Jeopardy: Part I: Consequences

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From: peterjnorth.blogspot.com

Today, I send into your meditation Jeopardy: Part I: Consequences. This from A Course in Miracles (ACIM) which I have doctored slightly to remove gender-specific/religious specific wording.

I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace.
I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise.
I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace.
I do not feel guilty, because Spirit will undo all the consequences of my wrong decision, if I allow Spirit to do so.
I choose to let Spirit do so, as it will bring me that peace I seek.
(Chapter 5: A Course in Miracles by Helen Schucman, 1976)

I read this prayer often. At the heart of it’s value to me is the undoing of consequences. That single line may be the greatest gift I have ever allowed myself to receive. The allowing of true forgiveness to wipe clean what I did not see, what created error, what took me down paths that thoroughly blinded or caused me to harm myself or another. It makes clear, I can allow my karmic path to be healed and set anew. It is a gift I take with immense gratitude and appreciation, for surely my mind’s efforts at offering me the same have never come close to delivering this peace, as those sparse few words have.

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gwenrutz.com

Much of our ‘stuckness’ is in our laboring, incessantly, over those consequences. As Lady Macbeth so eloquently demonstrated to all:

Out, damned spot! out, I say!–One: two: why,
then, ’tis time to do’t. –Hell is murky!–Fie, my
lord, fie! as soldier, and afeard? What need
we fear who knows it, when none can call our power
account?– Yet who would have thought the old man
to have had so much blood in him.

The Macbeth’s had indeed committed a horrific crime, yet for most of us this is not the case, but you’d be hard pressed to believe that by the weight of our suffering over what we have thought, said or done. We desperately want a reset button and fear we are in jeopardy of something bad happening to us. We can labor hours over misspoken words to a colleague or dissect every moment in an event where our actions took us astray. We see consequences around every corner for us not being our best selves and don’t know how to make right what we have done or not done, as the case may be.

Sadder still, many of us are so frozen by the fear of consequences we can’t make any decisions at all. We see trouble down every path. Thus, we make no choices, and in so doing, live a life that unfolds by the ‘no-choice’ choice, that never feels like a life of our own. A life by default.

This is, of course, reinforced in a world that seeks justice more than it seeks healing. Desires rightness more than it desires wholeness. Or possibly, we confuse the first in each instance, as the pathway to giving us the second. We don’t know how to forgive and heal ourselves in such a way that the guilt, shame, anger, and fear are truly relinquished and our mind’s made clean again.

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From: astrobites.com

I use dry eraser markers to write on my bathroom mirror. A brilliant idea given to me by my dear friend Nancy Markow who facilitates groups on intentional living. I write many things to myself on the bathroom mirror, in many colors, but one is never erased and written boldly in black so that I can always see it.

“I am not in jeopardy and neither is anyone else. I can be free, I need but ask.”

I read it every single day, sometimes twice…. or three times… depending how spiritually-centered I am. If I’m in a good place, than the reminder comes simply, if I am off kilter and running amuck, the reminder is a life vest I offer myself when I am barely treading water. It brings me back to the present moment, because my sense of jeopardy will always take me either into the future or the past. It robs me of the present. It sucks away any awareness of this precious now and what I can/could do to assist myself and truly live my life consciously.

Fear of consequences keeps us victims to our past, our mistakes, and our unworthy, imperfect self-perceptions that we seem to always be diligently trying to improve and correct. Our own efforts, however, will never clean our minds or heal our choices, as relinquishing what we’ve done, with the humble request to be healed, to be made anew, to start again, to be assisted in finding a new way.

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From: canacopegdl.com

Sit for a moment and imagine the feeling of picking up a sponge and a heavy bucket of bleach and water and attempting to clean a wall covered in every misspoken moment of your life written in spray paint. Feel the weight of that bucket. Feel the enormity of that job. Feel the effort it will take. Now, imagine you kneel before that same wall hands free and open and humbly ask that it be erased, that the consequences to all be healed and that your mind be freed to see a new way. Imagine a love so great that in that instant the wall became clean and the air was free to move in and out of your lungs without restriction once more. Feel how the muscles of your shoulders and belly relax. Feel how open your heart becomes in that instant to that very same love. Feel the lightness of being that comes with releasing such a burden.

