A Better Endings Yeats Poem about Building Bridges of Understanding

Driving home from spiritual activities the other day a poem came to mind and I realized this poem is very appropriate to this year’s “better endings” theme of Building Bridges. It is a poem by William Butler Yeats, long one of my favorite poets, so much so that I memorized several poems from The Selected Works of W. B. Yeats when I was in my late teens and these poems continue to inform and nurture my life nearly 40 years later.  The poem is “Words.” Notice the Better Endings theme in Yeats’ effort to communicate effectively to his beloved:

 

From memory 1/19/20:

Words

By William Butler Yeats

I had this thought a while ago:

My darling cannot understand

What I have done or what would do

In this blind, bitter land.

And I grew weary of the Sun

Until my thoughts cleared up again,

Remembering that the best that I have done

Was done to make it plain;

That at length I could cry,

At last my darling understands it all,

Because I have come into my strength,

And words obey my call.

That had she done so,

Who can say what might have

Shaken from the sieve?

I might have thrown poor words away

And been content to live.

I can so relate; can you? I feel that building pathways of understanding is the very basis of human experience.  Whether through art, poetry, fictional narrative, memoire, or basic day-to-day conversation, through language and other expressive forms we communicate, either more or less effectively, and perhaps more or less in a reciprocal fashion as well. We listen and we share. Listening probably should always come first, even listening to our own thoughts as well as to what the other is truly sharing, so we can communicate truly, not just remaining stuck in our own ideas.

This is a key to unlocking schismogenesis or downward-spiraling discord, this month’s topic.  Communication, to be true, must forge a bridge of mutual understanding and mutual acceptance.

Maybe even Yeats could have added how his ardent desire to express himself fully to his beloved would benefit from listening well to what his beloved was also aiming to express to him. Communication is a two-way process, not one sided.

So, life is art, art is life. By that I mean, day to day we strive to express and to understand one anothers’ expressions.  As such we move forward, rather than being entrenched. As such we may yet proclaim, ‘Ahah!’ when we finally hear another’s thought or viewpoint as their art form, with genuine appreciation. Perhaps only by so doing may we overcome barriers to harmony and mutual growth in the human community.  Would that the political discourse of the day would share that better endings goal!

Confronting Schismogenesis: A Case in Point

And the world

Will be a better place

For you, and me,

Just wait and see!

Put a little love in your heart!

Week 2/3 of this first month of our annual theme of “Building Bridges.” This month I am focussing on Schismogenesis—Going for the Win-Win. Schismogenesis is when an argument becomes more and more schismatic or divided as people dig into their ‘side’ of a disagreement.  Well of course when I choose a topic, life always provides plenty of grain for the mill.

So, I have accepted a role as a member at large for my neighborhood Homeowners Association, standing in for someone who is relocating. As I step on board, the HOA is working on a policy to shift our neighborhood to a no rental policy over time.  My own input has led to a change in how that policy was being formulated, from a ‘quota’ system (a certain number of houses being allowed to be rented based on the current number) to a grandfathering approach, so that current homeowners can state their intent to rent now or potentially in the future and others can opt out immediately, then after the cutoff date (now passed), no new owners will be permitted to rent out their homes or rooms.

A couple of the owners are up in arms about the new policy, verbally haranguing the president of our board to the point of attacking her online in public neighborhood forums. It isn’t pretty. Most of the board members themselves and the majority of owners on the street filed their option to reserve their right to rent though they do not intend to do so. I find myself a bit bemused at how we can establish strict rules for new owners if we do not find those rules amenable to our own rights, although they did take an earlier survey that determined the majority favor a no rental community over time, so I continue to support a grandfathering approach. The opponents are trying to undermine the legality of the new policy and accuse the board president personally of lying or otherwise abusing her role.

So, here we stand, smack in the middle of the microcosm of a divisive society. My challenge, to myself alone anyway, is how to facilitate building a bridge to help resolve the growing feud?

What comes to mind are:

  • Honesty; and
  • Communication

Honest communication, “across the Board.” I do aim to stand up for a fair process for all, though I generally side with the board’s approach and find the president to be honest, forthcoming, diligent, and also aiming for fairness. I have made it clear to those engaged in verbal attacks online that I find their negative campaign distasteful and unethical, but I do want to understand their points of argument.

