Friday, November 14, 2014

Angel Blessings

Yesterday, on my 59th birthday, I posted a 90 second meditation that explained how these started, almost a year ago.

Just barely into the New Year, I meditated and invited angels into my home. I was immediately guided to start making these 90 second daily meditations without knowing how. So I went online and quickly learned a very easy, but not particularly "professional" way of doing them.

However, a dear friend, who is a gifted and artistic angel herself by the name of Mary, quickly gave me a crash course on how to do these more beautifully on iMovie. And thus, I began to use roses from my rose bushes as the background to these meditations.

I had planted these roses as a gift to myself last November. Today, they are still blooming in defiance of the very unseasonal cold snap we are experiencing!

A little over a week ago, I found a beautiful angel painting online clasping red roses. I realized that in this lovely painting, the symbolism of this year came together for me - so of course - I had to have her! She arrived swiftly, and now hangs in my special room - my sanctuary - where I do all my spiritual work, write this blog, record meditations, and do my own meditation and prayer practice.

It is sacred space to me - a room with four altars filled with statues of saints and special figures and artifacts from many spiritual traditions  - facing the four directions. And now, my angel, close to the door opening into the room, surveys all that transpires here, and gives it her special energy!

I welcomed her into my life with a special ritual. I asked her for her name, which instantly came to me. I have chosen to keep it in my heart, sharing it only with a special few. But I can tell you that the significance of her name is perfect!

I spent the day beautifully - arising and meditating, going to the river for more spiritual practice - spending time with two dear friends - both named Mary - who came together for my sacred day. Then I went to church for more prayers.

I received many special messages and my heart is deeply touched and filled to the brim! All who truly mattered touched in and reached out!

I leave you with the following links...

The link to my posting yesterday on YouTube, also posted on a Facebook community page. Both pages are named Meditation Pure and Simple:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY7ibJ199yY

Here is the link to Karen Tarlton's work. She has a page on Facebook, and paints one unique painting a day.

http://www.karensfineart.com

And here is my blessed angel, looking over me right now. May she bless all of you as well!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Living in Grace - The River Speaks

I have not come down to the river in weeks, perhaps months - this river I have loved and which has nourished my soul at every step, for the last seven years...

I look on longingly as I watch two kayakers return from their morning sojourn, and then stop to banter with another kayaker ready to launch.

What I would not give to set my soul free upon that river today!

So many changes are occurring all around me - and many deaths as well. I guess if one lives long enough one bears witness to these kinds of things more and more frequently...

I reflect on pending life changes, that are somewhat unexpected - and my Inner Wisdom counteracts limiting thoughts by singing instead this directive from the Psalmist:

"Do not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day..."

Other messages arrive, especially this one, from a beloved figure of the 14th century:

"All shall be well,
and all shall be well,
and all manner of things
shall be well."
~ Julian of Norwich

The day is beautiful - sunny, and the air is slightly crisp, and I lose myself in Lovingkindness practice for myself and others in need - and it truly warms my soul and my heart.

I sit, and am grateful for this day, when we remember veterans who gave their lives so that we might live ours...

I think of this year, and endeavors I have undertaken, to create free daily meditations as well as a book to introduce others to this ancient practice. I tell myself that numbers do not matter, and if just one person is touched by this work, then the work is all worthwhile. I imagine the fruits of my practice and work expanding like the ripples on this river, reaching all four corners of this earth...

When I return home, souls I have never met respond that today's post was exactly what was needed to hear, and I am grateful beyond measure!

I look into the wide expanse of the river, surrounded by the denuded trees - laying their souls bare - realizing that nothing can hide in their shadow...

I ask for insights, to be shown the way as I walk through a grove of trees standing by the bank of the river, and I pause, and marvel at one stump - with two "arms" growing up towards the sky -resembling a yogini's limbs doing Urdhva Hastasana! On close inspection, I can see "her shoulder blades" drawing towards each other, supporting and lifting this tree's heart to the Divine!

And then I notice another yogini tree - just a few steps behind - a tree bending deeply backwards - as if doing her sun salutations before the river at dawn!

I am reminded to trust - to keep my heart open - and to give thanks for every little thing!