Imagine in this moment, that is exactly what is being offered to you. A force of love so great, consequences are not beyond it’s reach to heal. What if you let that love in? What if you gave yourself that?

If you enjoyed this piece I would be greatly honored if you would check out my book using either the link above at right or the link below. Thank you.

Two Griffins

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From phys.org

Today, I send into your meditation The Griffins. A few nights ago I dreamt of two golden griffins. The dream had a number of twists and turns, but at the end I found myself on a dirt road, traveling through a valley toward a mountain ridge, on the back of a gentle and warm yak. Not a bull, a yak. It seemed to be late summer, early fall as it is now in the Northern Hemisphere. The vale was golden, the sky a twilight blue. The road wove into a wood as it began to ascend into the mountains. I remember thinking of the old saying, “The oxen is slow, but the Earth is patient”. I felt no sense of hurry and a feeling of contentment pervaded my attitude.

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From Deviantart.com

As I rose up the side of the mountain I came upon two golden griffins (body of a lion, head of an eagle, often with talons for hands and paws for feet). They were sitting at a small cafe table, in the middle of this wood, enjoying cups of tea from fine bone china, outside a small cave opening. I couldn’t imagine my good fortune, stumbling onto this Wonderland-esque scene and turned the yak off the road toward their table.

The dream changed quickly and I found myself entering their small cave instead. The inside of the cave was much larger than the outside betrayed. Inside were many children, seemingly impoverished by their clothing, but all beside themselves with joy. At first they asked me to help them with their financial circumstances and I eagerly sat down to help. In no time, however, I found myself on the floor with them, laughing and playing peek a boo, while they climbed all over me and the room in which we sat. The feeling was of being immersed in a sea of puppies. I remember all of these happy faces with brown and blue eyes, smiles – some of them missing front teeth, and all of them full of energy. We played for I don’t know how long, but sometime later, I awoke.

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From woari.deviantart.com

First let us visit the Griffins. This from Wikipedia, “…because the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle the king of birds by the Middle Ages the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. Since classical antiquity, Griffins were known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions”

Logically then, we would assume my golden griffins were guarding a particularly special treasure, yet no precious metals or diamonds did I find in this cave-dwelling. In fact, little tangible material at all. The children were in rags and some of their faces were smudged from having been playing in dirt or mud. The few furnishings were made of plain wood and of simple design. The space lacked any adornment or embellishment, yet the room was aglow with a golden light, as if filled with gold itself. All of what we consider prosperous or providing security was absent.

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From chickenzaur.deviantart.com

Thus, it would seem the treasure here was joy, playfulness, spontaneity, freedom to be oneself, foolish silliness, community, friendship, and laughter. The bounty was a warm lap to climb into, a hug, kisses on cheeks, races and hide and seek, followed by more let’s pretend. Every child looked well-nourished and even their hair shined in the luminous light even as their clothes were not. The concern for finances seemed almost a ruse to get me to sit on the floor with them to play in the real richness of the moment.

I have thought of the dream often since I had it. At first, the exotic nature of the griffins was my main focus, as you don’t dream of golden griffins sipping tea very often. Yet, over time, I found the children the clearer gift. The source of most of the magic. The message seemed clear. The treasure in life isn’t stuff. Its the joy, warmth and love we are capable of sharing and spreading like contagious giggles with one another. Playfulness is a wealth every man or woman possesses. Delight the food of gods, that nourishes beyond measure. This gift, not piles of precious jewels, were what the golden griffins were attracting me too, so sublimely as they sat daintily sipping tea. They weren’t guarding me out, but enticing me in. Once I’d turned toward them, my destination into the cave was immediate.

