Appreciation

Appreciation, finely developed, becomes an art form. It is an art form that emerges from a place of Divine Love and Compassion Within. Expressing appreciation allows another person to see and, hopefully, feel your understanding of their effort or experience.

I am thinking about this today because it is almost Memorial Day. For me, Memorial Day fills me with love and gratitude for those who are committed to protecting my country and the freedom that it promises. I am the daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, friend and former spouse of military personnel. Many of them are or were career military. My appreciation of their desires and sacrifices fills me with a depth of gratitude I find difficult to express. I know their lives because I lived it daily as a family member for the first 49 years of my life.

As a result, when I see a military member, my heart goes out and, if circumstances allow, I quietly approach and express my gratitude for their service even though it never feels as though my words are enough.

I was in an airport last week when I recognized an active duty backpack being carried by a gentleman waiting to board a flight. I lightly touched his arm and, when he turned, I extended my hand and said, “Thank you for your service. Even though I do not always agree with or like the places you are sent, I am always grateful that you go without question and do what you are trained to do. You go where I would not have the courage to go and I know because my father and former spouse were career military.” As he heard my words, his hand gently shaking mine warmed and he thanked me for saying it. Then he stopped and looked more deeply into my eyes and said, “Thank you for your service. You gave every bit as much as they did. And we can’t do it without you.”

Whew! Time stopped. I felt as though I was in one of those movie freeze frames. The full impact of genuine appreciation filled me with such a depth of Oneness with this “stranger” that I felt the presence of the Divine.

So, dear hearts, think about those who serve in the military, law enforcement, and fire department as we approach Memorial Day. Honor those who gave their lives, of course. Also please appreciate those who still do.

Then, day-to-day, pay attention to those who serve in much less obvious ways so that you can become more aware and find ways to express appreciation. It feels absolutely heavenly to be understood and acknowledged! Are you wondering where to begin? Here are a few suggestions: the school or church janitor, the grocery clerk who puts up with lots of fussy people even if you aren’t one, the garbage man. Please remember as well those that you are related to, live or work with, whether you like them or not. Expressing genuine appreciation for the smallest of things can change the course of someone’s day and, perhaps, their life.

I appreciate each of you for taking the time to read this, for those who don’t know me and for those who do. Be blessed and a blessing today. We need one another more than ever. 💫💖

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Peace Is SO Worth It

The longer I live and practice meditation the more convinced I am that it is the most sure path to Divine Love, Peace, and those are the essence of Enlightenment.

Most of you are familiar with this outer from Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken:”

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by.

And that road has made all the difference.

The practice (remember that practicing is doing something faithfully and consistently until it becomes natural to you) of meditation is one of the roads less traveled. It requires a change in one’s daily routine as well as the insight and willingness to retrain the mind. I find thinking in terms of being consistent, rather than telling myself to “get it right,” allows my Soul to invite me to sit in silence regularly.  As my practice becomes more consistent, the benefits flow more regularly and clearly,

For example, meditation supports my spiritual path of non-judgement. It encourages my heart and mind to see that others are like me: spiritual beings figuring out how to be human. The reading I am drawn to more and more guides me into higher understanding of truths I have known for decades. I also encounter beautiful thoughts and phrases that carry me through the challenges of human life.

One of the core teachings concerning creating a successful life is to become aware of where I put my attention in any given situation. As a result, I became aware that, in the past, I used to take the role of a victim when I was hurting. If only that other person had taken better care of me, been kinder, etc. My years of Hatha yoga and meditation helped me be more honest about my responsibility in almost every situation.

This morning I read a verse in the Dhammapada that made my heart open. It is a verse intended to bring awareness to what I can be doing, not an invitation to turn judgement inward….assessment rather than judgement is the key. I realized that focusing more deeply on the meditation side of yoga has internalized a key truth and that I am beginning to truly live it!

