From “Zen Cards” by Daniel Levin:
The center is not always the point of balance. When you find that place where Balance is achieved, peace will result in all situations. There is no conflict, for everything rests without strain.
As I read this, I wonder…..then I pick up an un-sharpened No. 2 pencil. I lay it across one finger at its center point and it falls off. Of course it does. The eraser end is heavier than the writing end. I move its resting point toward the eraser end. It balances.
So what? Well, balance is essential to our wellbeing. Healthy diet, reasonable amounts of exercise, fresh air, sleep, and the meeting of other physical needs keeps the body in balance. Attention to these things benefits our physical wellbeing. Many of these things are also necessary for mental and emotional balance, and thus, wellbeing. Too much sugar and not enough sleep directly affect how we react/respond to daily life. These two things can throw our mental/ emotional balance off very quickly.
I am thinking and writing about these things because I have been assessing my own habits in light changes in my own life. I want to be stronger, more active, continue to learn, grow, and serve. I am finding what works for me and I am inviting you to sit with these ideas now and then and see if you can discern your own needs in ways that create more balance, energy, happiness, and joy for you.
Blessings of Love and Light💫💖🙏
What is the difference between contentment and happiness?
It is rather simple: happiness is a response to circumstances outside myself and contentment is a growing or enduring sense of wellbeing and joy within.
I experience happiness when I receive a call from a friend I haven’t spoken with in years or when one of my children or grandchildren gives me a hug or makes me laugh.
I have been growing in contentment for 45 years. Contentment is that state of being I find in the very core of my being. Life can be raging all around me but when I stop for just a moment and turn my awareness within I find peace and tranquility.
Where does it come from? I believe it simply is; it is my natural state of being. The process of “finding” it is really trusting that it is my true nature, learning to experience it, and living from that inner peace rather than letting life bounce me off the walls.
From page 174 of Deepak Chopra’s book The 13th Disciple:
Every life contains moments when a person sees beyond the illusion. The secret is to pay attention, because once the moment is gone, so is its power to change you. You must be open and alert to signals from your true self.
Jamie Sams is one of my favorite Native American teachers. Her books have brought me numerous insights over the years. Today I would like to share from a chapter she wrote about Burden Baskets in her book, Sacred Path Cards.
Native American women were never asked to bear a burden heavier than their Burden Baskets could handle. When the Burden Basket was not in use, it hung outside the home for another reason. Native American etiquette is very different from other cultures and demanded that custom being honored by all Tribal members.
It is obvious that the flap of a Tipi, Karen, or Wigwam cannot be knocked on like a door. To receive permission to enter the Sacred Space of any Native American home, whether Hogan, Tipi, Longhouse, Cliff Dwelling, or Earth Hut, it was necessary to scratch lightly upon the door. Since every dwelling was the Sacred Space of the family, if there was no answer, entry was not permitted at that time. The family could be eating a meal, having a Family Council, or just wanting some privacy. The decision was always honored. No feelings were hurt because the idea of Sacred Space was understood. Give permission to enter was granted, the Burden Basket was the reminder to the guest to leave his or her personal complaints or problems in the Burden Basket before entering another person’s Sacred Space. The customer was honored, or the visitor was barred from entering that dwelling ever again.
To be in the present moment and to be willing to be a welcome guest requires strength of character… The internal strength necessary to keep our own counsel and bear our own burdens without inflicting them upon others,
To have compassion for the burdens of others, and yet not take those burdens on as our own, requires a strong heart. Great sensitivity is necessary for impeccable timing in knowing when and how to speak to others. Personal Balance brings the self-reliance we need to be in present time.
Today I am inviting you to consider one of the areas you might examine, clarify, and be willing to develop a deeper compassion for yourself and others. This is an invitation to experience that depth of inner strength that brings you into a place of abiding in and living from the truth of who you are.
Love and Peace all ways.
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.
