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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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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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Fairy Godmother to a Shero

Luke is a fan too!

Luke is a fan too!

And, she thought with wicked delight, it’d put Brindle in a tizzy to see her using the Way Between to neither concede to injustice nor stay sullenly in her room all winter. Rivera Sun The Lost Heir: An Unruly Royal. An Urchin Queen. A Quest for Justice

Ari Ara is my kind of shero. And, I’m proud that author Rivera Sun calls me her “fairy godmother in the mountains by the Great Sand Dunes.” It takes a village of fairy godmothers, supporters, family, friends, along with a creative, caring writer like Rivera to bring Ari Ara to life in mythical times as treacherous as those of our world today.

Rivera does that with aplomb and a creative flair that makes The Lost Heir (the sequel to Ari Ara’s first adventure, The Way Between) an important story for our times. She weaves the kind of stories needed to inspire creative approaches to looking at our world anew and to point to possibilities for creating a just and peace-filled world that works for all.

Having successfully completed a community publishing campaign in late 2018 and early 2019, the first edition of The Lost Heir is hot off the presses and the countdown to its release date – May 25 – has begun.

As you can see, Luke is a fan too. He was excited last fall when the author’s edition arrived in the mail.   

I could say so much more about Rivera, this book (indeed ALL of her writing) and its relevance in and importance to our world today. But this day finds my attention drawn to another life event, so I’ll close with this link where you can read much more AND pre-order a copy for yourself and another for someone you love.

Here’s a little taste of what you’ll find when you click that link …

“Going beyond dragon-slayers and sword-swingers, The Lost Heir blends fantasy and adventure with social justice issues in an unstoppable story that will make you cheer! … “
“With all the fun of a sword-swinging adventure, but without the violence, The Lost Heir spins a spectacular story with strong female characters and powerful social justice themes. "Armed" with nonviolence and love, Ari Ara sets out to restore the honor and dignity of both her peoples. A shero with spunk and spark, Ari Ara confronts prejudice, discrimination, bullying, and injustice with all the action, adventure, magic, and fantasy that readers love!”

I can only imagine what Ari Ara would do in these mountains!

I can only imagine what Ari Ara would do in these mountains!

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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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Love, Love, Love

What’s not to love?

What’s not to love?

Love is long suffering and kind. Suffering does not mean endurance but rather the willingness to permit and allow the kind of person someone is. Love recognizes individuality and respects individual freedom. If I love who I am, then my love for you will include the tolerance to let you be yourself without censure or critique. … Love seeks not its own. Love is not possessive or selfish. It revels in freedom. Like a beautiful flower it asks no additional adornment.  Gregge Tiffen (The Numerology of Love – February, 2007)

 Not one effort toward love is ever lost in the record of the Universe. It goes on imprinting into the hearts of total strangers, carried like a spark into generations untold. Rivera Sun (The Dandelion Insurrection) - a story of revolutionary lovers and love-in-action transforming the landscape of their world.

 On this day of roses and chocolates and romantic dinners for many, I’m reminded of the importance of feeling and expressing love in all that we do. Love is the most potent, powerful force on the planet. It is a characteristic of the Universe. Love’s power can guide us to create a world of peace and plenty. And, as history shows us, love misplaced or misunderstood, begets fear, fighting and scarcity.

In forgetting that we are each created as unique individuals with our own characteristics, strengths, foibles and lessons to learn, what have we lost in terms of awareness of the individual contribution we are each here to make? Have we forgotten that every ONE has THEIR story? That we are all different and we are all the same?  Especially those with whom we disagree.

Across the ages, right up to this very moment our ignorance has led us to fear the ‘other’ and to engage in cruelties beyond my comprehension. And yet, in quiet, reflective moments I wonder ‘is there a line, some circumstance or event that would provoke me to physical violence?’ I pray that the answer is ‘no’, but I know that I am capable of thinking and speaking harsh words and that I can suddenly find myself in a stream of consciousness that is far afield from recognizing and respecting the individuality of those with whom I disagree. That is especially so when their decisions appear to have the ability to impact my choices, my lifestyle.

