Monday, January 26, 2015

Have You Been Called?

A week ago, I heard a homily by a deacon of one of the churches that I attend, and I have been thinking about it ever since. It was given in response to the reading from the prophet Samuel, where God calls him in the night, and Samuel responds with one of my favorite prayers and lines:

"Speak Lord. Your servant is listening."

Perhaps none of us have been called in such a dramatic way. But we are all called in many ways, and some of them can be very simple.

For example, you are called:

When you are a witness to someone's story, or pain - and touch someone's hand - or wipe away their tear...

When you selflessly give of your time and your heart...

When you witness an injustice, and decide to correct it, or do something about it - or  seek to educate others about it...

When you decide that your work conflicts with your values and you make the decision to move on...

When you dedicate your time, your effort, or your resources, to helping those in need...

When you decide you are going to make your neighborhood, your community, your country - or better yet - this planet a better place...

When you become a voice for the Voiceless and the disenfranchised...

When you make subtle changes in your life or your behavior to become a better person...

When you commit yourself to a practice: meditation, yoga, joining a prayer group - or carve out time for spiritual reading or nourishing yourself in some life-giving and soulful way...

When you passionately take on the task of making a difference in a matter of social justice...

When you set boundaries for yourself...

When you decide that embodying compassion is one of life's greatest tasks and there is no greater love than reaching out to others...

When you take the time to listen - truly and deeply to the gentlest stirrings within your heart...

You have been called by God - or by a power greater than yourself - when you listen. But most especially, when you answer...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

How Can I Love Enough?

Earlier this week, I wrote an entry entitled, "Did you love enough?"

Of course, the question was meant for myself: 

"Did I love enough 
in those situations I faced  in the past - 
and am I loving enough 
in these situations I am currently living?"

And as I have been reflecting on those questions - and its corollary, 

"Have I loved myself enough?" 

I have inevitably been led to consider the following questions:

"How can I love enough?" 

That is to say - 

"How can I love more?"

And then logically, the next question to follow, is simply: 

"How can I love myself more?"

Needless to say, these will keep me entertained for quite some time...

Though this month has not been as slow as I would have wished, I look forward to some days in the near future - hopefully ones that are not as cold as it has been thus far - where I can sit by the riverbank and explore these questions more deeply.

"How can I love enough?
How can I love those around me more?
How can I be more compassionate?
How can I love myself more?
What must I do?"

I invite you to do the same! Find a place where you can be alone with your own thoughts to see where they lead you!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Did You Love Enough?

"Did you love enough?"

This question has been haunting me for nearly a month - ever since a friend brought it up as she reflected on her life and situation.

I went home that afternoon, daring to ask myself the same thing:

"Did I love enough?"

Did I love enough in that situation in the past? Am I loving enough in this situation now?

And inevitably that morphed into:

"Have I loved myself enough?"

No matter the question or its variation - the answer is always the same:


We can never love enough - whether it is someone else - or ourselves. Love by its very nature is expansive. There is always more room to grow.

In loving others however, the key is to love without attachment, without holding on - without being needy. And in loving ourselves - we may simply just need to set boundaries and allow ourselves the right to practice self-care.

We can never love enough - just as we can never meditate deeply enough. We never arrive. There is always another layer - another depth to plumb - there is always more. There is always the possibility for expanding our capacity for love.

The opportunity to shift things is never absent to us - we have the ability to go to the next level, if we are always seeking the highest, even in the most complicated of situations. I believe, that somehow - Love is always the answer and there is always more of it that lies waiting at our core, joyfully expecting to be discovered.

There is so much more that I had intended to share here today, but I know it is not necessary. The question speaks for itself. As does the answer.

As I begin this new year, I do so with this mantra, and with this insatiable query - boring its way into the core of my essence, leading to new realms of self-discovery:

"Did I love enough?"

Even when I felt most hurt by the actions - or the inactions of others?

"Did I love myself enough?"

In those moments when I felt most spent and could not even breathe? Did I take the time to nourish myself even when there were so many demands caving in all around me?

The answer is always NO.

But, every day we can begin again. We can love a little more. We can bring just a tad more compassion to every situation. And we can take a moment or two to breathe and practice self care.

"I can never, EVER Love enough!"

And somehow, that brings me incredible comfort!

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Soaring Spirit in the Company of Angels

I begin the year by inviting angels into my sacred space...

I begin every new year with some kind of ritual...

For years, I began the year by walking a labyrinth in a church. After a decade of doing this, the church no longer offered this as a possibility, so I moved on to other rituals...

I believe that the energy you end a year with and the energy with which you usher in a new year colors that whole year...

So - last year, and this year - I began it by inviting angels and their energy into my life...

I know, it may seem silly to some. But if you don't like the concept of angels - then think of a Power greater than yourself - think of inviting in the the creative energies of the Universe. In other words, invite in whatever resonates...

Angels, like Hindu deities, are simply the embodiment of divine characteristics we wish to emulate or become. And what I find fascinating is - that since I literally opened the door to my home and my heart to the angels - everything I experience - everything I read - and  every message I come across, or "Tweet" that comes my way - seems to be focused on communicating angel energy...

An accident? Or a coincidence?

Does it really matter?

I think not!

The energy we invite in is simply the energy of Love. Is it not this that we seek to embody?

Each one of us, is a unique and irrepeatable manifestation of the Divine. Each one of us - is like a unique Hindu deity - each one manifesting a particular characteristic or constellation of gifts and qualities.

Yes, I begin the year by inviting angels - but they, in turn - invite me to become most fully whom I am meant to be. We are the ones we seek. We are constantly manifesting the attributes of angels to one another, whether we realize it or not...

I share with you, this wonderful message posted by Every Day Spirit, just as I began my angel journey. Last year that journey unfolded in ways I could not have imagined or expected.

And so, I open my arms wide into the future and doorstep of this year! Let my spirit soar! And may I meet yours as well, as we dance together, rejoicing - into the blessings of this coming year!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Beginning the New Year in Gratitude

A New Year arrives on the heels of another that leaves - quietly, silently...

A New Year arrives, full of promise - filled with expectations - rising on the ashes of the previous one...

I meditate in the cloaking darkness, descending on the evening and wrapping me in its arms - and then again in bed - and after rising - bridging two worlds, the night and the day - and two years - old and new...

I reflect on the waning year and all its unexpected blessings and the creative ventures undertaken...

I welcome the new one, filled with possibilities and the impending fruition of all the groundwork laid in the previous year...

I end the year, and begin the new one in gratitude...

i choose to surround myself with all that is positive, and life giving, and loving...

I forgive myself for failings - and others for whatever I perceive might be theirs - mindful of the fact that it may be only my perception which sees it so...

I invite angels and guides to journey with me, every step of the way...

I thank them for their guidance in the previous year...

I dedicate my year to further embodying my mission and task for this lifetime and this year...

I feel Divine Presence all around - and the lightness of the new energy of this year is already evident and seeping into my bones...

May it be so!

All shall be well!

I share these beautiful posts from Every Day Spirit to send you on your way this 2015!

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