Strangers Are Wonderful Too

As I waited to board the plane, I decided to find a seat in the first five rows. It was a short flight so a middle seat would be fine. They called the flight and, as I boarded, I reminded myself to look for that seat near the front. I found it in the fourth row and settled in between two young women. Once we took off, the young woman in the aisle seat cordially began a conversation. Before too long, the one to the left joined us.

The topic of conversation turned to fear of flying when we felt the plane respond to air currents over the mountains. Both women shared a fear of flying. One had learned to deal with it quite calmly; the other was only beginning to fly after a frightening experience. As women are prone to do, we had quite a lengthy discussion. What impressed me was that these two women, less than half my age and I am almost 71, were so open and honest with themselves and with us. One said, “Please don’t share exact details. I do very well now but details can still trigger me.” The other responded, “Of course! What do you do to help yourself because I am getting anxious right now?”

I sat back and listened as one gave useful and compassionate responses to the other. As the conversation slowed, I offered my insights on using breath to calm the body and mind. I also suggested that regular, simple meditation techniques are effective. Further details are not important.

As the plane landed and we prepared to disembark, we all thanked one another for an interesting and fun time together. We had shared our fears, our desires to be more balanced and ultimately our laughter and encouragement. We all agreed that it seemed like a twenty-minute flight rather than an hour.

My discussion with one of the women continued at baggage claim. Why am I not surprised that our bags were side by side!

I left the terminal smiling. What a wonderful experience! Strangers discovered common experience and spent an hour compassionately supporting one another in powerful ways. Openness of mind and heart, whether sharing or responding, made the trip easier for one as she  gave another real hope for her future travels. Though I do not have a fear of flying, it isn’t as fun as it used to be so I do avoid at times. This trip made me want to go again!

When you lead with an open heart, you aren’t really strangers after all. Love and peace abound. I will smile every time I think of those two lovely, open-hearted young women. May they be abundantly blessed. As may each of you.

Today’s Creation

What would you like your day to look and feel like? Tonight, when you look back over this day, how do you want to feel? Take a few moments this morning to think about this. Visualize your day. If you are very detail-oriented, then be specific as you visualize. If you get hung up on details, go for a more general look ahead. How do you want to feel rather than what do you want to accomplish.

Once you have a feel for your true desire as this day unfolds, form an intention that supports that desire. For example, if there is much to do and you have created a list, your intention might be “I accomplish these tasks efficiently and I have fun doing it. I enjoy the people I meet along the way.” For those with a more general idea of the day, your intention might be “I live in peace with myself and others.”

May you be abundantly blessed as this day unfolds for you are eternally and unconditionally loved. You are love manifestin in the world. Namaste.

Daily Habits for Peace

I am passing this on from Deepak Chopra’s website http://chopra.com

7 Days a Week: Daily Habits for Peace

The balance of peace in the world can seem overwhelming, as if huge forces outside your controller in charge. But you can take a different perspective by setting a goal for yourself of creating peace all around you. The worlds wisdom traditions teach that the source of violence, war, discontent, rebellion, and unrest lies inside each of us.  When you become a unit of peace and consciousness, exemplifying the quality known as Ahimsa (harmlessness) in Yoga, you have added a unique way to bring in the world to a state of peace.

Develop your pease consciousness by focusing on a different have it every day of the week.

Monday: Habit #1-Being Calm and Centered 

Peace is the natural state of the mind at its deepest level. Non-peace begins in small ways, when you are worried, restless, distracted, uneasy, or dissatisfied. Today be mindful of those signals from your inner world. When you feel them, take a moment to return to your calm space. Either meditating or simply sitting in a quiet space with eyes closed and taking easy, deep breath’s, works very well. Today’s habit is learning how to act upon early signals that peach isn’t there inside.

Tuesday: Habit #2-Non-participation

To be a unit of peace consciousness, don’t participate in the opposite attitude, which magnifies the reasons to be unpeaceful. Today, avoid conversations that include gossip, blame, backbiting, and discussions of how terrible the world is. You don’t have to be a Pollyanna, acting as if everything is already perfect. Simply focus on not participating when you can feel that the situation is turning toward anger, resentment, envy, and hostility in any form.

Wednesday: Habit #3-Taking No Side

Peace consciousness wants peace to be equally shared by everyone. This isn’t possible if you take sides, judge against others, or indulge in us-versus-them thinking. Today, be aware of everyone’s right to have peace. When you find yourself reacting with a knee-jerk response against a certain person, group, faith, ethnicity, or belief system, remind your self that you can hold a different viewpoint while still wishing peace for all concerned.

