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Posts tagged ‘Earth’

Respect Women, Respect Life

“If the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of the woman is intact, so too is that of the family, community and society.” – Ancient Indigenous Proverb

This ancient proverb gives me hope because it tells us that the overall well-being of females directly influences all of existence.

Clearly there is much work to be done to have all females, young and old, be in good health in their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects.

That is why women all over the world march today. They know that respect, care and kind regard are the minimum qualities that must be restored to them.

When the welfare of the women is honored, men and all beings in our world will also be well. In fact, these four essences being intact for females ensures that the entirety of life is glowing.

I know that the road has been long and filled with peril, but today there is confidence because the women raise up their knowledge of what is needed to restore wholeness and harmony.

A proverb is by definition: “a simple and concrete saying, popularly known and repeated, that expresses a truth based on common sense or experience.” This tells me that the ancient Indigenous proverb written above is known as true, which means that at one time the women’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being were intact. If it was once, it can be again.

To everyone today who is: marching, holding space, doing ceremony and embracing intentions of respect for the women, know that your efforts bring a restoration of harmony for all.

Thank you.

 

Water is Sacred

“Water is sacred. It is the first medicine. Without water there would be no life.” These are only a few of the statements and teachings about water that were offered by the Native American Elders I’ve been blessed to encounter.

Their reverence for water compelled me to view my use of water in a whole other way. Prior to their teachings I had not given much thought to water and its role in my daily life, let alone the impact of water on all of life. I would say much of my limited awareness was related to water always being there. In my corner of the world water was clean and easy to access. What would happen if that changed?

Right now in the United States there is a major threat to the purity of water. Indigenous people are gathered to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) because it threatens water sources, including the Missouri river. The same people who are implementing the DAPL have already had a devastating spill in another area.

The protesters have been maced for their stand against the pipeline. One journalist was brought up on charges of trespassing for reporting what is taking place there. Those charges were thrown out by the judge, but those gathered still face fierce militant opposition.

I’m writing to bring more awareness to the issue of safe water. Think for a moment how life would be for you if the water was contaminated, or if it were not freely available. What would you do without water?

We can all offer our support of clean and free water. Please take time today and in the days that follow, to offer thanks to the water. Pray in whatever way is yours and if you don’t pray send a thought, that the water always be pure and freely available not just for yourself but for all of life. I ask that your also send love and peace to the those gathered to protect the water. Visualize a quick and peaceful resolution that protects the sacred water for “without water there is no life.”

Aho Mitakuye Oyasin

 

 

We Are Powerful

We’ve been sold a story. It goes something like this: you are small, you are weak, you’re just one person, what difference can you make? Besides you are unworthy, you’re too this or not enough of that. You’re broken, a victim, so shut up, stand down, be submissive and struggle through.

The main intention of this story is to draw attention to our powerless over our own lives and over the events taking place in the world. If we believe the prescribed narrative we spend our time focused on our lack or smallness. In doing so we become saddened, frustrated, depressed, angry and hopeless. Our individual realities grow bleak as does the world’s condition. This particular story goes round and round upon itself with never a happy ending.

Fortunately, that story is false! It was concocted to keep us from remembering our truth. Pulling away the veil of illusion, we see clearly that we are powerful beyond measure! We are strong and vital. We effect change every moment by virtue of our being here. We are whole. Our bodies are made of the same substance as is contained within the stars of the Universe. We are indeed magnificent!!!

Claim your power now! Use your voice, stand up and be bold. Think about what is right and just for all. Let compassion, love, hope and kindness be your guides. You can offer these and like qualities silently or with actions each day.

Set intentions for the world through prayers, meditations, or with wishes. Focus your mind, heart and emotions on what you’d like to see for all. Send it out into the world with love. Start and end your day in this way. Know that it will be made manifest.

Quick, tell the others.

 

Mid-Winter Celebrations

Today is a day celebrated in many cultures as the mid point between winter and spring. There are a variety of rituals and celebrations that are held both in the spirit of hope and in an invocation of welcome.

Today is significant because it is at this point that the ancestors took time to both acknowledge their journey and fortitude in surviving the long winter and to look toward the coming spring. This pause gave the people time to show their faith that they would see the spring arrive once again. Spring meant that the earth would wake up and the land and her creatures would grow and produce which equated to life for the people.

