Monday, December 31, 2012

Monday's Heart 51, Grow

"Today I have grown taller walking with the trees." 
{Karl Baker}

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Cross


"Humanity is destined to go beyond suffering, but not in the way the ego thinks.  One of the ego's many erroneous assumptions, one of its many deluded thoughts is "I should not have to suffer."  Sometimes the thought gets transferred to someone close to you:  "My child should not have to suffer."  That thought itself lies at the root of suffering.  Suffering has a noble purpose: the evolution of consciousness and the burning up of the ego.  The man on the cross is an archetypal image.  He is every man and every woman.  As long as you resist suffering, it is a slow process because the resistance creates more ego to burn up.  When you accept suffering, however, there is an acceleration of that process which is brought about by the fact that you suffer consciously.  You can accept suffering for yourself, or you can accept it for someone else, such as your child or parent.  In the midst of conscious suffering there is already the transmutation.  The fire of suffering becomes the light of consciousness." ~Eckhart Tolle



Monday, December 24, 2012

Monday's Heart 50, Now

"Now is the Time"

Now is the time to know
That all that you do is sacred.

Now, why not consider
A lasting truce with yourself and God.

Now is the time to understand
That all your ideas of right and wrong
Were just a child's training wheels
To be laid aside
When you can finally live
With veracity
and love.

Hafiz is a divine envoy
Whom the Beloved
Has written a hold message upon.

My dear, please tell me,
Why do you still
Throw sticks at your heart
And God?

What is it in that sweet voice inside
That incites you to fear?

Now is the time for the world to know
That every thought and action is sacred.

This is the time
For you to deeply complete the impossibility

That there is anything
But Grace.

Now is the season to know
That everything you do
Is Sacred.

{Hafiz}

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday's Heart 49, Christmas

Remember, if Christmas isn’t found in your heart, you won’t find it under a tree.
{Charlotte Carpenter}

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday's Heart 48, Sacred

 Living in a secular culture with a passion for the sacred and an awareness of the very real magic that runs throughout life can make you feel a little out of step with the world around you.
{Oriah Mountain Dreamer}

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Humbled

I have returned to the woods. Some of you reading this know that I come out of the woods in the early spring when deer ticks awaken, and return in the late fall, early winter, when they become mostly dormant. I sometimes wonder if this cycle is for a bigger reason; would I explore as much in the winter if the season did not provide me with this suspended-tick window?

I am humbled by the beauty of the woods. Even on days like today, when I feel chilly and unmotivated to bundle up, when I finally do, and get myself out the door, gratitude instantly melts away the chills. Today, though the daylight was grey all around me, all I could see were beautiful colors and patterns. Nature is so elegant.


Culturally, December is an ornate season, filled with glitzy trappings, yet I find the most florid decor on walks in the woods, as if it was placed by sentient beings for the sheer pleasure of me discovering it. Even things that would not be traditionally considered beautiful, are. It is the energy of the woods that provides me with this sensuous experience. I am certain of it. 


In the woods I am alone yet more connected that ever. The trees remind me of that as I trod upon their roots, knowing that each is joined to another in an endless web buried deeply within the earth. Too, their canopy seems to connect the vast space of sky. The trees remind me to reach.


I often refer back to a dream I had where a beautiful tree sailed toward me in a rushing river, and I was frantic thinking I needed to capture it, to place it as a work of art in my home. I could not capture it, but has the artful tree not captured my heart hundreds of times as I walk the forest? Indeed it has.




It is hard to put into words just how much the woods and the walks have changed me, but that has been the mission of my writing about the walks all along. So I try. In a way I have become less tolerant of pretense and more impatient by inauthenticity. My walks in nature have challenged me to both reach higher and dig deeper, and in them I have found my true calling.





Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday's Heart 47, Privilege


The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.
{C.G. Jung}


Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday's Heart 46, Imitate the Trees

Imitate the trees.  Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain.  Sit it out.  Let it all pass.  Let it go.
{May Sarton}

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday's Heart 45, Crystal Clear

"To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong." 
{Joseph Chilton Pearce}

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Monday's Heart 44, Walk

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. 
{Henry David Thoreau}



Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday's Heart 43, Shapeshifter

"If you have ever been called defiant, incorrigible, forward, cunning, insurgent, unruly, rebellious you are on the right track."
{Clarissa Pinkola Estes}

Friday, November 2, 2012

Green Juice! Wow, Who Knew?


It was this easy: I added one unpeeled cucumber, chopped into large pieces, then one stalk of chopped celery with its leaves, then a few leaves of romaine, into my blender and hit liquefy. And this is what I got in less than 5 minutes!


