Sunday, August 25, 2013

Smile into Suffering

Suffering is not enough. Life is both dreadful and wonderful. 
How can I smile when I am filled with so much sorrow? 
It is natural--
you need to smile to your sorrow because you are more than your sorrow.
Thich Nhat Hanh

When I find myself overcome by despair or fear
Remembrance of truth helps me walk through
Without succumbing to the darkness

During times of extreme trial
I've covered my walls with
Words of strength, hope and encouragement
Reminders of the bigger picture
Of the temporary nature of events and experiences in this life

I read them aloud to myself 
Until the truths they contain
Seep in and settle my soul
'Til I'm able to release the fear
and rest in the solid goodness of Love

Smiling at oneself is so very important
Grace and tenderness
Loving kindness

Thich Nhat Hanh talks of smiling at your fears 
in recognition, acceptance and love

When I remember
When I lovingly smile at my internal woundedness
. . . my human frailties
And extend compassion and love to all aspects of self
(and others)
Peace returns

A simple smile can change everything
Truths remembered can save us from depths which threaten to overwhelm

So, I remember.
I smile.  I speak truth.
Until the words are part of me
Seeds taking root

Through it all
Whenever we can smile within ourselves
and remember the precious beloveds that we are
We will more quickly return to the sunshine
on the other side

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, 
but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Liminal Space

Do I honor today as sacred and special?
Do I honor myself today, as sacred, special, precious?
What lines do I draw?
Which divisions do I create?

  We are in liminal space whenever past, present, and future time come together in a “full” moment of readiness. We are in liminal space whenever the division between “right here” and “over there” is obliterated in our consciousness.
Richard Rohr 

What some call “liminal space” or threshold space  (limen in Latin means a threshold, a starting line in a race, or a beginning place) is a very good phrase for those special times, events, and places that open us up to the sacred. 

It seems we need special (“sacred”) days to open us up to all days being special and sacred; we need special and sacred times to universalize to all time.

What became All Saints’ Day and All Souls Day (November 1-2) were already called “thin times” by the ancient Celts, as also were February 1-2 (St. Bridget’s Day and Candlemas Day when the candles were blessed and lit). The veil between this world and the next world was considered most “thin” and most easily traversed during these times. On these days, we were invited to be aware of deep time—that is, past, present, and future time gathered into one especially holy moment. 

Do I honor today as sacred and special?
Do I honor myself today, as sacred, special, precious?
What lines do I draw?
Which divisions do I create?
In this sacred space.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

On the Prairie

I remember your voice
 Melodies in the wind
Vast.  Wild.
Whipping across the prairie
Snatching my breath away
As you rushed past

I remember you
Joy.  Life.  Energy.  
Lifting me
Carrying my laughter to the skies

I remember you
Solid.  Still.
Immense quiet
Within which I'd rest
Snuggling into the earth
Beneath tall stalks of wheat
Golden against blue sky

Abstract Sky/Ciel Abstrait by David Dubois
Oregon USA Stalks of Wheat by Craig Tuttle

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Love's Song

I've always felt comfortable 
Not always comfortable

A Cameroonian dancer once spoke these words 
(accompanied by a wide grin)
as we danced in a drum circle:
"You have music in your veins!"
Yes, yes!

(and my son said, "Mom you belong in Africa!")
Yes, and yes!

Life is rhythm
Rhythm is life
A constant flow
That I feel

I've had the thought
"if I ever lost my voice:
if I could no longer sing,
I could not live"

I'm still breathing
and fairly coherent
so I am, indeed,
Still living

I've experienced difficulties
with my voice over the years
I wrote of them in a post last year*
I carry a great deal of fear
around my throat and voice

Yesterday, I was reading
Dylan Morrison's, Prodigal Prophet**
This author has also had voice issues
He found a book which speaks of
possible underlying reasons for physical symptoms.

As I read the following words in Dylan Morrison's book
They had a profound effect on me
Cutting straight to the heart

"Chronic laryngitis was described as a form of self-repression experienced by those with a vital message to tell, who sadly suffered from low self-esteem.  Now I understood:  God had called me to speak His words to the hurting and lonely but I’d shied away from the task due to my false sense of humility.  My health had suffered as a result.  
Clearly I was to speak out all that I sensed and felt."

"I now realized why I had to tell my story, 
this book being the fruit of that simple revelation."
(Prodigal Prophet, p.209)

After reading the above, I searched the internet 
and found this on a website regarding 
psychological causes for physiological maladies:

"Loss of voice is a message from the body
 that you fear communicating vocally."
"The throat is the energy center relating to creativity and it must be kept open for creativity to flow through every area of your life."***

Quite honestly, I don't know exactly what this means for me.
I do know that I have been experiencing deep transformations
in recent years, and especially in recent weeks.

I continue on my journey to be ever more sensitive to Love within me
To draw ever nearer to my Source
I am being led to deeper stillness within
To walk more slowly (even when I run!)

To notice 
To find pleasure in Now
(so easy to envision and accomplish, when I'm not sad or in pain!)

I am learning to smile, always
From within
In the midst of darkness
(mustn't deny what is . . . not judge it)

I feel the call to sing my song
Whatever that may be
(and I fear, still, that my physical voice will not be up to the task)

We each have a song . . . a dance . . . a poem
Which is only ours****
This is our life journey, is it not?
To recognize . . . 
The dance steps that are ours,
Our life song's melody, 
Our poetic pentameter?!

The source for all of these 
Is our Source
Which is Love

I listen for my song.
One only I can recognize
and only my voice can express

I am singing what I know
Will sing more as it is received
I might not always understand
Surely, I will not

I pray that Love will be received
I trust my fears will not prevent
Love's song from flowing

I walk . . . I dance . . . I smile
Joyful expectations
Fill me
Oh, throat of mine;
Be free!

Adventure awaits!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Loving the Other

A life without love is a waste. “Should I look for spiritual love, or material, or physical love?”, don’t ask yourself this question. Discrimination leads to discrimination. Love doesn’t need any name, category or definition. Love is a world itself. Either you are in, at the center…either you are out, yearning.

~ Shams Tabrizi

Judgment is a symptom of perceived disconnect.

People want to bash the one who had the abortion until its their cherished sister

Or rally against the gay until its their beloved brother

Or demonize the Republican until it's their kind neighbor.

Or marginalize the homeless addict until its their treasured grown child.

It's tempting for all of us to judge and we all do.

Our freedom isn't in never judging...

It's in noticing that we do and recognizing that it comes from the illusion of separation from each other.

We are all connected.
And threaded together by this common strand of the human and divine experience.

Created by Love
For Love

To receive and give love. Mother Theresa's words call to me often,  
"We have no peace because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."

We belong
To each other.

Stacey Robbins

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. 
If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, 
and this shows that we have not fully experienced 
his perfect love.

1 John 4:18

Fear divides
Love unites
Across all divisions
All differences

What do I fear
When I believe I cannot accept you
(and extend kindness and compassion)
If your beliefs or actions
don't match what I believe to be true and right?  

Am I a "conservative" condemning the "liberal" . . . 
Or, the "liberal" condemning the "conservative"?
(insert whatever boxes or divisions are important to you)
Do I hate people because they are hateful?  
(does this not, by definition, make me a hater?)

Do I draw lines of inclusion and exclusion,
or does my love and acceptance include all people - 
the "greatest" and the "least"? 

Love never fails
Everything else