This morning I was recalling a day not too long ago. The day I was remembering was not one of my best. In fact, I was feeling very down and discouraged about life. Those folks within close proximity of me listened to me express my dissatisfaction. It was pretty grim. In an attempt to lighten the mood we went out. There was a craft & art fair close by. Walking around did not have much impact upon my state.
We stopped for lunch. My husband and I sat on a Victorian porch awaiting our lunch. Our locale had the benefit of overlooking the fair. While I sat there frowning and feeling very low, something in the fair captured my attention. It was a small painted sun-catcher plaque that read, “Life Is Good”. My first response was skepticism. I was not yet willing to let go of my poor attitude. People continued to walk past the vendor with the plaque. I would catch glimpses of it and then it would be revealed to me with its complete message.
My perception slowly began to shift. I started to remember that I had; the gift of a caring companion with me, the financial resources to go out for a meal and the luxury to spend the day strolling along a craft and art fair. Indeed, for me, Life was Good at that moment. It took this reminder from Spirit to help me regain that awareness.
As I sat on the balcony today I was watching the wind playfully interact with the clouds against a cerulean blue sky. With the memory of that day and the teaching foremost in my mind. I thought, “Life Is Good!” Suddenly, I was showered with small pink flowers from the crepe myrtle tree next to me. Delighted laughter bubbled forth from me. I took this as an affirmation from Spirit.
Just now while I’m finishing up writing this post I am listening to music, Willie Nelson started singing, “I’m Alive”. Check it out if you are not familiar with this song. I can tell you that it is one more of the subtleties offered by Spirit.
These small moments may seem coincidences or unimportant to you, but I know with certainty that it is the Divine Creator of Life letting me know, without a shadow of doubt, that Life Is Good!
Learning to recognize the offerings of Spirit is easy. Know that the gifts may often be subtle, yet they are always powerful and exactly what you need. Pay attention. Keep your eyes and senses open. You will see and recognize them too. Once you do they seem to multiply. I hope that makes you smile.
Welcome Summer! Summer is many things and there are vast teachings about this season. Today I wish to honor the fire. Fire burns but it is also brings transformation and renewal. Fire represents Spirit and the elemental spark within all of life. Fire helps us to remember the intensity and passion present in life.
Take a moment to light a small flame or a large one if your location and responsible behavior allow it. Take whatever you wish to release or transform to the fire. It will be forever changed when you give it to the flames. Know that new life is coming, rejuvenation is on the way.
Let the fire teach you of passion and of life-force unleashed. Fire is a complex teacher. You will learn respect in working with it. This is important because it is powerful and it is sacred. Just as you are, my friend. Fire will help you to learn this truth.
Fire is the beacon that gathers the people back to living fully and honestly. Through its teachings we walk a Sacred Road. I offer my gratitude to the Spirit of Fire. Aho.
I don’t own a watch mostly because I never wear them. Even still, I do attend to the demands of time. Time to wake up, eat, work, be with family & friends, pay the bills, on and on it goes. These are the small details that make up life.
At some point humans constructed the idea of time. Breaking it into segments, whittling it down into tiny increments simply to be measured. That morphed into scheduling as much as possible into every second of the day. We’ve somehow bought into the idea that we must continually be in motion or pack time to the hilt. Even this is not enough. How often do we say or hear another person say, “If I can find the time”? It implies that we are so busy we have to create more hours in the day.
Consider the possibility that time is simply a construct of our own making. Digging a little deeper we might ask, “A construct for what?” I would say it is a design to pull our attention away from our true self. We have trouble embracing our radiance. There is no need to find the time or more time. You’ve done enough.
If you see yourself reflected in today’s writing on time, consider that you may believe that you have to do more in order to: ______________. Fill in the blank. Be happy, feel important, feel good, be successful, etc. In reality you don’t have to do anything to have all of those things; you are those things. We’ve forgotten this truth. If you notice that you are trying to find time, pull your attention back to remembering your brilliance. Time has no need to be found but we do.
