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You, Me, and the Planet

Pines in the Woods Out Back

Pines in the Woods Out Back

I want you to consider Nature and your body as being one thing. Gregge Tiffen (Learning Without Experience is a Bell Without a Clapper – September, 2008)

 What if we totally embraced and acted from this place? Today I’m visiting a reflective place, not looking back to explore the meaning of recent experiences, rather looking ahead and asking ‘what if?’

 Gregge’s quote strikes me as catching the essence of, yet going beyond, the concept of ‘oneness with all things’.  It inspires me to experiment. I want to carry it in my heart into the woods. Discover the feeling when I speak ‘I am you; you are me’ to the pines in the woods out back. How will that differ from the peace I feel when I offer them daily thanks?

Surely I won’t deepen my connection with Nature, since I am it and it is me. We aren’t merely connected. We are one. How will my awareness shift? What possibilities will open? What changes may spring forth requesting consideration or, perhaps, demanding action?

The power of the planet is the power you have available to you in totality. Your body is representative of the planet, comes from the planet and belongs to the planet. Gregge Tiffen (Learning Without Experience is a Bell Without a Clapper – September, 2008)

Our planet is demonstrating her power to restore balance. Weather extremes, flooding, storms, earthquakes, raging fires are part of her modus operandi. Like the mother giving tough love to nurture and guide her child, Mother Earth speaks. How well will I listen? And, more importantly, how will I respond? After all, my Mother and I, we are one.

Your body’s relationship to nature is to give fidelity and protection to Mother Nature, the very mother that birthed your body. Fidelity is your first action, your first commitment, and that is the law you recognize at the instant of your birth. Gregge Tiffen (The Language of a Mystic: Completion  – September, 2009)

How might I deepen my devotion? Which of my daily habits support systems contrary to exercising dominion and loving kindness to the planet/to me? What’s possible if we collectively ask, not from guilt and fear, but from love?

Much of the wisdom you seek comes from taking the responsibility to care for your own body. Gregge Tiffen (The Journey Continues: In Search of Wisdom – September, 2010)

Home. Come home. Come home to me, to my body that is of this earth, a microcosm of the macrocosm that is the planet, Mother Earth. What does this body need, not to survive but to thrive? What ‘less’ becomes ‘more’ in caring for the planet/for me? What does truly thriving look like?

We each have a role to play on the stage of our planet’s well-being, for her well-being is our well-being, yours and mine, our children’s and our grandchildren’s, our neighbors, our friends, and those with whom we disagree.

Whether we are activists demanding change or scientists and technologists developing solutions or simply individuals going about this thing called life, we are impacting our planet/ourselves. Every thought, every word, and every deed impacts Mother Nature’s well-being/our well-being. How will I collaborate with her/with myself today? How will you?

The Planet, My Home, Me

The Planet, My Home, Me

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The Gift of Pain and Ignorance

Waterfall on Cottonwood Creek - The Flow of Life

Waterfall on Cottonwood Creek - The Flow of Life

The pain you experience is your ignorance holding itself up to you so that you may find the knowledge it requires. There is always an opportunity to learn when you are ready. Our particular ignorance leads us to our next school, next lifetime, next family, next mate, next job, next health challenge, next drama, or next crossroad. Gregge Tiffen (excerpt from Life in the World Hereafter, The Journey Continues in The Journey Continues: In Search of Wisdom – September, 2010)

Earlier this week, an article I’d written was turned down for publication. Ugh! I was surprised. It’s a great article (one of those that flowed easily onto the page when the opportunity presented itself) and I knew that the publisher needed it. I was hurt. And, I was a tad angry.

For a little while I let these emotions have their way. I moped a bit and threw myself a little pity party. On some level I knew that my reaction is not who I am or how I choose to be. Yet, the emotions overtook what I know, and, in that moment, I could see no path other than the dark, slippery slope I was on.

I went in search of distraction: something to make the discomfort go away. Thankfully, no relief there.

So, I went to the woods and walked the labyrinth out back.  Slowly, step by step in the spiral, I let go. The shock, the hurt, and even the anger slowly floated away.  Then I was able to engage curiosity and ask ‘what is the opportunity here?’ What can I learn from this? What do I need in order to step into the exhilaration and flow I was experiencing before this little bump in the road?

