Stumble on the Road

Yesterday was one of those magnificently beautiful spring days, and something told me to go out on a morning walk, which I don't normally do on a Sunday morning.

I often take a path with a fork behind the houses where I live. One side leads to a pond I like to visit, and the other leads to a bridge over a vast expanse of marshes and beyond, usually visited by foxes, deers, owls, and other interesting characters.

I decided on the pond...

I had a lot on my mind - mostly good things - and when I came to the bench I usually sit on, I noticed the pond was empty. None of my duck or geese friends were about. I was a little disappointed.

As I was sitting down, I noticed a small "post it" note that had been affixed onto the bench. The simple statement was meant for me. I know I was supposed to come down to read it:

"Never let a stumble on the road, be the end of the journey."
I smiled.

Of course I thought it was meant for me. But it was really meant for anyone needing to hear t…

Becoming My Best Self

I have not made an entry in this blog since January. Since then, I have been knee deep in spiritual practices - trying on new ones - revisiting old ones I may have hastily or inadvertently discarded. As a result, in this very deep and very long winter, it has fed my soul, while I quietly hibernated, waiting for the first signs of spring...

These are turbulent times. All one has to do is listen to the news or read the newspaper, which I avidly did most of my life. Now, I find myself needing to step away from the constant maddening assault on my senses in order to nurture my soul and come home to my True Self.

Many mornings, after meditation, I walk down to a pond where I sit on a bench, and often meditate some more. But often, I just watch the geese and ducks do their own thing, under a canopy of tree limbs and evergreens, listening to the cacophony of an impromptu chorus of birds happily chirping overhead.

One day last week, I noticed all the usual suspects partying in the pond were gone…

The Practice of Journaling

Journaling has been a part of my life in some format or another for as long as I can remember. 

I have a small book shelf with journals going back to my early teens. I have poetry manuscripts. Notebooks of prose. I have scrapbooks of favorite quotes and passages from books. I even have autobiographical collections - journals of spiritual experiences, of dreams, of pregnancy and my son's first year of life.

The point is, journaling can take on all different kinds of forms depending on your needs at the time. You can even have several journals running concurrently!

A few months ago, as the year was drawing to a close, I decided that I would write as often as possible in my main journal, which is the one in the middle in the picture below. But I also found a need to establish two others.

The one on the left is my "health" journal so to speak. I just simply jot down the things I did that day that contributed to greater health of mind, spirit, and body - not to judge myself, but …

A Year For Renewal and Health

A new year has commenced with a super moon, bearing better tidings, I hope.

I chose to dispense with my preferred rituals for ushering in a new year and instead record my theme for the coming year in my journal, which came to me from an unexpected gift.

Several friends set out to do the Camino in Spain this year. One, brought me a beautiful pendant from the region from where my family originated. It had a beautiful Celtic inscription on one side, with the the following words inscribed in Spanish on the other side:

"Renacimiento Entusiasmo Salud"
The moment I received it, sometime last fall, I knew that these words would comprise my theme for the coming year.

Renacimiento, can be translated literally as "rebirth," or as "renewal." Both of these seem appropriate for this juncture in my life.

This word is followed by "enthusiasm," and finally by "health."

I noticed that many people chose a word this year as their own theme, with the emphasis being…

Fill Your Cup With Good Things

A New Year is here. 
Another one has been dispatched...
We could sit here and talk about how hard it was - or how bad it was. But I will not do that. And neither should you. Let's not give the past anymore energy...
I choose to look ahead instead...
I am grateful for the many blessings and miracles that I believe are currently unfolding in my life, and in the lives of others...
This year, I chose to usher it in differently, and dispelled with my usual rituals. I thought instead, of what I would like to fill this year with. I thought of the new year as a cup, filled with many good things.
What would you like to fill your cup and your new year with?
What kind of drink warms your body and your heart? Good coffee - tea, or hot cocoa? It really doesn't matter what your pour into your cup.
Imagine yourself holding your cup filled with your warm drink of choice. It happens to be very cold where I am at this morning.
Feel the warmth of your cup.
Hold it tightly - and let the steam bathe and soo…

What the Ducks Taught Me

I have been watching these ducks at the pond for the last few days, in the crisp morning air.

Sometimes they come closer, and other times they simply glide on by, oblivious to my presence.

A couple of days ago, after my meditation, I watched them for quite some time, and as they came closer, I felt myself merge with them, becoming one with them, and their breathtaking spirits! I was filled with love for them, and it expanded right out of my heart! I felt one with them - they were no longer Other, but a part of me, as I was a part of them.

"You are so beautiful!" I cried out!

"We are ALL beautiful!" I also thought. Yes - every living thing is - if we only take the time to notice it and realize it.

In that moment, there was such a sense of oneness and connection that I experienced, that went beyond these beautiful creatures.

In a world that seems so torn and divided - where just reading the morning headlines can be a virtual assault and vexation, shocking our systems into …

You Never Step into the Same River Twice - A Decade of Practices.

"You never step into the same river twice." ~ Heraclitus
Nothing is ever the same. Everything changes. This river, that I have visited - at times nearly every day - over the space of a decade, is not the same. But then neither am I.

I came to this river, suggested as a meeting place by a friend during a time of neediness and great pain and impending transitions. I came back, many a morning, feeling alone, having hit rock bottom, in the throws of deep depression, to do a rosary of spiritual practices: Lovingkindness meditations, Reiki chants, actual rosaries, prayers both traditional and spontaneous, the offering of blessings, and whatever else arose from the depths of my soul.

For several years I came, almost daily.

One morning, while sitting on a boulder by the riverbank, the river beckoned me to come inside. And so I did. I bought a kayak without even thinking about it, and spent a few years paddling upstream - repeating mantras, reciting prayers, while receiving a steady strea…