Sometimes I do not like my own tendency to sound too direct or assertive about my own ideas. I had a dream the other night wherein the president told me she refused to act if I were telling her what to do. So the next day, I walked over and told her about the dream. She laughed and said no, my ideas are welcome to her and she does not feel I have been too assertive. But that was one way to build a bridge anyway, one small step involving honest communication.

One of the opponents who has been canvassing me with his ideas claims he sees me as bringing a degree of ‘balance’ to the process. I believe that is because he simply has not targeted me with a negative bias as he appears to have done with the president. It feels like a power or control struggle on his part. The board president, for her part, has reached a point of stating her terms directly then standing back rather than continuing to react to the personal attack.

 

images are from pixabay.com

This little glimpse into the inner workings of one small neighborhood process has illuminated dynamics present in the much of the whole of modern society. For myself I find I need to be careful to remain as neutral and as attentive as possible while still supporting the organizational process going forward. If I cannot fulfill this role properly, I may need to walk away–down the road as the phrase goes–, to remain a detached though supportive neighbor.

A New Year of Better Endings: “Overcoming Schismogenesis–Go for the Win-Win.”

In America and the world today, I can think of no more helpful Better Endings topic than “Building Bridges,” so that will be the theme for the blog this whole year. Please see the Monthly Topics tab for our list of topics we will address.  Generally I will  introduce a topic on week one, then the next two weeks I will share my own and others’ stories pertaining to the topic, and week four I will present a Better Endings approach to the topic based om insights gained throughout the  month.

For January, let’s get started with the topic of: “Overcoming Schismogenesis–Go for the Win-Win.”

The insightful psychological anthropologist Gregory Bateson, in his book Steps To an Ecology of Mind, wrote about the psychological dynamic principle of schismogenesis. He explained this as being in effect when two people or two opposed groups of people get into an argument that becomes more and more heated, each side “digging in” more and more deeply to diametrically opposed or binary points of view. Each party in the argument holds to their truth as if it were absolute, insisting that the other’s point of view is patently false and unfounded.

“Fake news!” each might proclaim about their opponent’s ‘facts.’ The wedge widens with each new round of the argument. It is as if both parties or groups are inhabiting distinct ‘thought worlds’ that exist at polar-opposite or perhaps in parallel worlds of Reality.

Does this sound familiar? Try watching a left-leaning newscast then switch the channel to a right-leaning rendition of the same ‘news’ story. This polarizing of worldviews creates what is tantamount to a civil war of ideas, each side certain they are right because their side of the argument has become established over a long period of time and is reinforced by like-minded, equally entrenched folks.

It is probably nearly impossible to overcome schismogenesis by continuing to mount opposing arguments. Bateson suggests that the two parties, such as a husband and wife caught in such a headlock, should back off, separate for a time and agree to revisit the situation at a later date without holding to either of their original positions. They need to find a win-win solution that involves each side giving ground and compromising for the sake of preserving the deeper relationship.

images are from pixabay.com

What can we agree on? What do we both want apart from our differences? Is there a way we can build a bridge to arrive at a new, fusional sort of solution that meets the common goal even if we must sacrifice more partisan objectives?

Let’s construct a hyptothetical.  Spouses argue over whether to stay in and cook (one party to do the cooking) or going out (the cook wanting that option instead). Cost is involved; but the cook is tired from working all week too. Perhaps the solution is EITHER that they go out but to a less costly than usual restaurant and share the expense, or they have fun making a meal together, sharing the load.

So, try it out! Let me know if you are able to build a bridge in your own relationships. Go for the Win-Win and everyone gains!

A Shaft of Light, Beacon of Hope

Driving two mornings ago to Ithaca (NY), early morning on a crisp winter day, suddenly to the East I saw a single shaft of light streaming through hazy clouds. Like the lucky end of a rainbow, I thought, amazed at how this golden shaft of light, distinct and enduring, carved out a pathway from sky to ground (so I first thought), breaking through clouds and through the treeline just east of Lake Cayuga; like a portal, a straight avenue up to the heavens.

The mythical import of such a sign—which later I learned to call a “sun pillar”—struck me as a positive message. Ithaka is the home of Zeus and the Greek pantheon of gods atop Mt. Olympus, so as the poet Cavafy has brilliantly penned in his poem Ithaka (click on link to read), returning to Ithaka is a pilgrimage Home to our spiritual Source.

