Monday, May 28, 2012

In support of The Wayfinder Post

For additional reading from intelligent, humorous, and insightful writers, check out the brilliant Wayfinder Post (where yours truly is a featured author as well as video participant)... Happy Wayfinding!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Two Seals and a Gift

Bandon, OR Beach
Nature offers an amazing gift of bringing us back to center when life feels out of balance. One of my favorite ways to explore just about anything is through the use of metaphor. How is this like that? While visiting the Oregon coast, my questions emerged something like this: How is the baby seal who strives to climb atop a slippery rock like my current situation? How is the beach covered in fog similar to my brain that refuses to clear? What of the sun that remains concealed from sight? Are my dreams hiding in plain view or are they just over the horizon?

One evening while beach combing, I paused to watch a group of sea lions gathered in the swelling tide. Eyes trained on the youngest pup, I was mesmerized by his struggle to climb atop the slippery embankment where his mother perched precariously. My maternal instincts were tugged by his unfruitful tenacity, and part of me wanted to wade into the icy surf and boost him onto the oblong pillar. Fortunately my sanity prevailed. After all, if he, an able-bodied water creature, couldn’t do it on his own, what benefit would I, a moderate swimmer at best, be to him? Nonetheless, our natural instincts are often to reach toward those we momentarily consider less capable—children, clients, co-workers, strangers—while setting aside our own care and safety in the midst.

Baby Reaches Mama (momentarily)
As I continued to observe the scene before me, I focused on the mother who lay upon the craggy peak—her pose precarious, like a crescent moon tilted on its side and loosely balanced on a rocking pebble. She appeared neither concerned about her shaky state or that of her offspring diligently attempting to reach her. Occasionally, she raised her head to look around, but then lay back to rest. She wisely knew the rhythm of the tide would ultimately ease her off the rock and into the water, reuniting her and her babe.

Recalling this scene later, I asked the questions: How is this like my calling today? Will I clear my head enough to look around and inquire: What do I need? What next? What will bring me life, rest, joy, peace, and love? Even though my initial response was to rescue the striving pup, my deep resonance was not with him... I have done enough striving for a lifetime. Today I choose to wonder how I can rise up like the wizened matriarch, peer around, and allow the flow of life to gently carry me into the sea and off my own precarious perch.

My assessment is not that the mother sea lion is resigned to her existence, but rather she has learned the rhythms of her life and chooses to go with them rather than struggle against the raging tides. Her young pup expends his energy in his own natural (and necessary) process of maturation. Each are appropriate for their time and stage in life.

Today I invite you to consider this: Where do you struggle and strain when letting go might serve you better? What energy needs to be expended to bring your life (mind, spirit, body) into balance or maturation? How is this like that? Where might nature guide you today?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Angels in our Midst - Do you believe?

“A Warrior of the Light is never predictable.

She might dance down the street on her way to work, gaze into the eyes of a complete stranger and speak of love at first sight, or defend an apparently absurd idea. Warriors of the Light allow themselves days like these.”Paulo Coelho

Are you a Warrior of the Light? Someone who’s willing to dream of angels and step into absurd ideas? Well, I am. This morning I awoke thinking of angels and other things that some might call “woo woo.” I opened As I Lay Pondering, saw today’s title, “To Be Known,” and asked myself what it would mean for me to be known right now in this moment. Hmmm.... 

Norah & the Watchers
Do you believe in angels? I do. They come in all shapes and forms—furry, human, dreamlike. Arriving in streams of light, laughing children, and a gentle touch. A stranger who appears and mysteriously vanishes. A fleeting thought, prickly neck or tingly skin. One of my favorite “angels” that shows up in both image and imagination is a curly-headed impish girl named Norah (translated as Compassion). My old golden retriever, Curry, emerges on occasion. And, of course, my purring companion, Aslan, is an everyday reminder of otherworldliness in present form. My long-deceased father has appeared on several occasions through music and nature; meeting me when I most need to hear him. Real or imagined? Truth or fantasy? What do you believe?

Recently a man perusing my ponderings mentioned to his wife that he thought I might be a little crazy. So be it. A warrior of the light dances through the street and people either join in the dance, run the other way, criticize, or pause and ponder. Which do you choose to do?

Curry Dog
There is a place of stillness where everything connects, disappears and comes into absolute clarity all at the same moment. I think of the Bible story of Jacob wrestling with God and his dreams of the ladder going up to heaven while angels ascended and descended. These kinds of stories have been with us since the beginning of time. The question is... Are we willing to believe? What happens when we slow down, step into stillness, and listen... deeply listen? Will God speak? Do angels show up? Is it the result of an overactive imagination or a mind running wild with thoughts and fantasy? Does it matter? Will it be any less real if I can’t hold it in my hand or capture it in a digital photo? Perhaps I am a touch mad, but today my mind returned to a very real experience I had during a meditative time in Arizona this spring.

When I closed my eyes and the meditation began, our moderator simply mentioned the word “stage” and I felt the spotlight shine upon me. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had these longings since I was a little girl. Do we all dream of being on the stage? Yes. No. Perhaps. I believe our “stages” simply take on different forms. [Pause and ponder: what your stage might be? You know, the one you see when you close your eyes.]

