Monday, June 28, 2010

Practicing Kindness

I heard a heart-warming story today from one of my coworkers.  A relative of hers had two small dogs which escaped through a hole in the fence while she was at work.  She contacted the animal shelter with no luck, and posted signs around her neighborhood with the dogs' pictures and her phone number and address in hopes of finding them.  A day later a stranger came to her door, telling her that he had some bad news to give her, and he relayed the following story.

It turns out he had seen the dogs running onto a highway, and saw one get hit.  He stopped and was able to pick up the injured dog, but the other one ran way after apparently also being bumped by a car.  He took the injured dog to a vet, who was unable to save it.  He then went back to try to find the other dog.  He did find it, took it to the vet, and left it there for care.  At that point he started driving around the area where he had seen the dogs, hoping to see a sign of some kind.  Sure enough, he did, and that's how he ended up at the woman's door, explaining that he wanted her to know that although one of the dogs had died, the other one was doing well.

My coworker went on to tell me that the stranger in this story first spotted the dogs at around 9:00 a.m., and didn't end up at her relative's house until late afternoon.  He spent his entire day trying to help the dogs, and then trying to find their owner.

I thought this was a really amazing story. I hope all of you will join me in sending this hero your love and blessings.  In addition to really appreciating him, and being grateful for the goodness of the human spirit, I noticed my coworker's reaction to hearing the story, and my own.

My day was brighter and more hopeful because of hearing about that event, and I suspect yours will be, too.  Even though we don't know the people involved, that man's actions elevate us all.  Each of us has a choice with every thought, word and action about what truth we will help bring forth.  With his choice, he helped create a truly wonderful world.

There are countless examples every single day of people doing extraordinary things for no reason other than it being the world they choose to create.  The great thing is, no act of kindness goes unnoticed, or unreciprocated.  We get what we give, many times over.   We can rest assured that every act of kindness will be returned to us, even as its ripples spread to all of humanity.

May this tool be a blessing. . .

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Believing in Miracles

I was thinking about miracles this morning, out walking my dog.  I am a big, BIG believer in miracles.  Miracles can be described as extraordinary events bringing good outcomes that could only be possible with God's intervention.  I expect miracles to the point that I sometimes take their occurrence for granted.   It's a helpful thing, trusting good enough to expect that it's just the way things are meant to be.  And while I do expect good, I always want to validate and nurture its limitless power in my life.  The following miracle story is, to me, worthy of sharing.

Last July I was delighted when my daughter and grandson came from Georgia for a visit.  I hadn't seen them for awhile, and my grandson, Oliver, got very heavy when I wasn't looking!   One evening I bent down and scooped up all 45 pounds of him, to show him something he wasn't tall enough to see.  I didn't bend my knees or consider my back at all, because I'd never had to before.  By the next morning, I knew that had been a big mistake.

It took a chiropractor, a number of physical therapy visits and six months for my back to get better.  I'm alot more careful now about how I move, but it got tremendously better.  About three weeks ago, my symptoms started returning and worsening.  The most distressing part of it was noticing my left leg weakening, especially since I enjoy backpacking and dancing and other active hobbies.  I stopped my activities, even walking, was icing it and being extra careful, but it seemed to be getting worse.  I was scared.

My favorite tool lately, when I'm scared or discouraged or feeling most in need of help, is to write a letter to God, and a few nights ago that's what I did.  I told God that I knew there was a way to fix my back, but I didn't know what it was.  I asked how I could think about the issue in the healthiest way.

I believe that there is always a spiritual cause behind illness or dis-ease, and God helped me remember the spiritual basis for the mechanical issue with my spine.  God responded in loving and simple language, in part, as follows:

"Responsibility is affecting your back.  Every time you begin to worry about someone's circumstances, remember your truth, and release it immediately into my hands.  Visualize a healing color coursing up your spine and through your entire body (today that color is light green).  Visualize your spine as perfectly aligned and cushioned, straight and whole and able to support you easily throughout your long, healthy life.  And then give thanks that it is done.  That is all you need to do, sweet one.  And you can do it.  I'm in your corner, cheering you on.  Love, God."

Tears come to my eyes in typing this, for the grace and love and simplicity of God's response to me.  It really is that simple.  All are perfectly held in their own life's creation, and we manifest what we envision, always.  We are infinitely and lovingly supported in this.  Thank you, God.

