Tag Archive | peace

The Move Part 1

For over a year I experienced thoughts about selling my house but I did not reach a decision as I was unsure it was what I really wanted to do. My mind went the route of telling me I was being irresponsible and even un-American not wanting a real estate investment and after all this was part of the American Dream and on an on. In fact it played the “you need to be grateful for what you have” card as part of this process.

During this time I was led to work on a project to possibly identify an area on the the Atlantic Coast that was calling my name as a place to live. This project involved sitting quietly and feeling or imagining myself in different areas. I really skipped the Virginia coast. In North Carolina I landed on the Outer Banks where I spent many years visiting twice a year but not for the past few years. My assessment was that I was complete with what I learned there which in essence gave me the opportunity to realize my affinity for the ocean and awakened my passion for growing spiritually or actually remembering who I really am.

Next in my visioning I moved down to South Carolina and landed in the Charleston area. I spent time several years ago in Folly Beach where I learned some interesting things about myself and a past life influence. Again I did not feel strongly about returning. Then I landed in Florida and the Gulf Coast side. I spent quite a bit of time in the area of Sarasota, Siesta Key, Venice, Punta Gorda area. As part of this practice of feeling into geographical areas I learned much about the Gulf Coast and realized a strong connection to sea turtles to add to my already strong connection to pelicans. I was sure Florida was the spot for my next adventure.

However, I got distracted by life happenings and left that exploration. I did not stop thinking about it being time to sell my house and figured In the Spring a decision would come. In quiet time I turned it over to God and the Universe saying I was tired of thinking about it, so I surrendered it to them.

Right after the first of this year I arrived home to find a typed note on my door. It was from a realtor explaining she had a client interested in living in the area but there was nothing currently for sale. She requested I call her if I was interested in selling my home. My first reaction was incredulity. Was this a scam. Then I think I looked up and said out loud is this a sign? I checked out the realtor and firm and discovered they were reputable and called her. I left a message and then I waited about a week.

When she called the explanation was that a client was moving from Florida to be near family and my style townhome was what she wanted. The realtor put letters on the doors of several homes. I explained I was considering putting my home on the market in the Spring and was willing to entertain selling it. I told her she was welcome to come and look at the house. The plan was she would get back with me to schedule a time. Several weeks went by and I heard nothing. I went inside to my center and set an intention to wait and accept that this might not work out. But I did know selling the house was a right decision.

See Part 2 next for how the flow continued.

Are you in the midst of making a decision? How are you guided?

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Relationship to the Natural World

Until the last five years or so I lived from my mind and emotions most of the time. Since learning to live more from my heart all my senses have opened more fully to the brilliance of our natural world. The sky, the clouds, trees, the ocean and so much more are in technicolor for me most of the time. The gift of the Earth takes my breath away often.

It is interesting when I look back on the last few years to see how my opening to the Universe brought more wonderful opportunities to connect with nature. I traveled in the mountains of Virginia as part of my job when I was working as a trainer. Traveling all times of year allowed me to see them in their coats of many colors. I even rejoiced when seeing cattle and sheep negotiating the hillsides. The month I spent in Maine last year allowed me to connect to both the beauty of hills and the ocean in a quiet, joyful way. There really are no words to describe how the experiences there confirmed the freedom of my heart.

This past fall I did an experiment using my imagination in “feeling” from my heart into the southern East Coast states on the ocean the ocean side. Maybe later I will write a blog on that experience but it was incredible in what was revealed to me and I ended up focusing on the Gulf Coast of Florida from Sarasota south and the Merritt Island section on the east coast of Florida near the Space Center. At Christmas my brother gave me a book about the living beaches of Florida and I am fascinated by life in the ocean and on the beaches. I am blessed to have experienced the beaches in Virginia Beach, VA, Outer Banks of NC, Folly beach, SC near Charleston and the Gulf Coast beaches in the Venice, FL area. In my travels and experiences with all these beaches I began to open my heart connection to the ocean and now recognize my soul frequency match with it and how we support each other. And just as an aside I have again learned the truth of the saying “Never say never” as I have come to appreciate Florida a place I said I would never live😊. But oh the ocean there is marvelous.

In 1962 Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring predicting environmental disaster based on the use of pesticides. She focused on birds but we have seen the impact was much greater. Many of you may be old enough to remember the Keep America Beautiful campaign of the 70’s and the tv ad showing an Indian canoeing down a pristine river that turns to being polluted, etc (it is on YouTube). The ad ends with the man looking at the mess and a tear rolls down his cheek. Jacques Cousteau tried to educate us about the wonders of the oceans and the importance of taking care of them.

