Friday, December 31, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
(Although I don't necessarily believe in literal interpretations of the Bible, there is a great wealth of wisdom therein. The above concept could well have come from any number of sources, both ancient and modern.)
Although we come to this world perfect and whole, we immediately develop needs and wants. Any person could easily name dozens of their own needs and wants. Often, the needs and wants become tangled up and twisted into knots. How do we separate what we want from what we need? Beyond the basic survival needs, what else is truly required?
The measure of a person comes from how they define this for themselves. It also comes from how they pursue their needs and wants.
Do you ask? Do you seek? Do you knock on the door? Or do you cringe, hold back your love, or complain, because what you need or want is not in front of you?
Friday, November 19, 2010
Taking a moment to reflect on that, I think of the only thing that God asks of us: love. The only thing we have to do is love God. How do we do that? Simply by loving that which God created: our essential selves. To love one another is simple. It is not easy, especially when we are called to love some very problematic people. It is not easy, especially when we are called to love ourselves no matter what. But that is all we have to do.
Simple, but not easy.
If we persevere through the difficulty of this simple task, we have made the world better. If we all do this, the world will be a lot better.
Have no fear, for you are not alone. God shows us how to love unconditionally every day.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
We tend to believe that we cannot change the past. That is essentially true in a physical sense, since we live in a linear world. What we can change, however, is our view of the past. Let's say, for example, we did something in the past which we regret. Today we live with the consequences of our past action. If we choose to atone for the past action, we alter our view of it. We amend the past by making amends!
The way we view the past from our present standpoint, then, makes all the difference. If we only focus on regret or guilt, we do not alter the memory for the better; we only validate it as a negative experience. If we amend our view of the past, we take a step towards mending our present self. This doesn't mean glossing over past wrongs. It means acceptance and love of all life experiences, for they are all rich with learning opportunities. Who couldn't say they have learned more from their failures than from their successes?
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
When this happens, I can help by sending some Light in the direction of that person. It does not need to be obvious, or even accompanied by any physical sign that this is taking place. This is purely a mental exercise. Sending Light to one who needs it is perhaps one of the easiest ways to give to another.
Now, here is the most important part: as soon as I send this person some Light, I immediately send this same Light to myself. This is key. I must acknowledge and receive that which I give freely to another. Light is infinite, after all. This giving and receiving can happen in an instant, and change the entire dynamic of your encounter.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
With so much change swirling around my life (yet once again, or still, whatever), I do find myself longing for silence. That does not only mean silence from the outer world. It also means silence inside of myself. I am not always handling the change well. I am being loud, when it would be better to be quiet. I am being quiet, when it would be better to speak out. I haven't really resolved this. I am simply recording my present state of mind. In that sense, this is more truly a diary entry than a blog post. SO be it. I am not in the mood to care what anyone else thinks about what I have to say. I don't mean that in any belligerent sense. I am tired of justifying my emotions, to myself or to others. I don't want to explain anything. I don't want to hear anything. I crave silence. In silence, I could think. In silence I could figure out what to do next. Or could I?
Monday, October 4, 2010
This has always been a tough one to accept. How can you be safe if you do not defend yourself when necessary? Certainly that is not the predominant world view. I admit, I ponder this statement quite a bit. I even evoke it in order to banish fear. Amazingly, the very act of saying this seemingly paradoxical sentence is sometimes enough to evoke a feeling of calm and peace!
What is safety anyway? When we are safe, we tend to take it for granted. When our safety is threatened (and let's face it, mostly it's about physical safety), we know it! It is a very real feeling, and the feeling is - you guessed it - FEAR.
So, then it all comes back to the basic tenet of ACIM (doesn't it always?) - which is that there are really only two emotions, Love and Fear. Whatever is not Love, is Fear. Leaving aside your objections to this reductivism, if I, in a time of unsafeness (real or perceived), choose to invoke LOVE, what happens? Well, Love in its pure form must be defenseless. We cannot truly love when there are any kind of barriers. Therefore, we love and we are safe. In our defenselessness, our safety lies.
How's that for being vigilant, World?
Monday, September 27, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I am beginning to read a wonderful book called "Transforming Fate into Destiny" by Robert Ohotto.
"You may have heard that Fate is the hand of cards that life deals you, and Destiny is how you play it. This means that through your soul’s agreement with Destiny, you must transform your Fate into something more life affirming, thus leaving this world a better place. Destiny is your capacity to live out the threads of your Fate in a unique way that only you can do, while having a positive vibrational impact on the world’s energy and soul.” – From the book
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
But what about Meredith? The ways I take care of myself are generally, er, expedient in nature. I think the first change will be to do less of that. That sounds cryptic, and it is meant to be so. I am playing my cards close to the chest. I want to be mysterious. I need to stop making excuses and start making sense - to myself.