You can probably predict the outcome of my miracle story.  I did the simple things that God asked of me.  None of them was new to me, but in my increasing concern I forgot to do the things that I already know:  to ask and allow myself to be answered, to picture my intention and to turn over to God all that is not mine to handle.  The next morning (which was yesterday),  I woke up with all of my back symptoms gone, and they've been gone since.

Some might say that it was just coincidental timing, but I know differently.  The physical healing was dramatic, yes, but also, I just know.  These types of miracles happen all the time, coming to us with our challenges, and in many different ways.  The situation with my back reminded me yet again of who I am, what I am capable of, and the profound benevolent goodness that directs our existence.

May this tool be a blessing. . .

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just Breathe

Our most gentle and powerful spiritual tool is available to us in every moment. It is our breath. With our breath, we live. By just acknowledging that we breathe, by stopping to become aware of the continuous flow of our breath, in and out with regularity whether we notice it or not, we validate being alive. In getting down to that very basic idea of “I breathe,” we are reminded of the preciousness of being. The vast and perfect consciousness that created all of life moves through us. I breathe, and I am.

There are many wonderful awareness, relaxation and meditation techniques that help us focus our attention on our breathing. As with all things, I don’t think one technique is best, or right for everyone. The important thing is to find what works for each of us.

I have the opportunity at work to teach a class on some of these techniques, and it is always a delight and a privilege to witness people finding, often for the first time, the quiet place within them that resides in the breath. It is a gift to learn that such quiet exists within us in the middle of a busy world. Once we have accessed the place where everything is quiet enough for us to hear the soft but constant voice of spirit within us, there really is no turning back. For me, it was a feeling of “I knew it.” I knew that there was a deep connection with something bigger than what I had known, but didn’t know where to find it. Focusing on my breathing helped me quiet my thoughts enough to hear my own gentle truth which had been there all along.

I enjoy watching people soften on the outside and lighten on the inside, as they recognize the quiet within them. I recognize the joy of it. There is a peace that comes from being reminded that “all you have to do right now is breathe.” All we really have to do, ever, is breathe, and be. As my son used to say, the rest is all gravy.

I wrote a post awhile back on focused deep breathing, which is one technique for connecting with our breathing and quieting the mind. A great thing about becoming more connected with our breathing is that it is helpful whether we sit and spend a half hour or just stop for half a minute. By doing so, we are able to remember that in the middle of all of the changing details, the one unchanging constant is that we breathe.

May this tool be a blessing. . .

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Finding God at WalMart

How absolutely amazing are the myriad ways that human beings work together to perpetuate our forgetting who we are.  As a group, we have entered into an agreement with each other to support our tremendously limited view of ourselves.

We are raised by parents who themselves were raised by people who could not see the greatness in themselves, and so could not impart that truth to their children.  We grow up feeling a need to struggle for a place here, to know that we are good enough, and worthy of being loved fully for all that we are.  For most people this dynamic continues throughout life, when in school and in careers and in our dealings with others we experience a world that doesn't always accept us just as we are.

As we internalize the pain of rejection, we learn to lessen it by judging others, and the cycle continues.  In this way, we create an entire world of people who don't trust each other, who expect others to think unkindly about them without even knowing them, who can't communicate effectively with each other, and don't feel comfortable standing tall in the truth of who they are, which is the embodiment of divinity.

This may seem a sad dynamic in human interaction, and on one hand it is.  But on the other, it is an excellent opportunity for remembering.  There is tremendous grace in moving beyond judgment of another to acceptance.  There is a huge gift in learning to see past another's judgment of us to recognizing the pain of forgetting who they are that prompts it.   When we can see the person who is most different from us, the one who embodies all of the attributes that push our own buttons and make us feel defensive, the one who can't see our greatness, in all of her greatness, the light of truth shines on everyone involved, and the entire world.

I think I've lived my entire lifetime just to learn not to take another thing someone does personally, but instead to keep my eyes open to the light of God shining through their eyes. It's hard sometimes.  It's painful to watch people who have deeply forgotten the truth of themselves. It's painful when we ourselves forget.

We won't always remember that everyone is a perfect expression of a loving God, but every time we make that often difficult choice to do so, the world sings.

May this tool be a blessing. . .

Monday, June 21, 2010

Blooming Where You're Planted

Bloom where you're planted is another very wisdom-filled saying of my grandmother's.  We are here. We can waste a lot of energy and miss a lot of life wishing we were somewhere else, doing something else, but that only accomplishes stealing our moments.

