Friday, December 12, 2014

Filled to the Brim

Every now and then, we have days that are magical...

We have days overflowing with love, and grace, and gratitude, and connection...

We have days that are filled to the brim!

I had one of those days, yesterday...

It began the previous evening, as I meditated and prayed in bed for so many who had made requests. And as I did so, I was overwhelmed with compassion and love - with bliss and peace - and light in even in the dark of night. I knew that somehow, all would be well.

The next day I awoke overflowing with the same feelings, and I quickly began my day filled with errands of all sorts.

After my first stop, I realized I had begun my day without having taken the time to enjoy my morning cup of coffee, and almost immediately, I saw a slight man - trying to stay warm, opening up and organizing his coffee cart - on this brisk, nippy morning, that was barely out of the 30's! Who makes coffee in that kind of weather - outside?

I approached him and asked him if he was open. He was. He asked what I wanted - and was so present and listened to me. Did I want the usual three pumps of hazelnut? I countered - what about one and half? For a few moments no one else inhabited the world but this bright eyed man who graciously made me the best cup of coffee he could, and me. I tipped him and thanked him, and we wished each other a wonderful day - that had already become much brighter and warmer than either of us could have envisioned.

And so my day went - connecting with perfect strangers everywhere! I tried to see if I could be credited for a pair of eyeglasses that I had ordered without my insurance card. And though I created more work for the young woman who attended me, I thanked her profusely for her time and her care, and wished her the happiest of holiday seasons. She seemed genuinely startled, and it occurred to me, that she probably bore the brunt of more complaints than anything else.

I ran more errands, then stopped at a nearby church for while to say some more prayers - overflowing with gratitude for the many beautiful experiences and encounters I had had.

At the end of my day, I lay in bed once more - my hands over my heart - grateful for the most perfect day. It was the simplest of days. Filled with the mundane. Filled with love. Filled with the holy. Filled to the brim!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Gift of Angels

I believe in the power of angels -  both seen, and unseen...


"What is an angel? And what do they do?"

I came across a review on a book titled The Physics of Angels, co-written by Matthew Fox, whose seminal theological works were very formative for me when I studied theology in the seventies, and Rupert Sheldrake, a physicist.

The review goes on to note that angels are powerful and terrifying. They enter into our lives by telling us not be afraid of them. But they are also protectors and can assist us in all of our endeavors and intuitions. They can guard and defend us in so many ways, and can contribute to our happiness. 

I have noted elsewhere in this blog, that I began this year by inviting the energy of angels into my life, and in a recent post I shared with you the picture of an angel, painted by a gifted artist, Karen Tarlton, which I gave myself as a present for my 59th birthday. In many ways, she was emblematic of this past year for me.

I chose to gift myself with another angel for Christmas, also painted by Karen. This one seized my heart immediately, I bought her impulsively for she truly embodied how I wanted to begin the coming year - dancing gracefully, with a bell ringing in one hand. I am working more deeply with chanting and sound in both my meditations and healing work, so this new angel brought these aspects into being.

I received both angels into my sacred space and asked them their names. In both cases, the chosen names came into my soul and heart - very loudly and clear, and were perfect in every way!

The first angel, is demure, holding a bouquet of red roses in her hand. She represents my journey this year - particularly with the creation of my series of meditations, book, and various sites - all titled Meditation Pure and Simple. The creation of these materials was a very contemplative and healing endeavor for myself, and has been shared with many throughout this planet.

The second angel, is open, light, and dancing gracefully with joy - and symbolizes how I have envision the energy of the coming year to be.

But, there is a third angel, a dear friend, who has supported my own work, silently in the background, with prayer, and undying support - lending her keen eye, helpful observations, or editing here and there with my meditation manuscript when necessary - even as she selflessly toiled at her own beautiful creations, which have graced many of my meditations as a background picture and inspirational quote.

Angels come to us in many ways - seen and unseen - in heavenly powers - and earthly ones as well!

As has often happened to both - my earthly angel and me this year - our work, unbeknownst to the other - has mysteriously unfolded in spiritual tandem. 

Last night, I received my newest angel painting. She arrived, as the last one, at dusk - a time of day so infused with spiritual energy. I unpacked her in my meditation space, asked for her name, hung her on the wall, and then meditated in her  beautiful energy and presence - welcoming her into my space and invoking her special graces. And as an added bonus last night, a full moon rose in the sky, inviting even deeper transformation and releasing...

Today, it is the Feast of St Nicholas. My earthly angel completes a cycle of sacred work, and her post for today contains a quote by St Francis de Sales, who has nourished my soul for over three decades...

And so, I wish to share with you, both my new angel and the Post by Every Day Spirit. May you enjoy both on this eve of the Second Sunday of Advent, and the Feast of St Nicholas!




Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Gift of Gratitude

We end a month where we celebrated the harvest, abundance, and gratitude, culminating with Thanksgiving before now launching into Advent and preparations for Christmas.

It is proper and fitting that we acknowledge these things so that we can best prepare our hearts for the Advent Season, which in turn prepares us for Christmas. The vast majority of people are unaware of this important season and skip it, jumping into the celebration of Christmas itself. But then, most have lost the reason for the season...