I think of this beautiful quote by James Baldwin, sent to me by a friend, also going through her own life transitions, which I have been quietly marinating for a week or so. I am reminded of it as I watch a squirrel perched on a tree stump, surveying the river, deep in contemplation:

"Any real change implies the breakup of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one an identity, the end of safety. And at such a moment, unable to see and not daring to imagine what the future will now bring forth, one clings to what one knew, or dreamed that one possessed. Yet, it is only when a man is able, without bitterness or self-pity, to surrender a dream he has long possessed that he is set free - he has set himself free - for higher dreams, for greater privileges."

I set myself free, not knowing where it will lead me or where it will end...

I pledge once again to walk my path, knowing that I carry within, all the wisdom and strength  that I need, remembering these wonderful words by the poet Rumi:

"The universe is inside of you.
Ask all from yourself."

I ask to be shown the way - and that I may see how to best harness the inner strength that I harbor within.

All shall be well. I am grateful. Changes come and changes go. Consciousness is deepened. The same messages are received from several different sources. I do the work that is required and I follow the path that is before me. Yes, I walk this path alone - but I am never truly alone!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Shift Begins

Every once in a while, an opportunity comes tapping at your door, in the cave of your heart.

Every now and then, you hear a deep whisper inviting you to change your course of direction.

Every so often, something catapults you to make a radical change in your life. 

I think this is such a time for so many on this planet - and it is certainly such a moment for me...

I have found myself chewing, marinating, and reflecting on this line by Emily Dickinson:

"Dwell in possibility."

The possibilities are limitless. The opportunities - unimagined...

And when we have made the decision to no longer go on living in a certain way - there is no turning back. There is only the way forward...

And, then shift begins...

Everything feels new once again - where things had become staid - and seemed unalterable.

I believe that in the midst of so much upheaval and negativity - that there is so much more light. In fact, I truly believe that we live in a time where we are witnessing a clashing between darkness and light - but I also believe that light wins. Just as love wins.

Do not succumb to the fear mongering and the negativity you are bombarded with at every turn. As long as each one of us decides we will not live in fear - and choose the light, the more the darkness will eventually recede. I do believe it really is that simple.

The time for change is now. The time to change directions is here. I have seen so many in recent days make radical changes in their lives. Sometimes the changes were not of their own making - but different lives have been made possible nonetheless.

Yes, the shift begins.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

It starts with me.

And it starts with you.

NOW!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

November Blessings

I know I have been neglecting this wonderful audience for a while. But rest assured, I think of you fondly and often!

The last month has been filled with many changes and various activities that have garnered all of my attention.

I hope to soon slow back down to a more introspective pace and indulge my more creative spirit!

I have a dear friend who created a wonderful app which you can find on iTunes called Every Day Spirit Lockscreens. It enables you to place an exquisite and inspirational quote on your iPhone each and every day if you so choose, or you can just hang out with one for weeks - as I do - savoring its lesson until you feel you are beginning to embody it!

The author creates a new screen each and every day, and when it is finished later this year, you will literally have 365 choices in many inspirational categories!

Below I have included the post to the Facebook community page, Every Day Spirit, earlier this morning. Enjoy!

Here is a link to the iTunes store for the app. And please consider writing a review and sharing the app with your friends! It has been a labor of love for its author!

http://itunes.com/apps/everydayspiritlockscreens

And visit the Facebook community for daily creations:

https://www.facebook.com/everydayspirit1

And Twitter:

https://twitter.com/EveryDaySpirit1

Android version coming soon!

Enjoy this new month, and be grateful for the many blessings you have received!


Monday, October 13, 2014

Changing the Landscape of My Vocabulary

"If you have made up your mind to be cheerful,
nothing can make you unhappy."
~ Paramahansa Yogananda

"We must believe in the power and strength
of our words. Our words can change the world."
~ Yousafzai Malala

"If you are angry when you are doing something,
even if you speak of peace, 
you are actually engaged in war."
~ The Venerable Pomnyun Sunim

Choose your words every morning,
as you would choose the clothes you wear.

"God has given me the power
to change my ways."
~ Mechtild of Magdeburg


In the last several weeks, I have made a practice of meticulously observing my language. What am I saying - both consciously and unconsciously? I have also worked to replace not so subtle negative or limiting thoughts with an affirmation expressing the exact opposite of these thoughts and words.

It is said, and I have read this in so many places recently - and was also just reminded of it by a friend a week ago - that the universe matches the vibration of our thoughts. There is a heaviness in energy that certain thoughts convey, often discernible if we take time to simply observe what we - or others think or say...