My husband’s elderly aunt died this morning, and he said it makes him remember that he doesn’t want to wait to live. It’s much too easy to live in the future, waiting to find the real enjoyment of our lives when the kids are grown or we’re retired or we find the perfect job or partner. He and I catch ourselves doing that now, fantasizing about how things will be when we retire. We’re both very clear about not wanting to live in the future, but get caught up in that thinking sometimes.

When that future comes, there will be another future, and something new to look forward to. In the meantime, life is lived now. It seems such an obvious notion, but I find that I need to remind myself often, in many different ways, to stay in present time. When my thoughts are in the future, or the past, I miss all of the delicious possibilities that are here to experience now. I don’t think there’s anything more important than at the end of our days, having fully experienced being here.

When we bloom where we’re planted, right here in the present moment, we are exercising that most holy of all God-given human attributes, the ability to choose who we will be in the middle of all of it. Right now, I am here, having an effect on this world as my own unique expression of God.

The Berkeley Psychic Institute teaches that it doesn’t matter what we’re doing; what matters is the energy that we’re in when we're doing it. We can be miserable in the world’s most glamorous and high-paying job, and happy as a clam in the lowliest job, depending on how we choose to experience it. We can express God within us in the middle of anything.

This takes a great deal of pressure off of making perfect decisions in life, because they are all perfect. In the present moment, we can bloom, resting in the knowledge that who we are is enough.  Being present in each moment as our own bright light is all that is expected of us. The only variable is how we choose to feel about it.  When we choose to know ourselves as God, we bloom.

Life’s path will take its twists and turns, and we may end up in some places that we didn’t expect, but the destination is never in question. How we get there is sometimes a mystery and always a mighty adventure, so we might as well bloom along the way.
May this tool be a blessing...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Rewriting Your Story

We all have a personal history.  We've encountered countless situations, and have labeled ourselves and our lives based on who we were in those situations.  How we've labeled our experiences has created our personal stories, which are basically who we believe we are and what we believe our lives are all about.

Having a story gives us a place, a way to belong in this life and know ourselves as unique and truly here.  But in some cases our stories, based as they are on events that are often long past, don't serve us in creating our highest vision for ourselves.  If a part of my story is that I'll never have enough money, that belief will play out.  If I believe that I'm not worthy of loving relationships, that, too, will find a way to become my experience.  And so it is with creating a life.

What we believe is what we manifest.  This is a simple spiritual truth with tremendous power.  What if we are holding on to a story that we have outgrown?  What if we are capable of expressing a higher vision of ourselves than we'd ever imagined?

I don't mean to say that we should deny the events of our lives, and the effect that they may have had.  Some of life's circumstances may have been painful, or tragic.  But we can have the courage to rewrite those stories, too, and find the pearl of wisdom, or compassion, or light that has come from having walked through the experience and come out the other side.  Our wisdom, compassion and light are important parts of the new story.

If we need to have a personal story at all (and of course we do), then why not make it a best-seller?  Why not craft a story about the things that we do especially well, or how amazing and perfect our bodies are for allowing us to experience the large and small miracles of a lifetime?  Why not tell the world a story about the love we've given, and received?  Why not be, in our own story about ourselves, blessed and lucky?

It's our story.  We're the authors of our lives, and we're making it up as we go along.  Holding on to old concepts is no more the truth than boldly claiming all that we have learned and done to become the masterpieces that we are, in this moment.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

May this tool be a blessing. . .

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Everyone we meet is doing the best they can in any given moment. Their best, and ours, varies depending on many things. Some days we’re rested and happy, and full of enthusiasm for our day and well wishes for the world. Other days we forget that we have the power to create every moment of our experience, and we’re unconscious and reactive.

It can be very difficult to be empathetic toward someone who is stuck in forgetting. When people act in ways that are contrary to our best interest, or are hurtful to us or others, it’s easy to become angry and judgmental toward them. But the truth is that we all get stuck in forgetting. All of us put our worst foot forward at times, often without meaning or wanting to, when old belief systems or unconscious habits take over.

We can never solve a problem in the same energy as the problem itself. Meeting anger with anger makes it grow; meeting competition with more competition only succeeds in creating invalidation and shutting down communication. We need to take an energetic step up to move out of the negative cycles that can happen between people. It’s not easy, especially when we’re feeling attacked in some way, to take the higher road, but it is ultimately healthier for us and more productive for all involved.