What others are doing around you seems very important when you have not found your own steadiness. You want to say to them, “Don’t rock my boat! If you rock my boat, I can’t be steady.” But the truth of it is, you’re the only boat-rocker in your world. Only you can rock your boat.
This quote comes from Abraham-Hicks Publications. It is dated February 1, 2014.
My own sweet Soul often reminds me “You are doing this to yourself, Catherine Ann. This is not coming from outside you. You are doing this to yourself by the way you are responding to these circumstances.”
Enough said? Just think about it 💫💖
In his book The Art of Communicating, Thich Nhat Hahn invites us to come home to ourselves by walking mindfully:
Home is the here and now, where all the wonders of life are already available. You can’t arrive fully in the here and now unless you invest your whole body and mind into the present moment. If you haven’t arrived one hundred percent, stop where you are and don’t take another step. Stay there and breathe until you’re sure you have arrived one hundred percent. Then you can smile a smile of victory. It’s probably best to do that only when you are enjoying mindful walking alone; if you are around other people, you may create a traffic jam.
You don’t need an app or an outsider to tell you whether you have arrived. You will know you have arrived because you will recognize that you’re comfortable being. When you walk from the parking lot to your office, go home in each step. Recover yourself and connect with yourself during every step. No matter where you’re going, you can walk as a free person on this planet Earth and enjoy every step.
Recover yourself. Come home to yourself.
Today, may you be blessed in the knowing you are home. May you know the comfort of be-ing.
Are you content with the state of your life, your family, your world, our world? If not, I invite you to think on these things:
What am I doing to enhance peace in my own heart and mind?
What am I doing to create peace within my family? Am I expressing love and understanding? Am I owning my “stuff” rather than behaving defensively?
Do I contribute to peace in my world (family, friends, work, church)?
What am I doing to find peace with those around me who may look, feel, think differently than I do.
I was thinking about the Golden Rule the other day. When I was growing up, all of us, no matter what church we attended, were taught this simple truth:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
As I walked and thought about this, I realized that this is something worth exploring. It feels powerful to me to evaluate what I am experiencing in light of what I am thinking and doing rather than focusing on what someone else is not doing or might be thinking.
If I want anything in life to be better, the best first step is to look at my part in the situation or relationship. Am I honestly doing my part? Am I showing up? Am I?
It is said that love covers a multitude of sins. There are many ways to look at what this means.
For me, a few immediate meanings come to mind. One is that, when I love someone, I recognize and accept the way they move through life. It may not be my way, it may appear difficult or unreasonable to me but I love the person and I accept them as they are.
The much deeper meaning, for me, is that I love myself enough to recognize that I often fall short of being the human being I would like to be (to fall short of a goal is the actual meaning of the word “sin”). When I am not yet as whole, loving, and compassionate as I desire to be, Divine Love steps in and loves me and others.
Divine Love transcends my humanity, my circumstances, my frailties. Divine Love covers it all and finds Its own expression in and through me, in spite of it all. Oh yeah 🕊🙏🏻📿💖
Trusted teachers have both taught and reminded me over the years to set an intention at the beginning of each day. Intention is a powerful energy that guides our thoughts and actions throughout the day, reminding us of the truth of who we are. Below are a few examples of intentions I have found to be supportive of my journey.
I live from the Peace of my Soul.
I Am All That I Am
I manifest the love And compassion of the Divine.
I am Peace Itself.
I Am Love Itself.
I am One with All That Is.
I like to write my intention for the day on a small whiteboard in my kitchen. Seeing it helps me to live in the moment and to be aware of my thoughts and my behavior. Few days pass that fail to bring me opportunities to live my intention fully. Sometimes the circumstance affirms the truth of my intention; other times my intention guides me into higher awareness of my own patterns. This awareness elicits either gratitude or the desire to shift what I am thinking or doing.
May your intentions be clear, true, and powerful. Namaste. Peace dear hearts.