Welcome Ravished Guests

State Beach, Block Island

Low Tide, Block Island, photo by Noelle

The surf comes slow and steady, lapping quietly only a few feet away, and never desists. She seems a persistent child, playfully pulling me ever further away from my thoughts. I match my breathe to her comings and goings, at first a difficult task. I am full of the busyness of life at work and the chaos of travel. Yet, after a time, she in her great depths and I in my shallowness upon the beach become one. My muscles sink deeply into the sand, as I rest motionless upon the towel.

Tide's Arrival

State Beach, Block Island photo by Noelle

At mid-morning, the beach is not yet busy, and the gull’s calls are distinct from the din that comes with afternoon beach goers. I open one eye and see a large gray-breasted gull inching toward me. He is surveying for any booty to steal, pirate thief that he is. His beak nods dismissively, as he finds nothing and walks on down the beach. I find a sudden longing that he stay awhile longer. He speaks to me of sea and sky, salt and sand.

The ocean laps, my eye closes and the meditation drops deeper still.

Private

Beach Access, photo by Noelle

There is no effort in this sort of meditation.

The Earth and sea work on me, as they have on the driftwood that litters the beach around me. Softening my edges, tempering my life force, wearing away abrasiveness, leaching from me all that is no longer essential to my purpose and form. Clues are there – tasty salt upon my lips, a breeze lifting my hair – that unseen forces work steadily at this disassembly. An effortless altering of my biochemistry. We think it’s back to some baseline peaceful state, but I think it’s to a new version of me at peace that is forming. I am not the same, as I was before. The same as other peaceful times. The quality I know as peace, changes as I change. Each return to me, from a wound up person in the throes of life, shows me a me I have yet to meet.

Driftwood

State Beach, Block Island photo by Noelle

Thoughts barely rise, before the sun evaporates them off my mind blurring my sense of where I end and the sand begins. This feels essential. A kind of reset where I am wiped totally clean before rebooting to my new form. It is hard to remember when I used to lie here and pull my other life with me onto the beach towel. Endless, frenzied thoughts about life elsewhere, hardly noticing the call of the sea and the gulls. Somewhere inside of me, I think I have always known my troubles only existed if I kept thinking about them. That they would evaporate if I wasn’t there tending to them and where would that leave me? If I gave up thinking about them, then I might not exist anymore either, for who was I without them?

What a tragedy, not being me, once seemed.

Malingering at the Lagoon

Block Island, photo by Noelle

Now I call the wind and the sea to me, ravish guests to an abundant feast. There is nothing I won’t give them. There is nothing they can’t have. This ship has beached here and has lost all defenses. Pirate gulls and marauding wind, my treasures, such as they are, are yours for the taking.

If you enjoyed this piece, you can find more in my book of meditations called “Into Your Meditation” available on Lulu.com, Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.

Kaleidoscope: A Divine View of Ourselves

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Image from Devianart.com

Today, I send into your meditation a Kaleidoscope.

Imagine you have picked up a beautiful kaleidoscope off the shelf in a lovely, out of the way shop you stumble upon, down an unexpected alley. The shop is full of all sorts of curiosities and beautiful trinkets, games and pieces of art. You have been wondering the shop for a few minutes, enjoying touching and admiring many things when you come upon the kaleidoscope.

There’s something of the unexpected in a kaleidoscope. You never know what patterns and beauty you will see within. Thus, you follow your impulse and pick it up. You are surprised at how substantial it feels in your hand. Clearly very well made of a porcelain-like material, with these intricate designs and writing that appear similar to Sumatran script down its sides. The rims are made of gold and you find yourself even more entranced than a moment ago.

You place the kaleidoscope to your eye and peer in. As with all kaleidoscopes the objects that create the patterns within are made of rich colored glass, but there are also beads of gold and silver that seem to refract light into the glass. When you turn and face the sunlight streaming through the shop windows the colors explode in every direction, bringing to life the most amazing patterns. Each turn of the scope gives ever greater delight. It’s as if you can feel the colored patterns seeping into your body through your eyes. Whatever the price, you decide you must have it. You can’t help feeling there is something truly magical about this kaleidoscope and an immense good fortune for having found your way to this shop. You want to look into it again and again.

And there is, of course, something magical about it. This kaleidoscope is your human life and the viewer is your spirit gazing through it.