Thursday: Habit #4-The Intention of Peace 

Peace consciousness becomes more powerful as it deepens. One way to deepen your awareness is to put an intention out to the universe, which really means connecting with your higher self. Today, anytime you witness or confront a situation that needs a peaceful resolution, ask inside that the way to peace be opened for everyone. Sit quietly with this intention for a few moments, letting your heart go out to those not at peace.

Friday: Habit #5-Commune in Peace

When people of peace get together, they magnify their consciousness. Today, find a way to commune with someone else who wants peace. This can be through sitting with a child and absorbing his or her innocence, or discussing the topic of peace with the sympathetic person. You might consider joining a group that is working at any level of peace, such as preventing violence or helping troubled teens. Feel the warmth of sharing your peace with others.

Saturday: Habit #6-Selfless Service

Peace consciousness wants to be of service. It does little good to be at peace passively and isolation. Today, allow someone else to feel the peave you have found by being of service. Let yourself experience the kindness, goodwill, and compassion you can bring to a troubled situation. Your service can be as modest as visiting the elderly or as active as joining a community outreach project. Your aim is to give and receive at the level of peace that benefits both people at the same time.

Sunday: Habit #7-The Soul’s Peace

At the deepest level, there is infinite peach. Undisturbed by the play of opposites and the clash of darkness versus light. From the soul’s perspective, there is only pure Being. Today, take time to meditate on your true nature as unbounded love, compassion, reverence for life, and unity with the divine presence. See the light expanding from your heart in all directions.  Let simply being here be enough.

Soak up the beauty of Nature and realize that you are an indispensable part of the journey to enlightenment that lies ahead for everyone who steps onto the path. Just as there is only one state of pure Being, there is only one peace, which blesses every person equally.

In The Stillness

In the stillness

there is clarity

there is wisdom

there is guidance

there is peace

there is love

there is joy

there is oneness

there is wholeness

In the stillness

I know who I am

Namaste

NAMASTE is  most often understood as a greeting, much like aloha. The deeper meaning can be expressed in a number of ways. The one that has brought the most understanding to me is based on being one with the Divine, with All That Is:

 When I am truly one with myself and you are truly one with yourself, then we are truly one.

From my personal experience I know that, when I am disrupted  or fractured within myself, it is impossible for me to know true oneness and peace with another.

It always comes back to the same thing, doesn’t it? What I desire to experience in my life, when I actually experience in my life, must begin with me.

The election is over. No matter what side of the fence – or has it become the wall? – I was on or you were on, what happens next and what unfolds in the days to come depends on  each of us letting “it begin with me.”

Aum Shanti Hum. I Am Peace Itself.

Everything Is One Thing

Some of my earliest memories are of feeling the Divine Presence in nature. My parents grew up on sheep ranches in northern Nevada and animals were always a part of life for them. My dad joined the Army Air Corp just months before Pearl Harbor so I grew up as the daughter of an Air Force pilot. No sheep though once we had a pig for a while. Dad won the costume contest at one of the base functions and Tojo was the prize! We had dogs and we spent most of our recreational hours outside, whether in the yard or camping by a river.

Last night I was reviewing a journal I started last May. A journal that, for some reason, I set aside about six weeks ago. The intention of this particular journal is to list some things from my day that brought me pleasure or joy, that allowed me to give and/or receive love, things that inspired me. One of the entries struck me so sweetly that I would like to share it with you this morning.

May 29, 2016

Pleasure: morning walk,prayer,talking with a squirrel – it sat on a tree very close to me and looked at me for quite some time. I spoke a few words, almost in a whisper and we seemed connected. Then Squirrel took its right front “hand” in a wee fist and touched its chest (heart). It stayed like that looking at me until I did the same and then it brought its hand down and so did I – and we parted. It was so sweet.

I walked on and felt the life force energy of the trees that canopy the streets here. I felt welcomed, known, supported.

Everything Is One Thing. I am not a squirrel and a squirrel is not a human being and yet, for a moment, we were part of the same thing. Different but not separate. Different but not separate.

People think I am so “disciplined” to walk or ride my bike every day. Nope. Discipline has nothing to do with it. Nature is God loving my very Soul, My True Self flourishes when I experience creation, when I feel the Divine in Everything, including myself.

 

Perceptions Create Expectations

Unreasonable expectations result in frustration, anger, depression, and hopelessness.

Where do unreasonable expectations come from?

My experience has taught me that my perceptions – how I perceive the way life (and therefore other people) should be, look, feel, and unfold – create my expectations. My expectations then determine how I respond or react to the way life is unfolding or happening for me. This includes my behavior, abilities, success, etc. It also includes how others treat me or respond to me.

It occurred to me, during a private session with a client a few days ago, that we can choose to “release” unreasonable expectations and the resulting self-judgment until we are blue in the face and it won’t change our behavior. As soon as we are tired, hungry, or upset, we will fall into the same pattern of expectations and judgements.