And that is my birthday reflection.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
The Chambered Nautilus
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809–1894)
THIS is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign,
Sails the unshadowed main,—
The venturous bark that flings
On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings
In gulfs enchanted, where the siren sings,
And coral reefs lie bare,
Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming hair.
Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl;
Wrecked is the ship of pearl!
And every chambered cell,
Where its dim dreaming life was wont to dwell,
As the frail tenant shaped his growing shell,
Before thee lies revealed,—
Its irised ceiling rent, its sunless crypt unsealed!
Year after year beheld the silent toil
That spread his lustrous coil;
Still, as the spiral grew,
He left the past year’s dwelling for the new,
Stole with soft step its shining archway through,
Built up its idle door,
Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no more.
Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee,
Child of the wandering sea,
Cast from her lap, forlorn!
From thy dead lips a clearer note is born
Than ever Triton blew from wreathèd horn!
While on mine ear it rings,
Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings:—
Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low-vaulted past!
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea!
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
(1564 - 1616)
Monday, June 21, 2010
Can we change the past? What effect does regret have on the past? Or, is regret really about the present, even though it seems to be focused on the past? Our feelings about the past are always happening now, after all.
We can never visit the past, not in a real sense. That is the nature of humanity. We live life in a linear fashion, ever moving forward. It is only our minds that visit the past. Our minds can do amazing things, using memory to relive, alter, glorify, condemn, excoriate, justify, exonerate...regret...
But it's all in our minds. We don't ever go back to the past in reality. What if we could? Would we be able to release regret if we could?
This weekend, I heard someone say, "The past is a country you can never visit." It was a timely reminder to bring myself to the present. Regret is a trick of the mind to try to visit the past. Staying in the present is a way of letting go of regret. It is a continual process, for some reason, because we, or at least I, tend to relive past moments.
What would it be like to never have any regrets? What would it be like to always live in the present? It's how I imagine heaven to be.....talk about a country you can never visit! :-)
Sunday, June 13, 2010
DH and I were watching the kids on the bumper car rides, when I noticed Colin Firth standing ten feet away from me! He was waiting for his boy on another ride. He was just standing there by himself, just a regular fellow. He was so unassuming that at first I couldn't believe it was him!
Now, I knew when I moved here that he lives in this neighborhood. It was my most fervent wish that one day I would chance to see him around town. I imagined him, dashing and debonair, striding down the street, perhaps with a small entourage. And I would catch a quick glimpse of his wonderful self, but wouldn't dream of actually approaching him, or being able to for that matter!
So, here he was, just a dad out with his kid. He looked older and considerably less polished than his Hollywood persona, but the calm intensity in his manner was still there.
I looked his way a few times, but didn't want to stare, so I pretended to be looking at the ride. Then he walked away to another ride. I told DH that I had seen Colin Firth, and wasn't that wonderful? When the kids came off their ride, we walked down the path in the same direction.
Suddenly, there he was, and DH stopped, and said to him, "Excuse me, would you please say hello to my wife, and shake her hand?" Colin Firth was, in true British fashion, calm and expressionless. He stuck his hand out, said "Hello." And I took his hand, and it was...dry...and a bit cold and rough. Not what I expected! I managed to say "Nice to see you," and gave his hand a quick squeeze before turning away.
It happened so very quickly, and I was so amazed that DH did that for me! I would never have done it. But now I can die a happy woman because I have touched Colin Firth, one of my favorite actors.
I never thought of myself as star struck. But it was thrilling.
As we left the area, he was there, watching his boy on the bumper cars.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
There are physical, emotional, mental and spiritual challenges each and every day. And each one of these vies for my attention, often at the same time. And that's just me. Then there are the three others I live with.
It's enough to keep me busy, that's for sure. I wonder sometimes how I get as much done as I do. Yet it never seems like enough.
Most of all, it never seems like enough fun is in my life. That's a comment, not a complaint. I'm sure once I get the house settled and unpacked, and we have been here a while longer, that more fun will come. I hope. Until then: glub, glub.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Maybe that discrepancy will always be apparent. Maybe in time, I won't even notice such things. After all, there are plenty of American accents in the adverts, and plenty of British actors on American shows.
It's like when I am walking down the street here. Just in my neighborhood, when I pass people who are conversing, easily half the time they are not speaking English of any kind! Most often, I hear French or German.
All of this reminds me, throughout the day, that I am in a foreign country. And I am guest here. I wonder when I will feel at home here? When I stop comparing?