However you celebrate this day (or not), give yourself the give of love and few moments to reflect on its power in your life and throughout the universe. Imagine a world where we practice love in all that we do and deepen your love of YOU so that you can pour that love into all that you do. 

This is what love looks like!

This is what love looks like!

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Using These Times to Benefit YOU!

Gleaming Peaks in the Morning Light

Gleaming Peaks in the Morning Light

If there is anything you don’t want in life, it is to plateau out. You want life to challenging. You want it to give you all sorts of elements which allow you to use yourself in a variety of ways. … Humans have the opportunities to move within events and gain something from them. Gregge Tiffen Down to Earth as quoted in Open Secrets: Revealing Habits – February, 2011

Over my years of coaching I frequently heard ‘I just want to retire, stop, get out the rat race, do nothing’. I see it today in social media posts and in financial institutions advertising their services to lure people in to get to the so-called ‘good life’.  Like the side effects of drugs that seem, at least to me, to outweigh their benefits, stopping for anything other than a respite to restore is not in our interest. Doing so removes us from the flow of life and the energy of learning, our prime purpose on this sojourn.

In these, shall we say interesting times, we may find it easy to want to retreat from where the flow of life seems to be heading. For many it’s easy to fall into despair, anger, fear, overwhelm, or faithlessness when looking only at the surface of events globally. This is especially true when we forget that we are here to learn and that, indeed, we learn from the experiences provided in the events that engage us. The magnitude of those events matters not. We can learn from them all – from the ginormous life changing ones right down to our daily walks with the dog and taking care of ourselves.

Without a doubt, these are intense times. In the midst of such intensity we may forget that there is no ideal end state that we’re aiming to create (then everything will be hunky-dory) or that ‘if I just do this’ then ‘that’ suddenly everything will be okay (whatever the heck that means). 

This week I began to ask myself:

  • How are you using these intense times?

  • How do you want to use them?

  • What do you want to learn?

  • What do you want to contribute?

  • What more do you want out of this sojourn?

Questions like these bring me back to my center. That’s my purpose in reflecting on them.  I’m not aiming for enlightenment level ultimate answers, rather for a simple guidepost to my next step or two. Importantly, such questions remind me that I’m not a victim to the extremes at work in all aspects of life.

Remembering that I am an integral part of an infinite, intelligent, kind Universe moves me forward rather than into destructive patterns of thought. Coupled with remembering that I am here, now, on a brief learning journey – just one stop in the infinite journey that is my individual consciousness – puts the world in perspective. That world, crazy and hostile as it may seem, is merely the environment of the campus on this current school called ‘life’. From this place I can choose how and what I want to create and contribute.

Without a doubt, these are intense times. And, they are but a teeny, tiny blip on the infinite timeline of the Universe. Systems are crumbling and we know not what will be created in their place. Whether or not we are front and center on the lines of creating what is to come we are contributing, consciously or not, to their form and their qualities with every thought we think. Ponder on that. What are your contributions?

Icicles

Icicles

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YOU Are Important!

A last bit of fall color before the snow.

A last bit of fall color before the snow.

We either recognize our importance by living an important life, as we see it, or we don’t. … Every word you have ever uttered, every move you have ever made and every thought you have ever had never dies. Gregge Tiffen (An Empty Heart Makes An Empty Purse – November, 2008)

If you don’t see your life as important, STOP. Reconsider. The Universe does not agree with you (although if you continue that point of view, the Universe will accept it and give it right back to you, magnified).

In Universal terms, terms of the flow of energy, there is no thought, word, or deed that does not matter. The Universe does not look at your thoughts, or hear the words you speak or observe the action you take and judge it (or you) as better than or less than any the thoughts, words, and deeds of anyone else.  The Universe does not compare, contrast, or choose.

