I believe in a friendly universe that is not only listening to us but also sending us messages. Whether it be pennies or feathers or funny little seeming coincidences, I’m convinced that if we recognize those cosmic winks and express our gratitude, the conversation will continue.
This is a Blog Corner for some stories from my own life. And it’s a place for your stories too! I’d love to hear about the messages you have received and what they have meant to you. Send them to email@example.com and we’ll post them here.
If you would like to receive my Blog regularly, please send me your email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will happily add you to the list.
Solstice and Beyond
The moment of Solstice arrives in Montana this afternoon and brings with it a promise of things to come, not only longer days but also a brighter future.
For just these few days in our corner of the lower 48, it’s also the coldest day so far this year. All the blankets have been put into use, the candles are burning like tiny fireplaces and a few remembrances of Christmas are gracing the bookshelf.
The angel and baby Jesus were painted by my grandmother, a fine china painter who sold her works in the hospital gift shop and spent her later years blessing and praying for others. So the promise of the incoming Christic light holds all the more meaning for me.
I’ve determined to use this precious and holy time to simplify and look inward (for which below zero temperatures are quite appropriate). The focus is the celebration of the divine flame within each of us and how we use it, how we listen to its messages, how we realize its gifts. Moments of inspiration often come and go but sometimes get lost in the shuffle of daily commitments. At this time of multiple celebrations, I choose to shift priorities and prepare for a year not only new on the calendar, but new in understanding and an increased ability to love.
May your Solstice help you change gears. May your Christmas be merry and bright. May your New Year bring you overcoming, opportunity and openhearted joy.
Let us give thanks
Amongst many other concerns and considerations, there are so many things to be thankful for. Friends, families, heartfelt connections, communities who care. There is abundance of one kind or another. There is belief in our divine potential. There is an understanding of who we really are.
There are new realities emerging, displacing the old. We no longer need to be victims of our history, our old stories, our outdated habits and beliefs. We are not helpless in the face of the sometimes discouraging, even at times terrifying, picture of life we see outplaying before us. We have the ability to make change and allow our authenticity to emerge.
We are on the precipice of being able to do and believe things previously thought impossible. As the Queen told Alice, “I daresay you haven’t had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why sometimes I believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Let our thanks giving enliven our spirits and raise us up to a place of new belief. Let us support one another in the effort. Let us harmonize heart and mind and make the upward trek with joy. There are new realities ahead!
Even though the outside temperature is 96 today, I have kept my little cottage relatively cool by using the natural night to day air conditioning system. I open all doors and windows at bedtime and put fans in place to blow in the somehat cooler night air. Then about mid morning, I close everything up and trap that coolness inside. Even though I love being outside, when it’s in the 90s, I tend to get limp and droopy. I remain hopeful my system will work for a few days and then maybe even the 80s will feel reasonable.It always amazes me that when you look for hope, you can find it in the seemingly simplest situations.
In the spring, I made a short trip out of town and visited a restaurant I hadn’t been to before. When we were ushered in, we were greeted by a young man with a beaming smile on his face. It was a simple place and the food was not the best I had ever had, but this young man was so enthusiastic about his service that it made for a delightful experience. He was happy to work, contrary to many these days, and although still in high school he looked forward to working for the summer. It gave me hope for the younger generation.
I heard an interview with a Hispanic man running for congress in Arizona who was just filled with integrity and spoke the truth about so many things. It was such a stark contrast to what we often see on the news, to what we hear from many politicians, to the idea that nothing will ever change. After that I felt thoroughly refreshed. And hopeful.
I was recently having a difficult day and rather than staying in a less than hopeful state of mind, I called a friend I knew I could count on. Sometimes the Life Coach needs some advice! She not only supported my efforts on something I am working on, but also expanded my vision of what is possible and left me feeling bright and hopeful.
A friend gave me an older book which although it is about one subject, led me to open up my thoughts about many other things seemingly unrelated that have been muddled and unclear to me. Now my personal understanding is deepening and I am hopeful that transformation and resolution is really possible.
And I’ve been contacted myself for help with Coaching and Card Readings, which haven’t been so active recently. This leaves me feeling l hopeful that I can continue to be of service to others, doing work that I love to do.
Let’s keep the wheel of life in motion and find hope wherever we can!
For some time I’ve been thinking about the concept of responsibility. Perhaps because of my history, training and experiences, I have often interpreted the word in a strict, disciplinary fashion. Nothing wrong with discipline, of course, but my version of the word tended to make me want to avoid the subject. Or perhaps give myself a hard time when things weren’t working out quite right, thinking I am not being responsible enough.
Sometimes that was true, but just recently I took the word apart and understood a lesson many are awakening to recognize. It’s not what happens to us, whether externally or internally, it’s our ability to respond. Maybe we do need to change course but we can care for ourselves during the correction.