I almost did not take this drive. I was returning to Ithaca College to close out my office there from teaching online for the college this semester. But something prompted me to go, and to leave early morning from my new home an hour and a half or so away. I am so glad I did go, so I could witness this beacon of hope, for myself and perhaps for the world. From a Native American perspective this might signify the breath of a New Dawn, harbinger of a new cycle of growth and realization of spiritual fulfillment. Elahkwa! (Thanks!) might a Zuni person utter to the Creator for sending such a pillar of Light to fill the hearts of Its beloved children on Mother Earth.

We are never alone and ever loved. That message I share and bring forward for you.

Never before in this lifetime have I witnessed this celestial phenomenon of the Sun Pillar. But just as I pulled off the road to take a picture with my phone, the orange top crest of the Sun rose up into the shaft of light and climbed like an orange ball along the path of this golden shaft, up into the Sky. This, I realized then, was two days before the Winter Solstice and two days after the impeachment of an American president; it felt like a sign of hope, this singular stream of golden sunlight illuminating a passageway up from darkness into Light on this golden morning. The full, round orb of this brilliant Sol rose along its own trajectory upwards to rest in its height over serene Lake Cayuga.

images are from pixabay.com

Better Endings to All, and to all a Good Year!!!

Life is Good! Really, It Is!

We live in turbulent political times. Yet, life is Good. Regardless of material or social conditions, political opinions, or racial/ ethnic and religious divides, I affirm that all is well! This is more than a naïve, Pollyannish outcry from denial or vain hope. It is an appeal to Higher Grounds, higher consciousness.

Duality implies a Trinity, which includes the neutral, unifying Center. If we could but just lift our awareness above the fray, we must be in that Center in order to view a situation. That seems to be the optimal place to be of any true service to the whole.

Humor helps, being able to laugh at our own biased viewpoint and the “other’s” as well. Of course, some humor is targeted and mean, but humor can also relieve tension to allow a higher perspective.

So how about this for a mantra: Life is Good! Regardless of the weather or the stances people take in social media or on the news, Life IS Good!

Images are from pixabay.com

It is good to be alive, for those of us who are. Having recently “lost” two great friends to cancer, I realize how little any petty argument will matter once we fly free of the mortal coil into the great Beyond.

Grist for the Mill 

Because I derive a great deal of happiness through service, this month I am contemplating how best to proceed with the potential of service in my early semiretirement life. So far, about a year and a half in, I am quite active day to day. Teaching online and prepping a new course for the Spring, assuming an outreach role with my spiritual organization regionally, contributing as a member at large to my neighborhood housing association board, caring for my beautiful dog Sophie and cat Emily, writing, blogging, being active with family and friends, providing for the household and my home family; in short, I am very happy!

My brother at one time expressed the view that there are “producers” and then there are “servants” and that the former are inherently ‘better’ than the latter. I disagreed then, since teaching is my primary profession and teaching is most definitely a service role, and I love it! Now I see that service is a product in its own right. Service is a productive activity, not only supportive, and being supportive is a good thing too. It is not only about helping others, though I am happy to be of service in whatever capacity I can for another. It is about sharing from the foundation of accumulated knowledge and acquiring some measure of wisdom in the process; it is about giving, and giving back, to Life Itself, with love and gratitude.

Learning to be of greater service day by day provides grist for the mill, fuel for the dynamic expression of energetic outflow. That sounds rather lofty, yet simply expresses a dedicated sense of purpose. We breathe in and breathe out, every breath a divine energy of life. To receive and to give forth at least in equal proportion maintains balance, connection, and provides a grateful contribution to the Whole.

images are from pixabay.com

Building Bridges through Service: Introducing A New Year of Better Endings for Your Life Path

 

Every year in December or January since 2016 I have introduced a new, yearly Theme for this blog about how I or you might develop Better Endings in our lives. This new year, bridging over to it this month, I would like to focus this next year’s monthly topics around the theme of “Building Bridges.”

When I look at the society I live in today and our global experience as well, it appears that to achieve both our individual and collective Better Endings we could all benefit from exploring and putting into practice ways to address or build bridges between highly polarized viewpoints. Some say we are living in a “tribal” sort of culture in America today, and in many other countries as well. Whether this is a result of polarization in our access to social media and news perspectives or primarily through the increasing gulf between political party outlooks, allegiances and goals, we are exposed to conflicting viewpoints daily. I feel that this extrinsic polarity and factionalism can reflect and/or could threaten our internal psychological and spiritual sense of integration or harmony.  Our very selves, let alone our families and communities too, may be subject to a greater sense of inner conflict or fragmentation to the extent we allow this, because of the challenging times we inhabit.