Where are we now with all this. We did pay attention to this early teachers. Today we have many conservation groups working toward preserving the land, the seas, and all the creatures who live here. Certainly since Rachel Carson’s book progress has been made. Some pesticides are banned and many of us are more aware of our responsibility to the Earth. Many of us no longer blindly believe what big corporations tell us. For this post I am going to just mention a few impacts on the ocean from our disregard for it. Tons of plastic and other materials are dumped from ships into the ocean. People either leave items on the beach or blatantly throw them in the ocean. In the book Florida’s Living Beaches by Blair and Dawn Witherington (2007) the authors state: “About 85% of small loggerhead sea turtles washed ashore in Florida have ingested plastics.” We all have probably seen studies about how our lighting up the beaches with our need to live on them can have disastrous results when sea turtle hatchlings get confused and head away from the ocean. Thank heavens for the volunteers who sit vigils waiting to help them on their way. I could go on and on but most of us know how full of waste our oceans and seas and rivers are due to our negligence or unwillingness to take action for solutions.

I admit to being a tree hugger now (in the literal sense) and in fact encourage us to teach our children to hug trees and understand how they give us so much. We all have a place in this natural world. Some came here to support the advancement of humanity. Some came to work actively in conservation of our natural resources. Some came to teach us about our spirituality and other came to experience human life and through that experience advance themselves as well as others. I know I am here to love and show how we are the peace and hope we seek. I am also coming to believe now that my purpose is connected to the ocean and the creatures that live it. This may be as a support to me with a frequency that resonates in my soul while I create near it or a more active conservation. I am saddened by so much of humanity disregarding anything other than self and living as though everything is not interconnected. We are told 50-75% of a human body is water.We came from water. We cannot survive without it. It is my prayer we can begin to understand and live from a place that appreciates and supports the rivers, streams and oceans that support us. For me there is such excitement in learning more about shells and plants as well as creatures of the seas and the beaches. At this time of my life there is such joy in clearly seeing the majesty from a depth of my soul different from how I saw the natural world previously.

We humans are so incredibly intelligent with a spiritual core that knows Truth. We just need to allow it to rise up before us. Thankfully many are now working diligently to not only preserve the natural world but see it and us thrive. But there are still many that disregard any responsibility for living what I consider responsibly and lovingly. My prayer is that more and more people will wake up and realize living in harmony with the Earth increases the joy of living for all.

I end with a wonderful quote from Rumi:
“And still, after all this time, the Sun has never said to Earth,
‘You owe me.’
Look what happens with love like that.
It lights up the sky.”

How do you see your relationship with the Earth and our natural world? Is there anything you want to change or expand in that relationship. How do you see this fitting in with your day to day living?

A Sustainable Life

Recently I watched Nathan Crane’s 12 episode documentary “The Search for Sustainability.” Nathan, his wife and daughter travelled the country interviewing women and men from many disciplines and walks of life who are in some way involved in bringing focus to sustainability of the Earth and all creatures including humans. In other words all express in. Arching ways a passion for LIFE that not only survives but thrives. Those contributing to the documentary focus on areas of growing and eating healthy foods, education, community living, use of herbs, the urban environment and the arts. They include a homesteader, permaculturists at several levels, herbalist, business owners, educators, musicians and even a government official who heads the environmental quality department for the city of Washington, DC. It was amazing and wonderful to see all that is going on and to see the women and men following their hearts and passions. Passions that remind us of our connection to the Earth and all life.

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines sustainable as able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed or involving methods that do not completely use up or destroy natural resources. Watching the documentary I was reminded that it is time to pay attention to how we live, how our food is grown, the condition of our water and air. Two areas or questions jumped out for me. Do we need to determine if we are heading toward “completely using up” that which supports our life and even more importantly do we need to examine whether we really believe all life is connected in a way our human eyes may not see. I highly recommend checking out the documentary at nathancrane.com. I am going to briefly mention a few takeaways I got and that may provide you with ideas and concepts to investigate.

