Alaska in July

July 2017:  I am on an Alaskan cruise with my gracious, loving daughter. It was her gift to me. A few days before I left the cold sore virus emerged on the left side of my upper lip. By the time we met in Seattle it had spread into the crease of my nose and up to the edge of my left eyelid. That side of my face was swollen and tender; the sores harsh and angry-looking. I knew I would return with few pictures that included me! Vanity be damned; Alaska here I come!

My body required more rest than usual yet I was able to participate in everything important to me…like our whale watching excursion! The following are my brief notes from that experience. I hope you can catch the Essence of the experience.

Humpback Whales – a few minor sightings at first and , almost at the end, one huge Humpback gave us its face, its hump, its power and grace.

When the head emerged straight up, the pleated folds of the underside showed white against its skin and I felt chills running through every cell of my body.

Just the, I would not have traded that moment for any other. I felt myself a privileged Soul.

My thoughts later:

Present & Aware in Every Moment

Ease…..Laughter…..Love…..Bliss

I am Enough

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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 Burden Basket

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.

What Meditation Is Not

Deepak Chopra, Daily Inspiration 7/08/17, Chopra.com

Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It’s a way of entering into the quiet that’s already there,  buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.

Turn within, dear hearts. Your peace, love & compassion dwell there.

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…

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.

Today’s Intention

Each morning I take a few moments to write down an intention for the day. I record my daily intention in a small notebook. Flipping through it from time to time brings me to a place of gratitude and peace.

An intention opens the mind and heart; it sets the tone for my day.

This is my intention today:

I live from the Truth of Who I Am…a spiritual being currently having a human experience.

I love this one and set it often:

I live from the Peace of my Soul.

What is your intention today?