Thursday, January 19, 2017

Everything is Inside of You

I gather together with prayer companions during the middle of the week, and before we enter deeply into our meditation, I hear the lone cardinal that often visits during these times, trying to fly in through massive glass windows. He too, has been part of this circle of prayer warriors over the years, and he seems bent on trying to catch my attention.

I bring troubling concerns to this meditation, and then, out of nowhere, I shift gears stepping into an alternate universe where insights and peace flow freely, as I begin to settle in...

Poetic musings begin to flow effortlessly, enfolding me in a current of grace, as a gentle reminder, that indeed, all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well, as Julian of Norwich has insisted, since the 14th century...

"'The whole universe,
IS inside of you.
Therefore, ask all from yourself.'

So wrote the poet Rumi.

Everything that you need
Is already within you -
Waiting there patiently.

All the love that you need.
All the support that you need -
All the encouragement.

It is all inside of you - 
Waiting there patiently.

Indeed, all the answers.
All the insights that you need,
Are simply already inside you,
Waiting there, patiently.

Become the embodiment
Of everything that you need!

Only you can truly give yourself
All the Love that you need and want!

Only you can be for yourself,
What it is you want others to be.

St Francis de Sales had a very simple teaching:
'Be who you are,
and be that well!'

Lose yourself in the realization
That everything you need,
Is already inside of you!

Yes! Inside!
Waiting there patiently!

All the rest,
That comes to you,
Arrives unbidden,
As total Gift.

All the rest,
Is simply
Icing on the cake."

I sit there in the quiet, in a circle and web of connections, with my breath in suspended animation. In a split moment my consciousness and soul, are bathed in healing Light! I awaken to the deep awareness and realization of Rumi's wisdom, as alive today as it has ever been!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Silence and Snails

"I need to be silent for a while,
worlds are forming in my heart."
~ Meister Eckhart

"Let mystery have its place in you;
do not be always turning up your whole soil
wit the plowshare of self-examination,
but leave a little fallow corner in your heart
ready for any seed the winds may bring,
and reserve a nook of shadow for the passing bird;
keep a place in your heart for the unexpected guests,
an altar for unknown God."
~ Henri-Frederic Amiel

One of the suggested practices that I came across recently for the new year, is to listen for a word that may manifest in your heart as a guiding theme or principle for the year.

As I listened on my walk today, the word that came was silence...

Actually, everything I've read or come across in the last couple of weeks has served as an invitation to cultivating greater silence...

Martin Scorcese's latest movie, now in theaters, is titled "Silence..."

The song that shows up on my favorite XM Sirius channel, as I am driving around doing errands is titled "Beautiful Silence..."

Last night I dreamt of a small snail figuring prominently in my dream - he would not be ignored - and so I looked up its metaphysical meaning, and these are some of things that I came across:

"You are headed in the right direction, and if you are willing to keep heading that way, you will make progress. Stick with it!

"Snail is letting you know that any pace is a good pace...

"What seems to be a slow process is actually moving quickly...

It is also a sign that angelic beings are working with you...

Be patient...

The snail is a symbol of growth, adaptability, and protection..."

I find myself resonating with all of these characteristics and realize that it is also in the cultivation of greater silence that these characteristics will be brought into greater fruition...

In Silence
Be still.
Listen to the stones of the wall.
Be silent, they try
To speak your

To the living walls.
Who are you?
Are you? Whose
Silence are you?
Who (be quiet)
Are you (as these stones
Are quiet). Do not
Think of what you are
Still less of
What you may one day be.
Be what you are (but who?) be
The unthinkable one
You do not know.
O be still, while
You are still alive,
And all things live around you
Speaking (I do not hear)
To your own being,
Speaking by the Unknown
That is in you and in themselves.
“I will try, like them
To be my own silence:
And this is difficult. The whole
World is secretly on fire. The stones
Burn, even the stones
They burn me. How can a man be still or
Listen to all things burning? How can he dare
To sit with them
When all their silence
Is on fire?”
~ Thomas Merton 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

1.10.17 - The Energy of One


In numerology and metaphysics this sequence of numbers adds up to "one." The energy of "1" is the energy of new beginnings.

