Standing in the Light

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At a crossroad, walking into the light.

You don’t have to agree with someone else’s life style.

You don’t have to agree with their politics.

You don’t have to agree with their personal beliefs.

You don’t have to agree with the way they raise their children.

Or groom their pets.

Or drive.

Or park their car.

You don’t have to agree with anything someone else does.

And you don’t have to like it–whatever it is.

You do have to let them be.

You do have to allow them to live as they choose.

You do have to respect everyone’s right to live/love/worship as they see fit.

All you need to do is step aside and focus on their humanity.

Focus on your heart.

Focus on who you are as an expansive being of light and let everything else go.

We are all standing in the same light whether we like it or not. And depending on where we stand, the light shines upon us in varying hues and shades of color. While we perceive the light that surrounds us with different senses of perspective and perception, the light stays the same. We cannot change the light.

We can argue that gold is better than white or blue is better than pink. However, the source of light is the same. The waves of light that give us life are exactly the same throughout the universe. The light will never change.

We are in this life together.

We are in this light forever.

We are One.

Moving Forward

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The cycle has ended, that seven years of waiting, watching, and wondering, and I am free once again to move forward.

In my own mind’s eye, I see my progress as up and away rather than a steady forward motion, a releasing of my feet from the confines of the earth’s gravity to float just above the scrim of the earth. This time there will be no dragging of my veils along the mountain tops, no artificial and tenuous connection to keep me grounded. I am no longer in acceptance mode, taking whatever is blithely given, accepting what little is offered. I am taking my sickle out of hiding; I am reaping whatever remains of those spindly seeds planted long ago. I am ripping up the ground that has encased my feet in sucking quicksand. I am launching my soul into a new life of desire and plenty. I seek abundance and joy. I seek pleasure and company. I seek happiness and comfort. The mewling worm of simple platitudes is dead. The gypsy butterfly of glory is born. My life unfolds along mysterious ley lines as the future stretches out before me, an unfurling map of adventure. My home is a distant twinkling flame beckoning me, a tiny space of light and warmth and comfort.

In my heart, I know that I AM…

…moving forward.

Love Yourself Today

Life changes. The days may seem to plod along, one after the other, in a monotonous reverie of sameness, but in the background, just past where your eyes and ears and heart can sense movement, the earth is shifting on its axis and change occurs.

I believe that we are the creators of our universe; I believe that each choice we make takes us closer–or farther away–from where we want to be; I believe that holding our intentions and our vibrations is the way our lives, thoughts, and feelings change. But I also believe that there are greater plans afoot than ours, plans created through intent and purpose that is grander than our minds can comprehend, plans that creep in on tiptoe to catch us by surprise.

Savannah called me home several months ago.  A short visit with family turned into weeks and then months of making friends, finding gratitude, and becoming immersed in the healing of sound and light. I found that I could breathe and think again surrounded by family–despite the heat and the mugginess and the humid frizz. I found that I could let go of those little pieces of me that felt dry and withered and allow new growth. And with that growth came new and more opportunities to let go of old patterns and behaviors and old anchors and thoughts and feelings that no longer apply to me. I stepped out of the cave that was me in another phase of my life and into the current of another phase of me, into a life that matters to me.

I feel as though I’ve been standing on a precipice of understanding, perched precariously on a crumbling outcrop of false security and feigned love. I’ve been hanging on tightly to a dream and an idea that is based in hope and fantasy. I’ve been seeing myself through someone else’s eyes, taking my cues from a distorted sense of responsibility that is not my own. As I’ve allowed my days to plod, one after the other, in monotony, taking little responsibility for where I’m headed, I’ve forgotten how to love myself for who I truly am.

So, today, I choose to set aside all expectation. I choose to be the power that I have become. Today, I choose to love myself for me and me alone and know that I AM.

And that’s enough for me.

From a FB post from Sparks of Hope. In an effort to share the hope (and love), I hope they, and Notsalmon.com) don't mind me sharing.

From a FB post from Sparks of Hope. In an effort to share the hope (and love), I hope they, and Notsalmon.com, don’t mind me sharing.

Acceptance

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I’ve been spending a lot of time alone lately (even more so than is usual for cave dweller me). I’ve been listening to the roar and the snarl of the world around me as people and lifestyles and beliefs are weighed and judged. It saddens me that still today–STILL–there is an an entrenched idea that one individual, or group or minority/majority has the right to judge another. I am confounded by the thought that anyone feels they have the right to wave in someone else’s face a flag, a book, or a belief and call it an absolute moral compass.