But that is another story and entry...

Today, I wish to share some additional thoughts on gratitude...

I came across this quote, among many other beautiful ones on Thanksgiving Day, and I have pondered it over and over again, because it truly summarizes for me what this is really all about:


“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. 
It turns what we have into enough, and more. 
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, 
confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, 
a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. 
Gratitude makes sense of our past, 
brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” 

~ Melody Beattie

I also spent part of the day reading, after the tasks of preparing a meal and sharing it were done. I was especially drawn to the "Gratitude" section in What I Know for Sure, by Oprah Winfrey, where I came across these lovely passages:

"Whenever there is a graceful moment, I note it. I know for sure that appreciating whatever shows up for you in life changes your whole world. You radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you're aware of all you have and not focusing on your have-nots. 

I know for sure if you make time for a little gratitude every day, you'll be amazed by the results."

"Being grateful all the time isn't easy. But it's when you feel least thankful that you are most in need of what gratitude can give you: perspective. Gratitude can transform any situation. It alters your vibration, moving you from negative energy to positive. It's the quickest, easiest, most powerful way to effect change in your life - this I know for sure.

Here's the gift of gratitude: In order to feel it, your ego has to take backseat. What shows up in its place is greater compassion and understanding. And the more grateful you become, the more you choose appreciation. And the more grateful you become, the more you have to be grateful for.

Maya Angelou was so right. Whatever you are going through, you will do just that: go through it. It will pass. So say thank-you now. Because you know the rainbow is coming."


"If the only prayer you ever say
in your entire life, is 'Thank you,'
it will be enough."
~ Meister Eckhart


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Gratitude

Today, is a day for being grateful, for giving thanks. And there is so much to be grateful for.

I often marvel, that as a nation, we set aside a day to give thanks. Not everyone does this. And yet those who live here, even temporarily, often continue this practice when they return to their places of origin.

So today, take a moment to give thanks - wherever you might be - whether you normally observe Thanksgiving or not.

And here are two offerings to help you in this endeavor: A free 90 second meditation I post daily on both Facebook and YouTube, and an inspirational quote posted daily by Every Day Spirit.

Enjoy!

"There is Nothing too Small for Gratitude"

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/meditationpureandsimple

YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bURrHn6wqEs&list=UU2XjLZ3NY9cLLPRMj_Bi0sw

Every Day Spirit:
https://www.facebook.com/everydayspirit1

Friday, November 14, 2014

Angel Blessings

Yesterday, on my 59th birthday, I posted a 90 second meditation that explained how these started, almost a year ago.

Just barely into the New Year, I meditated and invited angels into my home. I was immediately guided to start making these 90 second daily meditations without knowing how. So I went online and quickly learned a very easy, but not particularly "professional" way of doing them.

However, a dear friend, who is a gifted and artistic angel herself by the name of Mary, quickly gave me a crash course on how to do these more beautifully on iMovie. And thus, I began to use roses from my rose bushes as the background to these meditations.

I had planted these roses as a gift to myself last November. Today, they are still blooming in defiance of the very unseasonal cold snap we are experiencing!

A little over a week ago, I found a beautiful angel painting online clasping red roses. I realized that in this lovely painting, the symbolism of this year came together for me - so of course - I had to have her! She arrived swiftly, and now hangs in my special room - my sanctuary - where I do all my spiritual work, write this blog, record meditations, and do my own meditation and prayer practice.

It is sacred space to me - a room with four altars filled with statues of saints and special figures and artifacts from many spiritual traditions  - facing the four directions. And now, my angel, close to the door opening into the room, surveys all that transpires here, and gives it her special energy!

I welcomed her into my life with a special ritual. I asked her for her name, which instantly came to me. I have chosen to keep it in my heart, sharing it only with a special few. But I can tell you that the significance of her name is perfect!

I spent the day beautifully - arising and meditating, going to the river for more spiritual practice - spending time with two dear friends - both named Mary - who came together for my sacred day. Then I went to church for more prayers.

I received many special messages and my heart is deeply touched and filled to the brim! All who truly mattered touched in and reached out!

I leave you with the following links...

The link to my posting yesterday on YouTube, also posted on a Facebook community page. Both pages are named Meditation Pure and Simple:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY7ibJ199yY

Here is the link to Karen Tarlton's work. She has a page on Facebook, and paints one unique painting a day.

http://www.karensfineart.com

And here is my blessed angel, looking over me right now. May she bless all of you as well!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Living in Grace - The River Speaks

I have not come down to the river in weeks, perhaps months - this river I have loved and which has nourished my soul at every step, for the last seven years...

I look on longingly as I watch two kayakers return from their morning sojourn, and then stop to banter with another kayaker ready to launch.

What I would not give to set my soul free upon that river today!

So many changes are occurring all around me - and many deaths as well. I guess if one lives long enough one bears witness to these kinds of things more and more frequently...

I reflect on pending life changes, that are somewhat unexpected - and my Inner Wisdom counteracts limiting thoughts by singing instead this directive from the Psalmist:

"Do not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day..."