This year, 2017 - also adds up to the number one.

Again, the energy of new beginnings...

Look around. Read the news. It is enough to scare you back into a cave. Your outlook could be bleak. Or not. You can believe the world is ending. Or it is beginning. It is your choice how you choose to see things. And how you choose to react.

I am choosing to believe in new beginnings. I am choosing to heed the invitation of the energy of one, because this sequence of numbers is very near and dear to my heart for personal reasons.

I am ready for new beginnings which invite new choices and changes.

Are you?

You must decide.

How you will look at this year. And at the events around you.

You must decide.

We always have the choice to grow.

Or not.

So decide.

Be open to new beginnings.

Begin again.

You always can. The moment to begin again is always available to you. And to me. It is available for each and every one of us.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Kindness in 2017

It seemed that everywhere I went these last couple of days, and nearly everything I read contained an exhortation to practicing greater kindness in 2017. It was as if everyone woke up in the new year on the same page!

I had already resolved to practice greater kindness in all my endeavors, and I was indeed fortified in this resolution when I saw so many express similar desires on social media. Confidently, I stepped into this unseen sea of solidarity feeling the support of all committed to embodying this attribute, all over this planet.

Perhaps you are embracing a different resolution. But if you are not, may I suggest practicing being kind a little more regularly? The world certainly needs it!

One beautiful newsletter I read was titled: "Don't be mean in '17! 

Even a list on 10 suggested practices for self care in the new year included being kind to yourself. Sometimes being kind to ourselves is much harder than being kind to each other. Resolve to become more aware of negative self-talk and banish it once and for all!

At the very end of the newsletter was a picture of a pillow with the word kindness on it. A friend, who is pastor of a large congregation remarked on it, assuming it was mine, and asked me where I got it! He had decided that this would be his theme for the year.

This morning, I saw this lovely post by Every Day Spirit, further nudging and reminding me to embrace this practice at all times and in all places. After all, the Dalai Lama himself reminds us that it is ALWAYS possible to practice kindness!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Years Blessings 2017

We have welcomed 2017.

In numerology - 2017 has the energy of "1" which is symbolic of new beginnings.

In this new year, I visualize letting go of the old as a garment which simply floats away. A garment I have outgrown and no longer have use for.

As I rang in the New Year, letting go of the old and its many shocks, I listened to a teaching by Kryon, who extolled his listeners to make of 2017 an altar of joy! Whatever you give energy to will increase, so focus on the energies you want you invite in this coming year, and let go of those that no longer serve you.

"I spread my arms wide into the future, 
for the best is yet to come!"
~ Anthony de Mello, SJ

In this spirit, I want to share with you a couple of brief quotations I came across that I draw inspiration from. May they be a source of this for you as well!

"Greater than the destructive force of hate, 
is the compassionate power of love. 
Whatever you say or do to others, let it be with love.
Harm no one.
Judge no other.
Hate none, love all...

Whatever blessings you have, 
desire that all should have."
~ Paramahansa Yogananda

“My dear friends, we have met this morning to come before God at the beginning of this new year. Of course, probably, for not one of us here does God mean, or seem, the same thing as for any other of us. 
What we ask of that universal presence which envelops us all, is first to unite us, as in a shared, living, center with those whom we love, those who, so far away from us here, are themselves beginning this same new year.”
~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, New Year's Day 1932

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Blessings for a New World

I wrote this back in 2010. But it seems so much more relevant today!

Christmas Blessings!

This Christmas...