Notice what happens and what emotions are conjured up when you constantly say:

"I am sad... I am frightened... I am overwhelmed by grief... I don't have enough money... I look terrible in selfies..."

What do you feel when you replace those phrases with these?

"I am content... I have everything that I need... The universe returns to me a thousand fold all that I have given, in spiritual and material abundance... I am surrounded by people who love and care about me... I am beautiful inside and out..."

It sounds so simple. But it is actually very hard to change and replace our language. It can be so subtle and insidious we are not even aware of the impact of our words - and it can permeate everything around us, bringing others and ourselves down in such a way that it can almost feel like we are being assaulted emotionally!

We succumb to an endless recitation of - "I can't, I can't, I can't," droning on and on like an incantation.

But what we are really saying is - "I won't!" Or, "I don't really want to do the work it implies!"

Change is never easy. It is messy. It is difficult. But what is the alternative? To remain mired in all that does not serve us? To drown in a ceaseless ocean of complaints?

And so, I am choosing to begin each day with different words. Sometimes I have to stop myself mid-stream and re-compose my thoughts. I am working with different intentions, and visualizations...

All things are possible...

I have decided to avoid as much negativity as I can - becoming more and more selective of  how I spend my time and with whom, especially if the relationships are one sided or draining, or devoid of true and meaningful dialogue. I am choosing to read only that which enriches my life - consciously limiting my exposure to the news which focuses on fear. And, I am choosing to watch very little TV.

I have decided my life changes NOW! Not tomorrow or next week. It is becoming richer and I will have more time for silent practice. I choose to inhabit a world that is more harmonious and melodic, rather than live in the meaningless cacophony that society offers.

I have the power to change my ways and choose my thoughts and I can start again - and again if need be. I choose love. I choose peace. And what is no longer in vibration with my spirit drops away and dissolves.

I set boundaries and commit to them...

I make time for things that matter - my meditation, my work, and I recommit to taking a Sabbath Day - turning off all my devices. I refuse to live in a world dominated by soundbites and instant messaging that discourages down time or quiet - or even true communication.

I visualize a different world and reality and connect deeply and wholeheartedly with the emotions my newly created world elicits in the depths within my heart and soul...

I get into my car and drive into the autumnal beauty, singing out loud - allowing myself to experience life fully and intensely, living truly, in the moment...

I am dying and rising all at once. Yes, we must die in order to give birth - such as the falling leaves of this season gently remind us - as they lead us into the barrenness of winter - before the spring arrives once again, bursting with new life. To everything there is a season...

I can choose. And so can you...

Listen to your thoughts and everything you say. They have the power to destroy - but they also have the power to heal, to nourish, and to co-create!

Choose wisely!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Blood Moon and the Magnificent Journey

The Blood Moon awakens me with a start...

It is a moon evoking and heralding transformations, and endless possibilities - and inviting the manifestations of our most deeply held dreams...

I go out but do not see it - it remains hidden, but I am drenched in its energy nonetheless....

It is a time of so much tumultuous change, and inner shifting, and I have certainly experienced my share...

I am barely back a week from walking the beaches on the gulf side of Florida - grounding my feet in fine white sand and aimlessly treading through the warm water in the company of dear ones...

I even manage to nestle up really close to a rare yellow crowned night heron that allows me to take his picture without even flinching...

I listen - listen deeply and process messages received and decide to speak my truth in a way that is needed... I don't know where it has landed - or even if it has - but I know that I have released what held my heart deeply captive while at the same time inviting me to seek a life of peace...

One friend encounters a turtle, and then another gingerly avoids a swarm of them and I know they have brought their distinctive message to the doorstep of my heart, and it is simply a message of peace...

I must walk peacefully on this earth, treading lightly and slowly, and standing strong in my power despite obstacles and distractions. I will give my life the room and time that it needs to unfold slowly as I begin to visualize all that I wish to manifest...

I, like so many others before me, and currently, am walking a journey where the destination is not the goal or what ultimately matters. It is all about the expression of the journey - becoming more fully who I have been and am continually becoming - but with a greater and richer depth.

And I, like so many others, before me, and around me, am awakening to greater insights and living more fully in the present and every moment...

And I, like so many women, am responding to the clarion call of living the life I have dreamed of but neglected, and being grateful for all the opportunities I have been given...

