Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Exquisite Moments

Summer fills me with a rapture that can stop me in my tracks. The hustle of life can take one away from noticing all the beauty around us at any given moment. I find it amazing how attuned my eyes and ears become when I take the time to get still and listen. And really look. Here's what I see and hear right now this very moment from the comfort of my bedroom. White lace curtains, an open window that pulls my gaze beyond and into the lush green of my backyard. I mean, lush. Blessed rain, while we sometimes wish you wouldn't stay so long, you do create magic when it comes to the greening of our world. There is a huge pine tree and dozens and dozens of trees that line the creek that runs just beyond my yard. It's a dazzling view of utter simplicity. The dappled patterns created by the lace curtains adds to the soft, blurred effect of the canopy of trees that shelter this place I call home. I don't hear any traffic, not a single engine racing by to get anywhere. Just the morning sounds. Birds. Birds, what a blessing they are! If I go deep enough within and silence the chatter in my brain, I can hear a dozen different bird songs. They sing to the morning, to each other....and to me. Add to this scene the vivid and sudden appearance of bright red as a cardinal flits by, sometimes pausing in the pine tree long enough for me to send him love. I adore cardinals. Now I'm listening to the sound of crickets, still engaged in their night time symphony of love songs, not quite ready to give it up to the daylight. The morning is cool, yet I can tell the humidity will be building soon. I particularly love the droning sound of a summer day in the country, or in a quiet patch of the yard, when all you hear is the buzz of bees and the drone of insects adding their distinctive summer sound to the chorus of this day. The air is heavy with the sound of life, and my heart is full for being able to enjoy it. There is the slightest sound of trickling water now that I'm aware of, it's running through the creek that is invisible from my view, but there nonetheless. Shortly, I'd say in another month, I'll be aware of the evening sound of frogs singing in the creek. Especially after a good rain they revel in the stream, just happy to be frogs. My heightened sense hearing now comes back in through the window into my bedroom. My beagle is snoring softly in the chair. Two of my cats are at the foot of the bed, their soft kitty sounds, not quite a purr, but a soft contented sound they make adds to the peace. They're just happy to be cats.

I'm happy to be a human BE-ing. I am happy that I can hear and see with the eyes of a woman who for too long never took the time to let nature move through me. As it moves through me it takes with it all the stress and worry that could possibly distract me from this moment. Exquisite moments such as these are free, my friends. This life pours forth more then we accept. To know that somehow I am part of a bigger picture, that my breath, my thoughts, my daily demeanor, all work to contribute to the beauty, or the chaos, of this life brings me to an empowering realization: It's always a choice to move through this life lightly. Last year when I was caught up in uncertainty, anxiety and at times the sheer terror of what my life would become, I read this quote: "Go lightly, stay close, learn the flowers". In those deep nights of my longing, confusion, and fear, I would pray for an answer, a sign, something to tell me that I would be alright. Contained within that simple quote were all the words and comfort I needed. Go lightly through life. Stay close to that which you love and treasure. Take the time to learn the flowers, to hear and see all that is given to us.

May your day unfold gently. May you find your quiet center and return to it often when anything would threaten to overtake you. Find what makes your heart sing, breathe in the morning air...and begin your day from that sacred space.

Until next time....blessings upon your heart

Cindy

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Love

This post is about love. Pure and simple.

You are loved. You are loved more then you know. I love you and I don't don't even know you, but something brings you here to read this blog. Kindred spirits, maybe? I don't know. But I love you. And that's that.

I absolutely believe with all my heart that each and every one of us is truly a gift to this planet. You were born to love, to receive love, give love, accept love, BE love. There are only two emotions....Love and Fear, that's all that really exists. Think about it, what is not love is simply a fear-based way of thinking. Fear covers every belief that is not loving, giving and gentle. Consider for instance how many times in a day we tear ourselves down. Other people can be mean, but we're ruthless in our own self-abuse. Even when we feel good about ourselves, and someone compliments us, what do we do? We make excuses, we apologize for something...."Oh, this old dress"? "Thank you, but I feel so fat today". You know what I mean. We downplay ourselves even when someone is paying us a sincere compliment. I know, I used to treat anyone who complimented me as not having the intelligence to know what they were talking about. It was a fear-based response. Fear of standing in my own glory and saying "yes" to the love being shown to me. I'm not quite sure where such a rationale came from, but for me personally, I simply didn't love myself enough. And here's the thing, dearies (and it's a universal truth), if we don't love ourselves, no one will ever be able to love us. They may try, but we will find a reason to downplay it, find fault with it, and ultimately destroy it. Are you doing this very thing now, this day, this moment? Are you belittling the attention given to you? Are you feeling unworthy? Well, been there...or I couldn't write about it.