So every month this year I will set forth to explore a topic relevant to the overall theme and goal of “building bridges,” aiming to develop some positive outlooks and practices that might help me or any of us to heal or to improve upon tensions that might arise because of a polarization of viewpoints.

Let’s get started. This month I would like to both close this last year’s quest for manifesting happiness and to open this new year’s probe of “building bridges,” via exploring the topic of “service.”

I find that service is one of the best ways for me to be immersed in being happy in the moment. The expression “In service is my reward” feels exactly true for me. Whether through teaching or writing or listening to a friend or even walking my dog, the aspect of giving love through any form of service lifts my spirits.

Isn’t it interesting how service builds bridges? In providing a service, all are served equally (or should be, of course).  Political divides nearly dissolve when I interact with students, even when we know each other to hold different positions outside of that connection.  Why?  I feel it’ s my responsibility to be respectful of all points of view with students, so I may be better able to listen to points of view I might otherwise react strongly to when it is a student voicing the viewpoint. Of course, if there is a radical or extreme viewpoint I am likely going to say something to make it clear I cannot agree, with a clear focus on facts from the topic I am teaching about, but even so I do aim to be respectful and to encourage the student to explain their position clearly.

In giving service it is perhaps more natural to assume an equality-based connection, what I like to call “Soul Equals Soul.” So the question becomes, how can I be of greater service to the whole even while I am a consumer by choice of biased news or charged information? This shall be my December focus in preparation for a year of Building Bridges as a Better Endings theme.

Centering

Lemur, Wildlife, Madagascar

My question of the month is about maintaining balance as a byway for sustaining happiness. Centering is a golden mean for establishing balance. This is widely recognized in athletics as well as in health and in the arts. “Holding your center” allows you to respond appropriately, even artfully, to any condition or situation. Meditation or active-imagination contemplation along with a regular practice of honing mastery skills can create a core condition of centeredness from which to act with deep awareness and with well-grounded intention.

My fencing friends—hi Ro and Michael!—know well where I am headed with this. As in most sports yet very explicitly for fencing, you must be centered in a balanced form to have the fluidity to advance or retreat, to defend as well as to establish and launch an attack, at will. As well, pulling an opponent “off center” is a paramount tactic for defeating their ‘game’ so you will control the pacing of the action yourself.

Agility, Ballet, Dancing, Athlete

Here is a contemplation seed that I have been reflecting on this month while considering the value of balance:

“Is it kind?

Is it necessary?

Is it true?”

(from Harold Klemp)

For those on the (and my) spiritual path of Eckankar, this is a standard practice, to consider these questions before expressing any thought, words, or action. If the answer to any of these questions is negative, it may be helpful to reconsider. I have succeeded and failed often enough depending on whether I have utilized these brakes, or not, in the moment. I find it brings patience and a higher viewpoint or greater wisdom, when I can pause enough to consider my actions with care.

I will add this week a record of a dream I had yesterday morning, as I see a balance theme hidden in it. I was being chased by a negative force, one main negative agent pursuing me and a friend along with several of the negative agent’s minions. This dream went through several scenarios, and I and my friend successfully evaded all attacks (including an attempted break-in, a violation of my personal space), until finally it had us cornered at a high cliff’s edge. As I looked back I could see several pairs of the negative force’s agents guarding any possible escape and closing in, with the central villain approaching to capture us once and for all!  I looked over the edge at the high drop, seeing that a leap into the void would likely mean instant death. But in the dreamscape this was preferable to me than being captured and killed by this vile force, so I leapt over the edge! The villain did not want me to escape his control that easily, so he lept after me with a ley-line to anchor him to the ground so he could pull us both back from the descent. As he came toward me and tried to hold onto me assuming I would want to be saved, I pushed him off from the ley-line and watched him cascade to hit the bottom, killing him. Somehow then I was poised against the cliff top, grasping a small knob perilously. I did not think I could climb back to the surface so I contemplated just letting go, thinking I might be able to aim to the wall of the cliff and roll down, possibly still dying but trying anyway to save myself. At this point instead of dropping, I realized I had another choice, which was to wake up. That’s what I did, grateful to realize this had been a dream yet also wondering if I might have died physically in my sleep from the night terror of falling.