Simply asking the questions with a sincere desire and intention to know shifted my energy. As I consider possible answers, one leads to the next. Step by step. New questions emerge. My view of opportunity expands beyond our culture’s definition that limits opportunity to business, money, going somewhere or doing something – external matters, doing not being.

We are here to have experiences through which we acquire information and knowledge that someday distills to wisdom that lives with us beyond this life, this body. Those experiences from other lifetimes are in us, in our cells. That is how we ‘know’ those things that we cannot explain how we know or where we learned them. That experience is what comes forth as intuition and instinct. That is the wisdom of the universe available to us, if we are willing to learn to tap into it.

Ignorance is not bliss. It is simply the lack of information or knowledge.  Pain is but physical or mental discomfort or distress. Both are barometers indicating change that asks for our attention and opens the door of opportunity for growth. We ignore them at our peril.

Labyrinth in the Woods Outback

Labyrinth in the Woods Outback

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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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Discernment in Our Chaotic World

Early Morning Haze in the Sangres

Early Morning Haze in the Sangres

Truth and spiritual awareness need no trumpets or drums. Gregge Tiffen (Do The Angels Take a Vacation? – August, 2007)

What is true for each of us is that which inspires and deepens our awareness of our true power.

As I have a few times recently, this week has me calling forward a previously written post – updated what I’m observing currently.  The message seems especially appropriate given the political climate and, in my view, dearth of moral leadership in that arena.

Over the past several weeks as I’ve watched current events unfold and heard far too much fear-based rhetoric, I realized (not for the first time of course) just how disempowering the world’s messages are. The so called ‘news’ with its negativity, discord, confusion, conflicting information and disparate opinions that scream their version of what is true often fails to inform much less inspire or empower.

Beyond the news, everything in the world seems to calls for our attention jobs, family, friends, politicians, people in business who have something to sell. Take a look at your email in-box, your social media account, text messages, voice mail, and advertisements in places too numerous to mention. 

Are you inspired or empowered by what you see?  Or does the vista contribute to a sense of angst, confusion, chaos about conditions ‘out there’ beyond your control?

So, how the heck do you begin to know what’s ‘true’?  Within that question is perhaps one of the great opportunities of this time: learning the fine art of discernment – not what’s true ‘out there’, but what is true to you and for you. What are your criteria for discerning what to allow to enter your space (yes, you do have control over that!)?

If you know your criteria, are you rigorous in honoring them? (I’ll be taking some action in this regard this month!).

If you aren’t sure or your criteria could use buffing up (I’ll be doing some of that too!) give some attention to identifying the knowledge/tools/skills you have to guide you.

A great starting point is remembering the truth of what Gregge suggests in the quote above: truth is not boisterous or external, rather it is quiet and inside. The goal is to find your truth. What is true for each of us is that which inspires and deepens our awareness of our true power. What inspires you? What deepens your awareness of how powerful you truly are?

Here are some other ways to develop and sharpen your discernment:

  • Engage curiosity, letting go of the need to know, understand or be right

  • Be open to other possibilities – open mind, open heart

  • Develop your instinct/conviction and listen to it while being open to making adjustments

  • Befriend paradox – in a world of infinite possibilities two ideas that appear contradictory may each be true even when they seem to be polar opposites

  • Be gentle (with yourself and others)

  • Avoid win/loose conflict, competition, and confrontation

  • Look to nature, her beauty, her rhythm

    Enjoy the journey to discovering and expanding all that which is truly you AND true for you! 

The Labyrinth - One of My Places for Finding What Is True for Me … Luke agrees!

The Labyrinth - One of My Places for Finding What Is True for Me … Luke agrees!