Love. Love totally and completely.
Love without restraint.
Love with total abandon.
Forgive. Forgive everything.
Forgive every ancient grudge.
Forgive the Unforgivable.
Hope. Hope for a better world.
Hope for Peace, and an end to strife. Give Hope to all in despair.
Dream. Dream the Impossible
Dream. Feed your Dream and
Give it Life. Make it real.
Believe. Believe in the Seen.
Believe in the Unseen.
Believe in the Power of Miracles.
Live. Live full and Live deeply.
Live with Great Passion. Live
Each moment, as if your last.
Touch. Embrace a loved one.
And a lost one. Embrace them again.
Hold a hurting hand and heart.
Feel. Feel everything. Feel it fully.
Feel the Newness of every moment.
Feel the gift of every day.
Help. Help all those in need.
Help those you know.
Help those you don't.
Give. Give generously.
Give of your time.
Give of your heart.
Heal. Let go and release.
Heal what no longer serves.
Heal a broken heart.
Repent. Make straight
In the desert a highway.
Be sorry. Make amends.
Celebrate. Give thanks always.
Celebrate Blessings.
Celebrate Life.
Enjoy. Enter fully into this Season.
Enjoy, and remember
The Reason for the Season!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Advent - A Time for Humility and Connection

When you surrender, as the sacred season of Advent invites you to do, you step into a river of grace, holding you captive in its flow. Miracles will open up like rose petals, only to reveal more blessings deeply hidden in its sacred inner sanctum...

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus!
Holy, Holy, Holy! Holiness is everywhere!

I drink a hot cup of tea and reflect on how I have spent years trying to deepen and cultivate greater compassion in all things, but now it seems, the cultivation of humility is the next step logical step to usher in deeper soul cleansing, healing, and transmutation...

My heart is filled with many new and sweet memories...

I am honored to have participated last evening in a service of "Lessons and Carols" at St David's Episcopal Church, in Ashburn, Virginia, near my home. I was profoundly moved by the readings, the exquisite music, and the discernible joy which exuded from all the participants, including the rector, who upon hearing of my experiences embraced me, and invited to be be as involved in the choir or any part of the community's offerings as much as I would like or was able to be. I have rarely experienced such openness in any community that I have belonged to.

Later that night, in the darkness, punctuated by colorful Christmas lights, and warmed by another cup of tea, My thoughts turned lovingly to the dear friend who first introduced me to this community in a circuitous way. She brought me the first group of yoga students to teach out of my home, many years ago, when I was lost, having been more or less forced out of a community I had belonged to. These women unbeknownst to me at the time, were members of this parish, and I gained confidence and my own voice from teaching them.

Later, this same friend, a gifted massage therapist whom I had trained in Reiki, asked me to do healing work with her on a friend and young mom, dying of cancer. Still, much later, when I was looking for a prayer community to belong to, she brought me to St David's, and I have been there ever since, coming to know and appreciate the women who have regularly attended. We have been bridges of support and nets cast with love, embracing each other's pain and rejoicing in each other's graces as well.

I drink my tea in the dark, very humbled indeed, amazed that I had not realized how important this simple thread became a web of connection in my life. The Divine truly works in mysterious ways! And marveling at the many blessings bestowed on me, my soul exclaimed, "Magnificat, anima mea!" My soul truly magnifies the Divine!" I only hope that I may reach that time when my soul blesses everything, always!

I prepared this morning for my last yoga class of the session. It is customary now, for this community to bring lovingly baked goods, which we share while drinking coffee and tea, and like Mary and Elizabeth, we too support one another on our way through life. We are a diverse group, ethnically, politically, and in many other ways - but we are truly one in our diversity.

My lovelies come today, bearing other gifts as well! I am grateful beyond words, but perhaps it is the letter written by one that most deeply touches me, and humility and gratitude swell in my heart with thanksgiving for a deep soul connection made. Once more I am in awe at how Divine Providence brought together two souls experiencing their own personal struggles and challenges, only to experience healing and sacred graces in each other's presence.

This season of surrender, of expectation, pregnant with with blessings, gifts, possibilities, webs of connection, sacredness, and profound insights, and great joy - is perhaps more dear and meaningful to me than Christmas itself.  It is always the preparation we put in the doing of giving a gift that most fills my heart: the love and happiness we see in a loved one when she opens our present!

I am overwhelmed with gratitude and love as I go off to run my errands, and even the depressed young man I often seek out as a cashier at the grocery store, looks up at me in the eye - and says to me - for the very first time - before I can even say it: "YOU have a good day!"

Miracles are everywhere - if we have the eyes to see and the ears to hear!