Sunday, May 9, 2010
The air shipment, of about 12 cartons of our belongings, was supposed to have been delivered in 1 to 2 weeks of its leaving our home. The ash cloud, after delaying our own arrival, also delayed the shipment of our things. Three weeks after we left our US home, our boxes arrived on our doorstep.
I had been eagerly anticipating their delivery. I was not really sure, or maybe only sure in a general sense, of what was in the boxes. The craziness of those final days left my brain in such a bewildered state. I tried to stay focused and organized, tried to think ahead to what we might truly need and want after the first week or two. How did I think that I'd want 5 kitchen towels but no oven mitts? Or a six month's supply of toothpaste and Advil, but not a trash can? Or all the hanging clothes in my closet, but not one of daughter's stuffed animals?
Truthfully, I did spend a great deal of time in those expectant days before the boxes came, thinking about "stuff." I thought about its meaning and importance. I thought about its relative unimportance, actually, when compared with, say, our health or happiness. Do we really, truly need all this stuff, in order to be happy? I am telling myself that, no, we don't need any of it. But the truth remains, we want it. It was incredibly comforting to unpack my cooking utensils, the familiar old forks and knives,my yoga mat, the duster, my sneakers (sorry, trainers), even the toilet plunger! I obviously thought that was vital!!
I could live another long time without any of it. But in these days of newness, when everything is strange and unfamiliar, it is nice to see these little bits of home.
Now I can turn my attention to the next big event: the sea shipment. More STUFF. Remind me of this when I am wondering where I am going to put all of it.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England - now!
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops - at the bent spray's edge -
That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
- Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!
~ Robert Browning
I thought this was a fitting title for my first post in my new home. Apparently, Browning was feeling nostalgic for his homeland when he wrote this. I think he lived in Italy after his wife died.
Now, here I am, on the last day of April, living in England. I'm sure I must have lived here in another life. Even though it is strange and different, it also feels familiar somehow. As I walk down the street, tiny pink and white petals are shaken from the trees by the breeze, and it looks like it is snowing flowers. Absolutely poetic. It feels like I am in a dream, but I am awake.
Monday, April 5, 2010
The outer shell, your body, of course, will inevitably show the signs of wear and tear. Taking care of your body is essential. But accepting the aging of the shell is just as important. To deny that is to deny an authentic part of who you are at any given point in your life!
Monday, March 29, 2010
That is exactly opposite from the truth. I need do nothing in order to know Peace. Well, the only thing I must do is to endeavor to quiet my mind. When that happens, I can see that Peace is already there. Peace is my constant companion, my one true friend. Peace never lets me down or abandons me. Peace has got my back, more than any other human could or would. Peace knows me.
Peace is in the quiet space between my cells. Peaces smiles at all the changes going on in my life. Peace is in the singing of my heart. Peace is, was, and always will be, with me.
May Peace be With You!
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
That loving is, in great measure, a solitary experience, goes against our desire for it to be a union of spirits. No doubt Love calls us to become both more human and more divine. Though we may hear its call, we too often rush to the comfort of the merging, instead of bravely facing that aspect that urges us to learn by, for and with Love in and of itself, and often by ourselves. When we meet others on our way, we can each respond to this higher calling, or we can respond to the wounded parts, in ourselves or in each other, that keep us from getting to the true harvest.
Monday, January 11, 2010
"Pumpkin," who was a pumpkin, came to live with us in the autumn. This was the mid-1970's, and I am not sure which year...some of them kind of blend together in my memory. It must have been a lean year, because the house was cold enough that winter for Pumpkin to stay fresh and clean. We were amazed by how long Pumpkin stayed, well,pumpkin-like. We grew quite fond of Pumpkin the longer Pumpkin stayed. It was not until late the next spring that Pumpkin finally began to show signs of decay. We gave Pumpkin a decent send-off at Camp Columbia in Litchfield. We left Pumpkin beside the big tree there. I did keep the seeds of Pumpkin inside a wooden box. All these years, the box has been inside a storage container that I have lugged hither and yon. Once in a while, I have come upon the box, opened it and smiled. Today, I did just that once again. It was so good to see Pumpkin's remains, and delight in the good memory of Pumpkin.
Friday, January 1, 2010
Peace to the five elements within and without.
Peace to this body.
Peace to this mind.
Peace to this huge ocean of emotions and feelings.
By the power of the truth and for the happiness of all beings,
may we have a culture of peace,
a society of peace, a world of peace,
where we can have days of peace,
nights of peace, sleep with peace and dreams of peace.
By the power of the truth and for the healing of all beings,
may we have peace in all moments
and in everything.