Important Encounters

Important EncountersI read this quote today while reading an article on soul mates.  The article outlined the 10 elements of a soul mate and made a lot of sense in the ways of recognizing serendipitous miracles.

Sometimes soul mates enter into our world as a result of intense and focused intention.  Sometimes they grow from a professional or academic relationship.  Sometimes it is a brother or a sister who so generously allows you to be you.  It is a daughter or a son who loves you because you are you . . . because of your flaws and your zaniness and your creative forgetfulness.  Sometimes your soul mate comes as a complete and absolute and amazing surprise.  You are standing in line one evening and someone turns around and says, “Hello.  Do we know each other?”

My soul responds, “Yes, we do.”  We didn’t before this moment, but we did.  We do now.  toaster oven

These are the fabulous contradictions of every day miracles.  The surprise of the known.  The immediate recognition of the familiar in the unanticipated.  And it is all quite amazing actually.  We weave our hearts and souls into our respective days.  We tie off loose threads and we pull some length from the hanks of color that ribbon throughout and within.  We offer our dynamic colors and texture and entwine them into the tapestry of our lives.  We recognize that there is a Higher Power at work.

weaving with feathersWe are mindful to occasionally view the tapestry from above — not just from the underside where the slubs,
knots, and loose ends dangle.  If we cannot see the beauty from above, we close our eyes and open our hearts and imagine the beauty.  We keep on weaving.  Our souls so want to be expressed in threads that honor our unique and lovely ways.

There are some beautiful and magical writings that celebrate the metaphors, similes, and analogies of life with weaving and tapestries.  So many!

This quote from Yeats is magnificent and beautiful:

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths, en-wrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet: but I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
(W.B. Yeats, 1899)

A great image.

Dreams are fragile. They are but vapor in another’s soul.  They grow in body and in strength when treated gently.  As Yeats has written, soul mates tread ever so softly — so gently — on another’s dreams.  They see another’s dreams as beautiful and invaluable.  They celebrate another’s patchwork of reality.  They see themselves in the other’s dream.

Albert Einstein was so smart and wise.  He wrote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”  I want to live my life as though everything is a miracle.  Everything is sacred.  And amazing.  And beautifully woven together.  “Hello.  Do we know each other?”  Yes.  And Yes.

Tibetan wool, Boudhanath, Kathmandu, Nepal 20131229

 

 

 

 

“When seeking guidance” . . . run with the goats.

WolfPack“When seeking guidance, don’t ever listen to the tiny-hearted. Be kind to them, heap them with blessing, cajole them, but do not follow their advice.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

When Clarissa Pinkola Estés wrote the book Women Who Run with the Wolves, I remember what a smash hit it was with women.  And maybe men, too.  My fourth sister sent it to me so we could celebrate our womanhood.  At the time, it seemed that I was so busy being a very busy person — I barely had time to glance at it long enough to re-discover or to create another woman within.  Women wanted to break free from something and move toward something else.  Why not run with the wolves? women asked themselves.  Good question.

tiny heart“The tiny-hearted” . . . who are they?  One of my good friends once told me that the person whom I was dating at that time had a “baby soul.”  I am thinking that this might be akin to “the tiny-hearted.”  It definitely set a different perspective into motion in the ways of someone else stating the obvious from an outsider’s viewpoint.  I started to recognize the outtakes of spending time with this particular Tiny-Hearted as not being so great.  I wasn’t exactly looking for evidence, but the manifestations of tiny-hearted living were all around and right there before me.

I googled “tiny hearted” and found a synonym for it: cowardice.  At this particular time in my past, it took me a while to realize that I was the one who was ultimately being tiny-hearted.  I was the coward for not grabbing a canteen and taking off to run with the wolf pack.  All of that time . . . I thought it was the other person who was making me unhappy.