So where does balance enter into the dream equation here? First, I was in a situation of needing to protect my boundaries from negative forces aiming to invade my consciousness and draw me off center. Second, at the cliff-hanger edge (literally!), I had choices to make while perched perilously at the edge. I chose to act, to be a cause rather than an effect of the negative agent, which allowed me to retain my own agency rather than relinquishing that to the negative force. When I released the hold on the villain allowing him to fall to his death, I felt no emotion—neither for nor against—as I watched him fall. I knew it was his own actions which had caused his demise so that I had no responsibility for his death. And I had a further choice either to take the descent myself and possibly perish of my own accord or to, ultimately, find an alternate path and “wake up,” which of course I am glad I chose! (Where that awareness of the choice to wake up came from I would have to attribute to my protective inner guidance, so I am grateful for that, always!)

Fantasy, Clouds, Woman, Castle, Sun, Sky

images are from pixabay.com

Being centered in the moment allows choice. It slows the action from a higher level of awareness, so your action or expression can flow from your Center rather than your being merely reactive to or the passive effect of external situations or forces.

Neither For Nor Against

We live in a dualistic universe and, these days, I would say we in America and in several other societies have created a binary society.  I like to think in terms of the outer reality being a reflection of internal states of consciousness, so if my outer world is polarized, politically or otherwise, and if I align with one ‘side’ to the point of feeling negative about or toward people or points of view from an ‘other/opposite’ side, I may question my own internal state as being itself conflicted or in a state of emotional or attitudinal imbalance.

How to resolve this? It would be false of me to claim or to defend neutrality in terms of values or beliefs. I do accept some values that–necessarily in this dualistic world–are opposed in principle to other, opposite points of view. I am a citizeb and vote according to my best understanding of positive values and policies that are, I assume, for the good of the Who;le.

However, I am old enough to not want to create or perpetuate conflict. Like Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce who chose to migrate his tribe into Canada rather than face another bloody battle or to have them be herded onto a restrictive reservation:

“I Will Fight No More Forever.”

images are from pixabay.com

My goal, spiritually, is to be “neither for nor against,” while at the same time not sacrificing what I hold to be true and good. With this I recognize how my values come largely from what I have been exposed to and/or conditioned by, as do everyone else’s.

To be neither for nor against while maintaining integrity means, to me, not to be attached to outcomes and to be willing to listen and to allow viewpoints other than my own. There are ideas and facts I will stand up for, even march for or represent in open forums, But having expressed my sense of truth, I must allow that others have too theire own truths and the right to express those as well in a peaceful assembly.

Let justice and the laws and moral fiber of a just society handle the rest.

Inwardly, I aim to resolve internal conflicts as they may arise. Listening, not closing off or closing out competing ideas or interests, can help bring my archetypal sub-selves to the Roundtable in search of a dynamic, harmonious solution to any apparent quandary.

If only we could agree to do this outwardly: to listen with deep care to one another and to aim to incorporate each other’s best founded ideas and viewpoints to serve the higher interests of the Whole.

In the Balance: Building Bridges

In this eleventh month of my yearly quest to comprehend and achieve happiness, I realize how in many ways now, I am happy. Despite losses and coming to terms with leaving my friends to relocate/ semi-retire, and with two good friends having recently departed this earthly sphere, both from complications due to breast cancers, nevertheless I am happy to be where I am and to be living the “life of my dreams,” to date.

My November sub-quest is about Balance, another major necessity for achieving a lasting happiness, in my own life and I would say in the world at large too. There is so much polarization of values and beliefs today. It is easy to take a side and hold to a one-sided perspective even to the point of reviling other persons, opposite political parties or policies. Certainly we are not in a condition of societal or widely shared happiness these days, at least not in the U.S.. Avoiding communication with those with whom we expect to disagree becomes disengagement and expands the rifts between us that further divide the whole.

images are from pixabay.com

Where is the balance, how is it to be achieved? This week I am personally contemplating how to build bridges rather than perpetuating the Divide. I believe that approaching communications by looking for ways to bridge conflicting viewpoints or attitudes externally will bring healthful benefits internally as well.  Impersonal, unconditional love can be the foundation of such bridges.

Love unites, it does not seek to divide; it heals wounds and gives ground, even when it may be necessary for people or groups to separate or to agree to disagree for the sake of serving the higher interests of all concerned.

