It Is What It Is

From “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann:

 As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

There are times when I reach out to another from a place of sensitivity and compassion only to be met with defensiveness and resentment. In the first moments of this response, I am wounded and begin to wonder how I have wounded this person, often a loved one. I know my intention was clear as I sought to share love so did I express myself that poorly?

Then this quote comes to mind and heart. I keep a wall hanging in my home of “Desiderata” because for fifty years its wisdom has taught me, guided me, and soothed my heart and soul. My truth is that my intention was one of love and I know that I can only be who I am in any given moment. The response probably had absolutely nothing to do with me.

So, I take another line from Max Ehrmann:

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, & remember what peace there may be in silence.

I enter into the silence within, remembering that I can only be at peace with another person if they allow it. When that doesn’t happen, I turn into the peace of my Soul and know that it is what it is. I surrender to the moment and choose healing and peace over woundedness. In these moments of silence and surrender, I find the ability, the love for myself, that allows me to “go placidly amid the noise and haste” produced by the turmoil of another’s heart and mind.

Yes, there is some sadness and I embrace that as part of this oh-so-human experience. In the silence even the sadness feels different and soon dissipates. Life is what it is and each person’s path is unique and sacred. I honor my own path and, in surrendering any need to teach, help, or fix, I honor the paths of others.

Be blessed today for you are Divinely, eternally, unconditionally loved. Namaste.

What Ahimsa (Do No Harm) Doesn’t Mean

As many of you know, Ahimsa or Do No Violence/Harm is a fundamental principle of yoga and meditation. This morning I am feeling a different aspect of this divine legacy.

In order to live my Truth so that I am not harming myself, I will at times make decisions that upset other people. It isn’t my desire to do that and yet it can happen. I may be told that I have hurt another and that person may truly feel hurt or angry with me. My response must come from love and compassion rather than defensive righteousness and yet I must remain true to my path, my guidance. I must also allow the other person their feelings.

There are times when my tender understanding can ease another’s suffering though I may not be able to alleviate the source of it. When the reaction of another is frustration and anger because I am behaving in a way that they cannot relate to or that they cannot control, it is not helpful for me to plead my case or try to make that person feel better. I must honor their journey and allow them to experience their own discomfort. Most often this is what stimulates us to expand our understanding and to grow.

Compassion does not require me to take responsibility for another person’s journey. It does require me to be faithful to mine with an awareness of the sensitivity or suffering of another so that I do so with wisdom and understanding. Divine Love will allow me to be frustrated and to suffer when I am beating my head against a wall of my own making. It is my responsibility to become willing to see that wall and then be willing to tear it down. I must allow others to do the same.

The only spiritual journey I am able to walk is my own. Wisdom and understanding call me to follow the teachings and guidance of the Masters so that my journey shows compassion for myself and others. If I try too hard to help another person feel better, I may be interfering with Divine Grace in their life.

Live with awareness and love today, dear hearts.

No Need For Fear

What is there to be Afraid of?

Pure light is what we are made of.

 

I sit listening to a cd written, performed and recorded by my Soul-brother, Gary Lynn Floyd. It is from a song titled “Pure Light,” from his cd titled “my 88 keys, Vol. 1, unplugged.”

I have nothing to add that would enhance those two lines.

Thank you for reading this. I love you for doing so! Blessings.

Listening To The Rain

It rained all night. We need this and I love the sound – have my whole life. As I sat in the moments just before dawn, meditating, I let myself think of all the ways nature touches my mind and heart. This morning I kept imagining the dark night sky. When I lived in Vegas the darkness was only true if there was a power outage. Artificial light drowned out all but the brightest of stars. Here in Southern California, the night sky is a tapestry of twinkling designs. Then I began to envision blue skies and all types of clouds. When my son was very little, his favorites were the “big puffy clouds.” I still smile when I see those and am filled with gratitude for what my two children taught me through their brand new eyes.

Darkness and Light. Two sides of our human, earthly world. Two halves of each day, though not always a true “half” as we move through space around the sun. Do you ever stop and realize the entire planet is in motion? So many things to consider in our earthly existence.

What if there were no darkness?

Would we live in caves or underground to escape heat and cold or to sleep deeply enough to dream and restore our bodies and minds? Would there have been a need for fire, and eventually electricity, if we had never faced true darkness? Would men have sailed the oceans without the stars to guide them? Where would our dreams of other worlds and other realities have come from without those lights in the night sky? At times we would still have seen the moon but never its luminosity.

As many of you know, black and white photography is a favorite of mine because it clarifies the lines and edges of what I am seeing. When I am confronted with what many see as darkness in the world, I realize that I am also being confronted by the remaining shadows within myself. I also see my own sharp edges. I may also be reminded of times in my own life when my behaviors were closer to darkness than light; times when my own fear caused me to cling to dying belief systems and defend them righteously. Even though the change was not dramatic in most ways, I have not always been where I am today.