It is true that I felt this way.  I was a victim of my own “if-only . . .”.  It took me a while to galvanize my heart and to screw my courage to the sticking post, but I eventually divested my life of this tiny-hearted baby soul who had taken up residence within.  It took some time and a lot of back sliding.  Ultimately, like a pro racecar driver, I took down the rearview mirror and motored away.  For good.  Whew.  Now where was that finish line?

I regained my soul when I threw that rearview mirror out the window into the ditch as I sped down that dirt road into a new future.  I imagine some magpie or jackdaw soaring above the ditch on a sunny day and catching a glimpse of shiny in the grasses.  It circling down and looking at itself in the mirror.

But maybe my memories of this time in my life are wrong.  Maybe I was much stronger than I remember.  A memory has a way of shift changing, and it can only perform in retrograde.  It has no means of being remotely real but in the very making of it — in the present moment.  And even then, it isn’t itself.  It must be coded and shelved for easy access first.  And it isn’t activated until someone cares enough to call it to the forefront of a future present moment.

This is why my takeaway memory of reading Estés’ book is not quite clear.  I truly don’t remember reading it clear through.  Perhaps I spot-read it.  I do remember that the writing was insightful and intuitive.  And encouraging.  The book dared women to dare.  To do and to be.  To discover Essence.  Estés was a pioneer.  And I am thinking most likely still is.

Thinking about this now, I am reminded of several of my favorite quotes of Eleanor Roosevelt:

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Eleanor Roosevelt, This is My Story

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

and my absolute favorite . . .

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

My life has changed.  I have changed.  I am the same but different now.  While running with the wolves, I believed that good things would come my way.  And they have.  toaster oven

The wolf pack has nurtured me and served me well through the harrowing times I have chosen to spend with the Tiny Hearted.  I thank Estés for her clarity and her wisdom.  For pushing me into the wolf pack when I felt most isolated.

goats-largeNow?  I have shifted into a new paradigm, and I would rather Run with the Goats.  Goats are noisy, joyful, and erratic.  They bleat and shout and yell as they run willy-nilly in a general direction.  They look like they are always having a great time.  They are opportunists and jump on anything that is taller than them.  They are not afraid of falling.  They balance precariously on the least likely of perches.  They scuffle for top-goat position.  They do not fear knocking another goat off of the apex in order to have their minute moment of Hallelujah!  I made it! — all before being donked off by another fun-loving goat.  There is just something so ludicrously haphazard about goats.

These videos are awesome.  I hope you take the time to view them.  They continue to put a smile on my face each time I watch them.  The wolves?  They are amazing.  The goats?  They are foolhardy and look the moment in the eye.  They do not heed the making of a memory because they are too busy having fun.

Okay!  No more goat videos!  But you get the idea of Goat Spirit by watching these.

topographic-mapToday?  I am going to listen to Eleanor.  Believe in the beauty of my dreams.  Do something that scares me.  I am going to jump on top of something really challenging and do a skittering balancing act.  And when I topple off, I am going to jump back on.  There is so much to be celebrated in the trying, in the shouting, in the dancing.  In the tossing of the rearview mirror.  In Running with the Goats.

 

The Forest of Symbols

stacked-vintage-plates-de-25950074I love spending time on my back deck in the summertime.  Love it.  It has grown to be the sanctuary that I have always longed to create.  This makes me feel immeasurably happy.  Trees, starshine, relative quiet, begonias and ivy spilling out of pots.  Dinner served on oddball china accompanied by a glass of wine and excellent company in the day’s gloaming.  These things create a balance within.  I value it very much.

Beneath my deck is a fairly sharp drop-off into the ravine below.  At the foot of the ravine is a creek.  Although I cannot see the creek from my house, I can hear it burbling in the summer and rushing in the spring.

maple tree IThere are two maple trees that grow almost directly beneath my deck.  They arc out and away to clear the overhang of the deck, and they then bump right up against the railing in their quest for sunlight.

