Another Alaska Story

The next day our cruise ship sailed through Glacier Bay. Things feel timeless there. We decide to find quiet places to experience this wonder-filled place. I am grateful beyond words…my face is less swollen but the virus is raging today. From my journal:

Today I am wounded…..uncomfortable…..face flaming

yet I walk the deck in the cold, 2 miles in 30 mins. Smiling. Feeling life and strength.

yet—somewhere inside is…..sadness, discouragement, deep weariness.

My faces though much less swollen is so red! Almost raw looking.

I know I must not use the mineral powder to partially disguise it today. I must let my poor skin breathe; it needs the pure, clean air here to heal.

BUT today my resiliency is gone. I feel vulnerable and exposed, as though I must protect others from the sight of me.

I sit now in a barely lit corner of the Crow’s Nest on the Observation Deck. I fought and won as I chose to leave the stateroom for the fourth time today.

I will not deny myself the vastness and grace of this place to avoid being seen.

Around the corner from where I sit, the number of voices increases and I want to leave…

not yet, though tears are just below the surface…..my sadness reflected in the gray of the sky.

My thoughts as I reflected later on what I had written:

This too shall pass in spite of how I feel in this moment.

This experience is preparing me for a new level of awareness, understanding, peace, wisdom, clarity, compassion, love of self and others.

I embrace the suffering of the moment in the hope and expectation of the gift to come❤️

If you are suffering today, my prayers are with you. May you find peace and strength in this present moment, catherine. 💫💖

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A Quote from Gandhi

Don’t let people walk through your mind with dirty feet.

When I heard someone quote him not too long ago, my Inner Voice added “whether they were in your life in the past or have shown up in the present.”

If that person is from your past, a memory is recycling. It is not a current experience but it can become one if you continue to entertain it in the present moment.

If that person has recently entered your life and was unknowingly welcomed by you, it is your choice whether or not that person remains.

I believe this is worth giving thought to….how about you?

Aum Shanti, dear hearts. Transcending Peace.

It’s Been Two Week’s…?

That’s  right two weeks have passed since my last entry. That was a surprise to me this morning.  But then in the past few days I have totally blanked out a payment I need to make and used a chopstick to attempt thoroughly cleaning out around the lint filter in my dryer. The reason I mention that is because I dropped the chopstick and it slid down underneath the tub of my dryer. So I will make an appointment with my landlady this morning to explain to her what I have done and admit my own embarrassment.  And this is how my “new“ year began.

Fortunately I don’t give much importance to events that are simply part of a calendar people devised in order to be able to communicate with one another.  I reminded myself this morning that other countries and cultures have calendars totally different from ours so a day is simply a day. Time is a linear mental concept and I can allow myself not to be undone by it.

I decided this morning that my “new“ year begins today. And today is a good day because I am present and aware and willing to  be in each moment as it unfolds. Yes, I hope today unfolds with more clarity and simplicity and lack of surprises!  Life is what it is and getting frustrated and overly embarrassed really does not bring me peace and contentment.

Life is what it is and I am who I am. I forget things. I make silly mistakes. I am, after all, a spiritual being currently having a human experience. And human beings are prone to oversights and mistakes because there are no perfect human beings. And knowing that is the key to being perfectly human!

May your day unfold easily and may you know Peace today.

The Myth of Perfection

In the book of Matthew, chapter 5, there is a verse that says

Therefore, you are to be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.

Deeply committed Christians have used this verse form generations to judge themselves and one another. I was a bible teacher for many years and studied this verse at great length, plumbing the depths of its meaning. What I discovered liberated me and shocked my students into being set free themselves.

The word “perfect” was used in the earliest translations of the originals texts and does not convey the deepest, and most spiritual, meanings of the original word. A truer translation would be “come into fruitful maturity.” A simple example is a fruit tree. Fruit trees have to mature before they can produce, sweet, nourishing, edible fruit. And not all trees produce the same fruit.

Therefore, dear hearts, think on this idea:

Grow up into the Truth of who you are – a spiritual being learning to be human. Mature spiritually, emotionally, and mentally so that your purpose is fulfilled…so that you produce the fruit of your True Self, your Divine Essence: love, compassion, peace…

Trust Is Not A Gift

I raised my children before computers and cell phones. As they began to venture out with friends, spend nights in other people’s homes, etc., I began setting boundaries, telling them to check in with me, and being sure they had change for pay phones. One of them asked me why I didn’t trust them, after all they were my children!

This is when I began to teach them why the virtue of trust and being trusted is so valuable….because it is earned. It is proven by a history of behaviors that have shown others that they would consistently do what they said they were going to do. Now that they would be making many decisions on their own, they needed to show me that they would consistently keep agreements with me and live up to the expectations those agreements created. I also taught them the agreements must be spoken and agreed upon by everyone involved, i.e. each of them and their father and me.

I remember saying to them “I don’t trust you because you exist. I will trust you because you show me that you can be trusted.” Then I reminded them that they grew to trust me because when I said I would do something, I did it.  Over and over again.

Trust is not a gift. It must be earned.

May each of us find ourselves trust-worthy today. Blessings.

Enlightenment Is A Journey

Like Life, Enlightenment is a journey rather than the destination.

Do I consider myself an enlightened being? Yes….in certain areas and ways of life, I get it…I have experienced true enlightenment. In other areas, I still don’t quite get it…my journey of enlightenment is not complete. If it were, I would definitely handle some things way better than I do after all of these years.

So I journey on, staying open and receptive to higher learning, higher understanding, deeper wisdom, love, and compassion. I am learning to let the journey be its own fulfillment. To think I have “arrived” is to set myself up for disappointment and a sense of futility. That does not sound like fun to me!

May your journey, and mine, be gentle today. Peace.

Suffering Brings Happiness?

Good morning! Here I am with another quote from Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, The Art of Communication. The title of this blog is also the title of one section…though I added the question mark. The chapter answers my question of course and the passage below is a beautiful summary of his teaching.

Please breathe this in and be willing to sit with what he is saying. What we breathe into and embrace diminishes our resistance and makes life easier, more gentle and loving.

We all should learn to embrace our own suffering, to listen to it deeply, and to have a deep look into its nature. In doing so, we allow the energy of love and compassion to be born. When the energy of compassion is born, right away we suffer less, when we have compassion for ourselves, we can more easily understand the suffering of another person and of the world. Then our communication with others will be based on the desire to understand rather than the desire to prove ourselves right or make ourselves feel better.

I also believe that this level of understanding allows me to support others as they deal with their suffering. That support may at times be material but, most of the time, it is most powerful if I support another in their journey of embracing and understanding their suffering so that they develop compassion for themselves. This allows them to expand more fully into True Self, transcending definitions and expectations of what life “should” be.

Be blessed today, dear hearts, for you are loved.