Let's change that, shall we?

This is what I know: Love begins with you. Not such a big, surprising revelation, is it? We all know this. Love yourself first, but we don't. Let's begin to make a change here, let's begin to embrace all that we are, the light, the goodness, the joy....the darkness, the mystery, the stuff we don't understand about ourselves. Can you accept it and nurture it? Can you try to take a little piece of yourself, perhaps the wounded part, and just wrap your arms around it? Treat it like a hurt child. What would you do if you saw a child standing there, crying, scraped knee, no one else around? I don't care who you are, you would help that child, you would hold that vulnerable baby and soothe it. Can you begin to look at the parts of yourself you don't like and simply open your arms to them? This is self-love of the highest order. This is where your life long love affair with yourself can begin. And when you discover yourself, and love yourself, you will have found the love of your life. You have found the one true constant that has always been there waiting for you. You are your own beloved. *It's never been about anyone else* Then be prepared, because this is when the fun begins. Love will pour into your daily experiences like crazy. It's always been there, it's always been pouring forth more then has been accepted, but this time you will see it with new eyes. Trust me on this. Just watch.

Be blessed this day, be aware of how wonderful you are this very moment. And if you can't see it right now, at least trust it's there waiting for you. The beloved is holding Her hand out to you.

Until next time....blessings upon your heart

Cindy

Sunday, June 5, 2011

What Really Matters

I want to share something with you. I had a health scare this last week. A very big, very frightening health scare, the kind that presented the possibility of becoming life threatening. I wrote the blog post titled, "Meeting Fear Head-On", the day after I discovered something was wrong. I wrote from my heart as a means to steady myself, as a way to reinforce my beliefs. I was rattled. I was shaking. I was already missing my life because I felt this sudden discovery could possibly take my life away. Through my expertly disguised panic, so as not to alarm anyone until I was diagnosed for sure, I became acutely aware of what I felt I could lose. The hugs and kisses of my child came immediately to mind, my heart-to-heart and surprisingly honest talks with my oldest daughter, the beautiful love and companionship I share with my man, and all of the beauty this earth surrounds me with daily....not the least of which is this achingly beautiful landscape called Kentucky. See, I had rebuilt a life for myself out of the one that died last year. I carefully filled it with all of the important things, and none of the things that didn't matter, or serve, or nurture me anymore. I felt the brunt of this terrible joke that I feared was upon me.....that I had come so far only to have to deal with this! I did get to a point last week though, where I could say with a fairly strong degree of certainty, that if things were going to change for me, if I was going to have to face an illness that could prove lengthly or fatal, then I would use the time to write and document the events in hopes of connecting with others going through the same thing. I humbly declared that I would treat whatever was going to happen as a gift. A gift that would reveal itself as I became immersed in it.

Well, thankfully I am alright. Gratefully, and with tears streaming down my face, I received the news that I was healthy, that the offending problem was benign. I took the deepest breath of air, and felt nothing but relief. As I walked out of the hospital I heard the birds for the first time in a week. I mean really heard them. They were loud and insistent! Even if I had walked out with troubling news to bear, the birds would have still been singing, because life goes on. And it would have, albeit differently for me, but life would have gone on, and endured and been a blessing regardless. But on this particular morning I really heard the birds singing, and the sun on my face was kissing me with a warmth and gentleness as tender as the most sensitive lover. The sky was bluer. The sounds of the city were sharp and clear and beautiful. This is what it's like to get your life back!

As I went to bed that night, as I laid myself down on what felt like the softest sheets in the world, (where did these come from?), I let myself go. I let my body relax and melt into my bed. My pillow felt like a cloud, (did it always cradle my head like this?). I felt gratitude for the four walls that held me that night. The moonlight shown dappled through the lace curtains. The night sounds coming from the woods outside were magical, and I cried. I cried for all the beauty of this life, all the creature comforts, and all the intangibles too. I realized that for everything I felt gratitude for, not one had anything to do with money. Or physical beauty. Or status. Or excess. What really mattered was love. I am a rich woman. I have abundance and authenticity. I have senses that have been heightened to a new level now. I thought they were pretty good before, but now they are precisely tuned to what matters most.