First thing this morning I observed a large flock of pelicans in flight. They were flying over the Briones, which are the hills near my home. It was a large flock, much larger than I have seen in the past. When nature or creatures in nature catch my notice I pay attention. I call upon the wisdom of Native American teachings to glean a deeper understanding of what is being shown to me. In this case I consulted, “Animal Speak” by Ted Andrews. He speaks of pelicans as a “symbol of freeing yourself from the emotions or things weighing you down.” That information began a reflection for me.
I began to assess if there was anything weighing me down and if so what did they entail? It is a good practice to check in with the self to notice what is there. Determine if it is serving you or causing a heaviness that is keeping you grounded.
In our culture most of us are so busy that we can’t readily determine if we are being weighed down. Here are a few clues that this may be the case. If you are feeling heavy in your mind, emotions or spirit there could be a weight. Perhaps you are fatigued, scattered or unfocused. Maybe you feel put upon or taken advantage of by a person or people in your life. There could be a host of symptoms that show up for you. Slow down and take a few moments to see what presents itself to you.
A lot of times we are carrying or holding on to stuff that will lift us if we simply let it go. I know it is not always easy to do so but being lighter sure feels better. The pelican reminds you that you can free yourself from all that is weighing you down. We all can. Just like the pelicans we can bob on the water and glide effortlessly in the sky. We can rise above it when we release the weight. Happy flying!
A Native American Elder once told me, “If we would remember to say thank you, we would never need another ceremony.” I’ll never forget him telling me this because it was also an instruction. I knew that at the time. We were sitting inside the tepee before the prayer ceremony began. It was just the two of us. He looked across from me and offered his statement about saying thank you.
I pondered this for some time. Over the years there were many traditional ceremonies that I was fortunate to attend. Actually, that is not accurate. Those teachings and ceremonies changed my life and that of my family deeply. We were all enriched. This reality was part of what prompted me to look hard at what I had been told by this Elder. There were people from all walks of life who came to the ceremonies. They prayed about themselves, their family, the tribe & they prayed for peace in the world.
Did this mean that people’s lives, including mine were a mess because we forgot to say thank you, I wondered? Was the lack of peace in the world and within ourselves related to our ineptitude in offering thanks? Could the answer be this simple, I wondered?
He undoubtedly sensed my struggle to understand because he went on to say, “In the beginning the people, the Native people, looked around. All they saw was beauty. Everywhere they looked they encountered beauty. They thought about how to express to Creator what they thought and felt about being gifted with beauty everywhere. After much thought and discussion they decided that all the could say that was, thank you.”
I thanked him for sharing this with me. I’m sure he knew that I would continue to work with the concept of saying thank you and the critical value it has on keeping life in balance. I looked long and hard at prayers and ceremonies. I saw the people requesting them or participating in them and their suffering. It opened me to compassion for them and myself. I have a practice of offering thanks many times throughout each day. Doing so has me discovering or rediscovering some of the beauty that those original people knew was imbued in all of life. I still have the opportunity to attend ceremonies and pray. When I get to do this I remember to say thank you, for the teachings, for the love, for the well-being of all the children of life yet to come.
The practice and remembrance of saying thank you may seem small but I have found it to be powerful. Offer thanks from your heart, from the wholeness of your being, from your Divine internal spark, as I imagine those Native ancestors did. Maybe one day we will gather only to offer thanks because all we see, feel and experience is beauty everywhere. Never underestimate the value of saying thank you. Let it restore you to beauty. Aho!
On a usual day, I rise. I say good morning to my cat, Boo Doodles and our day begins. This day started differently. Immediately upon waking, Boo Doodles came over to me with a lovey noise. I said good morning and started petting him. He began to kiss and clean my hand. He was very demonstrative in his love for me. It made me smile. We expressed our love for each other in the affection we shared. Our morning snuggles shifted my day from the start!
“What a great way to begin the day!”, I thought. Imagine if we could be greeted with such love and affection everyday. Taking time for tenderness invites gentleness to reside within you. Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but I think morning snuggles are the sustenance of loving kindness. I’m betting they can change the world!