There is dense forest to the east so the sunrise is diffused and scanty.  To the west?  The house stands.  To the north and south?  My neighbors.  The sunlight?  A tight arc overhead.  Sunlight is a rare and divine commodity.  And these amazingly resilient maple trees keep overtaking all sun rights.

I dutifully trim each tree back each summer, so that I can maintain one roving and solitary sun spot on my deck at high noon.  I used to feel a distinct unease in my stomach when I trimmed these trees back.  They work so hard.  I look down at their beginnings . . . their roots . . . tucked beneath the deck, and I marvel.  These trees maintain an impressive will to survive.  I honor this and want it to be duly recognized.

Still . . . the sunshine is such a rare thing in the midst of the forest . . .

Survival.  Such a strong word . . . the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances (“Google define:”)  Thinking about struggling tree seedlings in the dark underbelly of my deck could be considered to be difficult circumstances.  And lest I go too far and appear to be anthropomorphising a maple tree . . . I do acknowledge that what may seem dark and uninviting to me might pose as ideal growing conditions for a maple seedling.  It’s possible.

Still, the sunlight.  There is always the need for that.

Coincidence-FateAn accident?  I am not so sure about the word accident.  An accident poses so many debatable thoughts concerning its reality.  Do you believe in coincidence?  I do.  And I don’t.  I prefer to think in terms of “natural order” . . . that I am following a natural order that is designed as a result of the deliberate and spontaneous choices that I make.   I do somewhat embrace the notion of fate or destiny; still, I do believe that we are all capable of steering our lives into states of “coincidence” that override all of the imaginings that we could and can concoct.

Coincidence.  One never knows when a Miracle is going to line up ahead of you and then turn around and say hello.  toaster oven

Robert Moss in his awesome book The Three “Only” Things writes about coincidence.  Moss writes:

“Everything that enters our field of perception means something, large or small. Everything speaks to us, if we will take off our headphones and hear a different sound track. Everything corresponds. We travel better in the forest of symbols when we are open and available to all the forms of meaning that are watching and waiting for us.”
Robert Moss, The Three “Only” Things: Tapping the Power of Dreams, Coincidence, and Imagination

“The forest of symbols”:  lovelovelove this.  The vastly precocious meaning of these symbols.

The summer when I was reading Moss’ book . . . Wow!  But was I paying attention!  To the largest and smallest of things.  Dragonflies performing a skittering and buzzing ballet against a blue sky.  Scratched up pennies on the sidewalk.  Cloud patterns.  Bottle caps in the gutters.  Bees dancing around blossoms.  A message scrawled across the back of a coaster in a bar.  A Lego man forgotten in the grass after a foot-stomping outdoor concert.  All of these crazy and amazing symbols were presenting themselves from all angles of the forest.  I was listening, watching, thinking, wondering, journaling, creating.

I remember this summer like no other.  Why?  I was paying attention.  I honored coincidence as the harbinger of amazinglifeforce.  The stories I created in my journaling that summer were quite fanciful actually.  I saw all of these symbols as positive omens for an ultimate outcome that would be blissful.  And happy.  And rewarding.  It felt so great.

Falling-asleep-forestI see now that “the forest of symbols” were there for everyone else to see, too.  It was how I was perceiving these things that proved unique to me . . . to what it was that I believed would make for a fulfilling life.  I was seeking an apex to my compilation of coincidence.  I wanted to believe that seeing 4 people walk past me within half an hour and all wearing orange t-shirts meant something.  Pay no mind to the fact that there was road work being conducted on the street above my point of musing.  Those 4 orange t-shirts were all  harbingers of good things to come.  I was paying attention.

happinessI know why I loved that summer.  It was because I allowed myself the trajectory of fancy that dreaming allows.  My journaling put my thoughts of positivity onto tangible pieces of paper in a now-dog-eared spiral notebook.  I glanced through this journal just this past weekend.  It is written in a curious code that can only be understood by me.  I continue to maintain contact with the dreamer within who wrote all of those optimistic thoughts.  I was going somewhere that summer.  I just didn’t know where or when.  But I knew why.  I wanted to find a perfect center of bliss in my life.