I am reminded of the well known passage from Corinthians (13:4-8), so let me start my own probe this month by putting forth this contemplation seed (from Gatescorer.com):

 

Agency

For a final week of probing the topic of Acceptance as a pathway to genuine happiness, I am left with the awareness that what I cannot or should not accept is important too. To clear space and time for creative or productive activities, sometimes it is helpful to remove clutter and to improve existing conditions. This calls for right discrimination or practicing discernment and then acting to correct or sometimes to detach from situations or conditions which are creating clutter or ‘noise’.

Agency is the capacity to act in accordance with one’s awareness and understanding of life conditions. Agency is a causal property of the individual, a matter of being Cause rather than effect, a matter of accepting responsibility for one’s choices and acting accordingly.

It is not always easy or even graceful, for me at least, to know when to bend or when to release so that growth can occur. This seems an appropriate topic for the autumn season. Trees in the area I live in now are at their peak of fall colors, releasing their beautiful leaves to prepare for enduring the winds and storms of winter.

I am reminded of St. Francis’s famous poem:

 

Serenity

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change those things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

 

images are from pixabay.com

What Are You Ready to Accept?

“Before you can do what you want,

You must know what you do.”

A therapist shared this quote with me many years ago, from a psychologist I am unable to find online today to attribute the statement to. Such wisdom here. As I contemplate the principle of Acceptance this month in pursuit of a larger quest for understanding how to manifest and sustain true happiness, I have realized so far that one of the things I do that limits happiness is to accept things as they are, for the most part, but without clearly expressing what I am READY to accept; that is, how much more abundance I am ready to allow in order to open my heart and consciousness with a greater capacity. At the same time, I am also realizing this month how we may also need to be clear about what we are NOT willing or able to accept, either in ourselves or our outer world of relations and life conditions.

What am I / are you READY to accept? I invite you to compose a list of positive affirmations (one or more actually) of the form:

I am READY TO ACCEPT ____________.

For example, I will share a small portion from my own list.

I am READY TO ACCEPT:

  • Full responsibility for my own choices.
  • A greater appreciation of Beauty, daily.
  • The freedom to establish and define boundaries.
  • The ability to communicate honestly.
  • The capacity to realize my creative and spiritual goals.
  • The time needed for stepping up.
  • Abundance from all endeavors.
  • Greater joy and gratitude in the Moment.
  • Daily progress toward Fulfillment: health, wealth, wisdom, happiness
  • humility, purity, vision

images are from pixabay.com

So, what are YOU ready to accept or receive?

Acceptance

 

This year I am probing an annual quest. For me this is about manifesting true happiness; I encourage you to choose your own Quest. Each month we are probing a subquestion of the larger quest. This month I am contemplating “acceptance” as an aspect of achieving or manifesting happiness.

Already I am realizing that Acceptance is two-pronged:

What am I willing to accept?

What am I ready to accept?

This is a personal breakthrough to recognize this second level of acceptance. I have long held to a princiople well expressed in the statement:

“Your state of consciousness

is your level of acceptance.”

–Harold Klemp

To me I have understood this to mean to be able to accept whatever happens, to accept what IS, in order to grow through direct experience. Acceptance in this sense is not a passive state but rather it allows you to confront or accept present conditions in order to respond actively in the process of creating your own positive conditions and learning lessons along the way.

But today I am seeing how my state of consciousness also means to be open to receive and accept bounty, blessings, abundance. What am I ready to accept means what  degree of magnificence am I open to receive! How much beauty, truth, love am I ready to accept? The more I can accept, the higher my consciousness may rise from the sheer abundance of spirit.

images are from pixabay.com

So this week I will be focusing on this question of what am I ready to accept? I invite you to do similarly or to pursue your own Quest segment.

I welcome your comments and story.

Life After Life…

I share a poem this week, in loving honor of two excellent friends, one of whom has recently passed on, and the other now facing her physical mortality and her spiritual freedom:

 

The Tide Rolls Out

On the incoming wave

comes the bounty:

times spent with friends

laughing, loving,

serving Life together

day by month by year

by decades shared in the fellowship of Soul.

 

Then the wave breaks

against the rocky shoals,

sends shimmering mist

that dissolves

any rigid formations.