I can trace the hand of the Divine in every moment and every phase and in every act of my life. I have never, ever - not once - lived devoid of that Presence or even doubted that it exists...

I arise in the breaking dawn and the clear sky that reveals the Blood Moon, knowing I have crossed a threshold, and have left behind fear and anxiety, but not before acknowledging their presence and expressing gratitude for them as well...

I arise on a new day following a night of intense spiritual practices meant to both shift things within and harness the moon's energy...

I arise and move and breathe in the Divine who is and has always been the ground and framework of my being...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Weekend With Oprah

In the last year, I have managed to cross three things off of my bucket list, in this order:

1. Visit Israel
2. Drink a bottle of Petrus, and
3. See Oprah

For nearly 20 years a friend and I have sought to get tickets to "The Oprah Show" show or various of her venues, albeit unsuccessfully. But when Elizabeth Gilbert, of "Eat Pray Love" fame mentioned in her newsletter she would be part of an Oprah weekend and that tickets could be had before they were released to the general public, my friend and I jumped on the bandwagon without the slightest hesitation!

And it did not disappoint, though we nearly waited a half year to attend!

Oprah's "Live the Life You Want" event was perfectly planned and orchestrated and it was a marvel to be with 25,000 other similarly positive individuals and her "trailblazers" - the extraordinary teachers that accompanied her on this tour: Elizabeth Gilbert, Rob Bell, Mark Nepo, and Iyanla Vanzant. It was one of those events where each person was worth the price of admission, and which was inspirational beyond words. 

I took copious notes, but I will leave you with just a few inspirational highlights from the weekend:

There is no life without the spiritual life. Our being in disconnection is directly proportional to our connection to the spiritual life.

The energy we put into this, is what we get back.

We are not responsible for others - only for ourselves. We have no power in someone else's territory.

Our power comes from our strength. 

We must learn to set our intentions and use our power to co-create what we want.

Every day we wake up is a gift and we can begin again. We can decide to live is a state of Grace.

Love is all that matters...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Feather on the Breath of God

I am drawn to go to the river on this windy, and beautiful fall morning...

Several years ago, I began so many mornings like this, going down to the river, with my kayak in tow, which I had aptly named "Grace," and into the waters we would go, to pray, to meditate, and commune with nature...

I am not able to do this at the moment, for I lack a vehicle in which I can haul my kayak, and so today, I simply sit on a bench, looking out at the broad expanse of the river in front of me, and begin to do Metta practice for many in need. I give thanks and express gratitude for so many things in my life, chanting the Reiki precepts slowly, and with great care, mindfulness, and devotion, as if lost in a reverie not of this world...

As I lose myself deeply in these spiritual practices, I feel buoyed by the Divine Presence surrounding me - and tossed about like a leaf in the wind and grace of God's love...

I dance joyfully, following its gentle lead and rhythm...

I marvel at the lightness I feel - pliant, and subservient  to the wind's dictates and whims. I am as Hildegard of Bingen once wrote of herself, simply "a feather on the breath of God..."

I do not know where I will end up but the wind carries me, like the wings of angels beneath my feet, and for a few moments, the incredible sense of lightness and freedom, and deep abiding love totally consume me. And I truly know and believe, in those moments - that all shall be well...

"I am the fiery life of the essence of God;
I am the flame above the beauty in the fields;
I shine in the waters; 
I burn in the sun, the moon, and the stars.
And with the airy wind, I quicken all things vitally
by an unseen, all-sustaining life.
For the air is alive in the verdure and the flowers;
the waters flow as if they lived;
the sun too lives in its light;
and when the moon wanes it is rekindled 
by the light of the sun, as if it lived anew:
Even the stars glisten in their light as if alive."
~ Hildegard of Bingen


On A Day When the Wind is Perfect

On a day
when the wind is perfect,
the sail just needs to open 
and the world is full of beauty.
Today is such a day.

My eyes are like the sun that makes promises;
the promise of life 
that it always keeps
each morning.

The living heart gives to us
as does that luminous sphere,
both caress the earth with great tenderness.

This is a breeze that can enter the soul.
This love I know plays a drum.
Arms move around me;
who can contain their self before my beauty?

Peace is wonderful,
but ecstatic dance is more fun, and less narcissistic;
gregarious He makes our lips.

On a day when the wind is perfect,
the sail just needs to open
and the love starts.

Today is such
a day.

~ Rumi