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.