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Image from Devianart.com

Your life was chosen from a myriad of options in the divine shop of human existence. Your life was an intentional decision and there was such delight and sense of wonder and eagerness to see what patterns this life you are living would create. Feel the power in that. There were an infinite number of choices, and your spirit chose your life to experience itself through. Not random, not accidental and not the last trinket on the shelf some unlucky spirit got stuck with. No one is a lump of coal in some spirit’s Christmas stocking. Everything about your life was a magical moment of conscious decision and creation, entered into with pure joy and awe.

Pay close attention now and let us see something even more powerful and unique about this kaleidoscope. It’s size is of your design. The number of colors within it, your choice. The number of times it’s turned and the pattern allowed to change, your decision. Each of us are sovereign beings with complete freewill. The limitations we experience are of our own choosing. The level of diversity, depth, color, range, complexity of our nature is something we build and create daily.

It’s important to understand there are no wrong choices. No matter what we think of the events of our life or the changes we’re experiencing our highest self is always delighted with the patterns of our nature. It peers into us only with the eyes of love and wonder, and as such it can see nothing else. It does not see the person you harmed or the person who harmed you the way you see them. It does not interpret your losses or successes or those of your enemy the way you interpret them. It does not see the unexpected, as unexpected, or the confusing as confusing. It sees into your life with immense clarity and vision that envelopes all of who you are and all of whom and what everything else is, simultaneously. It sees the beauty and grace in all things.

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Image from Devianart.com

There is never disappointment in our beingness or even a hair’s breath of regret in the choice to live through us. All those feelings of discord are only our level of disengagement with that love offered freely and without restraint or limitation.

Your higher self is an infinite being. It can live an entire lifetime gazing enthralled at one particular pattern that never changes, reveling in the patterns beauty. It can spend ten thousand lifetimes, turning the scope again and again, seeing millions of configurations if it so chooses. Nothing is ever lost to it. Nothing is squandered, diminished or thought less of for being the pattern it is. It knows only delight, excitement, wonder at what it sees in the pattern it is witnessing now, for no matter how far down a hole we may think we are, it knows completely our potential to climb out. It waits with delicious anticipation for us to take our next step toward love, in each and every moment. It will wait a minute, it will wait ten thousand lifetimes with the same anticipation. It’s infinite. Only love and potentiality matter to it, not time.

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Image from goosart.com

This life you are living is a kaleidoscope. You are choosing the limitations of the tube, the color of the glass, the aperture of the spy hole… all of it. Even more fascinating, at no time, does your spirit rail against the limitation of the tube, either. For the tubes limitations are what allow the formations of patterns. They are chosen limits, until one decides to change the limits for something smaller or broader, depending on what serves us. Spirit can’t look into vastness and experience an individuality. It must confine itself for a time in a human life that has distinct edges, created by our beliefs and perceptions. We may decide to change a belief and expand our point of view or our way of being, but we chose to be inside this tube for a time. And in that choice we are playing with the limitations we set to ourselves to build our kaleidoscope. We wanted something we could look through and that decision gave us this very unique and specific life.

We have a fixed sense of who we are, our personalities in particular, largely because we’ve created – through our beliefs – the limitations we live within. It is an illusion though to see them as fixed. We can make them so, if that serves us, but if the confines we’ve found ourselves living in have become constricted, boring, dull, diminished, dark, negative, self-limiting, imprisoning, than truly we need but turn the glass tube. Make a decision to change. Make a decision to imagine ourselves as something new, and the tube begins to turn. The colored glass and metallic balls begin to tumble and who we are shifts into a new pattern.

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Image from Pinterest.com

Do not let your old stories of who you are define who you can be. Disengage from other’s points of view of who they think you are, and ask yourself if that is who you wish to be? Allow yourself to imagine that any configuration of you, that no longer serves you can be let go, freed up, re-designed into something else. As Einstein said, “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.” You are pure energy, in a constant state of flux and evolution. Know the limitlessness of that!

As you sit today, see if you can feel the porcelain tube with it’s magical script etched down its sides turning just a little and then allow yourself to open to whatever comes next.

If you enjoyed this piece, I would be honored if you checked out my book, either at the Amazon link below or the Lulu link at the upper right hand. Many blessings to you…

Healing Comes with Awareness

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Ohsu.com


First, this from the Enneagram Institute’s daily quotes:

Wisdom teaching about waking up: “Awareness is vitally important in the work of transformation because the habits of our personality let go most completely when we see them as they are occurring.”