When you watch something such as this it is easy to be overwhelmed by so much information or to decide all those involved are just a bunch of tree hugging crackpots to ignored. I believe those are just reactions that come from a place of fear and our resistance to change as well as our unwillingness to accept different ways of life and opinions that differ from ours. Many of us put up immediate barriers if we think we will have to change our way of life or “lose” something in the process. Believe me I am certainly familiar with that dance! But the point is to remember we do not have to agree with everything we see and hear during this exploration. Yet we can be grateful for the thoughts and information shared and commit to at least additional exploration if anything “pings” us at some level.

I certainly did not agree with everything but some ideas and projects rang as Truth for me. I decided to initially focus on two areas: the food I eat and the packaging that comes into my home. I plan to pay more attention to where my food come from and how it is grown. Even if it is labeled organic I may not buy it if it has travelled thousands of miles to get to me. I want to be aware of all the impact on the environment in the process of getting food to my table. My commitment is to explore what is available locally at different times of the year and if I go to a Farmer’s Market talking with farmers about their growing practices.

As for packaging, even though I recycle, I am taking a close look at how what I buy is packaged. A simple (embarrassing) thing is the pods used for coffee in the Kuerig. Thousands of these are probably piling up in landfills daily and as far as I know are not biodegradable even though I think they will be one day. However, I have a reusable filter for it and I can use it more which for me is another “Duh” moment. And I can take my own travel mug to my favorite coffeehouse to not only save cups but the millions of little green sticks going into landfills. As I pay attention to packaging I may see other ways to reduce what comes into the house even by just buying larger sizes as several of those interviewed suggested.

These things may seem simple but they are a start. I also believe it is important to recognize we are often not told the truth or the whole story by the USDA and FDA or any government agency. Huge corporations have more influence than we want to admit and research is beginning to come out that underscores this. To continue to believe all we are told about our food, water and medicine without questioning is naive and will only harm us and our beautiful planet.

For you a first step may be just looking around at your style of life and beginning discussions with family and friends. What does sustainability mean for your family and you? You may already be doing recycling, growing some of your own food and or shopping at Farmer’s Markets. Pick something new to focus on such as water. Explore where your water comes from; how it is treated and how you use it. If you have young children help them see where their food comes from including taking them to a working farm. Help them understand their partnership with the natural world which will help them appreciate the gift of life.

Small actions will make a difference. There is no time for guilt, angst or finger pointing over what is happening. As more and more humans begin to think and live sustainably great change will occur in the world. And for me one of the most important reasons to be thinking about and feeling into this more is for the generations that follow me-for the children of today and those yet to be born. And I believe as our consciousness opens and expands we will be more at peace with ourselves which moves out into our beautiful world.

Below is a small list of websites you may want to check out:

nathancrane.com
greenamerica.org
spiritbees.com
peiasongs.com
tobyhemenway.com
ormeschool.org
starschool.org
doee.dc.gov
permies.com

Ideas to ponder or comment on:
What does sustainability mean to you? What are you currently doing that supports sustainability? Where will you focus next? Do you believe it is necessary to take a closer look at how we are living in our own communities? What responsibility do we have to the generations that come after us?

Maine Journey – Part 3

It has been two weeks since I arrived home from the Maine vacation and it is taking time to adjust to not being there. The last two weeks of the trip flew by with a walk up Mt. Battie in Camden Hills State Park, a ferry ride to and hiking on Monhegan Island, a visit to the Belfast Cohousing and Ecovillage as well as a stroll through the Farnsworth Art Museum. And in between these trips were walks into downtown Rockland and the Breakwater.

The last weeks were filled with the continuance of grace as I was enveloped by much beauty and touched by the people I met. There were more opportunities to laugh at myself such as during the climb up Mt, Battie. As I kept stopping to catch my breath I wondered why a short mile hike could seem so long and deciding dying on the side of a small mountain in Maine wouldn’t be so bad (working out at a gym does not necessarily prepare one for steep hikes). But I made it to the top to partake of not only another beautiful view but to connect with another lovely family. They were from New York and reflected both awe at the beauty they were seeing as well as a quiet sense of peace. Of course there were also families dealing with tired whining children and whining adults complaining as their expectations were not met. All a part of the human community and our various stages of being.😉

An exhibit at the Farnsworth reminded me how extraordinary what we see as ordinary often is when we open our eyes, mind and heart. Currently there is an exhibit “Andy and Kosti” that displays works by the painter Andrew Wyeth and the photojournalist Kosti Ruohomma. These men were great friends both with a love for Maine. The exhibit features photographs by Kosti paired with paintings by Andy. A striking talent of both was to take “ordinary” subjects and help us see their extraordinary nature. This led me to think of all the many entrepreneurs in Rockland at the local bakery, coffee roasters, spa, art galleries, grocery co-op as well as clothing and gift shops. To me the risk taking, following their passions and giving to their community is beyond ordinary. I am sure at times it is highly stressful but also produces times of joy as they share their talents with us. I pray to never again look at small business owners as ordinary or fail to acknowledge their heart.

