Friday, May 3, 2019

What do you love about being alive?


If any one of us was suddenly confronted with death, we most likely would find ourselves desperately scrambling to stay alive.  One might ask, "Why?"  The drive for survival seems to be innate.  It is our ego's primary job after all.  But aside from that, what is it that holds us to life?  What is it that we love about being alive?

Starting from the ground up, do you remember running barefoot as a child on the good clean earth, or squishing mud between your toes?  I do.  And it was such a great feeling.  Now I enjoy massaging my feet with a whisper of local olive oil, thanking them for all their good work, carrying me, before tucking them in between the covers of my bed each night.

Our knees and legs gave us cartwheels and skipping in our youth.  And what fun that was.  Now my legs bend and leap with dancing.  They kick me through the water when I swim.  They move me through my day with scarcely a thought and I am so grateful.  

In our still somewhat sexually repressed society, it almost seems scandalous to bring up sex, but who isn't grateful for the juicy and life giving pleasures of our sexual organs?  When I was a teenager, the mother of one of my friends used to speak of the three great pleasures in life: defecation, mastication and fornication.  Two of these happen in the area of our root chakra and aren't we grateful for both?!

Moving up the torso, our internal organs go about the business of life, day in and day out, cleaning our blood, distributing nutrients, pulling air into our bodies to fuel us on our way.  Our heart and gut tend to both the physical and the emotional side of life.  They bless us with inner knowing, self-protection and best of all, love.  Be it love for our families, our children, our friends, or cats and dogs, or nature herself, 'Isn't love grand?'  It brings such sweetness to life.  

Then there are our hands and arms with which we can hug others, write books and letters, sculpt in clay and prepare beautiful meals.  How blessed we are to have our hands and arms.

With our throats, our voices, or mouths, we can sing, 'whisper sweet nothings,' and eat delicious foods.  And our eyes let us take it all in, every delectable spectacle, from the colors of the rainbow or butterflies in flight, to the foods we eat or puffy white clouds floating overhead in the big blue sky.

Then we have our minds, fleet as starlings.  They flit over the details of our lives, processing and categorizing them, bringing forth insights and inspirations from on high.  Our minds let us engage in conscious awareness and bring to us our sense of oneness.  Thus they let us imagine the Easter bunny delighting children in late spring, or allow us to know just what it is like to be a rabbit dashing on swift feet into a safe little burrow, or a hawk soaring overhead, eager for the next meal.

From here, it is easy to step into our crown chakras, our inter-connectedness with everything, our part of the vast creation of life, of the sacred, of the spirit, of the Divine.  We have come in all of our creative glory, arising as it were, from this vast celebration of being into our own unique selves.  And I stand here now, in Gratitude, for every bit of my life, every step of the way.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Gratitude


A practice of gratitude changes our lives.  As we become progressively more centered in gratefulness, we start to see the silver lining behind every cloud and we find that our challenges always become our blessings.  Please enjoy these next seven minutes, opening our hearts to thankfulness.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Soul Families

The idea of a soul family is tied in with the concept of reincarnation, where we have opportunities to grow our souls, over the course of many lifetimes, instead of during just one.  Our soul family relationships are also associated with our purpose here.  A group of individuals may incarnate together to work on a specific theme.  This could be something like healing domestic violence.  Then at a later time in this lifetime, or during another incarnation, that same group of people may find themselves working on a different theme, perhaps something like the idea of caring for and supporting community members.

A soul family can be large or it can be small.  And we can each be members of many soul family groups simultaneously.  Pairs of individuals might come in together to explore issues of child rearing with various themes like fidelity or abandonment, often reversing the roles in different lifetimes, in order to see the situation from the other angle.  And one or more of their shared experiences might include what it is like to be together, having children, in a lifetime which is relatively free from problems associated with that theme.  One member of that same soul couple may also have soul family work to do in a completely different group.  They might be involved with other individuals in working on something like cultural arts preservation.

There are many ways that we can recognize a soul family group member,  but one way is through shared significant dates.  In my own family of origin, we have many examples of shared significant dates; often these are birth and death dates. 

My father's sister shares the same birthday as my mother.  My mother's sister shares the same birthday as my father.  My husband's brother's wife also shares the same birthday as my father.  My aunt's daughter, my cousin, was born on the same day as my brother.  And her daughter was born on the same day as my other brother.  These shared significant dates let us know that we have all danced before and are likely to come in to share life's ups and downs in some future lifetime together.

Not only do many of the members of my family share the same birthdays, but we also tend to depart on those same days as well.  And we have three or four consecutive days in the month of February, where people tend to die.  Sometimes it is hard to know whether we should be celebrating or mourning.  My father died on my niece's birthday.  My mother died on my best friend's birthday.  And another best friend just died on my favorite aunt's death day.  And all three of those days are right in a row. 

These death and birth days seem to me to be like a portal, an easy entrance or exit point for souls wishing to share the various experiences my family and friends tend to engage in.  But, shared significant dates are not the only way that we can recognize our soul family members.  We can also know our soul family members through feelings of deep connection, or the desire to spend more time with each other.  Then there is also the greater view of what we might be trying to accomplish in our lives together.  Purpose oriented soul groups like these can carry their own unique flavors and responsibilities. 

