Tag Archives: Beauty

CREATING A NEW WINESKIN

May 5, 2015
(I wrote this 3 weeks ago while traveling to Chicago on the Megabus. I thought I had posted it. Today I began a new post and then realized that I had NOT posted this from 3 weeks ago! Eeeek!)

NEW WINE INTO NEW WINESKINS

My husband and I are preparing to embark on an exciting, but no doubt difficult adventure. We are going to do a 21 day Intense Detoxification program that includes a nutritional component of very healthy green juices, herbal cleansing teas and soups; body work to aid in eliminating the toxic waste that has accumulated and gotten stuck in the organs and tissue of our bodies, and self-care through walking, resting, meditation, stretching, detoxification baths and so on. It’s not difficult once you piece the information together and line it all up on a calendar, but that has taken some research and work to accomplish. Of course, then there is the doing of it.

Fortunately for us we have been making changes in our diet and lifestyle over the years, so we don’t anticipate that it will be traumatic, nor that we will have to radically change anything once we have completed the 21 days of detoxing and reintegrated into normal eating habits. There will be a few minor adjustments to our diet where we have grown lazy, or where we may notice sensitivities that weren’t apparent in our customary day to day diet. Also, and maybe because of those changes we made over the years, although we are having some difficulties, we are not in the midst of a scary health crisis. I don’t wish to wait until that point.

I have been frustrated with the health issues that I have been developing over the last few years; issues that regularly get blamed on the aging process. Screw that! From what I have read and what makes sense to me is that the reason we experience these things as we age is because our body is wearing out from too many years of overloaded systems. Bodies, like houses and cars and tools, if ill-cared for, or subjected to environments and forces that are difficult to “weather”, will wear out and deteriorate faster than those well cared for and maintained and kept in optimal condition.

With our stress saturated lives and all the unnatural things in our soil, our water, our air and our food it would be difficult to maintain a toxic free body even if our lifestyle and diet deserved an A+ for health consciousness. Recently I began to study more about the symptoms of toxicity in the body, and what to do about it. I am “textbook”. What I am reading and observing in the people around me is that indeed, much of what we attribute to aging is about bodies loaded with natural and unnatural  toxins that it can no longer deal with. Eating “better”, or exercising more by themselves aren’t going to do it. If they could, I would be in much better condition than I am. So I’m going to do something about it. I told someone when I was turning 50 that I refused to “get old”. “Not gonna do it,” I said. Now I’m 60. Still not gonna do it. At least not in the traditional way and just gradually wear away. Or rapidly wear out.

As I was preparing my lists and calendar and reflecting on the benefits I expect to experience from this detox program I thought of a proverb that I am familiar with; “No one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.” (New Testament). Old wineskins have been stretched to the limit as wine fermented inside them and then dried and became brittle. Reusing them would risk causing them to burst from the pressure of the fermentation process of the new wine.

Perhaps this is a bit of a stretch, but it made me think about how often we do this sort of thing–we try to improve a situation without first attending to the underlying cause of the difficulty–digging out the roots, cleaning it up, repairing the foundations.  We “look for love in all the wrong places” because we don’t know how to love ourselves, or are unwilling to do so. We look to the approval and rewards that others will give us to bolster our self-worth without believing in ourselves–so our sense of worthiness is fleeting and can evaporate quickly. We might go buy new clothes to feel better about ourselves, but without attending to the body we are putting them on. It’s like getting all new furniture without cleaning the house. Putting perfume on without taking a bath. Like the ruptured wineskin, the new situation or relationship or purchase is spoiled because we haven’t attended to the underlying issue that is problematic. We haven’t prepared a new wineskin.

I realized that my bafflement with why I would still have some of the health issues I do when I have done so much to improve my diet, my exercise, my attitudes and thinking was directly related to not having helped my body clear out the garbage left from years of bad habits, poor food choices, chronic stress, anxiety, negative thinking, etc. Having developed congestion in body organs sometime past, they can no longer do their job efficiently or thoroughly, and so the toxic waste of my cells, along with the toxins introduced into the body, accumulate and begin slowly to wreak havoc. Despite the positive changes, my body cannot adequately deal with what has fallen into disrepair, and the hidden stores of toxic waste. I have made new wine, but my body can’t utilize it efficiently until I clear away all this old stuff, creating a new wineskin, of sorts.