It tastes good--very fresh--albeit a little frothy, probably because I am using a blender and not a juicer, so all the fiber remains in the drink rather than being strained out. I might try straining it. I won't buy a new gadget that I may just let sit on the shelf, so I make do with what I have first. This worked out well. I also bought an avocado to add, but decided to forgo it, wanting a fresh, light drink this morning. I will try it tomorrow maybe, and perhaps cut back a tad on the cucumber, just to experiment. 

Why prepare and consume green juice? Well I suppose that's a fairly easy conclusion for most reading this to draw: for health. I have been following wildly inspirational health guru, Kris Carr, for close to four years now. For those of you who don't know her, there is something different about her approach--she not only talks the health talk, she walks it every day. She is living with a slow growing cancer that she has choreographed into her life skillfully. Her life is filled with mesmerizing dances of pure goodness: a terrific blog that includes her day to day happenings, whole food cookbooks with delicious recipes, and terrific talks about what she has learned, and is still learning, about eating well. She met and married her husband after her diagnosis and they are currently renovating a farmhouse in Woodstock, New York and what else, growing vegetables! 

Kris Carr {via}
Kris is just so inspirational and so educational in such an electrifying way, she makes me want to drink green juice instead of coffee, and for any one who knows me, that is no easy shift! 

It's taken me a while because I kind of psyched myself out with the juicer vs. blender thing, and now look, I can make my own green juice, who knew??


What's more is I've been inspired by getting new followers, for the past four months. It makes me want  to continue to write and share my walk.

A while ago I wrote Table of Eight, my second most read story. At the time of the story I had received the Table of Eight chain email and had realized I had eight followers, and thus my table was already set, so to speak. In it I also said:

"If you stumble upon this story, and feel so inclined, drop me a line , or "follow" me, to let me know you would like to join the table from time to time. I want to hear what you have to say, and it's really nice to know you are at my table."

So thank you to my new followers and for the terrific comments I've received. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, it's nice to have you at my table.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday's heart 42, Fall in Love


One day, after a drawing exercise, one of my students said in amazement,
"Every time I draw something I fall in love!"  I wasn't surprised to hear this,
because I know that when we wake up to the world around us in full form,
with vivid colors, lines, and shapes, we become filled with awe and wonder.
It is easy to fall in love with the things we've walked past so many times,
because we realize that the world is offering itself to us like a lover longing
for our embrace and recognition.  Receiving the universe in all its diversity
allows us a new self-appreciation, and coming to a level of self-acceptance
and self-love prepares us to love the world in return.  When this
awareness lives at our core, celebration becomes a way of life.
{Adriana Diaz}

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Steering in the Dark

I've been listening to a lot of positive stuff in the last month, forty plus hours of it in fact. I signed up for SARK's newsletter quite a while ago, and she often gives great recommendations for those who want to experience creativity beyond limitations, and that's how I came across the marvelous series I just listened to.

Each day, a new speaker, including SARK, would come on and give a two hour discussion about how she, or he, changed her/his life and what exercises she/he developed to do so. It was fascinating and I learned a lot. I learned the brain is malleable and can change according to the thoughts and perceptions we put into it. I learned that each of our lives has a design, a matrix, that can sometimes hold us in old beliefs systems and thought patterns that do not serve us, but can be changed.

Then, after the month was over, and after using many of the terrific tips, like repeating phrases to remind yourself when you want to release an old pattern and shift, such as, "Who does that  belong to?", I crashed a little--for about two days. I went back into the scary place, but it was with the new knowledge I had, and I have learned that the most important key to removing negative patterns is staying in the present moment. By staying in the present moment and just feeling whatever feelings are coming up, we can release our ego, which is basically our bound up old beliefs, many of which do not serve us and are free to go, if we recognize this and let them.

After two days I came out of the heavy feelings of fear, sadness, and anger and felt very uplifted, I felt a profuse amount of love and lightness, and infinite possibility. Nothing in my life had changed greatly, but I think what happened was I reached a point of acceptance, and from this place I opened up to gratitude for the life I have.

This morning I drove my son to high school in the dark, at 6:30, so he could arrive early to take a bus to Boston and walk the Freedom Trail. Again, gratitude and  lightness filled me, though I was surrounded by the darkness. I noticed things I had not before and appreciated them. I appreciated the lit up windows in the homes I drove past and the fact that people were arising to begin a new day. I saw things for a brief moment in a different way, and imagined that if I had arrived here from another planet, I might think about how pleasant this place I was in seemed, sweet little constructs of goodness and routine with the best of intentions, as around me, people arose and moved to create their day before them.