Do not give your attention to what others do or fail to do; give it to what you do or fail to do. (Verse 50)

The result? PEACE of mind and body as well as the deepest awareness of Divine Love that I have ever known. 🙏🏻📿

Oh yes, dear hearts, that PEACE that passeth understanding is SO worth every ounce of effort, every moment I have taken a seat to be still. Please don’t give up. You deserve to live in peace. 💫💖

The Wisdom of A Child

My darling granddaughter is four years old. She is bright and funny and astoundingly strong-willed.  Around the age of three, she came to my home for a play date. I asked her to start picking up so that we could get her home on time. She silently continued playing as though I did not exist. I then quietly asked her to look at me so that I knew she was listening and she calmly kept playing – again as though I did not exist. I stood there and silently asked my Soul for wisdom. This is what came to mind so I said it lovingly and quietly:

Sweetheart, I have no desire to struggle with you so I am going to finish cleaning up the kitchen before I take you home.

The silence continued from the other room. About five minutes later I peeked into the room and she was putting everything away with great care. We straightened the living room together and had time to walk to her house instead of using the car 💓. This idea of not creating a struggle with her has been a theme ever since.

Very recently I was sitting on her bed with her. She is allowed to watch a short tv show after her nap so I was setting up one of her favorites on an iPad … or so I thought. Nothing was working and I was starting to feel frustrated. She is very intuitive and is often aware of our feelings before we are. She leaned into me and touched my arm lightly as she said

You don’t need to struggle, Gama. Just try again.

Then she kissed my cheek, I thanked her for reminding me and we figured it out together!

Need I say more?

Blessings to you this day. Each day comes as a gift, right? Right!

Where My Soul Resides

From The Law of Divine Compensation by Marianne Williamson:

The universe of miracles is where our soul truly lives, even in our mortal forgetfulness. It is not a metaphor, but an actual dimension of consciousness. It is the holy grail of the spiritual quest.

A shift in thinking from fear to love is a miracle. A miracle is not a supernatural event. It is metaphysical. (“Meta” means beyond: thus metaphysical reality refers to a reality that is beyond the physical.) There is nothing supernatural about love or it’s effects; love is our natural state of being…The most powerful, liberating thing we can do is to break from the fear-based thinking that dominates the world—to surrender the mind-set the world has taught us and accept a new one instead.

As I have said to my grandchildren since before they were born,

You are Love and Light in form.

May we, as individuals and as the family of human beings, learn to live this Truth. Be blessed and a blessing as this day unfolds. Peace🕊💫💖

Do You Long For Peace?

If you Long for peace, whether within yourself or in our world, then…

Be Peace

Leave self-judgement behind. Whoever taught you to do that was wrong.

Live Peace-fully with yourself.

Even if it only lasts a moment at first, choose not to judge others. Does it ever make you feel better?

Live Peace-fully with others.

Let it begin with me. Let it begin with us, dear hearts.

Morning Quiet Time

I sit in my bentwood rocker each morning. I love my rocking chair. It is rattan, made in Taiwan. It came back with me from Guam about 30 years ago. It welcomes me every morning as I settle in with a cup of coffee, inspirational reading, and a time of quiet to form my intention for the day.

This morning I am aware of the stark polarities in my world. Peace/War. Compassion/Understanding. Acceptance/Rejection. Love/Indifference. Hope/Fear.

I breathe into this moment and know that Love is. God is. 

And because God is Love and both are indefinable, I am alert, aware, open, seeing, listening, receiving, trusting, be-ing.

What else makes any sense at all. The Divine simply Is. Knowing that, I simply am present in this moment being all that I am, resting in that awareness. It has to be enough because this moment is all there is, all I have. It is everything.

You Are In My Thoughts

I have a rattan rocking chair in my bedroom. I just sat down with a cup of coffee to begin my morning quiet time & meditation. All of you who read my blog come to mind as I settle into the moment.

When I think of you, whether I know you or not, I am blessed. This morning I want to send you a blessing in return:

Dear hearts, may your day unfold in peace and ease. May your heart be light as you remind yourself that you are Divinely and Eternally loved. May your need for peace, joy, healing, hope be met. May you be a blessing to those you meet in the course of your day. May you be the one who smiles first for you are Love and Light manifesting in human form. 

Aum shanti, Peace.