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Pinterest image

So I say in this very moment, do not let meditation be the only source of profound spiritual connection you give yourself this day. Find someone, anyone, to laugh with, to hug, to love deeply, to surprise and be yourself with, to step out of your routine and be completely spontaneous with. Laugh more than you complain today. Smile often at all whom you meet, there’s bounty in that simple gesture. If you are lonely, and find a short list of friends to turn to, then commit now to change. Even if to do so will force you out of your comfort zone, be inconvenient and make you risk seeming foolish. Do not impoverish yourself of the great richness this life has the potential to offer all of us, if we’ll stop worrying about what anyone else thinks and begin, even with small steps to follow our bliss. Lay down your financial woes, breaking their dominance on your mind. Invest in the present for the gifts that lay here for you, if you’ll just turn off those old roads you’ve traveled for so long.

If you enjoyed this piece, please consider checking out my book at the link listed below or the one listed at the top of this page. Thank you!

Humility

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Image from bigquestionsonline.com

Today, I send into your meditation hypnotized. Recently, I have been playing with the Enneagram and one of the quotes from The Enneagram Institute really struck me:

“Reflect on this teaching about Transformation today: The important thing is to set aside some time each day to re-establish a deeper connection with our True Nature. Regular practice serves to remind us over and over again that we are hypnotized by our personality.” (The Wisdom of the Enneagram, 347)

Oh… that I could say pride in my personality was not something I have struggled with. That I have not found myself totally enamored with my own awesome persona. Humility and clarity have taken more decades than I care to admit and more effort than building a pyramid with no tools should take. I have spent a good deal of my life hypnotized by my own personality and believed this was the whole point of a life. This…. THIS… is who I am.

To constantly improve on this person I believed myself to be was the crafting of ages, to be admired surely. Minimize the defects, enhance the attributes and be glad when most people only notice the latter. I could not, did not see myself clearly.

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Image from aleteia.org

The last several years has seen a deep humbleness settle upon me that I bend to willingly and with joy. I wonder that I struggled so hard and for so long. The more I let go of what I think I know about myself and the world, the more I see how vast my blindness goes. As I embrace how limited my vision in most things is, the more humility seems a simple choice, no different than donning a coat in acclimate weather. Where once stood a great pride for my impressive bits of knowledge squirreled away for important occasions, now lives a quieter woman living a significantly simpler life. Where once it seemed important to impress, now the house of cards lies neatly stacked again in it’s box. There is far greater interest in being awed by the immensity of galaxies, the depths of a human heart, the tales of summer winds to direct me home, than to intellectualize my spiritual path. These days it seems wiser to be quiet and clear, than loud and cloudy.

In my youth, I saw humility as a sign of weakness and a lack of confidence in oneself, failing to see my pride was the absolute telltale sign of a weaker internal sense of self and the ear marker of someone who didn’t value themselves in any real, authentic way. The humbling was, as it is for all of us, painful but now I see so clearly it’s necessity. Our personalities are such weighty things we drag around with us like a hermit with it’s shell. Wrapped so tightly in these personas it’s hard for anyone to really see our light, including ourselves.

Humility has brought me great comfort, as a cat curled upon my lap. It softens me, and makes tender my view on virtually all that I could gaze upon. Humility brings silence unabated, while pride breeds a ceaseless chatter to sustain itself. To be humble is to let go at ever greater levels and there is such deliciousness in that unwinding out of what we’ve built. The fascination with oneself makes us miserly trolls trying to hold on to every last trinket we think enhances the view. While there is immense spaciousness in humility, because the stories to sustain the personality have fallen away. We are left with a simple cotton robe, rather than armor made to deflect anything that can disturb the personalities precarious hold on itself. In that robe we have a sense of movement and ease.

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Image from purposefairy.com

Humility is a divine grace we enter, as we let fall away the lifetime of stories we’ve used to construct our sense of who we are. In our humility we become authentic, naked, empty of what serves the ego, and full of what serves the spirit. As we allow this to permeate all of our being, we see. We see with new eyes. We hear with new ears. We experience the Universe and others in wholly new ways. Our intuitive voice rises and our heart leads the way ahead.