I’m sitting in a meeting and someone I don’t care for much, speaks up. No surprise, I don’t like their idea. A very non-spiritual, unenlightened or even kind thought crosses my mind. I catch it almost as quickly. I’m immediately disappointed in myself. I note that the thought comes with a feeling of tension in my belly and irritation. I breath to relax and notice my left toes are curled up in my shoe. I release them. Another breath, but my chest is tight. My brain is wanting to give a rebuttal to my colleague. History has taught me the rebuttal will fuel more than I care for. I hold my tongue, but feel the effort causes my jaw to tighten. I breathe again, and relax my face and shoulders.

I now notice my thoughts are quickly winding into a story. I ask myself, “Why are you telling yourself this story now?” The answer back is “I’m still irritated and I’m right.” Since I’m not giving that impulse to rebut my colleague’s statements sway, my brain is unleashing the tension in some sordid tale where I, of course, am more brilliant, kinder, innovative than my counterpart in the meeting. I breathe again. I feel the boat that sails on the sea of peace within me listing a good bit. I feel my deep desire to be right, to have greater influence over the meeting battling inwardly with the part of me deeply rooted in peace, that wants to let go of this whole mental and emotional affair I’ve got going.

My mind suddenly throws up a picture of an old circus ride from my youth. The Gravitron which spun you round and round with centrifugal force. I feel like I’m watching myself on one side of the ride and feeling myself on the opposing side, simultaneously.

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Soft.net

I check in, my toes are curled up again. I unravel them, take another breath, and loosen my tongue that I’ve cemented to the roof of my mouth, apparently, to not speak up. I’m still irritated, but the self-inquiry has infused curiosity in there, too. I feel a sense of command over my reactiveness arriving, that’s comforting somehow.

I breathe again and relax my butt cheeks, loosen my hands in my lap, undo the tension that’s grown behind my eyes. The activity has taken me off my colleague. The meeting has moved on. No decisions were made. I feel relief. I relax. I note the pettiness of my thoughts, the need to grab control over an outcome I desire, the tension that built, the emotional ride I took myself on all aloft inside of me. I breathe again, letting it all go with a growing commitment.

I query myself on what is at the heart of this? Why does this person’s character disturb me so or their ideas?

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Espritsciencemetaphysiques.com


The answers arrive like parade floats passing across my mind. I’m competitive: a familiar idea and I feel the yucky feeling of catching that in me, yet again. They have a condescending tone when they speak to me. I feel that even yuckier twinge of unworthiness or ‘less than’ vibe roll through. If I’m wholly honest, I might have to admit they are smarter than me. Again, competitive, and an idea I’m not willing to concede quite yet. An amused smile crosses my lips as I catch my own arrogance. I feel the outcome on the issue is outside my control, and feel a helplessness there. I dig down deeper and sense a boredom in the meeting and have the very unpleasant realization, that some of this internal drama was simply to give my mind something to engage. That might be the most unflattering notion to me of all of them. Drama as a kind of mental amusement. My desire to rebut likely had a need for attention, too. Huh… some self-esteem issues there and I’m finding the ‘drama as antidote for boredom’ returning to my mind, as if it has bells on its feet.

I move from looking inward to looking outward. I see the politics of the issue that are affecting my colleague and me. I sense the uncomfortable temperature of the room and the length of time I’ve been in the meeting and how all of those, too, are affecting what is happening to me here.

I check in. My toes are curled up in both shoes now, my shoulders have risen up, my breathing is shallower, stomach tight, the irritation – now focused on myself – has grown. I don’t care for much of this, but also see the value in witnessing these things in myself. I don’t try to change what I’m seeing. I breathe and let myself see them as I detach from them. I feel my meditation practice in full swing. I am a witness to my personality’s various machinations. They are there, noted honestly, but I focus on offering myself compassion. I breathe into it. Unravel everything one more time, only this time, I keep going for several minutes. I focus on a point just outside the window. I let the noise of the meeting pass over me, as clouds traveling the breadth of the sky. I stay this way until I feel myself return to a monk sitting quietly in the conference room chair.