I digress.  Those two maple trees.  Sun survival.  I generally allow them to grow 6 feet or so above the railing — which doesn’t take long. The loppers come out of obscurity and then my sun spot returns to me — my small roving spotlight of vitamin D.  Last weekend I gave each tree a haircut at slightly above deck-railing height, knowing that we both want to grow in the same spot.

tree prunersI am a careful pruner.  I went online and read up on best practices for tree pruning.  I mean no harm and intend no long-lasting damage.  I honor the growth and the spirit in these trees that some folk in this part of the world regard as “weed trees.”  These trees remind me to pay attention.  Sunlight can be lost, but it can be regained.  The planet keeps spinning and we — the trees and I — keep growing and stretching for more.  We attain.  We share space and light.

I love my back deck.  This summer, the rewards of all of that positivity from several summers ago have come to fruition.  I was a believer when I was spinning my “coincidental” symbols into pure sweetness.  And light.

“Everything . . . means something . . . everything speaks to us  . . . everything corresponds . . .”  I hold this thought as I sit here on the back deck and tap away on the keyboard.  I remain ever “open and available to all the forms of meaning that are watching and waiting for [me].”  I am paying attention.Huge snail
treeline

Uzima

caves of lascauxUzima is the Swahili word for life: wholeness, vigor, and vitality of mindbodyspirit.  This word inspires me to be creative, adaptable, and compassionately aware in my service to others; to encourage others to seek balance in their commitment to wellness and learning in their respective lives; and to be open to the possibilities and opportunities that can transform perceptions of the ordinary into celebrations of the miraculous.

story telling ira glassOne way that I best connect with uzima is through shared stories.   The nature of narrative — with its origins of truth, knowledge, and heritage — makes for a powerful tool for unleashing Voice – the inner awareness of the possibilities and the power within.

cameras-lens-japan-olympus-photographyExercising Voice can shape the way we see the world and how we choose to participate in it.  Narrative is a lens by which one can view each experience, be it positive or negative, to build powerful metaphors that can better guide an understanding of how to approach life’s obstacles from an empowered state – rather than a hopeless state.

we all have storiesWe create and we grow our lives by being transparent with our stories.  By exploring the powerful tradition of narrative, it is possible to transform our ways of thinking and processing new experiences.  Through journaling and storykeeping, it is possible to make connections that lead us along our respective pilgrimages of healing and make us the authors of our life stories.  When we share our stories, we share our core beliefs – a powerful step in life’s growth and healing process.

book heart story tellingI came across a passage in my reading recently that resonated with me: our blessings and gifts earn value when used . . . our abundance is an expression of how we use our gifts and how we can feel truly prosperous (from the Daily OM).  When we share — our hearts, our lives, our stories — our riches become more valuable because we have given of them with compassionate awareness.

sandy-rabbits-sharing-grass-mark-taylorSharing is one of those uzima experiences that grows us.  Sometimes in ways of which we are completely unaware.

The ripple effect goes unnoticed.  We do not know what the ultimate outcome will be of bestowing a kindness upon another.  Maybe it is getting a box of tissues for someone who is crying.  Or it is letting someone into traffic.  Loaning someone $20 for gas money.  Rubbing someone’s shoulder while she is struggling against life’s current.  Buying coffee for the person who is standing in line behind you.  Sending an I-love-you letter via snail mail.  Listening to your best friend tell his story.  Laughing until your sides ache.