Howeverif we can shift to a new level of awareness about our expectations, we will see how we came to form these expectations. What is the new level of awareness?

PERCEPTIONS CREATE EXPECTATIONS

On the most fundamental level, my expectations are based on my personal interpretation of what my life is “supposed” to be:  relationships, financial status, marital status, social status, weight, height, beauty…..oh, the list goes on, doesn’t it?!

Let me say that again:

My expectations are based on my personal interpretation of what my life is “supposed” to be like.

Here are a few examples from challenges I have faced in my own life. I am phrasing these in terms of the way I perceived life at the time.

  1.  Comparing myself to others works – THIS IS NOT TRUE!!                    Every time I compare myself to another, I open myself up to pride and arrogance (I am/did better) or self-judgement and frustration (they did better). Either way, I lose.
  2. When things manifest (timing) is in my hands – THIS IS NOT TRUE!!       Leave the timing in the hands of the Divine.  Use your time to meditate and surrender your dreams to the heart of Divine Love. May your mantra/prayer be “Show me my part. I give you the rest.”
  3. My physical age determines my ability to succeed – THIS IS NOT TRUE!!  Listen to me please. My life does not resemble the dreams I had about what it would look life halfway through my 71st year. It is different and wonderful and the surprises keep coming. AND I am so not done yet!  So, instead of telling yourself that you aren’t where you thought you would be by time you were ___ years old, affirm what you have experienced & learned, how you have grown, even mistakes you have made. Affirm your life unfolding; do the work that connects you to True Self; keep becoming Divinely Human. All else is detail rather than substance. Details come and go with the winds of time and with the shifting of cosmic consciousness. Trust me. You are so not done yet!

You are loved. Yes, you are.

You are love manifesting in the world even when you think you cannot possibly be. Yes, you are.

I know because I am too, even when I cried all one day last weekend.

I love you so I know.

Just Be

As a young wife and mother, I felt overwhelmed at times. We were living in Goose Bay, Labrador and my children were 3 and 1. As an Air Force Wife, I faced most days, many nights, and sometimes weeks or months a a time alone. I wasn’t alone, however. Every woman around me was living the same experience. We came together whether it was at a Wives’ Club meeting, the bowling alley, or the base chapel. I did it all. I found a bible study/prayer group that was loving and supportive and I began to develop a daily spiritual practice.

One of the more mature members of our group taught us about the value of a daily quiet time that included prayer, silence, and journaling. It took a little while but I established the practice of rising before my husband and children, fixing a cup of tea, and just sitting down to enjoy the quiet, the silence, before beginning my day. I learned to take the time to just be. Of course, initially, I made it harder than it needed to be. I tried to create deep, impressive spiritual experiences. Sharing my frustration with one of the women brought a profoundly simple response. She touched my arm and said something like “Catherine, just sit down and be there. Let yourself just be for a few minutes.” My days were hectic and this sounded like heaven so I tried it.

She was right. To sit in silence without needing or trying to accomplish anything was just what I needed. Before long, that first half hour of every day was my oasis, my source of peace. It led to time of deep inspiration as I sought wisdom in raising my children. It brought peace as I realized this was an important part of my path to knowing myself and living my truth.

So today, dear hearts, I invite you to take a seat and just be. May the love and light that you are shine through the body, mind and heart you currently occupy. Hurray!

Speak Your Truth

How?

First, you must know Your Truth. Truth transcends opinion. It is not about religion or politics or ideology.

Truth is Who I Am on the most fundamental level. My personal truth is that I Am a spiritual being who is currently having a human experience. My purpose is to discover on every level of awareness the Divine Love and Light that I Am and then to manifest that Divine Love and Light while in human form.

One of the nuances of this discovery and purpose is that it guides me in how to speak my truth. My practice is to speak my truth with love and compassion toward myself and others. Love and compassion toward myself requires me to set reasonable boundaries with others – boundaries that express self-respect on my part and that ask them to respect me. Love and compassion toward others requires me to communicate my boundaries gently and clearly rather than in a way that amounts to controlling their behavior. I can only ask that my boundaries be respected. Love does not force. Hopefully, trust develops as well as friendship, etc.

I cannot always have what I want; there may be a loved one that I long to invite into my inner circle but who does not respect and honor me. I will always love that person even though our relationship will be more distant, more on the surface that I would prefer. Love still prevails but with wisdom and self-respect. I respect myself enough to accept the current reality. I respect the other person enough to not force change, to not demand that they be someone they are not.

Know and Speak Your Truth with Love and Compassion for Yourself and Others. This may be the deepest experience of your spiritual journey, beloved.