As you probably see places and people filled my heart in Maine. There was more clarity of vision and feeling I believe because I was free from my “Virginia” routine and responsibilities (whether real or perceived). That supported the ability to relax, live more in the moment and be more light hearted. So what did I discover about my self- nothing new😊. What I knew before this trip is that I am love and at my core is peace and joy. This adventure let me experience that more fully and freely especially on the feeling level. It is a gift that I now will strive to integrate more into my perception and action of daily life.

What do you see in your life that is extraordinary? Might it be you? How do you see yourself connected to both people and the Earth?

A Clear Day

“On a clear day
Rise and look around you
And you’ll see who you are
On a clear day

How it will astound you
That the glow of your being
Outshines every star”

And so start the lyrics to the theme song from the musical “On a Clear Day”.  Some of you may know the story of Daisy the young woman who is clairvoyant and a psychiatrist decides to study her.  It is one of my favorite movies (although not critically acclaimed) with Barbra Streisand and I highly recommend watching it if you have not as it is great fun.  But to make a long story short with hypnotism previous lives are revealed and she begins to truly appreciate who she is in this lifetime.

As that song came to mind for me (and isn’t interesting how things pop into our consciousness when they do) I realized the truth of the words as far as my journey goes and I suspect the journey of many others.  At some point we experience a dark night of the soul that finally pushes us to want joy rather than pain as we grow tired of the drama and trauma.  So we begin reading, taking classes, learning to breathe, learning to meditate, asking questions and often demanding answers.  In many ways we are still in a stage of struggle although we are learning and growing.  We feel hopeful much of the time and just know “the answer” is right around the corner.  With the next book, the next class we will know Truth.  Amazingly we also often draw the right teacher and/or experience to us at just the right time.

And then at some point an opening occurs in our heart and we get a glimpse of the beautiful soul we are. And although our ego may try to fight it we have more and more frequent glimpses.  For me there were many moments on a long journey but I do believe there was a moment, “a clear day” when I rose within myself and saw, truly saw the magnificent creature I am.  It was as though the few dark clouds left covering the sun moved on and I saw a flawless sky. Unbelievable joy and appreciation wrapped itself around me as I sang and danced and laughed.  There is still so much gratitude for all the experiences of my life that have brought me to see who I am.  It is astounding and at the same time it makes so much sense.

That does not mean I do not still have human doubts at times or never get irritated.  But what I am discovering is that those times come less often and when they do for the most part they fly through quickly and peace returns.  I walk around my house often in a semi dance or sashaying state which is someone of a hoot since I have no real sense of rhythm.  But it sure is fun!  The funny part is I am amazed at where I am now every day.  It is not something you “get used to” and treat as a habit.  It is a celebration of most days.  Gratitude flows freely.

As you walk your journey never give up.  There comes a point where you allow your soul to inform you.  When that happens you are never allowed to go back and you are given support after support even when you do not realize what is going on.  May you have many “clear days” as you travel your path.

Do your experience clear days?  If so, what is it like for you?  If not what questions do you have about the process? Are you willing to allow yourself to be joyful?

From Affirmation to Intention

The other day I was reading through some old journals as I sorted through “stuff” to throw away or give away.  As I read I felt such appreciation for the person I was then and how hard I worked to find the answers to life and why I was here.  During that time period I committed to a disciplined use of affirmations as that was part of the teaching of several people I was reading and listening to at the time.  It is also an integral part of the philosophy of Unity and I was attending a Unity church.

There are probably several different ways to define the affirmation process to which I refer.  The Bing Dictionary definition from the internet is: “…act of affirming; a positive statement or declaration of the truth or existence of something”.  An example of one I used is: “I am a child of the universe, perfectly designed to live in balance and harmony with all that is around me,” or a simple “Everything I need now is here” (Wayne Dyer).