If someone is angry at or jealous of someone else, but the other person meets it with understanding or empathy, or even love, there is nowhere for the anger or jealousy to go. It does not become bigger and more powerful by moving from person to person. When we meet difficult situations in this way the buck really does stop with us. Not only are we consciously choosing how we experience our world, we are leaving the energy with the other person to manage in a way that will work best for him. And this is at is should be.

Human beings are an incredibly complex and dynamic mass of shifting energies that can be at times clear and centered and at other times lost and grasping. People do small-minded things sometimes, and those same people also do very noble things. I’ve realized how easy it is to label someone based on one action, but that really isn’t the entire picture of who they are. Ultimately, what others do has nothing at all to do with us, but everything to do with how much of the truth of their own greatness they are recognizing in the moment.

My grandmother was full of sayings, and one was to turn the other cheek. That’s not to say that I think we should allow others to treat us unfairly or inappropriately. But turning the other cheek, with empathy, and striving to understand that there is more to someone than what they might be expressing, is a step toward living in the light of truth. Even though someone may not be loveable in this moment, they remain the embodiment of love, just temporarily stuck in forgetting who they are.

May we all be met with empathy in our forgetting, and may this tool be a blessing. . .

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Thank You For This Day - A Prayer

I started my day this morning, before getting out of bed, by saying, “Thank you for this day.” That I am here is an extraordinary gift that I don’t want to take for granted, but instead appreciate as much as possible.

The flavor of my day is so much richer and sweeter when I pause briefly to reflect on how wonderful it is to be experiencing this very moment. I am brought back from thoughts of the future, and the past, and placed squarely into being.

Thank you, God, for this day. Thank you for my ability to witness the bright morning sun streaming into the living room, bringing the promise of what’s to come into the gentle sanctuary of my home. Thank you for this beloved body, the temple of my soul, my instrument for experiencing what it means to be human, and expressing your light in the world. Thank you for my beating heart, my eyes that can look with wonder at what is before me, and for my feet that move me forward, dancing (and sometimes stumbling) joyfully. Thank you for my voice that can say ‘I love you,” teach others and speak the truth in my heart.

Thank you, God, for all of it, another blessed day, learning to know myself as you.

May you remember in the middle of your days to stop and be grateful for them, and may this tool be a blessing. . .

Monday, June 14, 2010


We live in a very synchronous universe. In an amount of time unfathomable to us, the sun will die out and our solar system will exist no longer. But now, within time as we are able to perceive it, the earth revolves around the sun on an amazingly regular schedule, tides ebb and flow, and we expect the predictable changes that come with one season following another.

Life is immensely interdependent. There are entire chains of lifecycles in nature that could not exist if one link in the chain for some reason didn’t come into being. One simple example is bees. I don’t think too much about bees, and shoo them away if they come too close. But they play a very important role in creating our food supply and maintaining biodiversity by pollinating many types of edible plants, trees and flowers. In many places bee populations are dwindling, and that puts our food supply at serious risk. There are countless examples of how components of our world work together in ways so perfect that they defy understanding.

Synchronicity is at work on an individual level as well. I love when I notice things coming together in ways that are so natural and seamless that I recognize the hand of something much larger than myself at work.

This happened the other day, as I was writing a post about grace. I knew that I wanted to write about grace, but wasn’t sure what I wanted to say. Sometimes I have a very clear picture about what I want to write; at other times I just sit down and start typing and see what I end up with. On the topic of grace, I just began to write. I remembered an idea that I had picked up from a book that I hadn’t looked at in years. When I glanced up, there the book sat on the bookshelf above my computer! Examples came to me and connected themselves together in my mind as I let my fingers type. The absence of any single piece would have changed the result. And so it is with all things creative, and with life in general!

I’ve found that synchronicity happens when we get out of the way and let the details of our intentions work themselves out in our subconscious without effort, allowing the individual parts to blend into just the right whole. The more I notice and am grateful for those moments that somehow just “work,” and the more I trust that I can step back and marvel at life’s creative process moving unhindered by my thoughts and expectations, the more space I make for that very powerful force to express itself in my life.

May this tool be a blessing. . .

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I went to a high school graduation this morning in the school district where my husband works as a principal, and it got me thinking about the concept of grace.  Grace to many is thought of as receiving special favor, luck or kindness that is attributed to the hand of God, because it otherwise would not have been expected or perhaps deserved.    One dictionary definition I read for grace is, "The freely given, unmerited favor and love of God."  I do feel blessed and lucky in every moment of my life, but I think the state of grace that we are part of is much bigger than that definition.

