Juicy Bits 2017

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Devotion and Doodoo
       November 6, 2017

Each day it can seem like the media brings news of yet more destruction, pain and chaos in the world. Perhaps we find ourselves staying centered and able to respond with fierce compassion. Perhaps we feel overwhelmed and helpless, and so maybe we shut the media off. We focus instead on our everyday life and work, our family and community. That can work. Until it doesn't.

Simply put s**t happens! No sphere of our lives is truly free from disturbances. Things that upset us, bug us, annoy us. It's unpredictable. Yet it's how we respond that truly matters. Our response — how we feel and what we do with our feelings — is the only thing we have any control over! And that's the sobering truth. Trust me on this one! You're hearing from one who has spent decades recognizing and undoing patterns deeply ingrained from earlier years of some pretty thorough marinating in judgment and control. I wish I'd had me by my side back then!😄

So how's this for a crazy idea? No matter what chaos or disturbance is swirling in the world around you. What if the most effective response is to pay attention to what's right in front of us, to what we know is ours to do right now, and to attend to it with devotion. No matter what it is — a mug of tea to drink, an annual report to complete, a sick child to care for, this post to read, a grumpy customer, an aching head, a dirty kitchen floor, a speech in front of thousands, a broken nail, a forced wait in stopped traffic, a load of dirty laundry! Not a moment wasted on evaluation “but it's not as important as ...!” Nor judgment “it's just a boring, repetitive detail!” Nor blame “they should have ... It's their fault! I shouldn't have to!”

Instead ❤️ Pause 💚 Breathe 💖 Listen in 💜 Trust YourSelf 💛

Ask yourself “Is this mine to do now?”
If the answer is “No” just let it go and move on.
If the answer is “Yes”, try this —
--✿ What if I do this as if it is highly prized and valuable?
--✿ What if I relax my resistance/impatience/separation?
--✿ What if I give this my full, undivided attention?
--✿ What if I remember why I do this and what I receive?
--✿ What if I do this/give to this willingly in return?
--✿ What if I say ‘thank you’ for the receiving and the giving?
Don't think too hard. Or too long. Just try it.
Maybe even the next time you ‘have to’ clean the toilet!😄


Fierce Compassion
       October 24, 2017

Gentleness seems to have been a recurring theme for me lately. Has it been showing up for you also? Observing with keen yet gentle eyes. Missing nothing yet with a soft focus that allows in more possibilities. Choosing actions with compassion yet with a fierceness and strength that broaches no argument from anyone, and least of all from phantoms of past pain or future fear! And all of this beginning with myself; with a hyper-awareness and certainty that how I respond to what's in front of me right now and how I treat myself, is how I treat others. And all of it beginning right here right now as I pause in this present moment.
--✿ Am I hearing my inner loving self speaking?
--✿ Am I listening with compassion?
--✿ Am I responding with gentleness?
--✿ Am I allowing myself to feel what I'm feeling?
--✿ Am I loving my fears until they dissipate?
--✿ Am I giving myself what I need right now?
--✿ Am I acting in the integrity and truth of who I am?

There is nothing more important right now than being able to say YES to all these questions. It's not about indulging ourselves. It's about taking full response-ability for our lives, It's about generosity — giving the world in this moment, exactly what we alone are uniquely called to give. Nothing more and nothing less. You know the difference. You'll feel it. Right now. Then do whatever your heart prompts you to do!

Here's what Robert Grudin (American writer on Freedom, Grace, and the Art of Living) has to say — “We struggle with, agonize over and bluster about the great questions of life when the answers to most of these lie hidden in our attitude toward the thousand minor details of each day.”

💛Pause ❤️Breathe 💚 Listen in 💜 Trust YourSelf 💖


Loving the Darkness, Part II
       October 1, 2017

With great appreciation I acknowledge the brave souls who have emailed and called during this past month, to explore their experiences of darkness. They are from different countries and dwell in vastly different circumstances. Yet they all shared the same willingness to look with clear eyes at what was in front of them, and without blame or judgment of themselves or others, listen for the gift hidden in it.

Looking into the darkness together turned out to be just a little less scary than looking alone. We joined with keen awareness and the shared intention of wrapping fear in love. We brought light to the darkness along with the lightness of a few gentle laughs! Opening to the infinite possibilities available, joining in love with no judgment, the true crystalline clarity of each person's heart began landing. Each began discovering their own unique answers, seeing the many choices open to them, and knowing with certainty the actions they could begin taking to keep moving forward. This is CoCreating Clarity, and so it continues for each one ... with love. ✨Awareness✨Discovery✨Choice✨Action✨

💖 Breathe 💚 Listen in 💜 Trust YourSelf 💛



Loving the Darkness
       October 1, 2017

Darkness/shadow is the absence of light and has no unique, measureable properties of its own. Similarly, I know that fear is the absence of love. Just as the only way to dissipate the darkness in a room is to turn on the light; The only way to dissipate fear is to center in the wise neutral compassion of our hearts and love it into the light. I've never known fear to dissipate in the face of judgment, which is simply another fear in disguise. Have you? Nor have I known the darkness in a room to dissipate by turning off the light in the next room! Have you? Here's what Sharon Lyn Shepard has to say.