As I learned to work with affirmations I stuck them on my bathroom mirror, refrigerator and carried them written on note cards in my purse.  I was diligent in reciting them and memorizing many.  Along with other teachings I believe this process assisted in the beginning of a real shift in focus for me from outside myself to inside.  My mind that holds fear and belief in separation began to “hear” that the being it is a part of is more than fear and is in fact above fear.  In my situation affirmations taught my mind to focus on the Truth of being rather than negative thoughts and beliefs.  Initially it was just a “thinking” process but over time and with practice it became a “feeling” process.  I began to recognize I was more than a sad, fearful human and could see it as I looked in the mirror.  At times joy would just bubble up and I would begin to sing or dance or both.

Then at some point the process changed for me. I cannot exactly pinpoint when as it was probably just a subtle moving in my heart.  I began to recognize that once I “accepted” the Truth taught me through affirmations and other learning that “doing” something with who I am became the next step. And the “doing” switched to “giving” who I am along the way.  At that point I no longer needed to “affirm” truth but began stating “intentions”.  The Merriam Webster dictionary defines intention as: “…a determination to act in a certain way”.  For me this means I have accepted the Truth, know who I am and willingly participate in my purpose for being in this life on the earth at this time.

Stating intentions helps to remind me not only of who I am but that Creation, God, the Universe provide supports as I am connected to all.  This practice helps me center myself.  So every morning before I get up and again before I leave the house I say: “I set an intention to be the Love that I am this day focusing on the feelings of Peace and Joy at my core as I serve as Your (God) channel of Grace, Healing and Service.”  That lets the embodied me- Light Being and Human – set the tone for the day.

Now this does not mean that every day is a perfect day and that I fully give without frustration or question.  For remember we are still human.  However, I more quickly recognize negative thoughts and move to bring myself back to center as I remember my intention to fully be who I am.  I am finding coming back to center gets easier.  In addition speaking truth with others becomes more natural when fear is no longer so attached to interactions.  Vigilance and practice are a part of every day but so is the level of Joy and Freedom felt with the process.

Certainly, we could get into a discussion of semantics between using affirmation and intention.  However, for me this has been a progressive process and I rarely if ever use affirmations at this point.  Using both tools together maybe more helpful for some.

Do you use the affirmation or intention process?  If so how has it impacted your life?  If not do you see any value in applying either process?  What questions do you have about it?

Drifting

What comes to mind when you hear or read the word “drifting”?  Take a minute and jot down your first thoughts.  Are your first responses negative such as “aimless”, “irresponsible”, “lack of direction”, etc.? Or are they positive: “staying afloat”, “exploring”, “relaxed”, “flowing” and so on.

I have been contemplating the concept of drifting as recently it popped into my thoughts as a descriptor of my life right now.  For the last few weeks it has been peaceful as well as strange.  When the word drifting came up it was not in a negative way but I wondered why that word.  The new role at work is certainly calmer and full of newness in many ways: new people, new learning, new work process and lots of other newness.  Yet there is also sameness as I work with the same automated system in a different way.  I also interact with some of the same people that I did in my old role but the relationship is altered.  There is also less: less email, less telephone calls, less toxicity, less interaction.  There is change and no change.  Is it the balance of these that brings to mind “drifting”?

The thesaurus lists the terms traveling, wandering, migrant, itinerant and nomadic as synonyms.  My first reaction when reading these was that I am not traveling anywhere or wandering.  But then the image of floating on a raft in the ocean came to mind.  As you know the ocean currents are always on the move and the waves rise and fall.  In this image I feel it all as I drift in the light of a day that is brilliant and warming.  There is rest here and awareness.  Awareness that within the “new” and the “less” there is calm.

All of the above thoughts were about my “job”.  So I began looking at other aspects of my life.  My personal life is quiet: contact with family frequently, some connection with friends and the normal day to day activities of living.  There is even a sense of drifting in my quiet times as I seem to shorten the time spent in silence.  I realize I definitely have a sense of drifting in my personal life and it has somewhat of a negative tone.  I ask myself what am I supposed to be doing and why am I just drifting along seemingly purposeless?

However, as I reflect more on this I recognize that I truly have been traveling forward.  The quote from J.R.R Tolkien comes to mind: “Not all who wander are lost.”  It is inside at my core that forward and upward movement is happening and the drifting I feel is allowing and actually supporting the integration of all the light that is coming in and all the knowing that is opening up my heart even more.  This is a process that allows me to be in the moment so that my expansion can occur.  What a blessing my life is right now!

And being human I have to ask so what’s nextJ

Have you ever had that sense of just drifting along in life?  Was it positive or negative?  Was the feeling in all parts of your life or just one aspect of it?  How do you feel about it as you reflect?