For example, I am an American, born in the middle of the last century.  My compatriots and I hold certain tasks on the world scene.  In the last century, we undertook the moon walk.  With that event, we turned and saw our mother, the earth, for the first time.  This began a complete change of our collective global human focus, helping us to see and realize the vulnerability of our planet's life.  Because of this, we are now beginning to look at changing the nature of our resource use.  One case in point is how with only five percent of the world's population, we Americans create half of the world's solid waste.  

Current generations have also begun to rein in the patriarchy, gaining equal rights and promoting women's involvement in world leadership.  In addition, we Americans have long held the quest for freedom.  We continue to work on this one and are also beginning to see our shadow side here, with our involvement in foreign policies that affect the freedoms of people in other countries.  These are just a few of the topics that are under consideration in the shared group curriculum of our American soul family.

Each of our soul groups, both large and small, work on expanding our human potential, our evolutionary growth and our collective understanding and awareness.  I find that it can sometimes be enlightening to ask, 'Who might my soul family members be?'  'What are we here to do?'  'What might the flip side of this coin be like?'  'How can I see this from the other's perspective?'  'What can I do to help bring greater ease to their point of view?'  Questions like these help to increase our compassion for and understanding of others.  They might also make our next incarnation on the other side of the issue a little more gentle for all of us.

My wish for you is that you may travel through the many mysteries of life with grace.  And bless us all as we work on the various tasks involved in maturing our souls.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Forgiveness



This seven minute video can help to heal our psychological wounds and create healthy changes in our lives.   Forgiveness frees us to process our experiences and unburden ourselves so we can come to greater understanding and more gentleness with ourselves and with others.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Who Am I? Why Am I Here? And What Am I Doing?




Who Am I?  Why Am I Here?  And What Am I Doing?  These are the perennial questions of our existence.  It doesn't matter if we are fourteen years old or eighty-four years old, these three questions are appropriate for us to ask ourselves at any time in our lives.

While we are young children, we can still resonate with the infinite from whence we have just come.  When we reach our elder years, similarly we can find ourselves at peace with the idea of returning to the mystery of our source.  Reports of near death experiences give us glimpses into what that infinite source is like.  Most tell us of a great calming peace and feelings that 'all is well,' with a sense of total freedom from fear.  But, as we enter fully into this life and before we are ready to depart from it once more, we tend to forget that vast expansive aspect of who we all are.

During all of the many years between early childhood and advanced older age, our focus is largely spent on the day to day aspects of life: acquisition, protection, presentation and more.  We seek to satisfy our wants and needs.  We strive for the end points with little regard for what lies between.  We get our meals and chase after our goals, speeding along the way, too often absentmindedly crushing the delicate flowers beneath our feet.  We hurry on by, bumping into others without stopping to say, 'I'm sorry,' or even wondering why.

If we are lucky, from time to time, an existential crisis catches us and stops us in our tracks.  I feel that this is like an emergency break for the soul.  Something happens that gives us pause: a death, the loss of a job, an illness or the end of a relationship.  Then, in come those three little questions again, helping us to take stock, re-evaluate, see who we are, and who we might want to become.  

The deep soul searching that these pauses can bring us, if we are  open to it, can let us see how we are being in the world.  Are we being kind?  Are we bringing as much love and compassion, forgiveness and understanding as we can muster?  Do we express our gratitudes and appreciation for those around us?  Have we stopped to admire the beauty that is present in every moment.  Are we honoring our bodies, the temples of our soul?  

When we take these little (or sometimes big) pauses in life, to see ourselves, another blessing occurs.  We start to see those around us through these kinds of eyes as well.  As we drop our focus on our day to day pursuits, we can see more of their essence.  We see their earnestness, their sincerity, their big hearts and loving devotion.  

I've come to believe that each and every one of us is doing the very best that we can in every moment.  I feel that we are all making the most appropriate choice, for who we are, in any given time and place.  I also feel that we are here to learn and grow.  

Sometimes we grow faster in certain areas of life, and sometimes we grow slower in other areas.  And, it's all okay.  I may be better in science than I am in math.  Whereas my best friend might be just the opposite.  So I look to her for help in my weaker, or less developed parts of my self.  And she looks to me for tips and guidance in the areas where she is not as strong.  Together we help each other.

When we take the time to see ourselves, and everyone whom we encounter, in this way, we find ourselves in an increased state of openness.  We might even enter into wonder and awe.  This is where the magic lies.  Here is where our transformation takes place.  Our fears drop away.  We find equanimity and a sense of understanding, and we embody some of that infinite source from whence we came and where we will all return.

So, for this New year, I'm going to propose to myself a little challenge.  One that will invite that little pause into my every day.  Can I, once a day, ask, who I am?  Am I hurried or am I noticing?  Maybe once an hour, can I bring a flicker of awareness to, why I am here?  Am I learning and growing?  Am I being grateful and kind?  Maybe, if I am lucky, I can hold a tiny bit of awareness in every moment of, why I am doing what I am doing, whatever that may be.  And maybe, just maybe, if I am lucky, I can remember that I am a part of the Divine expansive, interconnected and unified whole, holding myself, all the while, in gentle hands, as I would my own precious darling child.  

Wish me luck with this, my New Year's Resolution.  And I wish you luck with yours, whatever it might be, knowing that whatever it is, it is perfect, and the very best choice for you.

May we all be blessed with a wondrous and very Happy New Year.
All my love to you.