I drive home, and the thought comes to me - it is not my duty to change anyone or anything. My only duty in this life, is to LOVE...

And this is truly the Season for LOVE!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Prayer Journey to My Happy Place

Today, after a couple of days of rain, and several weeks of absence, I returned to my "happy place," the river, that invited me nearly a decade ago, to begin this journey of writing, of growing, and transforming.

Today, a new month begins.

Today, is the first day of that month.

Today, my thoughts are elsewhere - with a dear friend who manifested a new home by the sea, and today - it is hers...

Today, I think of the importance of manifesting dreams, of taking care of ourselves, and of having at least one happy place to go to.

Today, I reflect on all that the season of Advent invites us to do and to become, drawing us more deeply into a time of preparation and waiting. Indeed, there is so much to prepare for on so many levels of our lives.

Today, we begin the last month of this year. It has been a difficult year for me personally, punctuated by the most contentious Presidential election in memory, and dare I say - even in our history as a nation. Some rejoice at the outcome, while others have been plunged into despair and uncertainty. Polarization and division are its fruits, as well as uncertainty as we tread uncharted terrain.

Today, I cannot do anything but look forward to tomorrow...

I did not consciously intend to take a break from my writing this blog, but I did. I took nearly a year long break from a lot of things as I searched for answers and a new sense of direction and course for my life.

Today, I am very cognizant of the winds of change coming and needing to fortify myself and take refuge in my practices.

And so I went down to the river and prayed. Out loud. So many prayers - for so many people and situations: affirmations, prayers of healing - of supplication, of forgiveness and reconciliation - and prayers for guidance and illumination. From my heart poured out a veritable Litany and Psalter of prayers!

I came down to the river to pray and to reflect. To ask for blessings and healing for others. And to marinate recent insights.

I have also been thinking of several conversations and readings which have converged into one seamless garment of important realizations for me:

There is no life without challenge. We all have our own unique crosses to bear.

And it is in these places and experiences that we are most invited to grow.

We either make choices to grow and become most fully whom we are meant to be, or we do not. The choice is ours. And ONLY ours.

We are not responsible for anyone's salvation but our own.

It does not matter who we are, what we do - or what beliefs we espouse. 

There is no perfect religion, or political system, or over-arching philosophy or practice for everyone.

It only matters what we learn from all of the life experiences that we are given, and how we respond to our challenges to grow.

It is not about reaching a destination in this lifetime.

It is instead, about how the journey unfolds.

There is ultimately no right and no wrong in this life - but only how much love we put into the doing, and the giving.

It is not always about changing the people or the circumstances around us - but in learning how to become less reactive to it all.

And it is the challenges we are given that enable us to become less reactive.

It is in becoming less reactive that we are truly shown our practice.

It is not about making ourselves heard or making a big splash - but about greeting all of life's offerings with balance, mindfulness, and equipoise.

It is not about doing great things - it is about doing little things with great love.

It is about making a difference - by embodying compassion.

And these Lessons are never over!

So these are the insights that I brought to the river to marinate and internalize.

I began and ended my sojourn to my happy place at the river this morning with this prayer by Tosha Silver, the amazing author of Outrageous Openness and Change Me Prayers. A dear friend recently printed and framed it for my birthday, and I brought the frame with me to the river. I prayed it. Deeply. Fervently. And out loud:

"Divine Beloved, Change Me into someone
who can give with complete ease and abundance,
knowing You are the unlimited Source of All.

Let me be an easy open conduit for Your prosperity.
Let me trust that all of my own needs are
always met in amazing ways
and it is safe to give freely as my heart guides me.

And equally, please Change Me into someone
who can feel wildly open to receiving.
Let me know my own value, beauty and
worthiness without question.
Let me allow others the supreme pleasure of giving to me.
Let me feel worthy to receive in every possible way.

And let me extend kindness to all who need,
feeling compassion and understanding
in even the hardest situations.

Change me into One who can fully love, forgive
and accept myself... so I may carry your Light
without restriction.

Let everything that needs to go, go.
Let everything that needs to come, come.
I am utterly Your own.

You are Me.
I am You.
We are One.

All is well.