The song by Tim McGraw, "Live Like You Were Dying", comes to mind. What I would add is this: Live your life everyday. Hold those you love close to you. Allow for the frailties in others. Be kinder then you need to be, we never know what someone else is going through. Cut the ties with things that do not serve your highest good. You know what they are. Be brave and live with patience, ease, and a gentle heart. If this sounds preachy, forgive me. I preach to no one. Your path and mine may be very different, and I love that about all of us! But my message, if that's what you can call this post, is simply this....focus on what matters. Life is short in the grand scheme of things. The choice is ours daily. I wish you peace of mind and heart. I wish you peace in your daily life. A deep, full, unconstricted breath. The music of the spheres, the laughter of children, the sound of rain, the song of birds, the very air that fills our lungs. I wish you joy in this very moment. I wish you bliss. I wish you love. May this day be gentle with you.

**May I also add, for anyone dealing with a life threatening illness, I send you healing energy. As I sat among those at the hospital, those within the full grasp of dis-ease, I felt a kinship. The eyes do not lie, the pain contained within was palpable. We are all one. The sun and rain envelops us all equally, and without preference or judgment. May the blessings of this life fill you up and take away your pain.

Until next time.....blessings upon your heart

Cindy

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Changing Paths

You know when you're ready for a change. You feel unsettled, bothered by the slightest things, totally uninspired. Being uninspired is probably, in my book, the most soul deadening thing ever. To be uninspired by your life, or your work, is to slowly disappear. But thank goodness for "divine discontent". Yes, thank goodness for all those feelings of unrest, all those days you feel like you're going crazy, the days you bite someone's head off, the times you feel trapped. They are your compass, forever pointing you towards yourself, your home-base, your purpose. Finding ourselves in a dead-end anything is one of the most frustrating things we will experience in our lives. Nothing like feeling trapped, caged, held down, or held back. Nothing like feeling unappreciated, used, or used-up. We tie our sense of worth to so many outward things. And how can we not? It's how we live in the world. And in this world there will be people that will make you feel less then your brilliant self. There are jobs and relationships, children and spouses, bosses, parents, your church, your neighbors, your insidious inside voice, that will constantly remind you how unimportant you are. "Play small, think small, don't shine". Jeez.....

People and situations can be rough, but we're vicious on ourselves. So let's stop right now, let's stop with the put-downs and the negativity. Let's stop seeing this unrest as something to be avoided. Let's embrace it with out whole heart and dance with it. It's your compass. I can't stress that enough. We are so loved in this life, we are so magnificent that when we settle for anything less, over time, we will be nudged...sometimes violently shoved.... into the next phase of our lives. Or, you can forever be 9-5ing your days away, wanting something more. "Divine Discontent", how I love those two words! It is Divine to want something more. It is Divine to want to be all you can be, and it is Divine Discontent that will lead you there. Let it.

Take out a nice big pad of paper and pen. What do you love? What are you good at? And don't censor yourself. Nothing is too small, nothing is too trivial. Write out your heart's desire. This is just for you to see. Write it out. Imagine money being no object or stumbling block to where you want to be. Give yourself permission to design your life just the way you want it. If you can imagine it, you can make it happen. I promise you this, if you embrace the feelings associated with unease, boredom, or "I just don't give a flip anymore", you will be able to turn that into a positive flow in your life. It's a good thing you feel this way! You're desire for change is a first step, just keep moving through the feelings, don't stay stagnant with them, don't just sit there accepting the fact you are frustrated, move through them. We do need to take the first step, it doesn't magically happen. Knock on all the doors....and don't be surprised when an unexpected one opens! There is so much more then what we grasp at the moment. There is a bigger picture, a better way to be, a better way to live, a better way to enjoy life. And if you're living the life of your dreams, then more power to you! To tap into that level of being is a joy and a birthright.

"Use my talents. Lead me to where I can do the most good. Help me see and overcome the stumbling blocks I place in front of myself everyday". This is my prayer each day. I urge you to tap into that deepest place within yourself (where all answers lie) and ask outwardly too, humbly, but ask, and dream, and write it all out. Then knock on all the doors....and listen.

Your life is calling.

Until next time....blessings upon you heart

Cindy