The ritual ceremonies allowed the people to participate in honoring the cycles of life. I imagine they felt that this celebration was vital in bringing forth the spring and renewal of life. They saw themselves as a part of the whole of nature not separate from it. On a practical note, the preparation, ritual and celebration gave people a tangible relief from the harshness of winter while still being enmeshed in its reality.

I find this sense of optimism and faith expands hope within me today. It is a conscious reminder that yes, the light does return, yes, there will be new growth and new life. Yes, things can begin anew even amidst the dark and cold. Let us celebrate that knowledge!

Whether or not you practice modern rituals marking this day, consider lighting a candle in honor of the light returning. Place the match to the wick in reverence of all renewal of life. Think of the hope it may ignite to see something new and vital grow within you. Remember that even in times of darkness you can offer your knowledge that the light always returns.

Message of Hearts

Something pretty amazing took place in my life several years ago. I can not recall the circumstances of my life and what was taking place at the time. The only thing I remember is the hearts.

I began to notice heart shapes in nature. Several times a week I would see a heart. They could be anywhere; in a cloud formation, in the separation of bubbles as I did the morning dishes, in the shape of leaves.

Once I was sent into the woods to sit quietly for an hour. When I looked up there was a leaf directly above my head. It had a heart-shaped hole in it where some tiny bug ate the leaf away. The shape was a perfect heart! I recall that I had difficulty not laughing out loud when I saw that one! I was supposed to be silent while there, so I laughed inside.

There was a time when I didn’t notice them at all, but I’m sure they were still there. After the flood of seeing them every week for several years I did not see them as frequently. I lost my awareness of them and the gift that they brought me for a while. During that time I was working on internal baggage. I did see them but it was much more rare.

The other day I went for a walk and noticed a heart-shaped leaf. Actually, it was a leaf that had been walked on and was broken, but the shape the pieces of the leaf took was a heart. I’ve been seeing them again for quite a while now. So long, in fact, that I can’t pinpoint the exact time that I began to notice them again. I see them everyday now, usually several different hearts in a day.

I’ve never questioned seeing them. I did not ever feel the need to ponder why they showed up for the first time or examine what is happening that I still see them today. There could be some deep message from them that I don’t yet understand, but it is a mote point to me. Here’s why: every single time I see them; whether it was the first time or is ongoing; regardless of if I share that experience with someone or not, I smile.

The hearts make me smile because it is like Mother Nature, the Universe, and the Divine, are sending me a message of love. A reminder that love is here right now. This is not even a conscious thought when I see them. I know, understand and receive the message of the hearts at a level of sacredness contained inside of me. My response is to smile. You may have guessed that the smile is from my heart. It is my answer to the hearts sent to me.

The Four Directions of the Medicine Wheel (And How They Affect Your Life)

Do you want to better understand the wilderness along with your interactions and connections with Nature? Check out: We Are Wildness. Their mission is “to help improve the health of the planet by inspiring people all over the world to reconnect with Nature.” I invite you to visit their site to learn more.

You will also find; The Four Directions of the Medicine Wheel (And How They Affect Your Life), a guest blog post, that I wrote for them there. Follow this link: http://wearewildness.com/four-directions-medicine-wheel-affect-life/ to read all about it!

Rain Dance of Celebration!

The rain has found its way here once again! For those of you not living in Northern California this may not register much of an impact. To the many folks who do live here or live in a similar climate where rain is scarce, any falling of water from the skies is cause for celebration!

In response to the rain, my daughter was doing “the happy dance” at her place of work regardless of who might be looking on at the time. She is not alone. Many of us are offering up gratitude and stepping out in the rain for even a small twirl around.

Feeling the rain touch your face, hearing the gentle sound it makes, seeing the rainfall drench everything and everyone in its path, speaks to a deep primal part of us that knows water means life. It brings renewal to the earth and to each one of us. The rain cleans things up and makes a clear path.

This is most appropriate for this day. In many traditions this day is a time to reflect on what has taken place during the past year. It is a time to let go of things that no longer need to remain in our lives. Perhaps we have grown in some way and need different things in our life to help us. Today is also an opportunity to look toward what we would like to create in our life. The cycle of a year is at play as we discern what we have harvested this season and what we want to harvest next Autumn. Important work can be done on this day.

My suggestion is to allow the rain to fall upon you. Let it wash those things that no longer fit away. Invite the rain to fill you with a sense of renewal and hope. Take some time to imagine the clear path it is laying out for you. Then think about what you want to encounter on the path. Be clear in your intentions for next year’s harvest.