Maybe we imagined an obstacle when there really wasn’t one there. Sometimes with a little investigation, those obstacles dissolve right before our eyes. Maybe we took a comment or event too personally when it really wasn’t about us at all. It often isn’t. Maybe present day circumstances have been formed by outworn habits or memories and need to be looked at from a fresh perspective. Sometimes we just need a change of scenery. Maybe we jump too quickly to cause and effect and blame ourselves for past actions. There are lessons in the past, but how are we able to respond in the present?
It’s like training a muscle. Believing in ourselves and giving our best is a solid foundation for learning more about our responses. Eliminating self judgement and replacing it with self worth goes a long way toward deepening our understanding and our ability to respond. Some lessons are harder to learn than others, take more time, uncover more truth. But then suddenly we are able to look at ourselves in the mirror and rejoice in living in our own truth and authenticity.
Your comments welcome, as always.
Free to Create
Are you creating a beautiful life?
The concept of a beautiful life seems to be pouring into mine. I purchased this rose just before Easter, almost 3 weeks ago and although the outer petals are a little frilly, it remains happily gracing my windowsill. Beauty is not just the flower or the painting on the wall. It is joy at the bird’s song, making new friendships, running a well-kept store, championing what we believe in.
Gregg Braden recently announced his scientific understanding that “beauty is a force of nature.” That means there is a tangible power in our creativity and our ability to influence the world around us. He continued with his practice of the Wisdom Codes, prayers and exercises to align us with the language of the heart.
Nicholas Roerich, in his book Shambhala, In Search of the New Era, writes on the power of beauty in raising our culture. “With every affirmation of the beautiful and of the highest, we are creating the quality of the future life.” With joy and enthusiasm, he says, “If we shall take from life all expressions of beauty, we shall change the entire history of humanity.” He continues with the idea that positivism (as he calls it), aims “to draw heaven to earth.”
And Van Gogh is quoted as saying, “I want to touch people with my Art, I want them to say, ‘you feel deeply, you feel tenderly.’ ” That tender place between us, that heartfelt communication, is yet another example of our collective beauty.
As I continue to meditate on Blue Heaven, my place of beauty and creativity, I am asking myself if I am indeed creating the beauty that I am dreaming of…..with my thoughts, my actions, my daily expressions. I’d love to hear from you, my readers, how you are creating your beautiful life?
On Saint Patrick’s Day, I was listening to celtic bagpipe tunes and happily preparing for the arrival of a couple of friends. I saw one of them drive up to my cottage and I went to the door to greet her. As I opened the door, I spied a big robin redbreast sitting on the fence right across from me, about ten feet away. He sat straight and tall and was looking directly at me. I was too moved by his presence to take a picture (this is the best likeness I could find).
I began by thanking him softly for heralding the arrival of spring. He remained still as a statue and gazed at me intently. My friend started opening and closing her car doors just a few feet away and still he did not move. As she rounded the corner to come to my door, he continued his stance and we were both able to greet him.
I was not just glancing at a bird from a distance, this was clearly a direct message. In general robins do signify spring and fresh new beginnings, something new or exciting, and always joy. It is also said they represent strength, faith in the future, friends and family and community.
Even though this robin arrived days ago now, I am still meditating on the imprint he left on my life. It was a firm reminder to fill my life with joy despite worldly conditions, to create a vision beyond the obvious, to see the new world dawning. I am in the midst of contemplating and redefining my work and meditating on my original business name from about 24 years ago: Blue Heaven. Very simply it’s about bringing heaven to earth each and every day, but there’s much more to explore. To be continued.
May your days be filled with the joy of spring.
Another Word Arises!
In my New Year’s blog, I wrote about my word for the year, Arise! I also commented on how time seems to be speeding by, how fast things are changing and how the unexpected has become an everyday experience. A friend of mine recently expressed it eloquently by saying, “Every day I awaken to an entirely new chemistry.” She was talking about a healing process she is going through but the more I thought about it, it seems to apply to the whole universe we are living in and our relationship to it.
Meditating on this idea and wondering what I should be doing about it, I recently went on a shopping trip, looking for nothing in particular, but thinking I might find something. I found myself trying on a pair of boots which were surprisingly comfortable, which is a miracle in itself. As I took them off to decide whether to buy them, I wondered what the brand was. I looked inside and there was my next word: ANDIAMO.
The Italian expression andiamo means: let’s go or hurry up! As a longtime aficionado of many things Italian (ciabatta, aerobics instructor, olives, hairdresser, wood-fired oven pizza, doctor, novels and movies, painting of Positano, meatballs, scenes of Tuscany, I could go on), I knew I had found the response to my question and of course I made the purchase. I’ve also discovered that the word is sometimes used as an exclamation of joy when something unexpectedly good happens. So the answer is clear: Take action, move forward and remember to embrace joy at every juncture, no matter the nature of how things may appear.
I also want to express my joy and appreciation for all your comments to my recent blog questions. Where could I find more inspiration than in the words and experiences of my thoughtful readers? Grazie!
