Friends

Has the word “friend” lost some of its meaning to you because of social media? Do you think about the difference between a friend and an acquaintance? When I was in my twenties, I made friends quite easily, or at least I thought I did. What I actually did was make assumptions. I didn’t understand that an acquaintance becomes a friend over time, as we learn to truly listen, trust, and know each other. An acquaintance is a person I like and enjoy spending time with now and then. A friend is a person I do that with also but who also knows my sorrows as well as my joys. A friend will be there for me when life’s challenges start to overwhelm me. A friend will trust me with his/her sorrows and allow me to offer support when needed as well.

It has been said for many years that you are blessed if you can count the number of true friends on one hand. I agree. In the times of my greatest joys and my deepest sorrows, there have been just a few people that I turn to immediately. One listens and asks what I need. Another calls my name into multiple churches for daily prayer. Another will laugh or cry with me and know that is enough. These are my inner circle, my family of friends, and I am profoundly grateful for their love and faithfulness.

Understanding this difference between a friend and an acquaintance has allowed me to love and appreciate the people in my life without falling prey to hurt because of my own mistaken expectations. I love them all and they love me; the difference is the level of intimacy as well as the spiritual/emotional purpose of our relationship. When I am clear, my relationships are also. There are fewer misunderstanding, fewer pressures or demands. Life is simpler, easier, and more fun.

Love all ways, dear hearts.

Namaste.

Hiking while Transitioning

Those of you who know me personally realize that I am moving to a new city and state in less than a week. For all of you that follow my blog, I appreciate your patience during these past weeks and for a few more to come. I will return to more regular entries as soon as my new internet service is up and running.

A dear friend took me on a four-hour hike recently. We peaked at 5700 feet and it was profoundly wonderful. I had never done a hike like that before and my friend proved to be a compassionate and knowledgeable coach. The sky was close, the mountains had their snow caps on and the sun on the pine needles looked like diamonds.

I am a mountain girl. Like those who long for the sea, I long to look at and visit mountains. I am restored and renewed in their presence. That day I felt the earth breathing and the rocks aware of my presence. There was a tall pine tree partially hollowed out by a fire that occurred a few years ago. The tree survived and had continued to grow. It reminded me of the redwoods of northern California. I walked quietly to the tree and gently touched the scorched bark and the exposed inner wood, tracing the lines of its rings. Then I stepped inside and closed my eyes, resting my forehead against the inside of a living tree! I prefer not to share the entire experience because it is personal to me. I will say that experiences like that one confirm to me the presence of Spirit in all things.

That day was given to me as a gift. My friend wanted to share a place that was sacred to his life and his journey. Together we felt the blessing of the Creator and the Oneness of All That Is.

The hike challenged me physically on many levels. I am grateful for my overall health, strength, and connectedness to my breath. I needed it all to complete that journey. It changed me. I am standing a bit taller and feel more confident than ever in myself. There will be challenges ahead that will cause me to remember hiking to 5700 feet. When I do, I will trust myself in whatever new challenge I am facing.

I accepted the gift of this hike to the mountain top in the middle of packing boxes, making dozens of phone calls, emotional farewells, and sleepless nights. I had reservations that I could do it because I was not at my best. It turned out that I didn’t need to be at my personal best because I was not alone.

I was reminded that when we are not at our best is the time to allow another to guide and/or help us. My friend simply believed in me and coached my breathing as the air thinned and my lungs strained. We would stop and sit and speak of prana, life force energy, and the path of life. After a few moments, renewed, we would stand and walk upward once more. I believed I could do it because he believed I could do it.

In any life transition, there are uphill journeys. So, if you are there now, believe in yourself. Be gentle with your body and remember to use your breath for strength as well as calmness. Let friends cheer you on and remind you that they believe in you. Remember that those uphill climbs will tax your strength and stamina so give yourself time to rest during and after. Acknowledge your accomplishments with gratitude toward the Divine in you and in All That Is.

I suspect I have only begun to know the shifts in energy and changes of heart and mind that my mountain hike brought me. It feels as though my inner vision is clearer as is my perception of this present moment. Gratitude will continue to flow as each gift is revealed over time.

For now, thank you Great Spirit, Mother-Father Divine, Spirit of All That Is for meeting me so profoundly on the mountain top. Namaste.

A Trusted Friend

One of my mentors, Richard Miller, reminds me from time to time that it is important to have a trusted friend to talk with when life is frustrating, challenging…well, you know how life can be. Mentors are often trusted friends as well. Richard is my Yoga Nidra Guru Master. I can see his face and hear him chuckle at my calling him that. He would never describe himself as a Master. He has traveled the road ahead of me, both studying and living the path of non-duality and oneness. He is a source of trusted information and guidance, proven by his life and his work (http://www.irest.us/). For me, that defines a Master.

A trusted friend does not have to be the same person in every situation. One of my most trusted friends is the one I turn to with two specific needs. If I am holding on to something that disturbs my peace, I tell her all about it, with the intention of releasing it once and for all. It sets me free. If I am seeking to manifest something in my life, I share my vision or dream. We laugh about this one because she comes to me with her dreams as well. Our connection is so clear, so strong that we have to be ready to receive before we talk. Once we say it to each other, it manifests very quickly so hang on! Fun, right? Right!

I am currently single so there is no partner to lean on. I do have male friends that are available when I need that unique male point of view. Our brains do work differently so their perspective is a good balance for my feminine intuition and reasoning. The balance of yin/yang is so helpful.

Frustration is one of the more uncomfortable states for me. Talking it out can help me settle down and begin problem solving rather than engaging in those endless head circles that lead me absolutely nowhere. Can anyone relate to this? My last few days have caused me to read my own blog entries! Peaceful, sweet mornings when I felt so balanced I laughed quietly about everything that came my way. Frustrating, imbalanced afternoons that brought me to the brink of primal screams. I have no idea what flipped the switch. Paradoxes, you think? Balance, who me? Finally, tears of exhaustion brought me to the place of knowing it was time to reach out. Hopefully, next time I will realize that more quickly.

It is complicated because some of the issues are confidential. I awoke this morning knowing where to turn. I emailed a friend of fifty years whom I had confided in last week. It only took me five sentences to report what happened, admit my frustration, and come into balance and peace. Five minutes and I don’t even know when he will read the email. A trusted friend is a treasure. Knowing that someone who cares is aware of what I am feeling reminds me of my innate oneness and this brings me back into the wholeness that I am.

I remember the peace of my soul. I rest and abide there, knowing balance is returning and soon I will laugh quietly in the joys and frustrations of my days.

May you remember the peace of your soul. May you rest and abide there. May you have a trusted friend within your being and, when needed, in the being of another. May balance return easily. May you find joy and quiet laughter in your days.