Tag Archives: Commitment

BUCKETFULS OF LIGHT

April 19, 2015

BUCKETFULS OF LIGHT

Once again I am struck by the simplicity of being Light in the world. I get distracted by the people who are doing great work–whose lives and careers have contributed so much to the “common good”. By comparison, my life begins to feel very small and insignificant.

I have a drippy faucet in the bathroom. Accidentally, the lever to plug the sink was pulled and left. At the end of the day, the sink was half full of water, just from the small, insignificant drips that kept on dripping, all day long.

As I sit in the quiet dawn of a spring morning, watching the early birds stretching their wings and looking for breakfast, I imagine a bucket catching the drops of Light that spill over from my Life. Each choice I make to Love rather than to judge or criticize or hate; each choice I make to move into my life with courage; each choice I make to offer gratitude; each smile I gift to someone; each is a drop of Light, dripping into my bucket.

My mother taught me that to Love means to show up. To be present. When I choose to make connection, it is another drop of Light in the bucket.

When I release my disappointment, my anger, my defenses and instead ask what is really going on…what needs to be learned…I allow more Light to drip into my bucket. When I act on the answers, even more Light spills into my bucket.

Suddenly, the bucket is full, overflowing, spilling Light into the world.

Imagine everyone with their bucket, waiting to catch the drops of Light leaking from their life. Full buckets spilling Light all over the city, the country, the world.

Even the shadows of darkness disappear when the Light is strong. We can’t shout down the darkness; perhaps we cannot even vote it out of existence. But we can keep filling our buckets with Light until we flood the whole world and the Darkness has nowhere to go.

It is the small, seemingly insignificant choices to be kind, to choose compassion, to refuse to perpetuate habits and practices that cause harm to ourselves or others, to choose what allows life to thrive within us and around us…this is what it means to be Light in the World; this is how we become the change we want to see in the world.

This is how we fill up our buckets with Light every day.

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KEEP FAITH WITH ME

March 6, 2015

KEEP FAITH WITH ME

“Although we have been made to believe that if we let go we will end up with nothing, life reveals just the opposite: that letting go is the real path to freedom.”  – Sogyal Rinpoche –

In a swirl of snow and roiling clouds the color of ashes I skiied across the ballfield and headed into the woods. With nine inches of new snow, I could break trail and go wherever I wished. The trees writhed and groaned as the wind tore through them, leaving only its tattered bits behind to brush against my cheeks. Inside myself a storm also raged, a nameless darkness boiling and screeching.

I found three chairs sitting in a circle of birch trees, holding space around a buried campfire. I stood and watched them for awhile. I became aware of the Circle within mySelf; except the chairs are not empty. And the fire has not gone out. A bit of Winter lingers, but the storm is quieting.

I skiied down the hill. Well, mostly I sat on my skiis and slid down the hill, the feathery snow flying in my face, washing away all trace of tears and leaving me breathless and laughing. I found a clan of cattails alongside the trail and picked one that was only beginning to release its seed to the world. I tucked it into my hand with my ski pole. As I skiied down the trail, little helicopters of cattail seed streamed out behind me, riding the frigid currents of air.

I followed a deer trail back up into the woods. The wind had dragged off most of the piles of dirty clouds and the sun was spilling through the openings, a raging fire against the deep blue sky. Cresting the hill, I wandered off the trail into a natural basin ringed with birch and a huge boulder. I sat and leaned wearily against the boulder, gazing up into the drama in the sky as the last of the fuzzy clouds were blown out over Gitchi Gummi, somewhere beyond these forested bluffs and ridges.

“Keep faith with me.”

Such a quiet, unobtrusive thought to slip in between the ragged clouds slowly dissipating in my soul. “Keep faith with me. Keep faith with yourSelf. Trust.”

I have clung so tenaciously to what I want for my life, to what I want to do with my life, to what I want to do for others. Year after year I struggle against obstacles and hurdles and although I make headway, it seems so little–so far removed from the thriving life of abundance that I desire to create. I get tired. Discouraged. I feel abandoned. I get angry.  And then I feel guilty and ashamed because I have been blessed with so much that is good, and so often experienced the love and support, encouragement and direction of that which is beyond the veil of what my human eyes and ears can see and hear: God, Ancestors, Angels, Light Beings who guard and guide me, the Divine Soul within me. Shredded to tatters like those clouds, bullied about like these trees, my courage and faith are at the mercy of the dark winds of Fear–the Saboteur. And then I cling tighter…I will to create and manifest the life I not only desire, but feel I have been purposed to live. But all I do is tread water, and wait, and grow weary.

I see mySelf now, laying back against that boulder in the snow, all the weariness draining slowly away into the rock and the snow and the earth beneath. My spirit flies away to another scene where I am clinging with my little boat to a tiny bar of earth and rock in the midst of the River of my Life. I am nervous in the rapidly increasing tumble of white water. I insist I cannot continue without assurances of safety–either calmer waters, or a better boat–something! I design a map and wave it about, asking for assurance that the path of my River will conform to this map.

I’m told that all my requests have been received; there is no need to continue waving the map about and shouting out my litany of desires, requests and intentions. “Trust the benevolence of the Creator; of ‘God Inside’. Trust the flow of life that is indeed shaped by your intentions. Trust that the journey will unfold as you allow it to. Get back in the boat and release your fear-filled grip. Let go of the map, let it melt into the Energy of Life that surrounds and fills you. Breathe! Fill your lungs with this sweet Light that is the very Power of Creation, the Power of Life–a Power fueled by Love–a Power that dances with the Joy of Consciousness. Sing! And with trust and gratitude move again into the flow of the River of your Life.”

I won’t know until I go.