I read a book some time back in the 1980's by M. Scott Peck, M.D. called The Road Less Traveled.  In the section on grace, Dr. Peck describes a number of characteristics that can be attributed to the phenomenon of grace, but admits that ". . . we cannot touch this force.  We have no decent way to measure it.  Yet it exists.  It is real."  In the end he defines grace simply as "a powerful force originating outside of human consciousness which nurtures the spiritual growth of human beings."

One of the ideas from this book that always stuck with me is that we witness grace in children being generally more evolved than their parents (this was my take so I'm paraphrasing).  Our world has always changed rapidly, sometimes even explosively, and the chaos that ensues often doesn't look like positive evolution.  But I believe that it is, as people create the ongoing opportunity to learn about love,  of themselves, each other, and the world.

We do indeed live in a state of amazing grace.  In the district where my husband works, there is a high percentage of families who are lacking resources, and struggling.  A large number of those kids have dealt with poverty, drug abuse, and other things.  As I watched them celebrating their transition into adulthood today, excited to be setting out on their journeys to make the best possible lives for themselves, I knew that they would, and already were, rising above the limits on who they could be.

When I first read Dr. Peck's book, his ideas were exciting but also a bit scary for me.  Now, some of them reflect the basic truth in my heart, so much a part of me that I don't often even consider them anymore.  Peck asks, "Why does God want us to grow spiritually?   What are we growing toward?  Where is the end point, the goal of evolution?  What is it that God wants of us?"  His answer is that "God wants us to become Himself (or Herself or Itself).  We are growing toward Godhood. . . It is God who is the source of this evolutionary force and God who is the destination."

Grace is not in receiving the unexpected, or the undeserved.  Each member of every graduating class of 2010, and all of us, were deserving of grace the moment we took our first breath, expressing God within us as children of this Earth.  Grace is the truth that we are God, regardless of our story or circumstances, or how much we, or the people around us, forget.  It is the truth that as we create and live out our stories, God is expressing herself; our very existence is amazing grace.

Let us celebrate that!

May this tool be a blessing. . .

Friday, June 11, 2010

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!

And it's all small stuff, or so the saying goes.  It was a favorite of my grandmother's, who used to tell me, "Don't sweat the small stuff, Sweetcheeks!"  Sometimes the simple, common sayings that we take for granted can be a source of great wisdom.

I'm not sure that it's all small stuff, but I think most of it is definitely small stuff.  It's human nature to project our what-ifs out into a future that hasn't even happened yet.  I do know that for me, most of the things I find myself concerned with on any given day I won't remember six months from now, let alone at the end of my days when I'm looking back at what made my life exceptional, worthwhile, and uniquely mine.

The small things can take a big amount of energy if we let them, so there's a balance to be found in attending to them.  Keeping my house clean, or at least clean enough, I consider small stuff, but the quality of my life would be greatly reduced if I didn't consider it at all.  And I'm really grateful that I have a house, and this particular small thing, to deal with.

I remember a message at Unity a few months ago in which Rev. Ken suggested that we ask ourselves, "What am I willing to do to create an exceptional outcome?"  It occurs to me that we can ask this of ourselves about a particular situation, the day in general, or about our lives as a whole.  Focusing our attention on how we can be our best selves in a moment or with our lives helps take the attention off of the frequent, nagging, and in-the-long-run less important issues that surface.

A common example that comes to mind is those drivers on the road who cut us off in their hurry to get where they're going.  Rude drivers don't get to me very often, but they drive my husband crazy.  (Honey, are you reading this?)  One response is to sweat it, and thereby give it more power than it deserves over the quality of my day.  Another response would be to ask what I'm willing to do to create an exceptional outcome in the situation.  I find this amusing to think about - a very lofty consideration for a very small event.   Maybe blow the driver a kiss?  Or perhaps just choose to bless and see the Christ within him (or her) and move on with the gift of what's ahead.

What am I willing to do to create an exceptional outcome in this day?  It's a bit hard to think about, because I'm accustomed to just doing what I do in the roles that I fill, and that takes up quite a bit of the creative energy that I put into my day.  But what if I took back just a little of the energy that it takes to fulfill my roles, and use it to decide what I will do that's new or different, something exceptional.  I don't think exceptional has to mean untoppable each and every day, but special in a way that will make the day more memorable.