“There's a difference between avoiding or fighting against the so called “darkness” which is perceived as negative vs. walking away from it. We've been taught that darkness is evil or life threatening. Therefore fear steps in and we either avoid it, hide from it, or fight against it. Avoidance is resistance to that which we judge as bad, resistance that is always lingering below the surface. Once we've resisted it long enough it builds to the point that it's in our face, be it political, religious, spiritual, emotional, mental or physical. Our human self is accustomed to going up in arms to protect ourselves by fighting against it.
In truth all energy is neutral. It is only the human with a 3d perception of duality that deems it as dark or light, negative or positive. As we all know human eyes can not “see” what is in the darkness, therefore we have been taught to fear the unknown. The more aware we become, the less we judge. Therefore we have the opportunity to engage in the world with a more expanded perception, sensing beyond the fear and limitations of light vs. dark. It's here that we realize all energy is neutral, therefore “I” am the one who deems it positive or negative and “I” can walk away from the need to judge it. There is no battle. There is no negotiation. What had been perceived as negative is now seen as neutral, waiting to be in service to me in new and exciting ways.”


Sweet AND Smelly
       September 6, 2017

I just read in The Week magazine — “A 2010 survey found that 92% of children in America had an online presence by their second birthday; the digital records of many began before birth, with 34% of parents posting their ultrasound pictures online. There is also something rather misleading about these carefully curated images of childhood. ‘A small child is indeed a silky-skinned marvel who will fall asleep in your arms, with hair smelling of honey, but also one who will wake you in the early hours having been sick all over themselves, and quite possibly scream ‘I hate as you’ as you clean them up.’'' Why only share the good moments?” — The Sunday Times, UK

There it is again! Why do we have so much trouble telling it like it is? (I'm speaking only to those who choose to tell it. For those who choose privacy in all things, that's cool too! 😍) What are we afraid of? Do we really think our friends only want to know the sweet stuff? Maybe they can't handle the smelly stuff? Maybe they'll judge us?

What do we stand to lose? Nothing much! Just the integrity of our WHOLE existence 😳 — our ability to stand in our truth and be who we truly are in every moment. Also known as CoCreating Clarity in our lives, flowing with ease, loving, laughing and facing all that comes our way with equanimity. So today I'm inviting you to practice being authentic, not just now and again, but always. The next time you choose to share, pause and ask yourself:
--✿ Why am I sharing?
--✿ Is what I'm sharing true for me?
--✿ Are these only the sweet bits?
--✿ Am I leaving out the smelly bits?
--✿ Why am I leaving them out?
Then do whatever your heart prompts you to do!

💖 Breathe 💚 Listen in 💜 Trust YourSelf 💛


Safety WITHIN the Storm
       September 10, 2017

These past two weeks and particularly today, many of us are feeing concern for everyone, especially loved ones, in hurricane paths and flood zones — the Caribbean Islands, Texas, Bangladesh, Florida ...

How we choose to respond feels more critical now than ever before. Of course we must act — donate, pray, text, make calls, volunteer, take people in. Yet what we're feeling as we do these is even more powerful, for that too we're sharing with everyone. If we're feeling fear, anger, anxiety, we're sharing that. If we're feeling trust, safety, peace, we're sharing that too. Which do you choose to share today?

Inviting you try this —
--✿ Move away from your TV, your phone, your tablet.
--✿ Sit quietly for a moment and take a few deep breaths.
--✿ Tap yourself at the top of your chest and rest your hand there.
--✿ Close your eyes and feel your heart beating.
--✿ Imagine a golden cord anchoring your heart down to the core of the planet.
--✿ Imagine that cord also connecting your heart up through the crown of your head to the Infinite, God, Source.
--✿ Feel this position in your body — steady and centered, rooted 🌏and infinite✨
--✿ Now open and expand your heart like ripples spreading out across water.
--✿ Feel the safety flow out to all — comfort, strength, rest, warmth, love, certainty.
Tap your chest and return here at any moment.
Then do whatever your heart prompts you to do!

