.

The three words resonated deeply when I first read them. ‘Gusto, Grace, and Gratitude’ gained more life during a conversation with a colleague/friend across the pond.  Later, I wanted to make an honest evaluation of how I measure up to each (not against any worldly yardstick, just my own self-satisfaction).

  • Gratitude – my strongest of the three G’s. I’ve come to live in deep gratitude and express it frequently. “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for this day” is the mantra that begins and ends each day. I’m aware of my gratitude when I step out the door or look out the window at the natural beauty that surrounds me and when I get a gentle nudge from Cool Hand Luke reminding me to take a break. The list could go on (and on, and on …). What I’ve come to understand from practicing gratitude, is that she opens the way to all of the good in my life. She even lights the path that helps me see purpose in the ‘monsters’ that lurk in the corners.
  • Grace – gaining strength in my life, in part thanks to gratitude. I’ve come to walk through life with a greater sense of ease and patience with myself and others. I aim to have a strong sense of what is right without being self-righteous and to be thoughtful in how I respond to people and ideas that I find repulsive. Remembering that we are each part of a larger whole, each with her/his unique and individual learning to do on this earthly sojourn helps me maintain (and, hopefully, express) grace.
  • Gusto – at first glance, not my strong suit. Yet, as I explored its meaning (keen enjoyment, enthusiasm, appreciation, zest, relish; great vigor or liveliness), I realized that gusto doesn’t need to be loud or flashy. Like power and security, gratitude and grace, gusto is very much an inside job that finds reflection in how I walk through the world. What I wrote to begin this post sounds a lot like ‘gusto’ to me.

So, what about ThreeG Power in the world? Military might, chest thumping, and parading the weaponry of coercive force are not signs of strength or power.  Name calling and negative comments keep us mired in the muck, distracted from the business of life, peace, justice, compassion and creating a world where all are honored and valued.  

I see amazing power from putting the Three G’s into practice in our lives. Imagine what’s possible when we add gobs of gratitude, grace and gusto to mass consciousness to counter the destructive forces of fear and negativity in the worlds of politics, commerce, religion, media, et cetera. Imagine the transformation that’s possible in our individual disagreements with one another.

Which of the Three G’s speaks most powerfully to you? What will you do this week to nurture them all?

All Seeing Eye of the Majestic Pine

All Seeing Eye of the Majestic Pine

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