Abundance.  Compassionate awareness.  Wholeness in existence.  Happiness.  Contentment.  Significance.  Connection.  Sharing.  Huge snail

We can create abundance in our lives and in the lives of others by giving freely of what we have and who we are.  It is a humbling thing to write of this: to believe that we — you and I — stand to be instrumental in another’s growth.  It is life’s ultimate gift.  To others.  And to our own selves.  It is powerful, magnificent, and humbling . . . to think that we all have the opportunity to love another with uzima reflected in our actions.  toaster oven

storytelling_reading

 

 

Life in 3-D TechniLove

color wow!!!!!

hummingbird

Out-There-654x436

Parrot

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beautiful leaves. positively positive. self love.

Butterfly-Wing

tomatoes-f55973c9c7e2cfb66737e3ee185b3bbab57dcd5c-s6-c30

tranquil

cropped-osmia-avoseta-bees-nests-solitart-bees.jpg

parrish1

painters hands

Color.  Gorgeous vibrant messy color.

Google’s “define color”: the property possessed by an object of producing different sensations on the eye as a result of the way the object reflects or emits light

Love this! “different sensations . . .” [Yes!]  “. . . as a result of the way the object reflects or emits light”

Isn’t this just the best definition of life?  We experience different sensations as a result of the way we reflect or emit light and darkness; happiness and sadness; laughter and anger; love and fear.  So much of life is defined by how we reflect or emit our essence.

Love is the ultimate reflection.  It is eternal.  It never wanes.  It grows before our very soul’s eyes.  We are so richly blessed to be able to reflect and emit love. toaster oven Wow is the ultimate understatement.  Love — like a Jackson Pollock painting — has the power to not only Wow! and to draw you into the details of texture and color, but it also holds the magic to reflect the most intricate designs of light and contrast.

I love color.  Who doesn’t?  Although my closet is full of black, gray, and black-and-white-polka-dot dresses, I do love color.

My favorite color?  If I were to describe the color of love, I would say Sky Blue Pink.  What color would you say describes the color of love?

This video by OK Go is a celebration of fantastical color.  So fanciful and creative and beautiful and just plain fun.  It is my wish that your day today be replete to the brim with TechniLove.

. . . and for those of you who like to understand the technology and background behind fantastical magic:

 

 

The Beauty of Flying

https://yy1.staticflickr.com/2479/3599754765_c66ec8cd9b.jpgBeauty.

I seek this. I want to experience beauty in my life.  I want my life to encompass and to express beauty and usefulness and meaning.  I search for beauty all around me. It is all around me.  I use my senses to detect it, experience it, and to make note of it. I record reminders of it with my pen and with my iPhone and with my sketchbook and with my laptop and with the telling of a story.  This is beautiful – and I try to capture it for future reference. . . on the page, on my phone, on my social networking page, on my desktop, on canvas.

Real Beauty takes up residence.  It lives within.  Sometimes in obscurity, but itreflected trees is there.  Without sensing and experiencing Real Beauty, my inspiration to write flounders for oxygen.  Writing.  Writing dictates my sense of  soul survival.  I will write.  I sit at my desk and salad spin my ideas into various folders on my external hard drive and various flash drives and stretch for oxygen. I breathe to resuscitate my soul’s desire to record that which will give my life meaning.  A reflection, a glimpse of Real Beauty.

All the while, beauty has every opportunity to exhale out of me. Out of my words, my senses, my actions, my intentions. These Hands have the power to create beauty from that which is within. I can make a difference by simply being present.  This is what my humble soul reminds me of on a daily basis: You can make a difference.  You can be the change.  You can create something useful and beautiful.  You have a purpose.  You have purpose.

I think of the day when I was walking down at the harbor and, in the near distance, I saw an older woman with a kite. She was dressed for the wind — which I wasn’t — and she was walking and jerkily working her line to get her kite up into a fresh gust. Her age precluded her from running into the wind. Her face turned back — hoping to watch her kite take flight.

I don’t know why, but this image tugged at me . . . a sadness took hold of my spirit . . . until I realized that she was the one out in the elements seeking to create magic in the sky. I was merely walking off a recent argument with my now ex-boyfriend, knowing that he had extruded a far-from-positive reaction from me in the midst of the discussion.