 

Now as I watch

the tide rolls out

carrying the tiniest gems

of eternal blessings, holographic

universes of light and sound

memories

rolling back to the Source

 

never to be washed away

nor forgotten.

images are from pixabay.com

Gratitude for All Good Memories and Lessons

As I have been contemplating the goal of Release this month, I have wanted to call this post “Releasing the Past.” This led me to consider all the good memories from my past that I would first honor and then release. Thus includes lessons from the past that I wish to acknowledge and ground in consciousness in order to have grown from their occurrence.

So I wish to take stock this week of all I am most grateful for, both in the present and from past events or experiences that have ultimately brought me to where I am today.

Yet this is a private exercise, to make a list of what I am grateful for in order to embrace those gifts and lessons in order to move forward with greater awareness. So I invite you to compse your own Gratitude List. What gifts and lessons would you wish to acknowledge, ground mindfully, and then release?

images are from pixabay.com

I will share but one. I acknowledge with gratitude how my closest family and friends have accepted me and made room for me in their hearts despite my many human frailties and limitations. Aspiring to excel or to do well in some arenas has meant not developing so well in other facets of life, specifically in terms of the full spectrum of social relations. I tend to be introspective to the point of preferred introversion, often avoiding or leaving early from social gatherings. I appreciate my family and friends who have usually been more outgoing than I am, though they are also deep and thoughtful Souls. To the extent I do reach out more to others than I once did, it is because of these family and friends who have demonstrated what unconditional love and trust can be.

Release

 

My question this month is about releasing: how best to release my hold or grip to allow life/Spirit to take Its own course. After relocating, I find this is a necessary phase for moving forward with new life conditions.

The image I have is of a formerly wounded or captive eagle being released to the wilds after being tended to by a caring healer. After protecting the bird in a safe space to allow it time to heal, now the Healer first prepares the eagle for eventual flight and then the day comes for the eagle to regain its liberty.

Releasing an eagle or other animal acknowledges the Call of the Wild. The call of the open air and unbounded energy of the natural environment certainly appeals to a denizen of the wilds more than being held within a caged or domesticated life.

Currently three good friends of the past 26 (and more) years have been facing “terminal” illness conditions. One has passed two weeks ago, another is in hospice as I write this, and the third is prepared for moving on, sooner or later. Release is important, both for my friends and for their closest friends and family. Release from the confining limitations of an ailing body certainly is a Call of Spirit to transcend the earthly and bodily limitations to ascend to the freedom of pure Love (so I believe).

With summertime easing into Fall where I live in the Finger Lakes now, trees that have had rich green foliage begin to shade into yellows, reds and oranges as they prepare to release their leaves to the fertile ground and transition for yet another Winter.

images are from pixabay.com

Life energy flows through their roots and the veins of the leaves and so I ask, where does all that leaf energy go when it is liberated and converted into pure energy again?  The smell of Fall in the air carries their energies of transformation, pervading the atmosphere and reminding me, all of us, that All is Well.

I Am Still Here

image is from pixabay.com

Hi Everyone,

I deleted my blog site, but now I am renewing.

This was because my computers had been “hacked” so that I was afraid to even click on anyone else’s blog post, or Like it, for fear I might load more stuff (unintended) onto my computer, or yours!

I am still very wary so will not click on links for some time to come, especially on any monetized sites. But I missed the blog and you all too much to cancel altogether

So I am inquiring further and working on security matters and will post again soon!

Linda

Love Will Find Its Way, May the Blessings Be!

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This month the phrase “Keep Your Heart Open” has been a mantra and a lesson for me. Now I can connect this with its lyrical counterpart:

Love Will Find a Way!

Let’s make that, “Love Will Find Its Way” and we find a Better Endings mantra of positive resolve and acceptance.

Folks, I want to express my deep gratitude to each and every one of you who has been or is currently reading this post. I have so enjoyed the Blogverse this past several years, and some of you have become friends as I have liked reading and viewing your brilliant pieces and I have enjoyed sharing here.

Because my life has suddenly burst open with several new responsibilities and opportunities with which I am happy to engage, after long consideration I am signing off. This is my final post.

May I leave you, in deepest respect for all of your unique and beautiful Soul paths, with a universal mantra, the word HU (sung Hu-u-u-u-u-u on a long drawn-out breath, either aloud or inwardly). This is a breath mantra of divine, unconditional love that I have learned through my spiritual practice of Eckankar.