Other messages arrive, especially this one, from a beloved figure of the 14th century:

"All shall be well,
and all shall be well,
and all manner of things
shall be well."
~ Julian of Norwich

The day is beautiful - sunny, and the air is slightly crisp, and I lose myself in Lovingkindness practice for myself and others in need - and it truly warms my soul and my heart.

I sit, and am grateful for this day, when we remember veterans who gave their lives so that we might live ours...

I think of this year, and endeavors I have undertaken, to create free daily meditations as well as a book to introduce others to this ancient practice. I tell myself that numbers do not matter, and if just one person is touched by this work, then the work is all worthwhile. I imagine the fruits of my practice and work expanding like the ripples on this river, reaching all four corners of this earth...

When I return home, souls I have never met respond that today's post was exactly what was needed to hear, and I am grateful beyond measure!

I look into the wide expanse of the river, surrounded by the denuded trees - laying their souls bare - realizing that nothing can hide in their shadow...

I ask for insights, to be shown the way as I walk through a grove of trees standing by the bank of the river, and I pause, and marvel at one stump - with two "arms" growing up towards the sky -resembling a yogini's limbs doing Urdhva Hastasana! On close inspection, I can see "her shoulder blades" drawing towards each other, supporting and lifting this tree's heart to the Divine!

And then I notice another yogini tree - just a few steps behind - a tree bending deeply backwards - as if doing her sun salutations before the river at dawn!

I am reminded to trust - to keep my heart open - and to give thanks for every little thing!

I think of this beautiful quote by James Baldwin, sent to me by a friend, also going through her own life transitions, which I have been quietly marinating for a week or so. I am reminded of it as I watch a squirrel perched on a tree stump, surveying the river, deep in contemplation:

"Any real change implies the breakup of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one an identity, the end of safety. And at such a moment, unable to see and not daring to imagine what the future will now bring forth, one clings to what one knew, or dreamed that one possessed. Yet, it is only when a man is able, without bitterness or self-pity, to surrender a dream he has long possessed that he is set free - he has set himself free - for higher dreams, for greater privileges."

I set myself free, not knowing where it will lead me or where it will end...

I pledge once again to walk my path, knowing that I carry within, all the wisdom and strength  that I need, remembering these wonderful words by the poet Rumi:

"The universe is inside of you.
Ask all from yourself."

I ask to be shown the way - and that I may see how to best harness the inner strength that I harbor within.

All shall be well. I am grateful. Changes come and changes go. Consciousness is deepened. The same messages are received from several different sources. I do the work that is required and I follow the path that is before me. Yes, I walk this path alone - but I am never truly alone!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Shift Begins

Every once in a while, an opportunity comes tapping at your door, in the cave of your heart.

Every now and then, you hear a deep whisper inviting you to change your course of direction.

Every so often, something catapults you to make a radical change in your life. 

I think this is such a time for so many on this planet - and it is certainly such a moment for me...

I have found myself chewing, marinating, and reflecting on this line by Emily Dickinson:

"Dwell in possibility."

The possibilities are limitless. The opportunities - unimagined...

And when we have made the decision to no longer go on living in a certain way - there is no turning back. There is only the way forward...

And, then shift begins...

Everything feels new once again - where things had become staid - and seemed unalterable.

I believe that in the midst of so much upheaval and negativity - that there is so much more light. In fact, I truly believe that we live in a time where we are witnessing a clashing between darkness and light - but I also believe that light wins. Just as love wins.

Do not succumb to the fear mongering and the negativity you are bombarded with at every turn. As long as each one of us decides we will not live in fear - and choose the light, the more the darkness will eventually recede. I do believe it really is that simple.

The time for change is now. The time to change directions is here. I have seen so many in recent days make radical changes in their lives. Sometimes the changes were not of their own making - but different lives have been made possible nonetheless.

Yes, the shift begins.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

It starts with me.

And it starts with you.

NOW!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

November Blessings

I know I have been neglecting this wonderful audience for a while. But rest assured, I think of you fondly and often!

The last month has been filled with many changes and various activities that have garnered all of my attention.

I hope to soon slow back down to a more introspective pace and indulge my more creative spirit!

I have a dear friend who created a wonderful app which you can find on iTunes called Every Day Spirit Lockscreens. It enables you to place an exquisite and inspirational quote on your iPhone each and every day if you so choose, or you can just hang out with one for weeks - as I do - savoring its lesson until you feel you are beginning to embody it!

The author creates a new screen each and every day, and when it is finished later this year, you will literally have 365 choices in many inspirational categories!

Below I have included the post to the Facebook community page, Every Day Spirit, earlier this morning. Enjoy!

Here is a link to the iTunes store for the app. And please consider writing a review and sharing the app with your friends! It has been a labor of love for its author!

http://itunes.com/apps/everydayspiritlockscreens

And visit the Facebook community for daily creations:

https://www.facebook.com/everydayspirit1

And Twitter:

https://twitter.com/EveryDaySpirit1

Android version coming soon!

Enjoy this new month, and be grateful for the many blessings you have received!