And so today I bow to each of you. May the scent of dirt fill my nose and consume my lungs, as I revel in the fantastic nature of my nothingness. May my eyes see only divine’s great work and the beauty in all things. May I live all my days wondrously blind to all that does not heal and become so deaf I can no longer hear the din of war and only the ocean’s surf that sings of peace. May my steps slow, knowing there is nowhere else to be, but in this precious moment given to me. May the path to serve open before me, as long as my legs have strength to move. I am now, have always been and will always be your humble servant.

If you like this piece, do consider checking out my book with the link listed above or simply click here. Thank you!

Precipice

Fantasy Wallpaper at WeHeartIt.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love these moments
That feeling when you know you are on the edge
A cliff of sorts
A place where you can feel your previous self just falling away
When leaping is just the next logical step
Not even a grand gesture
Just the natural unfoldment of life
You look down and the height is nothing to you
It’s nothing to freefall into this unknown
It’s what you were made for…….. flight

So few of us get this
Little in life is a grand gesture
Do the work
Have the discipline
Step into the little fears, day in and day out
Then when you reach the cliff
It feels simple
Natural
A precipice that was made for you
Made for your exhilarated moment of freedom

Prosperity

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Photo by Noelle

Today, I send into your meditation prosperity. In a recent lecture, Dr. Roger Teel of the Church of Religious Science spoke on the art of abundance and made a beautiful observation. He said “Abundance consciousness is the abundant infinite life intelligence and potential of the divine — everywhere present. All are abundant because you are an expression of that intelligence.” He noted that “Prosperity is how much of this abundance you are allowing to flow through you and your life.”

Abundance is the natural expression of All That Is. Prosperity is the expression of our self-worth, self-love and awareness of our divine nature. Essentially, how steeped in love our consciousness is, becomes what determines how big a valve and how open that valve of prosperity will be in our life. To quote Teel again, “Consciousness is causation. It sets the tenor of our life.”

Prosperity can mean many things. Most of us think of money, but more simply it might be best thought of as healthy expansion. Expansion of physical well-being. Expansion of healthy, loving relationships. Expansion of ideas or creative projects. Expansion of awareness of ourselves and others. Expansion of forgiveness and grace. As we expand we are in the flow of our personal prosperity. We are living with all the abundant valves within us – open.

I make the distinction here that prosperity is about so much more than money, because if you see prosperity as being solely about money, then you’ll naturally assume a millionaire is prosperous. It is true they have financial wealth, but many of us know millionaires so impoverished in other ways that they seem to live a shadow of a life. Afraid of losing what they have, or others stealing what they have, or being too afraid to spend what they have, or being so out of control with what they have they spend wildly with no enjoyment or focus. Further, when prosperity is seen only through the eye of financial means than when our funds are low, we see our prosperity as low and a scarcity model takes hold of our mind. Money can confuse us about what real prosperity is. This is affirmed often with lottery winners, who, within a few years have spent their seeming lucky win and are often less happy than before they won.

To be prosperous we must love ourselves deeply and profoundly.

We live in an abundant Universe and as sovereign beings we are given the abundant gift to determine how we will experience our individual prosperity. We can choose anything, even impoverishment or shackles. We are that free.

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Photo by Noelle

My friend, Diane, often speaks on her habit of looking for abundance in every moment she can find it. She notes eloquently about how it has changed and effected/affected her life. Watching her face while she does this is a true pleasure. She becomes light and her eyes sparkle and dance. Her countenance becomes awed and humbled by what she allows herself to perceive of this abundant Universe.

I am certain, just watching Diane, that our bodies were made to step into the flow of this great abundant, infinite intelligence, as Teel referred to it. We become our most authentic selves, when we drop our limited facades and allow spirit to move through us on rich, abundant waves.