Check out that Boa!
Moving down the pathway of my mind, golden-haired Norah greets me with her playfulness and compassion—her is-ness. In her unique way, she invites me to simply be. Before me on the ground lay an apple that I witnessed just before the moderator invited us to look up rather than down. There to my right were grand marble steps leading upward to the stage. A brilliant curtain crafted of magnificent red—the color and texture of my feather boa—reminds me there is nothing insignificant about my essential self. She is meant to shine! (I know this and yet I doubt it in my current mind... not the meditation). Returning to the dream state, I am invited to leave Norah, my guide, at the bottom of the staircase. I don’t want to take my journey without Compassion, but Norah reminds me that she is always with me. All I need do is ask.

Moving up the stairway, I see a being with shoulder-length hair. He glows with strength and light emanating from within. Before I can ask his name, I know it is the Archangel Michael whose card lay “randomly” on my chair before our session began. The Angel turns and points to the audience spread before the stage. It is filled with adoring fans—people asking for my gifts... my gifts... MY gifts. The people do not clamor. They simply stand before Michael’s outstretched hands—before me—and wait. They snake around my viewpoint—like the final scene in “Pay It Forward”—holding lights and waiting. They are honoring me and know I have the gift to share with them. I am awed and honored myself. Michael is brilliant before me and he is part of me. Strength and courage. Like Norah, he will always be with me, but especially during this time of the journey he is very near.

I sense him over my left shoulder now. His golden wings gently wrapping around me as I write with my golden muse, Aslan, purring in my lap. “Be you, my child. The world is waiting.” I feel it now and I heard it then as he turned back to me and said, “The gift is you.” And in his hands lay my gift to the world.

In that brief moment, I smelled the apples I had seen earlier. The fruit of life. Tempting and forbidden. Hmmm. Fear creeps in. I was always forbidden to shine. Forbidden to taste the fruit of my own knowledge. But here, the sweet fruit has been broken open before me. I need only inhale—stop, pause, breathe—and it will find me, surround me, and fill me with its fragrant aroma. May this fragrance move me into the world with strength and tenderness; compassion and love; Michael and Norah. There is no room for fear when all is love.

Truth or fantasy? Real or imagined? Sane or inept? What do you choose to believe? Where does your mind go when you turn to that deep place of stillness where everything connects, disappears, and becomes clear in the same moment?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

On Turning Thirteen...

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves.” Rainer Maria Rilke

Inspired by a friend’s request to share my words of wisdom to her soon-to-be 13-year-old daughter, I decided to share a slightly expanded version of my letter here. As I began to write to my young friend, I realized that the message I would have wanted at her age was the same one I need to hear today. Learn to Trust Yourself.

Me @ 13
While I can’t remember exactly what it’s like to stand on the threshold of turning 13, I do recall it as a time of exhilaration and uncertainty with lots of questions. I remember being too afraid to ask the questions for fear of looking dumb. I’d like to say I was filled with curiosity about who I would become in the world and what great things I was capable of doing. I’d also like to tell you that I was brave and didn’t worry about what everybody else was doing... But, in reality, I was more concerned about how my hair looked and whether or not I’d blend in with the rest of the kids my age. [Hmmm... Thirteen or not, how might this still resonate today?]

What do I wish I had known at 13? As I said earlier, it’s the wisdom that grounds and motivates me today: Learning to Trust Myself! I grew up thinking everyone else had the answers to all my questions. But how could they when they were my questions and we each are prone to see things differently? Only I can decide what I like and what feels right for me [and the same goes for you]. It’s kind of like sharing clothes with other people. We come in all shapes, sizes, likes and dislikes, so it’s important to try on different things to see what makes us sparkle. That’s how we learn to trust ourselves. [If you are still learning to do this at your age (I know I am), then read on...]

Ask lots of questions, don’t be afraid to stand out, and explore boatloads of things to see what makes you a trustworthy You. Taste new foods. Listen to different music. Watch movies that none of your friends have seen. Learn a language. Travel to an unexplored destination. Revamp your wardrobe. Throw out what doesn’t fit. Keep what you love. Be curious and don’t be afraid if you don’t know the answers (even if the questions are Who am I or What do I like?) Keep asking and exploring.

My hunch is that you already have a pretty strong sense of who you are and what you like [although it might need a little refreshing], so Trust Yourself and you’ll never go wrong... And if things get confusing or you feel a little lost that’s okay, too. Blend in if you need to. Stand out when that feels good. Ask for help when you don’t know the way. Keep trying things on as you learn to trust and refine your perfect self! And if it helps... you can always pretend you’re standing on the threshold of adolescence.

Ponder this: What words of wisdom would you offer to a 13-year-old?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Two Gifts... just for You!

Be transported into the delightful world of lovable swine, Pedrita, as she discovers the magic of following her dreams... perhaps you'll discover your own heart's desire along the way (4.5 minutes).

"As I Lay Pondering" - Book: Mother's Day Special! $17.95 (Use this link & I'll pay the tax... through May 16)

This fresh & innovative daybook is tickling hearts, oxygenating souls, and bringing presence around the globe.

Filled with inspiration & simple activities to deepen the pathway to presence, it is the ideal companion for any transformational journey. A beautiful gift for any occasion!!