Light softens the darkness just as Divine Love, Grace, softened my heart and mind. I know that if I abide in and live from the Truth of Who I Am it will soften the darkness of my present world and allow others to see and hear more clearly. It will show me my place when action is needed. It will grant me wisdom when others need lifting up. It will bring someone to me when I need the lifting. Light softens the darkness and allows those who are ready to see and hear more clearly that still, quiet voice within that leads us to the Love and Light of Truth.

The darkness emphasizes the light, dear hearts. So let’s shine for all that we are worth! Let’s laugh and love more than ever! Let’s keep respecting ourselves and each other. Let’s stand up for those who have spent their lives fighting for the right to be. Let’s love and protect our planet and support those dedicated to saving it.

Light travels the universe. Light expands. Light softens the darkness and uses it to emphasize its own brightness. Let there be light! 🌞

 

 

Thoughts on Guilt

Vernon Howard saw guilt as a major barrier to creating and experiencing a tranquil mind. When asked why a person should not feel guilty, he replied

For several reasons, one of them being that guilt is a purely self-centered emotion. It supplies an unhealthy thrill to condemn yourself, to reflect about your cruel self. But let’s concentrate on the most important reason why you must abolish guilt from your life. It is a familiar but totally false idea that guilt is a sign of humility or repentance. Far from producing humility, it creates the exact opposite. Being a miserable pressure, a sense of guilt drives the individual into negativity, such as arrogance, hostility, and additional cruelty. Such cruelty may be rationalized and covered up, either slyly or openly, but it is still there. So a sense of guilt leads to hostile actions that produce more guilt.

And the vicious cycle continues as this person wallows in self-condemnation and builds resentment toward those who refuse to accept and carry the guilt that is thrown toward them.

It has been my experience that guilt results from believing we are meant to be perfect. It is fed by the inability to forgive oneself for not hitting the mark. I cannot say I have ever experienced  in myself or in others a situation in which guilt produced healthy and lasting change.

What is the answer then? It is to expand your awareness into the Truth of Who You Are. It is to practice what you are learning about your True Self. It is to rest in that Truth, in the Oneness of Self and Source and to allow yourself to experience being human – which means letting go of all ideas of perfection as our culture defines it. I have written before about the true meaning of perfection. The original word in sacred writings meant to come into maturity or to fulfill one’s purpose. For example, an apple tree is perfect when it matures into its own ability to produce apples. It fulfills its purpose in existing.

As a spiritual being currently having a human experience, my purpose is to manifest the Divine – Love & Compassion – while being fully human. So, the path out of non-productive guilt is to have love and compassion toward myself so that I learn to forgive myself and others. Love and compassion will guide me into making necessary amends to myself and others; love and compassion will guide me into healthier, happier behaviors as well. Judgement brings condemnation. Forgiveness based in the awareness of the Divine within brings expanding awareness of the Truth of All That Is.

And, as I have written in the past few days, this transition is found, begins, and is brought to fruition within. It is found in the sweet stillness, wisdom, love and peace of your Soul, dear hearts.

Perfection is found in the manifestation of the Divine within you. As you mature into the Truth of Who You Are, trying will be laid to rest and be-ing that Divine manifestion will become your natural state because it is Who You Are. Like the apple tree, you will produce the fruit that reveals your oneness with the Divine. Please let yourself off the hook of guilt based on harsh, unreasonable expectations. Let yourself play in the gardens of life as you grow and flourish, as you become fully human enlivened by the Divine spark within.

When Life Hurts, Reach Out

Call a friend to walk with you & share, receive support and encouragement.

Every time you cash a check, put $5 in an envelope and, when you have enough, schedule a therapeutic massage or a reiki session.

Do you know a Reiki Practioner? Call and ask for help. If it is a friend who sends reiki on the spot, take that person to lunch, send a thank you note or gift.

Go to a funny movie and belly laugh or hang out with a small child who giggles easily.

Call your church or a friend whose church has prayer warriors and ask to be put on the prayer list.

Let people help, support, and love you.

You do not have to walk alone but you might have to find the courage to reach out. How else will someone who loves you, or has the gifts to help you, know what you need?

Aum shanti. Transcending peace.

Awareness is Key

Awareness is key. Knowing and abiding in the peace of my Soul can only truly happen when awareness expands into the Truth of knowing the Soul, the True Self. Then, the journey is about deepening awareness so that it fills the very cells of my body and floods the spaces between cells, atoms, etc.

I Just Am.

Whether in body or not, I Am. I feel this in meditation – not every time, but often. I am transported when in this level of awareness and I know that I know that state of being is real, beyond illusion, eternal.

I Just Am.

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!