What am I willing to do to create an exceptional outcome in my life?  I believe this is a work in progress, and is created each day, in every thought we have and each choice that we make.  The answer to this question certainly changes as we learn and grow, accomplish our goals and move on to new ones.  In each moment we can choose to create an exceptional outcome, for this very moment is the moment that we live.

My husband's aunt, who is beginning to be affected by Alzheimer's, is coming to dinner along with my father-in-law, my son and his girlfriend.  I think I'll make cupcakes for them, just because.

May your moments be every shade of exceptional, and may this tool be a blessing. . .

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Come as a Child

I think I’ve mentioned, maybe a time or two, that I find myself too busy at times. It’s a tendency I learned in childhood, taking on too much responsibility for things to try to keep my world safe. I’m not complaining; I’m definitely not the only person in the world who believes at times that she can hold it up single-handedly. That particular part of my personality has provided me with a good deal of compassion, and a desire to make things better in my own small way, among other things. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn what I learn from it, and continue looking for balance in my life.

Last night I came home from work feeling stressed, and really looking forward to my meditation time. I was aware that I needed to stop for awhile, but more than that I also felt that I needed some help with all of it. I was too burdened, in that moment, to even know what kind of help I was seeking. I was eager to just sit and rest, and let the answers come.

As I closed my eyes and grounded my body, the voice of God within me reminded me clearly to keep it simple, and come as a child. I felt instantly eased as my body caught up with the fact that I could be very gentle in my attention to myself, because there was nothing else to be concerned about. As I sat in communication with the God of my heart, I was able to be the center of my own universe, knowing that all existed for my good, much like a child involved in some kind of wonderful, creative play. In my simple meditation, I watched as my own electric blue life force energy coursed through my body, aware at the same time of Father/Mother God standing over my shoulder, watching over me, shielding me, and orchestrating everything for good.

I know myself as a child of God, made in her image, creator without limit of my own sacred life. But I don’t think I’d ever perceived myself as God’s child, beloved, precious and safe, seeing myself as God does, without the need to do anything to earn my place here. I sometimes think that all human worry stems from the very common but flawed thinking that if we could just fulfill some role a little better we just might be allowed to stay.

There’s a part in Neale Walsch’s Coversations With God in which God says, “You can’t hear my truth until you stop telling me yours.” I believe that’s what happened last night in my meditation. When I finally released my own agenda, stopped trying to control the outcome of everything in my thinking, and just sat quietly waiting for the truth I sought, the voice of my knowing reminded me that we are, all of us, held in the benevolent hands of infinite good. I know in my head that I am safe, and that divine intelligence is at work. But I really appreciate those times when I know it in my heart, and my body, as well. It’s balm for the soul of the scared child that exists as a part of me, and for the fairly capable grown-up who sometimes needs a very solid reminder that she, and the rest of this planet, are safe in the perfect design of ongoing creation.

May this tool be a blessing. . .

Monday, June 7, 2010

Resting on the Bank

Life can feel at times like we’re being pulled along by the raging waters of a mighty river, tossed about, sometimes easily floating above the water, sometimes underwater and struggling to breathe, always bumping into the many other things being carried in the surging current.

The immensely powerful forces that we encounter in this life are at times delightful and at other times terrifying, and everything in between. All of life’s intensity is a gift, as all of it provides us with one opportunity after another to choose how we want to show up. Through all of it, times of struggle and of ease, fear and faith, isolation and connection, the pain of forgetting who we really are and the joy that’s born of remembering, we are perfectly expressing God, knowing himself.

There’s a saying out there on the internet about someone who, at the end of her life, wants to be worn out, used up, with a big smile on her face and saying, “Wow, what a ride!” What a fun and fearless sentiment! Life is nothing if not a wild ride! And as I’ve said, I’m getting better at not fearing what’s coming my way but instead moving forward with eyes open. More often, thank you God, I’m able to say “bring it on.”

Still, at times, I need a break when the waters rush too fast. When there’s a lot coming at me at once, it’s harder to stay grounded, and peaceful, and clear about my own priorities. In those times, it’s helpful to step out of the river, and rest for awhile on the bank.

Resting on the bank is something we can do in the middle of our activity. Like many spiritual tools, it’s a state of being.  In the middle of any situation, resting on the bank is a way to step out of some of  life’s tumultuous energies for a time. We can sit on the bank and watch them go by, without having to process them internally. We can notice what’s happening without having to do anything about any of it for awhile.