The Universe receives, reflects back, and magnifies: EVERY thought from each and every one of us; EVERY word, and EVERY act.  It does so without regard to the tone of your skin, the language you speak, where or how you live, etc. The Universe doesn’t care how much money you have, how many hours you work, how much you give to others. It receives, reflects, and magnifies with no judgement.

The Universe does not categorize our thoughts, our words, or our deeds. The Universe does not care who wins the next election. Those choices are left to us and our free will to choose.  A Cherokee elder’s story to his grandson seems apropos to the power of our choices:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all.  One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."  The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?" The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Whether you see this time as one of doom and gloom or one of opportunity, the Universe will respond in kind. THAT is how important you are.

Let’s rise to the challenge of feeding the ‘good wolf’,  choosing thoughts, words, and actions out of love not fear, light not dark, abundance not lack, harmony not discord. Let’s lead where our so called ‘leaders’ don’t. We ARE that important!

SNOW DAY! Let’s Play!!!!

SNOW DAY! Let’s Play!!!!

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The Power of Directing Attention

Oh what a beautiful morning!

Oh what a beautiful morning!

To expect the Power of our Potent Force to be handed to us by some physical person, situation or experience is to deny acceptance of our own Universal Power. By failing to see where the Source of our potential lies, we end up suffering the impotency of empty experiences that exist without energy and without the power to make pathways for development. Gregge Tiffen (Deserve Success and You Will Command It – March, 2008)

When we put our loving attention on the person not the problem, we harmonize humanity.

This week as I held my intention to ‘harmonize with the good in the world’, I experiencedmoments when any ‘good’ seemed to have slipped away.

I lost sight of my intention, let go of curiosity, or allowed an external force undue influence. My attention went to problems – my own and the world’s – noticing those things that I judge as ‘bad’ or ‘lacking’. As you might guess, I found more than enough to drag me down. 

And, I declined to allow them to keep me there.

As soon as the slightest hint suggested I was putting my power in the hands of someone or something outside of me, I stopped. The clues that suggest my attention is misplaced include: feeling angst, angry, impatient, or lethargic; ignoring my daily self-care habits; worrying about things about which I have no control. I’m sure that it will be a lifelong learning opportunity to refine, notice and pause when I’m in this place. It IS the pause that refreshes!   

In the pause, I take a breath (or two or three or even a walk), doing my best not to pass judgement (‘you know better than …’). I put each distraction aside. I’d like to say that I do so gracefully and with gratitude for the learning and the energy redirected. What’s more accurate is that I snuffed them out, putting my attention, my focus where it can best serve. Only in hindsight did I truly feel gratitude for the experience.

The pause is my opportunity to redirect. I asked: what is in front of me that deserves my attention right now?

Then, I had the ability to attend to those things – several mundane tasks that come with the season (love checking each off of my ‘to do’ list!), reading and research to support my goal of writing, a nice long visit with a dear friend who is moving from the community, and – of course, long walks in nature with my ‘Harmonizer in Chief’ Cool Hand Luke.

More and more I’m deepening my understanding that personal and spiritual development isn’t somewhere ‘out there’ to be completed by attending a workshop, reading a book or listening to a guru – though each of these can make a positive contribution. Rather, our development depends on where we put our attention moment to moment, day to day.

When we do so with the slightest acceptance of our true Power, our growth can be exponential, inspiring quantum leaps in our capacity to navigate life on the planet and plant the seeds of wisdom that we will carry with us into eternity.  And, we do our part to harmonize humanity.

Harmonizing with Mom while awaiting a treat.

Harmonizing with Mom while awaiting a treat.

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The Power of Giving Thanks

The Sun Sets on Another Glorious Day in the Rockies

The Sun Sets on Another Glorious Day in the Rockies

The power of giving thanks gives life its vitality! The power of giving thanks comes through your awareness that you are always in a position to receive all the elements the Universe has to offer. Everything is available to you.  Gregge Tiffen (The Power of Giving Thanks, November, 2007)

A couple of Thanksgivings ago, sitting quietly by the fire on a cold morning, I began to write in my journal. The words that came surprised me and took me to an unexpected place: gratitude for being me.  Today as I began to reflect on what I wanted to share this Thanksgiving week, I found that post from 2015.  In this moment, it expresses exactly the prayer of thanks that is in my heart this day.