I was out on that very chilly day wanting to realign my thinking, my sense of being, and my sense of believing. My sense of wonder and beauty and meaning.  I wanted to see some beauty in not succeeding. Not only in my own life but in seeing that wind-less kite on the grass.  The day did not hold a lot of promise of bliss or serenity or flight.

As I approached the woman, I felt a wave of reticence wash over me. Should I offer help? If I do, will that come across as condescending? Should I allow this person her independence and the satisfaction of having accomplished the task on her own once the kite is up in the air?

irrational and rational brainI know. Too much thinking.  My rational brain was warring with and winning over my emotional brain.  I walked past her and then stopped. There is never harm in offering help if the intention is pure.  Decision made.  I asked.  She said Yes. 

I ran with her kite until she yelled for me to stop. She told me to just toss it up in the air and she could take it from there. I tossed her kite twice before the wind grabbed it. The woman’s eyes were on her kite. She was smiling. Such a small moment of exchange, but I could feel nature’s pulse in the line as the wind grabbed it from my hands. There was truly no tossing on my part involved. The wind did all the work.

As I left, she told me thank-you-so-much.  She didn’t think that she could have raised the kite on her own.  She said that there was a group of people who meet down at the park each Wednesday afternoon and that I should come and bring a kite and join them.

I go to the harbor every Wednesday, but I haven’t brought a kite with me. Instead, I lie on my back on a grassy hill and watch the toss of brilliant colors in the blue sky.  I look for her kite. It is one of the smaller kites, some of them being extraordinarily extravagant and gregarious.

I see her green and red tree frog soaring in the wind, and the incongruity of a frog flying feels ironically beautiful. I am watching something tangibly impossible. I am witnessing a miracle.  And I remind myself that I was able to touch that miracle on a gray-sky day when no one was down at the park but she and I.

Seeing the woman with her Kite Club, it strikes me odd that she was all alone the day that I met her.  Maybe she was chasing her own demons around that day. Maybe she just wanted to catch some wind.  Maybe she just loves to fly her frog.

By me offering to help her, she helped me. She put my mind up into the sky and out of the mire where an unpleasant exchange of words had sunk me. Or more aptly put, where I had sunk me.

I create what I allow.  I witness beauty when I open my eyes. My mind. My heart.  I experience beauty when I allow freedom of light and love to flow into my skies.  I feel so blessed to have been a part of that kite’s flight.  I can still remember the tug of wind and the release I experienced by over-riding my rational and emotional barriers.

kite in skyLife is good these days.  I am soaring, and I appreciate the stillness as much as I do the wind.  Beauty is in every molecule and these molecules enter into me without thought.  The beauty exists in great abundance.  Blessings abound.  They are amplified by the stillness in each present nano-moment.  I am happy.  toaster oven

 

Last Leaf

This is such an awesome music video.  Fanciful, creative, beautiful, imaginative.  So innovative.  Wow!

“If you should be . . . forever it’ll be.” Forever. toaster oven 3

“Last Leaf”

If you should be the last autumn leaf hanging from the tree
I’ll still be here waiting on the breeze to bring you down to me
And if it takes forever, forever it’ll be
And if it takes forever, forever it’ll be 

And if you should be the last seed in spring to venture forth a leaf
I’ll still be here waiting on the rain to warm your heart for me
And if it takes forever, forever it’ll be
And if it takes forever, forever it’ll be

[http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/okgo/lastleaf.html]

On the Beach in Hawaii

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Daydreaming of beautiful things . . .toaster oven

“On the Beach in Hawaii”

I wish you were here with me
Walking on the beach in Hawaii
Playing on the golden sand
Looking at the ocean, now I understand

Love is like the open sea
And I wish you were here with me
On the beach in Hawaii

Since you’ve been gone away
I think about you everyday
Don’t you know I miss you much
And you know I need your touch . . .