As we step into a new age of understanding of who we are as spiritual beings and who we could be as human beings, perhaps it is time to get over ourselves, to give up our grip on tired, beat up dogma and accept each other for the glorious souls we are.

Like it or not, WE ARE ONE–even in our perfect and spectacular difference.

Stepping Off the Path–and Getting Lost in the Weeds

 

From Pinterest: Mystic path. Sendero místico.  by Zú Sánchez. on Flickr

From Pinterest: Mystic path. Sendero místico. by Zú Sánchez. on Flickr

 

For the past four years, I’ve worked diligently to establish my sense of myself as a writer. Following my own plan and routine, I’ve spent pretty much every waking moment writing or thinking or talking or dreaming about writing. I’ve given myself short breaks, a day or two here and there, but for the most part even during those hours and days of respite, the stories continued to flow through my mind, the voices muted to a whisper but always in the background, patiently waiting.

For the last few months, I feel as though I’ve stepped off my life’s path and have been stumbling around in the weeds that grow beside it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I’ve come to realize that the more I ramble about, the more I learn to identify and admire the weeds, the more comfortable I feel meandering away from my path and that is a scary thought.

I had great expectations for the New Year. I decided that 2014 was going to be positive, “The Year of I Want To,” twelve months of doing exactly and only those things that I want to do rather than doing the things I feel like I have to do. Into my routine, I’d insinuate a disciplined hour of journaling every morning (rather than scribbling down my thoughts about the day in a few hurried minutes at night right before bed); I’d burn incense and meditate each and every morning without fail; I’d stretch back into my yoga practice; I’d still get up early but I’d set a more realistic schedule for myself, beginning my work day later (9-ish) and end it earlier (6-ish) so that I could bring walks and fun and balance back into my life. (In retrospect, I’m convinced that the sound I heard outside my window as I sat at my desk and planned my year was not the wind at all but was, in fact, the Universe laughing hysterically.)

January rolled around and my life took a sharp turn. My routines were interrupted, my days were spent focused on everything but writing, everything that had to be done or needed to be done rather than what I wanted to do. I convinced myself that once the work was done, once the house was painted, the garage was emptied and organized, the shed was cleaned out, the yard was fertilized and weeded and pruned, the car was replaced, our money issues were resolved, and my life was turned on its head, I’d get back to writing, that I’d get my plan back in action and the writing would commence in earnest. (Or I’d just abandon all hope and get a real job.)

In my mind, I see this detour as a strange little road trip. I see myself bumping along my path, eyes forward, scanning the horizon for dips and turns, hills and valleys. I swerve to miss a pothole now and then but for the most part I am right on track, aiming for the sweet spot right in the center where the going is easy. Then, out of the blue, a storm kicks up and my little patch of paved road turns to dirt and mud. Lightning strikes up ahead and I find my path is blocked by downed trees and blown debris. But hey, there’s a rest stop right there so I pull off my path and take a breather. Before I know it, the rain’s gone, the sun’s shining, and it’s time to get back on the road. But while I’ve been sitting in the parking lot waiting for the storm to pass, eating Cheetos and watching the road wash away, nagging little thoughts have crept into my mind and they’re not just about the long and winding road ahead but about the vehicle I’m in. When was the last time I changed the oil? When was the last time I bought new tires? Checked the blinkers or the brake lights? When was the last time I looked down at the gas gauge or the odometer reading? And–oh, look! Is that a dandelion? I love dandelions! There’s another one over there! No, that’s a daisy. I love daisies! (Sigh.)

The weeds have grown tall around me. (They’re green and have the sweetest little white and yellow flowers.) I should get a blanket and sit down right here and read for a while, I think. Reading is a good thing, an old passion that makes me happy. But it feels like there’s something I’m missing, something I should be doing. I’ve stepped off my path and gotten lost in the weeds but I can hear a rumble off in the distance. Maybe it’s my path calling me back. Or maybe it’s the Universe laughing hysterically.