Scarcity thinking robs us of not only the life we seek, but the now moments we live in. It shrinks our view of the world and our place in it. It feeds our unworthy and unloving thoughts about ourselves and others. It lures us into an impoverished prison cell within our mind, telling us there is nothing past these walls.

We are altered, alchemically, when we step into appreciation, gratitude and an abundant consciousness that sees so much more than the dust along the floorboards of life.

That’s a perspective for many of us. The habit to look and look until we see dirt along the floorboards, confirming the appearance of cleanliness is flawed. Always looking for the cracks, rather than the greater wholeness. Denouncing the good, because it can never overcome the true abundance of bad in this world. This is how we rob ourselves of our own prosperous life.

I practiced Diane’s intention to see all the abundance the Universe has to provide this week and it was humbling:

A single lawn possesses millions of blades of grass
A single tree is crowned by hundreds of thousands of leaves
Even the smallest of beaches is graced with billions of grains of sand
The ocean is a nearly infinite body of water molecules
My body contains more than a trillion cells
In this moment as I write this, millions of synaptic connections between nerve cells are taking place
On average there are 288,886 molecules of oxygen in a single breath
My heart beats 115,200 times per day
Any human will think 60-80 thousand thoughts per day
On a clear night, the human eye can perceive two to four thousand stars above it
My body will heal itself tens of thousands of times over the course of my life, from the smallest paper cut, to broken bones and common colds.
To go from home to work, I will pass hundreds of street signs, thousands of light bulbs and sit in rooms made of millions of screws, nails, bricks and paint strokes.
A dog’s fur has, on average, 15,000 hairs in a mere square inch
A single sun produces enough light rays to grow all life on our entire planet
Seven billion completely unique human beings walk this earth and compared to the number of insects that walk alongside us, we have a scant presence.

We are swimming in worlds so abundant it is a wonder we don’t laugh and dance like kings and queens.

Stop for a time today. Meditate on how abundant the world is all around you. Ask yourself, how open is this valve inside of me? How much am I allowing love to flow through me just as the Zambezi River thunders over Victoria Falls at 550 million liters per minute.

Is the world really dying and heading toward disaster and ruin, or is that all we can see through the tiny hole of our own prosperity valve. Not the Earth’s lack of abundance, but our own scarce perspective.

If you like this piece, please consider checking out my book at the link below or using the link above.

Dead Calm

Waves breaking on Paradise Beach at LEsterre Bay with an old fishing boat on the shore and the turqoise sea and Sandy Island sand bar beyond, Grenada

Sandy Island sand bar beyond, Grenada: By robertharding.com

Today, I send into your meditation the plateau. Many a dieter knows the feeling. Early efforts in their weight loss program brought swift and great results, but deeper into the discipline of eating and exercising they hit a plateau and they feel as if their progress has stagnated. They lose faith and “fall off the wagon” so to speak, believing their set goal is now unattainable.

Meditators can do this, too. Make a commitment to daily sitting, have incredible experiences at the start, see great results, but then after a time it just feels routine. As if we sit day in and day out and we feel like we’re making no meaningful progress.

We remind ourselves that there are no goals in meditation or seeking. It’s not about chasing the butterfly but remaining still that it might alight upon our hand instead and other such notions of stillness. Lovely thoughts, of course, but when we see ourselves engaging in behaviors we’d hoped meditation would’ve rid us of, such as, easy impatience or irritation, we can feel we’ve hit some weird peace plateau. We’re calmer, more peaceful, but there’s a boundary of some sort we can’t get past. We find ourselves still with self-critical thoughts or battling a vague sense of unworthiness.

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Sailboat in a dead calm: from Meditationroom.org

We start looking for other strategies, believing meditation has taken us as far as we can go. Or we come to believe this is just as good as it gets, maybe.

Plateaus offer us two very powerful opportunities. The first is the state of adjustment. We see plateaus as stagnation, when really they are points of adjusting to our newer self. Just like hiking a mountain where the legs dearly love straightaways where they can recoup before the next climb, plateaus offer us the same thing. A chance to regroup and adjust to this newer version of us that has been evolving within our practice.