Where to begin? The Lunar New Year has brought us the Year of the Tiger, beckoning our courage and fearlessness. The approach of Valentine’s day encourages us to express our love. Days are getting longer and somewhere in the future, Spring approaches. Simultaneously winter storms are a fierce reminder to stay in the present.
Outer events across the planet toss us one way or another. Is a situation right or wrong? Do we have a right to judge? Do we know all the facts? What’s the rest of the story? How do we measure our well established opinions against a world changing and transforming before our eyes? Are we called to speak or called to prayer?
I am reminded once again of the old Sufi story which I am sure I have mentioned before:
A farmer led a fairly pleasant life but became tired of being so poor. He decided to buy a horse and hopefullylearn to train him and other horses. Upon finally having a bucking stallion in his small corral, his neighbors expressed great joy and admiration for his achievement and perhaps jealously predicted his income would increase. He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Good thing, bad thing, who knows?” As he and his son worked to train the rambunctious horse, his son was kicked in the shins and his leg was broken. Now the neighbors bemoaned the farmer’s fate and doubted he could ever succeed, and he said, “Good thing, bad thing, who knows?” Next the king of the empire declared war and conscripted all the young men to military service. Families all around were crying for the loss of their sons and saw with some resentment that the son of the farmer was exempted for his broken leg. Once again the farmer said, “Good thing, bad thing, who knows.” And as time went on his stallion attracted a herd of wild horses leading to great riches for the farmer. And the farmer said, …..
This is my version of the never-sending story, borrowing the farmer’s response from transformation leader, Srikumar Rao.
As time and reality attempts to shift us back and forth, speed ahead and slow us into the present, lead us to conclusions and then have them shattered completely, just what is it that we hold on to?
Could it be that: It is the truth and reality of our hearts’ understanding. It is our trust in what we know to be real. It is our inner knowing and ability to transcend time and space. It is our ability to be here and at once across the country or the planet when tragedy or events of importance ensue. It is the power of the universe within. It is joy, the motor of life, and our ability to express it to others.
As I ponder these thoughts, I would love to hear your comments.
I am inspired today to reinvent some New Year’s rituals that I haven’t used for awhile. The first is choosing a word for the year. The way time is accelerating, the word could certainly change before we get to 2023, but for now the word is ARISE. Many meanings of course:
Sometimes it’s simply to get out of bed. When I took this picture this morning, it was a crispy blue 5 degrees after a below-zero night taking us into the New Year. It was hard to throw back those warm covers, but the trees were reaching for the sky. Of course Arise can also mean: rise to the challenge, stand up and be the real you, aim higher than you have before, rise above earthly circumstances, stand up for what you believe in, reach for the stars.
Right before Christmas, I had an experience that demanded this word. I slipped on some ice and found myself right on the ground in the snow. Brushing past history aside, I found myself exclaiming, “I am okay, I am okay, I am okay!” and scooting over to my car and getting myself up. I promptly followed with helpful remedies and the absolute knowledge that I knew what to do and was indeed going to be okay. I wasn’t thinking about it, just doing. And I proceeded to go about my day. I said a fierce prayer to heaven intensely aware that I was the co-creator and had to do my part.
As we are arising, we are of necessity letting fall from our consciousness thoughts of judgment, self-criticism, being a victim, and ignoring our responsibiities as spiritual warriors. Every once in awhile, I seem to be reminded rather dramatically that I have been heading in the wrong direction. Aquarian ways of thinking are arising upon the planet and they are meant to be integrated and acted upon in our everyday experiences.
I have to record this incident as a victory to remember. Somehow I knew that I was responsible and I was in charge of my reaction. Days followed with very little soreness and a quick recovery, shoving any doubts aside and reasserting my belief in a world where we are practicing self-care, listening to our bodies, moved by the spirit and inspired by new and never-before-thought-of ideas.
The other ritual I began today is a jar where you add slips of paper recording victories, inspirations, great news, little synchronicities,etc. for the year. The more you recognize them, the more they multiply. I wrote the word Arise and taped it in the jar, combining the two rituals. The idea is to open the jar at the end of the year and celebrate all the good news you may have forgotten, a Victory journal in action. I might not wait until the end of the year, the jar may get too full.
We are all Co-Creators! Blessings and Love for 2022, Susan
Hi Susan, So glad to find your blog – I enjoy reading your loving wisdom. Especially can visualize you unpacking your pencils and goodies to read, while basking in nature – which I’m sure basked itself in all the love you are. Thank you for all you share!
Hi Susan, I love your new website! Thank you for sharing it. I love the “winks and wisdom” because it reminds me of all the special little gifts and hints I receive when I’m searching for solution or answers to even the simplest, every day ‘rocks in my path’. And from now on, I will pick up the pennies. I used to leave them, hoping for a quarter or a dollar instead, but now I will cherish them as gifts as well. Thank you 🙂
Forgot to say thank you, Donna for your comment. It was indeed a magical day at the picnic table!
Thanks so much Kim. Great insight into being grateful for the small things!