I am grateful for how I live my life, the choices I make, the insight and curiosity I experience, my love of quiet and of nature’s beauty. I’m grateful that I take reasonably good care of myself. I’m grateful that I take time to ease into the day and enjoy the morning quiet with Luke curled up near-by. I’m grateful for my introspection and for how I see the world unfolding perfectly in this human experiment/experience despite events that are horrific beyond my understanding.

I’m grateful for how I’ve faced the challenges in my life, even those events where in hindsight I saw a different way for me to be. Each offered a gift and I did my best to accept it.

I’m grateful that I enjoy my own company as well as being in the company of others. Both are so very important, yet we humans so very often shun being alone for fear of being lonely, forgetting that in our aloneness we hear Your voice and feel Your presence.

Thank You for always being with me/in me. Thank YOU for allowing and guiding me to be me. I feel so close You, God, in these quiet moments and I am so very grateful.

Thankfulness and gratitude are often expressed for things external to us – our family, our work, our homes, our pets, our friends.  Yes, I am grateful, deeply grateful, for these many, many blessings in my life.  This week I’m especially grateful for Cool Hand Luke Skywalker and our annual ‘anniversary’ hike to celebrate his adoption seven years ago.

When we give thanks for being who we are, we tap into the vitality of life. That vitality includes deep peace and the personal satisfaction of allowing myself to express gratitude for me. In whatever form you give thanks, may it bring you peace, joy, love and all that your heart desires.

A Shrine On the Trail High in the Mountains

A Shrine On the Trail High in the Mountains

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Power From The Source

Symbols abound when you walk in love and wonder.

Symbols abound when you walk in love and wonder.

To expect the Power of our Potent Force to be handed to us by some physical person, situation or experience is to deny acceptance of our own Universal Power. … If we refuse to take our proper and rightful place, it will be filled by someone or something to exert power over us. Whether we like it or not, we will have to live with the realization that we have abdicated our throne. We will have turned our potent forces over to the negative forces of the world that will use that power to keep us in bondage. We must never forget that a rightful force unused will, by the law of its own character, become a force misused.  Gregge Tiffen [Deserve Success and You Will Command It – March, 2008]

As I observe politics these days and make choices about my participation, I’m aiming to do so from my position of power. Not from anger. Not from fear. Not from impotence. Even though, from time to time, I find myself feeling them. At those times, I’m aiming to remember to go within to remind myself that true power, Universal Power, comes, not from man and the world’s systems but from Universal Source.

As I seek to understand what I observe, I wonder where and how ‘we the people’ have abdicated that Power. It seems that we must have done so to find ourselves where we are: divided in oh so many ways and continuing to believe that by force (the antithesis of power) we can control. History tells us otherwise. The illusion of control is just that, a fleeting illusion.

Force and its allies are not characteristics of the Universe.  Power and its allies (abundance, beauty, harmony, joy, peace, love, light, life) are.

While the political science major (yes, I was) in me is fascinated by current events, the ‘me’ that I’ve come to be cares more about the learning opportunities these events present. As messy as the world seems there must be gazillions. Or, as the optimist digging in a pile of manure said when asked ‘why’, “with all this sh__ there must be a pony in here somewhere”.

In the midst of all the behaviors, words, bills, policies that I find troubling – what might I learn? How do I navigate this world from my Power?

I sense we have vast opportunities to do just that: participate knowing the Source of our true Power. From that awareness and with each of us participating in our own unique ways, a different world is possible.

I’m looking for the pony. What about you?

Snow and ice cover Cottonwood Creek today after a snow ...

Snow and ice cover Cottonwood Creek today after a snow ...

What a difference a day makes!

What a difference a day makes!

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