Sunday, November 29, 2015

Honoring Our Journey

The days grow shorter. The Thanksgiving feast is now a memory and my thoughts turn to the rest of the holiday season. The temperature has dropped and today I'm sitting at my computer wearing sweats listening to Christmas music while I enjoy the sound of rain on the patio. Bentley, my feline companion, has made himself comfortable on his favorite chair and we are both appreciating a quiet rainy day.

This is a festive time of year filled with celebrations, shopping, and family gatherings. But it is also the time of year to reflect on the lessons learned, honoring areas of inner growth and expansion. The soul's journey requires tending. 

It is also a time of reflecting on the relationships in life and how we nurture them. Relationships, like our physical and spiritual well-being, need to be tended. What needs to be released and what needs to be nourished? What changes do I want to make and what is working well?

As we move from late fall to winter it is important to note that winter is the final phase of the twelve-month cycle of Earth’s seasons. Like all cycles, winter holds evidence and clues within it about what came before, what is and what will likely be. The energy of winter is an ending and a new beginning. There is increasing darkness, the darkest point and then the shift toward increasing light.

At this time of year I look to nature to show me her rhythm, her way of "being." She is quiet. Her leaves cover the ground, decomposing. During the process of decomposition, the decomposers provide food for themselves by extracting chemicals from organic wastes to produce energy. The decomposers will then produce waste of their own. In turn, this will also decompose, eventually returning nutrients to the soil. These nutrients can then be taken up by the roots of living plants enabling them to grow and develop, so that organic material is naturally recycled. Virtually nothing goes to waste in nature.

During this season of quiet reflection and review, I encourage each of you to recycle your energies. Renew, refresh, and envision the richness of your journey to date and the possibility that lies before you. This is the season we are invited to go within and honor our personal journey. In the darkness of winter, may we find our own light. May we shine and, collectively, may we brighten the world.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Becoming Peace

Made from Bone 
by Mark Nepo
(from Reduced to Joy)
When I can be the truth,
it grows more and more clear
when it is necessary to tell the truth.  
That is, when I have access to the place
within me that is lighted, I don't have
to speak heatedly. I can just give away
warmth. When I am still enough to brush
quietly with eternity, I don't have to
speak of God. I can just offer peace
to those around me.  
A tree grows so it can convey wind.
It is not the wind. And a person grows
in order to convey spirit.  
They say that animals recharge
their innocence each time they hoof
the earth. And we are reborn
each time we touch what matters.
It has been months since I last sat down to write a blog entry. It's not that my life has been stagnant - quite the contrary - but it feels like I've been percolating, sifting through relationships and situations, preparing for something new to open. What new truth is being birthed within me? How do I walk this earth in a way that offers peace to those around me? How do I shift with the ongoing winds of change? How do I become truth and kindness in life's journey when I am triggered by situations and relationships that bring up the old limitations of my inner child? 

This is an ongoing theme for all humans and I'm no exception! My relationship with my father often resurfaces during one of these cycles and invites me to reflect on what is true and what is not. When there is a misunderstanding with a friend or family member, and it is necessary for me to retreat into myself for reflection, I ask the ancestors, "What is the truth behind this feeling? What is the lesson I am being invited to learn?"

I am grateful for the fact that both my parents wanted me and welcomed me into their lives. The fact that they didn't have a sense of who they were in the world must have been confusing but they did know that they wanted a family and believed that they would protect the children they brought into the world. During the first few years of life they showered me with love and affection.

But when adolescence descended, in my parents eyes, I became a child they no longer understood and my father's faith in his ability to guide and protect me was shaken and he was afraid of my encroaching sense of independence. My rebellion terrified him and he retreated into himself. The strong man I had depended on was floundering without a compass. But the foundation of love that I received as a child had given me roots and has allowed me to find my center through each storm and cycle in my life.

This ongoing cycle of death and rebirth allows us to be reborn again and again. Whatever our beginnings were, the lessons provided were exactly what we needed in order to become our soul's true self. If we tune into our inner knowing and follow that thread to our own truth, we connect with the Divine within and are able to shift with the winds of change. We are "reborn each time we touch what matters."

There is a beautiful song by India Arie called "I Am Light" that sums up the truth that Mark Nepo writes about in "Made From Bone."
I am Light 
I am not the things my family did
I am not the voices in my head
I am not the pieces of the brokenness inside 
I am Light 
I am not the mistakes I have made
or any of the things that caused me pain
I am not the pieces of the dream I left behind 
I am Light 
I am not the color of my eyes
I am not the skin on the outside
I am not my age
I am not my race
my soul inside is all light 
I am Light 
I am divinity defined
I am the god on the inside
I am a star
a piece of it all
I am Light 

May you continue to discover your own inner truth and become peace for you are Light!