Truly we are fearfully and wonderfully made! I am amazed to realize that our bodies have, in a sense, the same service functions we see played out in the world around us. Plumbing systems, garbage collection systems, super highways that all these cell workers travel on to take care of the business of keeping our bodies functioning at as optimal a level of health and well being as possible. And like those systems out in the world around us, they can develop blockages and traffic jams. Consider what happens to a city if the garbage collection system goes offline or the dump site is full and overflowing! If the superhighway gets congested and the emergency vehicles can’t get through, what then? If the sewer system backs up?

I am learning another level of what it means to love and care for mySelf, honor mySelf–this body that is the house where my eternal, divine spirit dwells. I like to think about the intelligence of these cells in my body, how they have specific purpose and yet somewhat a life of their own, too…choosing at times to do things that are not in the best interests of my body as a whole; or playing the hero and going above and beyond their job description to keep me going. I think about how these cells are me, and I am part of them, and yet, we are also separate. And then I think about being a cell in the body of the Creator, and the Creator being part of me, we are combined together. And I think about the Universe…maybe it is a cell in the great body of an even greater Creator…  how far does it go? Infinity…

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SPRING

March 21, 2015

WE ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

According to the calendar, Spring arrived yesterday. The snow respectfully packed his bags and departed, running down the gutters, disappearing into the dirt, gathering into puddles to complain a bit. The creeks have broken the winter seal and are merrily plunging down the hillsides, roaring through the culverts, climbing over boulders, shouting at the sky.

The departure of the snow has revealed dead, brown grasses, empty gardens, debris left behind by careless folk. Everywhere is muddy, smelly, and barren.

There are hearts whose landscape is chilly, blustery, muddy, without color or softness or sweetness, locked in the stubborn grip of dark Winter’s harsh and frosty presence.

Deep inside the Earth and the tree and at the bottom of streams, magic is stirring. Spring is quietly waking up the World. We who have weathered the winter anxiously wait for Her to get up, take her shower, get dressed, put on a bit of make-up, a bit of jewelry, and come to breakfast.

Deep inside a winter worn heart sometimes this same magic stirs. A tiny spark of life flickers into form, gently nudging with toes and elbows, whispering, “Wake up! Please, wake up!”

Sorrow and pain fill the world and deep darkness is desperately trying to devour the Sun. Still, the Earth faithfully spins out Her annual journey around Her lover, the Sun. He does not falter in smiling warmly down upon Her because the Love that made the world is an unquenchable fire in His heart. Some days the rains fall gently down, softening the Earth. She lifts her arms and drinks it in. See? The spring flowers are returning, pushing up from the earth, bursting from the buds upon the trees and shrubberies.

So might a heart choose to wake up again; opening to the fiery warmth of Love and the gentle rain of Grace. Dormant seeds begin breaking open, filling up the hills and valleys with Joy and Beauty. Darkness is diminished as it shrinks back from this new Sun that just ignited in the world.

On such days, the skirts of the Universe swirl in a happy dance.

SNIPPETS

February 4, 2015…Happy Birthday to Meridith!

SNIPPETS

1. BALLET OF THE BIRDS

A large flock of fat birds are cavorting in the sky. Bird ballet. They, as one Being, flow south, bank in a wide arc to the northeast, swoop earthward, soar heavenward, bank again to the west, to the south, reverse, around and around, not one wing out of sync with the whole.

I stand transfixed wondering what these birds are. Large as crows–but they aren’t black. Small seagulls? Wrong time of year.

Suddenly the music has finished its final note and they fall inelegantly toward ground, alighting on the cable wire strung across the alley outside my window. Thirty pigeons on the wire, fluffing their feathers, jostling each other for room to catch their breath.

And then as one they depart across the rooftops beyond my sight.

2. THE STORY MAKER

Every morning she had tea and decided what story she would make today.