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Will (Continuing the Exploration)

Early Morning Sun on the Great Sand Dunes

Early Morning Sun on the Great Sand Dunes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Early Morning in the Woods

Early Morning in the Woods

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The Will to Choose

Early morning moon over the San Luis Valley

Early morning moon over the San Luis Valley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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The Gift of Retrograde Planets

On the trail out back as the sun peeks over the peaks

On the trail out back as the sun peeks over the peaks

The need for adjustments within our personal life cycles exists for the same reason that galaxies are kept from bumping into one another; both are a consequence of some extremely intelligent avatars somewhere in space having created and continuing to create planet Earth within the whole scheme of the harmonic flow of energy often heard in the music of the spheres. (Patrece on behalf of P Systems – www.p-systemsinc.com)

The more we are aware of retrograde conditions and their possible influences, the more we are able to navigate through our life experiences with greater control and clarity. (Gregge Tiffen - https://www.g-systems.com/)

First, a disclaimer: I’m no expert in astrology. What I’m sharing comes not from decades of studying the planets and their influence. Rather it comes from considering what Patrece and Gregge Tiffen have shared on this topic and from observing my own life’s conditions and events. It also comes from my conviction that, despite so much evidence to the contrary, we live in a universe that is divinely ordered and anchored in love, a universe in which we are not victims unless we choose not to receive the gifts the universe offers.

What inspires me to share is that the planet Mercury went retrograde earlier this week as it does several times each year. It reminded me of the prevailing attitude when planets go retrograde: life is disrupted, ‘bad’ things happen, and that we just need to suffer through. Such an attitude casts us as victims, putting attention on the disruption and ignoring the opportunities planets in retrograde offer: gifts from a benevolent universe.

Planets do not go retrograde without purpose. Their doing helps maintain order in the cosmos, ensuring the universal “harmonic flow of energy”. Adjustments are required. Planets adjust.

As above, so below. As a part of this intelligent universe, we are given the opportunity to use the cycle of time when a planet is retrograde to do the same: adjust. Taking time to assess and to make changes during these cycles can help us avoid bumping into ourselves, one another, and the events life brings our way. (Imagine a world where we each did that, including our leaders!)

When it went retrograde this week, Mercury joined four other planets that were already in retrograde. Yes, your math is correct: five planets are currently in retrograde. Perhaps you’ve wondered why the world (and maybe your life) seems crazier and disrupted to the extreme.  Rather than looking at the chaos, I’m choosing to look to the opportunities to slow down and consider what adjustments might serve me.

Mercury (Ruler #2*) is the planet that influences decision making and communication, including all of the technology we use in both. In retrograde it presents opportunities (indeed more than one!) to slow down and pay close attention to detail in all communication, that coming in and that we’re sending out. (I’m doing my best to practice this message as I focus on this post.) This is also a time to identify and make adjustments to communication habits or patterns that aren’t working well, to examine how you manage time and energy, to assess projects underway and adjust to get/keep them on track. Notice what puts you on edge as a guide to where adjustments are needed. Mercury’s retrograde is short – ending on July 31 – but it’s potential is powerful.

Saturn (Ruler #7) retrograde invites us to look at how we use our minds. This is a good time to observe and eliminate clutter in our thought processes and to bring forward mental qualities that may be dormant. Exercise your mind and explore what keeps you from manifesting the results you’d like and refine your operating style. This retrograde ends on September 19.

Pluto (Ruler #8) influences money and success. When in retrograde it invites us to review and make sure our financial house is in order. A key question to ask is ‘what needs to be reworked to put myself on a more solid financial footing?’ This opportunity exists until October 4.

Jupiter (Ruler #6) retrograde provides opportunities to look at health and relationships, including your relationship with you, and to explore how your home environment supports you (or doesn’t). Jupiter ends its retrograde cycle on August 10.

Finally, the influence of Neptune (Ruler #9) retrograde is mostly beneath the surface, offering the opportunity to look deep within to what inspires us and what gives life meaning. It’s a time when deep reflection and solitude can serve us well. We have this opportunity until November 27.

How will you unwrap, receive, and put the gifts of these retrogrades to use? Start by slowing down, paying attention, and being curious.

* Gregge used a numbering system rather than the customary planet names in his work, as you’ll see if you visit his website for more detail on these retrogrades. Here’s the link: https://www.g-systems.com/wordpress/?cat=9

Cool Hand Luke pauses for a photo op on an early morning hike to the Zigurat

Cool Hand Luke pauses for a photo op on an early morning hike to the Zigurat

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