At the same I was aware that patterns and matrixes and belief systems serve a purpose, but can also be observed and redesigned from within, that it is a good idea to see things differently from time to time, that it fills us with hope and newness.

A week later I had this dream:

It is pitch black and I am driving a familiar road. Driving this road and not being able to see a thing is also familiar. I try to make out shapes around me so I can stay on the road and not hit anything, but it is pure black. I know the feel of the road, and know, because I have navigated in the dark before, I can probably do so safely now. Then the sky lightens up enough that I can see the outlines of mountains, cliffs, and trees.. I feel fearful but decide to look the darkness in the eye and ask to be shown the meaning of this dream. I feel prepared to accept the message and fearless. 

The very next night I have this dream:

I am in a new home with my family. The home is comfortable and has all we need. The rooms are bright and spacious, with hard wood floors. I have plenty of furniture and lots of options for arrangement. I notice that there is a changing table set up in my bedroom along a wall, and that I can actually get rid of it and put a dresser there. I choose a white one from my spare room. I also notice another wall with an oval mirror where I can put this dresser, it will give me more space next to my bed. My old home is in the back of my mind but it does not bother me that I have moved. 

We have choices about how we navigate our life. If we find ourselves feeling dark, we can just observe, not judge, and go about our day confident that within ourselves we have a light that will illuminate the way.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday's Heart 40, Infinite Heart


Disregard appearances, conditions, in fact all evidence of your senses that deny the fulfillment of your desire. Rest in the assumption that you are already what you want to be, for in that determined assumption you and your Infinite Being are merged in creative unity, and with your Infinite Being (God) all things are possible. God never fails. 
{Neville}


Definition of INFINITE

1
: extending indefinitely : endless <infinite space>
2
: immeasurably or inconceivably great or extensive :inexhaustible <infinite patience>
3
: subject to no limitation or external determination {infinite heart}

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday's Heart 39, New Light

This new sense of what is possible and good comes only after a dark period in recent years of finding myself bereft, separated from the old faith, abandoned by the deal-making deity in whom I professed no belief even as I semi-consciously tried to negotiate a back-room deal to earn a cure with personal work, sacrifice, and faux-surrender. (It's not real surrender if you keep peeking to see if the hoped for outcome is arriving.)
{Oriah Mountain Dreamer}



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Twelve Signs of Magic

This is a photo essay that began with the intention to find magic. Truly, when I am on my walks, or in nature, I feel the magic all around me. Nature speaks to me in so many ways. Its communication is wordless but powerful. Being in nature changes me, it teaches me, and reminds me of who I am, why I am here.  


Here's a taste of some of the magic~* for you.

{1} Polka Dots on Monarchs

{2} Painted Turtles


{3} Stools for Toads


{4} Camouflaged Caterpillars


{5} Unexpected Blooms

{6} Visiting Rabbits


{7} Hummingbirds Wearing Rubies

{8} Mushroom Roses


{9}Trees with Personalities

{10} Visiting Deer*

{11} Illuminated Heart Paths

{12} Light

*A magical little story of the deer in photo 10:
I was standing on the end of the path, opposite of where the deer is standing, doing a yoga breath called "hara" breath. In hara breath you blow out with a loud sigh that sounds like, "HAH". I had my eyes closed and when I opened them, there the deer stood, we stared at each other for quite a while. I can only imagine that it came out of hiding to see what kind of animal was making that sound. ;^D


Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday's Heart 38, Heart Path


Authenticity is the alignment of head, mouth, heart, and feet - thinking, saying, feeling, and doing the same thing - consistently. 
{Lance Secretan}



 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday's Heart 37, Inner Goddess

If you listen to your inner goddess, you will see that you have reinvented yourself, and ask, what do I do with this reinvention?
{Erin Elizabeth}


Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday's Heart 36, Healing Heart

"All healing is first a healing of the heart." 
{Carl Townsend}


Happy Birthday Mom! Four months and one week after aortic valve replacement surgery and halfway through cardiac rehabilitation therapy and going strong! <3



Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday's Heart 35, Sensitive

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their was out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
{Elizabeth Kubler Ross}

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday's Heart 34, Authentic


This above all:
To thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
 - Hamlet, Shakespeare


Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday's Heart 33, Hummingbird Medicine


"Mother hummingbirds are hard workers. This is necessary, for they receive no help from their mate. She will usually lay two eggs, again very symbolic. Two is the number of the inner self, the feminine to which we must give birth and expression to find our joy."
{Ted Andrews, Animal Speak}

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday's Heart 32, Kiss the Ground

Today, like every other day,
we wake up empty and frightened.
Don't open the door to the study
and begin reading.
Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love
be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways
to kneel and kiss the ground.
{Jalahad Rumi}