I actually picture this, in my imagination, that I’m sitting on the shore, and everything I’m encountering at that time is moving by me in the rolling water. I am seeing it, and will be part of it again when I choose to be, but it is not me.

I have noticed what a tremendous healing it is for me to rest on the bank. When I take time out from managing all of the energies that I bump into in a day, demands, thoughts, emotions, both mine and others’, and just let them roll on by, then when I do decide to jump back into the river and swim my own unique stroke, I am more calm, happy and connected to the voice of the God of my heart.

May you be inspired and rejuvenated on life's peaceful shore, and may this tool be a blessing. . .

Friday, June 4, 2010

Riding With No Hands

I remember hearing someone say many years ago that sometimes on the rollercoaster of life you just have to put your hands up in the air, open your eyes, and go for it.  It stuck with me because at that time, I didn't feel at all brave, but wanted to be, on rollercoasters and in life in general.

Actually, my experience on rollercoasters had been alot like my other experiences up to that point - willing to try them after a bit of coaxing, anxious but hopeful of a good outcome.  Fourteen years ago, when my son was six, we took the kids to Disneyland.  Later, when my son talked about what the inside of Space Mountain looked like, I had to admit that my eyes were squeezed shut the whole time.  He thought that was pretty wimpy, and I did, too.  (For those of you who haven't yet been to Disneyland, Space Mountain is an indoor rollercoaster that is very dark inside, making it look like you are in deep space hurtling past stars and planets and . . . . other deep-space stuff.)  I realized that keeping my eyes shut tight in fear the entire time kept me from really having the experience, and it was a symbol of how I approached other things in my life as well.  I told my son then that next time I would leave my eyes open.

I finally had the chance last year, when we again took our now-adult children to Disneyland.  It was a great time, running between the rides, all of us acting like kids again.  I made a conscious decision that I would live up to my promise to myself.  My husband and my kids were indulgent with me, listening with smiles on their faces but somehow not laughing, when I said proudly that I was going to keep my eyes open on the ride.

The first one was the new rollercoaster in California Adventure.  I felt a big rush of excitement as I buckled in, and I have to say it was great as I watched upside down as we barrel-rolled our way down the track.  As we climbed a hill I went for it, first time ever, and put my hands in the air as we crested the hill and came tearing back down.  I waited 51 years to have that experience, and I'm glad I finally did it.

Later we hit the Hollywood Hotel ride that is open to the outside, supposedly in an elevator that falls a number of stories before stopping abruptly.  We rode that one twice, and I'm happy to report that I did it eyes open!

One of the last ones we rode was Space Mountain, and I have a picture on my refrigerator of all of us - one of those that the ride takes at an especially scary part and then lets you buy the picture at the end if you want to.  There I am sitting in the front of the car, screaming and clearly having a great time, and my eyes look like bug eyes, but they are open.

Being with my kids for that weekend was tremendous fun, and the fact that I conquered my fear made it all the more so.  I'm still proud of that Space Mountain picture.  The great thing is, I've been learning to fear less and trust more for a long time, and I think in some small way that trip really did help me realize that I am brave, in many ways.  Every time we stand tall in our own truth, we are being brave.

Each time I deny a belief that anything but good is at work in my life, I am brave.  And each and every time I choose a reality of my own making, affirming that I exist as an expression of loving and limitless creation, I know my own unbounded power.

May you live with your eyes wide open, and may this tool be a blessing. . .

Thursday, June 3, 2010

In This Moment - A Meditation

In this moment, all is well. As I pause in my activity I realize that right now, I am just where I am supposed to be. My unique life experience and perspective have brought me here, expressing myself in the best way I know how.

My thoughts and actions create the unfolding of my life, but the future is not here yet. The delights and challenges of the future I will live when I get there. There is no need for worry, or regret.  What happened in the past is done. I carry it with me as I learn and grow, but it is not now.

Right now, all is well. Health and vitality course through my body, and I am happy to be alive. The world is my oyster, and I joyfully anticipate the pearls of love, wisdom and adventure waiting to be discovered. I am at once peaceful and expectant of the good that is sure to come my way.

In this moment, and in this one, and this, the worries of the world fade as I know the ease of just being. As I breathe in the light that transcends time, I am larger than life itself and creative beyond measure. In this moment, I am one with the God of my heart.

May this meditation be a blessing. . .