Do we think that Life happens to us; that every day unfolds according to the dictates of some hidden writer sitting in a stuffy room in a galaxy far, far away? Do we never suspect the writer is us?

3. THE SHIFT

She glowed. She had swallowed seven suns and every cell in her body was drunk with their Fire and Light. She smiled and the air crackled–angel hairs of fire running wild. One touch and reality would shatter.

She stood still. Only her eyes moved. She knew in the next breath, one turn of her head, the world would shift–like a kaleidoscope.

Like a kaleidoscope; every turning reveals a new story in color and light; another pattern to comprehend. There is no need to fear the turning. Light and Beauty never cease their dance with Love and Joy.

Shift.

4. COURAGE

Four fat pigeons are hanging out together on the cable wire strung across the alley. Meeting adjourns to the ridgepole of the house next door. They are lined up beak to butt like children waiting their turn to jump off the high ledge at the swimming hole.

The pigeon first in line hesitates at the edge, looking down at the deck below, looking out at the trees, looking right, looking left. He looks down again, wobbling his head up and down, back and forth. He steps back, forward, back, forward. He suddenly stands very still, slowly tips his head down, his body forward, and he falls off the ridgepole, head first! Three feet, five feet, ten feet and finally wings spread, flap, beak pulls up, and his plump pigeon body lands in the mess of birdseed strewn on the deck by the squirrel raiders.

Up on the ridgepole, the remaining three have each stepped up. Pigeon #2 hesitates at the edge, looking down at his friend below, looking out at the trees, looking right, looking left, looking down  again…and over he goes, deck-ward ho!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

January 17, 2015

LET’S MAKE HAPPINESS THIS YEAR

2015. OMG…we have indeed made it all the way around the Sun again. Joni Mitchell is singing in my head…
“And the seasons, they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the Circle game…”

The New Year has risen over the horizon, flooding the skies of our lives with rose and purple and apricot and gold; a gazillion potentialities wait to be selected and woven into the life we are creating.

The choices we have made in the days and weeks and months and years that trail far behind us have left their mark and set us on courses that would be difficult, some even impossible to alter at this point. But even in the middle of the story in which we find ourselves, we have the beautiful gift to choose what we want to experience this coming year. We have the power to create how we will experience life and even what we will experience to a degree most of us can barely comprehend.

For several decades now I have been running around trying to make sense of an idea I kept stumbling upon. I would hear it in a presentation, read it in a book, find it buried in a story, have it leap off the screen in a movie, find it cropping up in online conversations, find it winking saucily from quotes-of-the-day in my inbox, hear it on TED Talks. It is this: I am always choosing and constantly creating my experience of life–even most of my circumstances. I kept hearing that life doesn’t just happen to us and isn’t orchestrated by some other Force, benevolent or otherwise, nor by other people. “How could this be true?” I would ask. But slowly, as I focused and allowed myself to set aside my defenses and open up my mind and heart, understanding began to bring focus and clarity.

I began to understand better the mental constructs we build as individuals, communities, religions and cultures. Because they “are” doesn’t make them true or even real except to us who built them, or inherited them, and have continued to live within them.

I began to understand that everything is energy and everything exists in its particular form because of it’s vibrational frequency. It took awhile, but I finally wrapped my brain around the fact that “like attracts like”–that the magnetic resonance of an energetic frequency attracts to itself other things of a similar vibrational frequency.

I started having more Aha! moments and fewer WTF explosions. Now I can say with absolute certainty that even when it seems like I have no control over my life and am simply subject to the whims of others and the will of the gods, if I look at mySelf honestly and look deeply inside, I will find that my mental constructs and the emotional resonance that my energetic vibration has allowed has called to me what I am experiencing, including that which I do not want to experience. I am reminded of the Native American story of Rabbit, a creature who can teach us much about fear. Rabbit would see Eagle soaring high above the woods and fields and terrified that Eagle would swoop down and gobble him up, he would run out and holler up to Eagle, “Eagle, please do not eat me! I don’t want you to eat me! Did you hear me? Eagle! Eagle! I’m talking to you! Don’t eat me! I really would not like to be your dinner–I have a family to take care of, you know. Did you hear me, Eagle?” Eagle ignored him for awhile, trying to enjoy his afternoon soaring on the thermal updrafts. But Rabbit only grew more frantic and continued to run about the field hollering up to Eagle, “Don’t eat me, Eagle! Please don’t eat me!” Finally, completely distracted and exasperated, Eagle swooped down upon the silly Rabbit and yes, ate him for dinner. Rabbit’s incessant fear and focus on what he didn’t want brought it soaring down upon his head. I love this story.