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In5d.com


Now, I am ready to practice some ho’oponopono with my colleague. The Hawaiian prayer of forgiveness, “I love you, please forgive me, I’m sorry, thank you”. By the time I begin, I see the gifts I’ve been given of insight into my personality’s weird little dynamics. I’ve had the chance to disengage the machine and return myself to center. The boat floating inwardly on my sea of peace is no longer listing.

When I begin the Hawaiian prayer I mean every word. My colleague has not changed at all, and I may never be close friends with them, but the part of me that was attaching who I am, to who they are, has been unhooked. As such, I can see them more clearly. They, like me, have the same little shit show going on inside their personality. That single insight softens my heart tremendously. A gift to me of awareness. I’ve been shown something and given the chance to practice a new pathway, charter a new course. I don’t ask myself for perfection. I might have to repeat this little scene at some other point today, tomorrow or next week. This is the path. I am not the same at the end of the meeting, as I was at the beginning. As the quote indicates I am, by means of my awareness, transformed.

Day in, day out, this is the road we travel. Thousands of years meditators have been walking this path. I am comforted to know I am in good company.

If you liked this piece, consider checking out my book either at the link below to Amazong or the link above to Lulu.com publishing. 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!

Looking Out, Looking In

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I have a bone to pick, but it sticks in my throat a fish rib I keep eating with no hope of digesting. There’s no point to the rant I offer you. That’s what makes me wring my hands with an emotional wash that still smells of fumes and rotted fish. I know the answers you’ll give me to every question I could ask. So why ask?

Knowledge is a devil if there ever was one. Gives you comfort while it steals your security in endless mind games you can’t stop tricking yourself with. I hate you for filling my head with the knowledge of who I am. Light and gold. Miracles and love. I look down at my costume and want to rip it till I’m naked. I can’t escape my frightened thoughts that burn me in a lava flow, erupting in my brain and filling my mouth with an eager malice. You could have told me in the beginning that ignorance was not only bliss, but a quaalude cocktail that would’ve left me sleeping; a contented mongrel, in a sewer heap that knows no better. Now a youthful, hungry anger boils in my belly and it’s more bitter than death no matter how many times I swallow it down. But there be the rub. Poison is best drawn out and all wounds must be opened to cleanse them of their infection. That is how I feel: raw, open, infected with my own awareness of thoughts that poison my spirit.

For the love of me, you say. It was my choice you announce and I could beat you within an inch of my own life if I weren’t plagued by the truth in it. It eats at my mind until I’m smashing the beds and tearing up my brakes in the car. You should’ve told me to leave when I came through the door. You should have said the price for awakening is sanity.

A work in progress from The Writer’s Church hosted by Marj Hahne. Piece Inspired by “Dear Corporation” by Adam Fell.

Spiritual Practice: Little Gem

Mystical autumn: Photography by Noelle

Mystical autumn: Photography by Noelle

“The spiritual practice of love builds community, as do kindness and gratitude, and prayer. Try saying this silently to everyone and everything you see for thirty days and see what happens to your own soul: “I wish you happiness now and whatever will bring happiness to you in the future.” If we said it to the sky, we would have to stop polluting; if we said it when we see the ponds and lakes and streams, we would have to stop using them as garbage dumps and sewers; if we said it to small children we would have to stop abusing them, even in the name of training; if we said it to people, we would have to stop stoking the fires of enmity around us. Beauty and human warmth would take root in us like a clear, hot June day. We would change.”

Joan Chittister Taken from Spiritual Literacy, Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life by Frederick and Mary Ann Brussat

Night Hawk

Baby Cooper's Hawk; Free Bing Photos

Baby Cooper’s Hawk; Free Bing Photos

I hear the call of a young hawk in the twilight. It’s calling to it’s parents for food. It’s a distinct sound. Plaintive, persistent and young.  It calls as if it has not eaten in days or with a sound one would associate with deep loneliness. But it is fed with great care by parents never truly out of sight. I have struggled, of late, to realize this is how I have been praying. Plaintive, persistent and with an immaturity difficult to face. It would be easy to allow this growing awareness to burn my wings and bring me down. Yet, the key piece of the analogy is the parent aloft and ever watchful. Equally persistence in it’s readiness to feed me what I need. My youthful demands do not change the parenting. It is steady, attentive and focused. I may pray like an eyas certain it will starve for food, but Source Energy patiently awaits and knows I am growing steadily into a great flyer.