When I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

Jingles, Tingles, and Shingles: It’s That Time of Year Again

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It’s a dark and dreary night. The sky is black with rain clouds and the wind is whipping the branches outside my window into a frenzy of tap, tap, tapping. But that can’t be right! It’s 7:27 in the morning, ten days before Christmas and all should be shiny and bright! If I look out my window to the right, I can see the neighbors-across-the-street’s tree blinking through their front bay window. If I look to the left, I can see a blow-up Santa surrounded by colorful lights being batted around by the wind. So, all is shiny and bright through the storm. Well, shiny, anyway, and slick with rain.

Christmas in Florida is just not the same as Christmas in Maryland or Ohio or New Mexico. There’s no snow (I miss snow!) or sparkling ice or icicles (I miss icicles!). The temperature dipped down into the low seventies this past week (brrr) but besides the pine cone wreath on the front door and the neighbors’ lights reflecting off the rain puddles in the street, nothing feels Christmasy this year.

I’m tempted to buy a can or two of snow and frost the windows just for fun. Or paint my front door bright red. Or dress my dogs in ugly Santa sweaters or hats with jingle bells. (That might work for Sophie but the other two would put up a fight, I’m sure. They’re pretty sensitive when it comes to their dignity.) 

Shopping doesn’t put me in the Christmas mood either. The stores are crowded and the pickings are slim when it comes to buying woolly sweaters and socks, gloves, and mittens, and sheep skin coats and hats. Most stores simply don’t carry them, which is sensible I suppose since the big sellers seem to be Hawaiian shirts with Santa under palm trees on them and red and green beach umbrellas. This is a tourist town, I keep reminding myself, filled with people desperate to get away from the wintery things I miss.  Maybe next year is my mantra now. Maybe next year I will roll in snow and freeze my butt off. Maybe next year I’ll return to one of my old haunts and get snowed in. Maybe next year!

This year, I will listen for the jingle of sleigh bells on the radio; I will wait for the tingles that come with watching It’s a Wonderful Life for the hundredth time; I will be thankful for the correct diagnosis of shingles, take my medications, and think of my red itchy patches of skin as organic holiday decorations; and I will think of Tiny Tim and his message of hope:

God bless us, every one!

 

 

 

Black Friday (and Shopping on Thanksgiving Day!): What’s the Point?

No Shopping

I’ve never understood the need for Black Friday in our culture. Then again, I’ve never understood decorating a Christmas tree on Thanksgiving Day. Sure, maybe it’s the best time to recruit willing hands, family hands to get all the holiday decorating done, but this mish-mashing of holidays just seems overwhelming to me.

Then throw Black Friday into the mix. Yikes! I can honestly say that I have never, ever shopped on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Then again, I‘ve never used shopping as a sport, as a way to relax, or as a pumper-upper of my own self-esteem. I shop only when I absolutely have to and then it’s with a list, a plan, and an internal stop-watch that I hear ticking in my head as I cruise the aisles. Get in and get out! That’s the way I shop.

I’m all for saving money. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I am frugal (or more likely cheap!). I don’t mind spending money on my loved ones, but I refuse to overspend on designer label jeans or shoes. (I don’t care if they’re the only jeans my five year old granddaughter will wear, I’m not paying $90–even if they are on sale!) But designating one whole day–and now at least three days if you start counting Wednesday night and Thanksgiving Day–to shop is utterly ridiculous. We have turned our holidays into celebrations of consumer gluttony and our children into maniacal materialists. Frankly, I don’t like it one little bit and I refuse to participate.

I realize that I’m in the minority and that as long as there are people out there who will spend their time and money running and pushing and shoving to shop, retailers will invent new ways to spark the greed. I also realize that I can blithely say this as my living does not depend on retail customers who have an abundance of stores to choose from. I would like to reclaim at least one holiday, however, have one day on which we do nothing besides give thanks for what we already have.

So, I’ll say it today: Thank you to all of my loyal readers and followers for your kind support and comments. Thank you to every internet developer, programmer, and techie who makes it possible for me to write my blog, send email, and connect with the world outside my cave. Thank you to my friends who know that I love and care about them even while I’m working. And thank you to my family who supports me in everything I do and everything I write, no matter how strange it may seem. I am blessed to have a comfy cave, old broken-in comfortable clothes and shoes, plenty of healthy food, good, clean water, and enough love to last me ten lifetimes. I am blessed and I don’t need to go shopping to prove it.

Charley Brown Thanksgiving