I recently listened to a presentation that addressed the Universal Laws that govern when and how benevolent help from those Spirit Beings we might call Angels is allowed. The speaker intimated that help and interference is not permitted unless we humans first ask, and then allow that help to come to us. Unfortunately, he said, most of us don’t ask. When we do, we often don’t let into our experience the help that comes in response, either because we have a misplaced sense of our unworthiness, or we don’t like the form the answer comes in. We know the joke about the person who prays, “God help me be more patient, more loving, more compassionate, more forgiving!” and then suddenly is confronted with opportunities to practice these virtues. In the New Testament Jesus said, “You receive not because you ask not–or you ask amiss.” I used to think that meant that I could only ask for spiritual things, lofty things. But now I realize that asking amiss is more about asking for things or experiences that are not in alignment with what we are vibrationally in resonance with. If I ask for money to pay my bills, all the while figuring I don’t deserve it or that this kind of request is wrong or that of course, a miracle like this couldn’t possibly happen to me–well, I’m not exactly in energetic, magnetic, vibrational resonance with receiving the money, or the opportunity to earn the money that the Creator might well wish to provide me with. I have set up a roadblock.

A roadblock is a great image to call to mind when we feel that our prayers are unheard and definitely not answered. All the provision and answers have been sent our way when we first asked, but due to the roadblocks we’ve put in place, the supply train can’t get through. It’s stalled out, parked on the side of the road, waiting…waiting…waiting… Are we willing to examine what these blockages are that we so habitually set up? Will we have the courage to remove them? They can be pretty insidious. Like the creeping charlie and snow-on-the-mountain that can take over a lawn or a garden, the roots of our old and often unconscious beliefs can run deep and develop sophisticated root systems that spread underground for acres. We yank them off at the top, even dig down beneath the soil a few inches, chopping and hacking and pulling. And then, a few months later, or next season, there they are, smiling evilly at us. I once dug up a six foot section of my garden, 18 inches deep, to finally, permanently remove all the roots from my snow-on-the-mountain. Similarly I have had to dig down deep inside my psyche to find and expose the roots of beliefs that do not serve me, beliefs that aren’t based in truth. I have had to look in the mirror everyday for many months and tell myself what is true  in order to cut off life to the lies that lived inside me.

My journey of discovery and learning, of awakening and transformation has been long and arduous. I feel triumphant. I have stayed the course. I stand here now just inside the threshold of this new year–2015–and I am so excited. The winds have shifted; new adventures are unfolding. Looking at my goals for the year I wrote:

  • Choose, CHOOSE, CHOOSE everyday to be happy and offer gratitude for the rich and beautiful life you inhabit!
  • Enjoy your life! Consider each day to be a pearl given to you to thread upon a silken cord–precious, rare, never to be repeated in your 3D linear dimension of Time/Space.
  • Whether you have little money or loads, enjoy today and do the things you love that fill you up with joy and love and light. Sometimes this will require discipline to achieve the result you want; it may even be painful or require sacrifice–but if the end result is beautiful and delicious fruit, then stay the course and find joy in the experience.
  • Give no place to the Dark Energies of Fear and Despair–there is no place in your life for Dementors and Bogarts. No matter how you feel in the moment or what appears to be manifesting or not manifesting in your life, give them NO PLACE. Stay the course of gratitude, love, faith and joy.
  • Allow the sorrows of the past, the regrets, the harm you caused and the hurt you endured to become the stuff of alchemy–rich threads of gold and purple, iridescent blues and greens, woven into the tapestry of your life. Look upon these experiences with compassion and grace-filled tenderness. Forgive yourself and others and release those scenes and chapters as a dove into the blue of a summer sky.
  • In humility and gratitude and with joy and delight work diligently every day to bring forth the Gift hidden inside you that you came here to give. Write. Just write. Write your way to the answers and straight into the River of Life and into everything that has been holding its breath awaiting your arrival. Write.
  • Oh yeah, and did I say, “Be Happy!”?