If you get stuck or are unsure how to proceed you can call on the ancestors. The veil between Spirit and our physical world is thin at this time. Take time to honor the Elders in Spirit, those ancestors who are easily accessible now. Ask for their assistance if need be.

But first: dance in the rain! At least get your feet wet. I’m betting it will make a difference in how you feel and will give you the openness to proceed.

 

 

 

New Growth in Unexpected Places

Yesterday I stumbled upon something very unexpected. I was tending my balcony garden by cutting back and removing all of the dead plants. This something I do around this time of year in preparation for putting in colder weather vegetables and plants. Some areas I put to bed and they remain dormant until the Spring.

When I started working on the tomato plants I got a surprise! There was new, vivid green growth on the stems. I was startled because I’ve never seen this before! Even the stems that appeared brown and brittle showed green life inside of them when they were cut. Upon closer inspection some of the plants were blooming. As I made my way around the plants on the balcony I learned that it was only the tomatoes who were experiencing this second life. I also found one tiny new tomato plant growing in another planter.

This small and surprising discovery shook me enough to prompt a deeper reflection. If you know me or having been reading any of my writing, you are aware that Nature informs my way of being in the world. When there is something different or unusual in what I see and experience in Nature I pay attention. Typically there is some deeper message being offered to anyone who is observant. In this instance, I thought, “I’ve never seen this before in all the years of gardening.” I started helping with the garden in my childhood.

What was the new growth of the tomatoes telling me? I have to tell you, it took me awhile to get my mind around the fact that there was new growth happening in a place and time that was unprecedented. I guess it is true for most of us that when something takes us by surprise or shows up in an unexpected fashion we need time to readjust to the reality of what is now, even if it has never been this way before.

Once I got past that, I began to think about the resilience of life. It may appear that things are shriveled and brown but there could be life force deep within. My own life has been like this recently. Parts of me that were sleeping or dormant are finding their way to the surface once again.

There are many factors that contribute to us losing some aspects of our self. At times we may shut down some of the many characteristics within us. Grief can be one of those traumas that send us to a place of withdraw or dormancy.

Happily, the tomatoes have shown that emergence and new growth can take place when and where you least expect it. Increased bounty of these beauties will be a boon to me. I am still pondering how abundance and the bounty of a second harvest may reveal itself. I plan to take this insight deeper as I study and learn more of the attributes of tomato from a totem perspective. Meanwhile, I am delighted to have learned so much about new growth taking place in unexpected places!

A Gift of Fox Medicine

Each day I like to start my morning by being outside. Luckily, my balcony affords me a gorgeous view of the Briones, which are rolling hills in Northern California. I begin my day there because Nature brings me to balance and offers inspiration. I am normally gifted with something that helps to direct my day and life. I say that it does because this concept correlates to my own beliefs and Native American teachings that remind us that life is sending us messages, information and guidance. Our job is to learn how to receive and interpret what is being offered.

I’ve witnessed all manner of wildlife and things simply by sitting still and observing the view. Today’s gift on the hills was the sighting of a magnificent, red fox. I saw it only moments before it bounded away into the corpse of trees, confirming my suspicion that it held messages for me. This fox approached the forest with a sense of adventure and lighthearted play.

Fox carries many attributes according to Native American teachings. What I took from the visit from this specific creature was the reminder that magic, the feminine, intuition, charm and subtle playfulness are the order of the day.

As I watched it bound away, I thought, “Why walk, when you can bounce?” Incorporating an openness to explore while playing really could be the definition of fun, at least according to fox. That is not all that fox offers though because a true adventure entails discovering our courage while testing our mettle. Fox knows that beginning the adventure with optimism and playfulness opens the realm to wonders never imagined in our past.

I full expect that the medicine of the fox is telling me to approach life expecting that an adventure awaits me just over the hill. I would bet it is already on the way. That is ok because fox also instructs that I will find magic when I honor the feminine and follow my intuition. I wish you could see my grin as I say, “Bring it on!”

Lessons of Summer, The South

The adventure continues! I had the chance to write another guest blog post for We Are Wildness. Their mission is “to help improve the health of the planet by inspiring people all over the world to reconnect with Nature.” I find this a practical and inspirational approach.

I invite you to visit their site to learn more. My bet is that you will relish the time spent there! Take some time to explore their entire website, I did. The posting that I wrote, “Lessons of Summer, The South”, can be found through this link: http://wearewildness.com/lessons-summer-south/

Enjoy!