💖 Breathe 💚 Listen in 💜 Trust YourSelf 💛


Darkness AND Light
       September 1, 2017

We drove to Greenville SC to be in the path of the Total Eclipse of the sun, Monday 21st August. It was worth every one of the almost 1000 miles each way. I gazed at the sky for most of the three hour event. As NASA describes it — from First Contact at 1:09pm, through Second Contact at 2:37pm (Totality) — a surreal darkness lasting just 2 minutes 15 seconds, to Third Contact when the moon's shadow began to leave the sun, all the way through to full sunshine again at 4:03pm. Those three hours were amazing. But those few minutes of totality through the first ten seconds of Third Contact which I watched without eclipse glasses, were brilliantly, stunningly beautiful!

Who knew that the total darkness of the moon's shadow would reveal the beauty of the sun's corona? Who knew that, as it quietly accepts the loss of its old radiance and surrenders in stillness to total darkness, a new brilliance would spring forth? Who knew that just when the darkness seems unbearable, there it is! — the diamond crystalline light of a newly birthing sun!

If only we could live our nature as the sun and moon lives theirs. Honoring the cycles of darkness and lightness. We do a pretty nice job of the sunshine and unicorns and rainbows. And not such a sterling job of the darkness. We skip over that. We're afraid of it. We don't want to talk about it. We shun those who seem mired in it. We don't want to hear about it for fear it rubs off onto us. And we're forgetting that in embracing both the dark times and the light — our own and each other's — we become whole, together. This a place to talk about all of it. Here, I invite you to not be afraid. Here I invite you not to pretend you're feeling great when you're not. Here I invite you to simply be real. To welcome whatever is true and present and crying out for your attention. Welcome it now. And I invite you to tell me about it.

On Sep 1st 2016, exactly one year ago today I was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma. It was also the day of an Annular Solar Eclipse, viewable only from Madagascar and Central Africa. That morning I posted Sarah Varcas' words on my FB page “We can neither respond solely in a pragmatic, earthbound manner, nor can we respond only as transcendent spirit devoid of connection to the everyday world. It challenges us to acknowledge and honor spiritual truth in the midst of everyday life, embodying its presence and manifesting its fruit. As the Sun's brilliance is temporarily obscured we meet ourselves in our unique darkness, to love ourselves into the light. At this eclipse we become both darker and brighter in equal measure, for such is this paradoxical and forever mysterious life.”

I thought I knew about darkness and light, having spent decades examining just about every nook and cranny of my life. Yet this year of choosing compassion, walking into the darkest places in my heart and mind and body and soul, and loving myself back into the light, I now KNOW that I do. I wrote some of my story in ‘White Hawks’. I will share that if you ask me. With gratitude to all the people who've walked alongside me (I'm now in recovery and remission) I know that we can be here for each other. We are meant to be here to hold each other's hands. We are designed to be precisely who we are right here and now, radiant wholes of both darkness and light, uniquely precious gemstones set perfectly in the most brilliant crown imaginable. Doing our best each moment to love ourselves and each other. When you forget, I remember for you. When I forget I know you will do the same for me.

As Mary Oliver says in ‘Wild Geese’, “Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on.” We know the world goes sparkling on. If you have any doubt, just look at someone's FaceBook page. I'm here to acknowledge how surreal it feels when the light over us is dimming, even as the world shines on, stridently demanding that we smile and shine along too. I'm here to honor the dark times as no less real, no less true, and no less worthy of our attention and our energy than are the good times. Every single thing that's ever happened in our lives is sacred for it has brought us to where we are. Here I invite you to acknowledge the gift of ALL of it. Here there is no shame in any of it. Here I invite you to feel all of it, discovering the gratitude alongside the pain, transmuting it into new choices and new actions, cocreating the new, and celebrating ALL of it.

So go ahead. Write a post. Tell me anything. Tell me as much or as little as you want to. But tell me the truth. Tell me what you're most afraid to speak of. But tell it to me truly the way it is. Write and post your experience — real, raw, and personal as only experience can be. This is not a place for window dressing, for being a hero, for staging, for being right and proper, for curating a show, or for crafting an image. This is not a place for philosophical discussions, for inspirational quotes, or for concepts and logic. And this is not a place for evaluations and judging anything or anyone, for we're too busy listening and paying attention to our own feelings and responses. This is a place for sharing with compassionate minds and wise hearts joined as one. Ask me a question and I will answer as best I can from my experience. And I will always tell you the truth.

If you'd rather these things were never spoken of, that's okay, you don't have to be here. If you prefer to lurk and read, that's okay too. I would prefer that you to write a post, but go ahead and email me as a last resort. Though after removing names and personal details, I may feel compelled to post the exchange for the benefit of all. It is notable that my last post June 27th 2016 was on Facing Fear. So let's do it … together! Let's cocreate new ways of being together, the old ways no longer apply. No rules, no expectations, no judgment; nothing and no one left out who chooses to share. I will write more as and when my heart prompts me to. After all I went missing for over a year and no one seemed to notice! 🙂

I love you all ♥ Breathe ♥ Listen in ♥ Trust Yourself ♥


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