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images are from pixabay.com

Keep Your Heart Open;

Love Will Find Its Way.

May the Blessings Be to All!

Linda

Due Vigilance

My waking dream this month involves bees, both literally and metaphorically. First sign: my dear dog Sophie was stung by a ground bee, which was very painful to her and I had to get her to the vet for a shot of Benadryl for she broke out in hives. She is fine now, gratefully.

Second, a handyman fixing a leak above my sliding door found there had been carpenter bee damage which a previous owner had merely covered over with plywood. The handyman reconstructed the area and that too is fine, now.

Also next day had a pest control person come to spray against existing carpenter bees and ants.

So what is this waking dream message? I believe it is about practicing due vigilance rather than ignoring potential threats to happiness and wellbeing. From a human standpoint these bees are pests that threaten my family, person, and household. Metaphorically they also threaten my state of consciousness, for if I allow myself to sink into worry or fear about such conditions, that can diminish my capacity for being productive and advancing with my sense of purpose and service, and my and my loved ones’ happiness.

Due vigilance means practicing right discrimination or proper discernment, being mindful or aware of situations and addressing challenges with active measures while staying “in stride” with daily activities and life pursuits.

images are from pixabay.com

“Don’t let it get you down” is a great reminder to “stay on top of things” as they occur.

I welcome YOUR Story and Comments.

Patience is a Virtue: How the Caterpillar Becomes a Butterfly

About a year ago while driving, I listened to an NPR science program about the newest scientific understanding of how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. I was also reminded at a spiritual event last weekend about a well-known parable of ‘the Emperor Moth’ which focuses on how important it is to not force a butterfly or moth to emerge too early from its cocoon.

Scientists have found that when a caterpillar enters into its pupae stage inside a chrysalis, it appears to completely dissolve! If you open the cocoon at that point there is no structure there, no organs, just a gooey substance. Then out of this primordial ooze a butterfly takes form, an entirely distinct, new creature altogether! This staggers my understanding as a waking dream story, a metaphor for my own or others’ deepest life transformations.

What this metaphor of the chrysalis says to me is that I have to be patient with myself, and with others, to allow a complete transformation process to reshape the conditions allowing positive growth and birth or rebirth to transpire naturally. You cannot rush change without impinging upon the fullest realization of the change potentials.

I have had ample opportunities lately to find or practice patience. As a new homeowner, it seems like every time I turn around another emergency pops up! The nice new washing machine I was grateful to have stopped mid cycle during a power outage and now does not spin or drain. The marvelous sliding door to my pretty little deck has been letting the rain in onto the beautiful wood flooring in  the living room! I have slathered on sealer but still yesterday more water splattered in with the rain. And my dear Sophie had a bee sting during a walk that she was terribly allergic to, developing dangerous hive blisters all over her body during the 24-minute trip to the vet for a shot of antihistamines.

But, you know? The washing machine snafu has led me to purchase a good home warranty policy. Even though that takes a month to kick in so I am going to a laundromat for awhile, there is a laundromat not too far away and the dryer still works, and the warranty could save me a bundle and get me through plenty more glitches down the road. I have a professional handyman fixing the door as I write, and that should be a good job for not too much expense. And Sophie is okay after her emergency, so now I am more vigilant on her walks and keep her away from tall grasses.

images are from pixabay.com

There is a deeper lesson I am gaining from all of these events (and some others not mentioned here), about detachment and the importance of maintaining a higher perspective. I choose not to be stuck in my head or let daily annoyances or needs hold me down in a negative state of worry.

I have been watching alot of NOVA programs about Space this month, plus contemplating daily, and I find that focusing on Mars or Jupiter or the Cosmos helps to lift my attention out of the immediacy of practical concerns. My favorite film, Contact, has been showing this month too and I have watched it again twice. Talk about patience! In Contact, Eleanor Arroway (played brilliantly by Jodie Foster) is a SETI scientist who spends hours and days and months and years sorting through one distant region of the galaxy after another in a seemingly futile search for intelligent extraterrestrial life.  After Eleanor does actually make contact, this launches her on the journey of many lifetimes where she is shown a depth of reality no other earthling has physically encountered. Even so, like in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, very few believe her when she tries to communicate about what she has seen. So, she returns to her life of patient observations.

“Small steps” is the message of Carl Sagan’s Contact. I am finding that principle applies to my life, daily!

I welcome YOUR Story and Comments!