GUERRILLA GARDENING

A POCKET FULL OF SUNLIGHT

September 29, 2014

I was reading a Facebook announcement posted by my son-in-law for a guerrilla gardening event he is holding at the library where he works.  I remember how much fun he had last Spring when he got a group of enthusiastic youth from the community together and made a pile of seed bombs and then went out through the neighborhoods “bombing” all kinds of unlikely places to make them IMG_6854beautiful this summer.  Now they are going to go around the town planting spring bulbs and other things that will bloom come the spring.  I love the concept.  We’re encouraging our youth to sneak around–or go boldly in broad daylight–doing small things that nurture beauty and life and respect for the spaces where we live and work rather than defacing and uglifying them.  

It occurs to me that this is a great metaphor for another type of guerrilla gardening that every single one of us can do every day.  Every morning fill up your pockets with sunlight and plant seeds of Light and Love through out the day.  Good idea?  

As we move from moment to moment through our day we are radiating energetic frequencies.  These energy frequencies will have a lower or higher vibration depending on our thoughts, attitudes and intentions reflected in our emotions and amplified by our words and actions.  Spiritual teachers have been telling us for centuries that this energy we emit shapes our experiences and impacts the world around us.  Now science is demonstrating the physical truth of this.  

An entire community of people might believe that it would be far better to have lovely green spaces throughout the city than to leave them empty, full of trash and weeds, or to cover them up with dirty concrete.  But, someone has to go out and actually plant the seeds.  A group of kids need to throw seed bombs into the vacant lots instead of trash and plant bulbs along the   fences instead of spray painting ugly words.  Groups of us have to go out with rakes and shovels and trash bags and heal the areas that have been beat up.  We each need to choose to discard our trash in the trash can instead of dumping it in parks and on lawns and public sidewalks.  We have to do stuff.

An entire community of people might believe that it is better to love than hate.  Better to encourage others than to criticize them.  Better to be kind than to bully.  But, it is one thing to talk about it, another to live this way.  This is when I am reminded yet again that each waking moment of my day I am actually choosing how to be in my world.  Every day stories make the rounds about persons practicing Random Acts of Kindness, or doing gratitude challenges, or bringing people together to create peaceful solutions to conflict.  More and more of us are choosing to take up the tools we need to clean up and heal the spaces inside us that have been beat up and are ugly and smelly, to plant seeds of Light within our own hearts, and then in our environments and within our families.  We have to do stuff.

It is not easy work.  Old habits of mind are stubborn.  It is difficult to remember that our emotions are a result of our thinking not the other way round.  Our egos are highly skilled at defending us from every perceived threat; this does not always work in our favor.  Fear is sneaky and leaks in wherever it finds a crack or crevice unattended.  Most fear is not the healthy stuff, but the paralyzing ooze from the Dark Side.  

Yes, I like the idea of filling my pockets each morning with seeds of Light and planting them every chance I get throughout my day.   It is a good metaphor to help me when Fear spins out her silky lies, or the hackles on my Ego rise.  Slip my hand in my pocket and pull out a seed of Light–truth, love, gratitude, faith…plant it.  Move on.  It won’t blossom overnight.  Like the vacant lots where those excited kids threw their seed bombs, it will take some time before the seedling breaks the soil, stretches to the light, grows leaves and buds, IMG_8674Proof Sheet  and finally opens to full flower.  But this is where it begins.  There will be no harvest without the seed.  But with each seed there is hope for us and for our world, a promise that we can indeed create a world of beauty and love.  

Go ahead.  Fill up your pockets with sunlight or starlight.  Do some guerrilla gardening today.  Plant seeds of light and love.