This is paddling down the River of my Life: acting upon what I DO know and keeping the promises I’ve made to mySelf, to my Creator and to others. It is honoring the Gift I have been given by developing it and sharing it with the world. It is focusing my energy and love upon the work I’ve been given, embracing joy and gratitude each day. Stroke by stroke, I move down the River, in the flow, the flow of Life that allows more Life.

I don’t know if the path of this River will conform to the map I carried in my head; perhaps it won’t and perhaps I will be glad because there is so much I do not know. Keeping faith with the Creator of the Universe? What a terrifying and awesome request–to trust enough in the benevolence of the Creator to let go of my control, releasing my expectations, and relaxing into Love.

ON REMAINING LOYAL TO ONE’S SELF

December 21, 2014

ON REMAINING LOYAL TO ONE’S SELF

“Commitment means REMAINING LOYAL to what you said you were going to do long AFTER the MOOD you said it in has LEFT you.”

My friend shared this quote on a social media site I share with a Circle of women. It struck a chord in me that resonated for several days. Even now, returning to it, I feel the resonance sounding even deeper down.

We are rapidly approaching the close of the year, trailing its well-worn days behind us.  A brand new year of days stretches out ahead like a new journal or a fresh canvas with no mark upon its pages or spill of paint upon its surface.  Traditionally it is a time when, knowing it is one of those “fresh start” seasons–a time to change areas in our life that don’t serve us well–we make promises and resolutions and vows, mostly to ourselves. Typically, we soon lose sight of them, defaulting back into our comfortable ruts.

That’s where the quote at the beginning of this post comes in. What is it you wish to change in your life? What promises to yourself have you not kept? Why is it okay to break the vows we make to ourselves but not okay to break our promises to others–(even though we do that as well)?  Is it indeed because the mood we were in when we made the promise is gone? Ugh, I don’t feel like taking my walk or getting up to meditate or eating vegetables instead of bread or cooking instead of eating junk food or spending 30 minutes making my art today. I don’t feel like choosing the path of love and to check out my assumptions because my emotions are in cahoots with my Ego and I’m boiling over with defensive rage. I don’t feel like telling myself something as ridiculous as “I’m happy!” and smiling like an idiot when it feels like the entire grey, drizzly sky is sitting on my head.

I made a commitment to myself three years ago: to keep my feet on the path of Love and Joy. It has not been an easy path. Especially when changing means I have to confront my own twisted beliefs about myself and others. Old stuff rooted in another time and place but still radioactive. Stuff I have to let go of if I really want to change. Sometimes I just don’t want to scrabble around on that rutted, rocky, slippery trail. But as I have kept bringing myself back, the easier it has become to remain. The more old stuff I’ve released the smoother the trail has become. Gradually I have begun to see others and life and myself differently than I once did. I’m looking more often through lenses of love, joy and gratitude. It is a little like when I got my first pair of glasses when I was ten. Evidently I had been quite nearsighted for a long time without anyone realizing it. I remember being amazed at all the things that I could see that I had never been able to see before.

Five years ago I made a commitment to myself that I would finally honor my gift and calling to be a writer. It is a commitment I have struggled with–in part because some part of me barely dares to believe that I should be so blessed–me, a “real writer”? The other part is because it is damn hard work and I get stuck and yes, lose the mood. Lose my confidence, forget that I really do have the guts to make it through. But I keep returning. Little by little it has become easier.

Recently I renewed my commitment to meditate, journal and walk every day, seven days a week. I need to do this for my mental, emotional and physical well-being. I also made a vow to myself that I would do a 15 minute writing exercise every day for a year working only on description. I so admire author Terry Pratchett’s superb command of metaphor and simile and just plain old description–I want to be able to write like that! One day I was thinking this when I “heard” the man in my head. “Do you think I could always do this?” he asked. “I had to practice–for years! It takes work, my dear.” So, I wondered to myself, how would my ability to describe things improve if I worked on it a little everyday for a year? So, I made this vow to myself.

A few days later I broke it. I was busy and then I was too tired. The next day I was traveling. Then I forgot.

But I regrouped. I decided to honor myself and keep my commitment. A year stretches out too far…but I can do it a day at a time. So far I’ve made it 20 out of 26 days. And going…

I wrote in my journal, “Stay loyal to your Self–even when you’re not in the mood. Especially when you’re not in the mood!” The Sun never stops shining–alive and brilliant, giving light and energy and warmth to the Planets in his care. The clouds in our world can pile up and try to block the Light. They never totally succeed as even the darkest of stormy days will still have more Light in it than the dead of night. But, eventually the clouds dissipate, or we have the special thrill of rising above them in an airplane to find the brilliant azure sky and the blinding yellow Sun up above–still there.

I’m still here, too. I’m always creating my experience of life with my thoughts and my attitudes. Will I be faithful to shine, faithful to my vows and commitments even when the clouds come with their grey blankets, their drizzle and their storms, pressing down on me until sometimes I can barely breathe? The Sun is not hiding or on vacation. The Truth is still shining inside me: I am Love and Light and Joy. The ability to be happy–still shining inside me. I can keep my vows and commitments and I will be the happier for it. Healthier. More peaceful. More comfortable in my skin. More accessible to others. And when I break my promises to myself, I can forgive myself and get back up and back on track; much better than just giving up on myself.

This Gift of Free Choice we’ve been given is at once the most precious and the most terrible of Gifts. It is a privilege and a curse. For as much as we love to shift the blame for all the misery in our lives and in the world to our mothers or our fathers or our exes or God or the devil or the liberals or the conservatives…the truth is that ultimately we are responsible for how we experience the world, and what we give to the world and what we take from Her. We alone are responsible for whether we remain loyal to ourselves long after the mood to do so has passed.