And too, as losing weight too fast can cause huge setbacks, we need time to adjust to new states of being. Spots on the path where we can integrate all that we’ve absorbed in our practice, before moving on. These periods of integration and adjustment help us advance our practice. It’s those, seemingly uneventful, straightaways that allow us to garner new energy for the next leg of our spiritual journey.

Second, plateaus frequently have important gifts we have yet to see. The wind has vacated our sails and we sit in calm water, because there is something here. Something important for us to grasp, learn, take in, and/or understand in some fashion. This dead calm in the midst of our journey is a gift. The plateau has a deep and meaningful purpose. There is a gem of understanding waiting for us to become mindful to that is right in front of us. Now is the time to double down and really sink into our practice.

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From Pinterest

Rarely is what we’re needing to observe hard to find. Usually, it’s staring us right in the face; requiring little more than true mindfulness. What are we thinking about day to day, minute to minute? What emotions are lingering either clearly like a constant irritation or quieter, behind our general thinking, like sorrow? How are we behaving? How do we treat ourselves and others? What are our complaints really about? What worries hold sway?

If we spend time mindfully watching ourselves in the same detached way we sit, we will often find nuggets of awareness that have become as Story Water’s refers to as ‘wallpaper’. Stuff we’ve been thinking, feeling, doing for so long it’s simply become wallpaper in our lives. Things we tolerate within ourselves that aren’t serving us at all. To see them, we often need to be stuck in one spot, until we stop seeing the spot we’re in as familiar and begin to see it with new eyes.

The plateau is here for us to stop moving, intentionally, and look more deeply at what is before us. It is not a block to progress, but rather a powerful indicator of a place we’ve brought ourselves to, to see, hear, feel, and heal something vital within us. The plateau is part of our progress, not outside of it.

So if we’ve lost our wind and the sails hang still, we need to take a deep breath. Put in check the seductive desire to complain about where we are. Take a seat and recommit to the journey we so wisely stepped onto however many moons ago. Either give ourselves permission, time and space to integrate all that we’ve developed within, to this point, or get curious and alert and look around. There are likely pearls of wisdom and understanding falling all about our feet. The moment we are in now, has everything we seek and will move us forward when the timing is right and the wind’s steady.

If you enjoyed this piece, I would be delighted if you checked out my book using this link or the link above. Namaste…

Flight of Love

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Rainy gate by Noelle


At the Delta gate watching travelers swirl all around me. Each with a life of stories about to lift off to another tale somewhere. I step in with them eagerly.

Wait staff greet me with a smile and deliver a delicious and nourishing breakfast. The manager’s hand warm as he shook mine. I feel his gratitude for someone’s awareness of his gate-side establishment. I imagine many pass this way, never looking twice.

Anonymous in a crowd.
The curse of our societies these days.

Security line a breeze, even as TSA searched my bag, tricked by four pounds of the best Block Island fudge heading to colleagues back home. The delight in a new story of fudge mistaken for C-4 explosives.

Rain pelts the runways and I am filled with an equal force of love passing through me. How fortunate to breathe in this next breath on a rainy Sunday morning, my own next tale unfolding before me on each step. It’s as if the world flows into me unabated and unrestrained.

Such small things to attend to, yet they lift me past my old mind. Lift me aloft on trade-winds that will take me to some new shore. There is a freshness in my mind I wish to deeply savor.

Energy moves down the vessels of each arm, my finger tips tingling. I look at my hands and they almost seem like someone else’s. What good can they do in this life they’ve yet to attempt? Who will I become if I unleash them on everything I touch? How much am I made of a magic so exquisite it floods from me touching ever soul I look upon? What if in this moment I am a force of love that floods this Delta gate, as the Mississippi floods the Louisisana delta?

To step into such love now, as I step onto this plane… Not later in meditation, but now, eyes open, fully wake, completely present, totally in love.