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Surprise Gardens

Surprise Gardens

This blog is a revised version of a 2015 post.

Have you ever experienced a situation where the plans you carefully laid out just didn’t go as planned and the times when you just decided to wing it went far better than you imagined? I call that the difference between creating from the mental body and being in the Divine Flow and Joy of your Soul consciousness.

Several years ago, I planted some sunflower seeds outside my south facing window. I thought they would be a nice sunbreak as well as a bright spot of color. I waited and waited, but nothing came up. After a while, I assumed the squirrels who reside in the nearby trees probably had a little feast and that was the end of it. Late summer, I noticed some green stalks triumphantly pushing their way up right in the location where I had planted the sunflowers. “Eureka!” I thought. Maybe they were just slow starters.

However, as I watched them grow and mature, I realized that these were the funniest looking sunflowers I had ever seen. Instead of being wide, flat and round at the top, they were oblong. Hhhmmmm. I kept watering and they kept growing until I finally recognized their shape. I had corn stalks! I looked up and realized what had happened. Above that same window, I also keep a bird feeder hanging and some of the corn seeds in the bird mix had managed to land on the ground and take root. Just by following the joy of watching the birds outside my window, I had unwittingly created a whole new garden!

I started thinking about my other gardening adventures, and I realized that some of my healthiest, most productive plants are ones that I took home spur-of-the-moment “just to see how they would do.” Meanwhile, some of the areas that were more carefully plotted out according to which plants should do better in what amount of sun, haven’t done nearly as well. I was reminded of the saying to follow our bliss. When the heart is truly open, the Divine speaks to us most clearly and those seemingly inconsequential inspirations are often the Soul leading us to some new creation we never imagined.

As I expand the metaphor to my other “gardens”, other creations in my life, I see the lesson for me in truly trusting those thoughtless little moments of joy. With less thought and more heart, I look forward to many more surprise gardens in my life.

photo courtesy of www.pixabay.com

Laughter as Healer

Laughter as Healer

When was the last time you laughed spontaneously and out loud with gusto? Laughter is a powerful, healing energy that connects us with the free-spirited, most loving parts of ourselves and deepens our connection with others. There are even organizations dedicated to that healing quality of laughter by offering regular meetings for “laughter yoga”. People get together and laugh in community for a half hour. The joy of others expands the joy of each person, and the feeling increases exponentially. So, if laughter is that uplifting and highly infectious, why don’t we do it more often?

In our daily lives, we allow ourselves to become focused on getting things done with certain results. We think about the reasons for doing things and the logic of how to get them done. In other words, we often function primarily from our mental body. But laughter helps us of let go of the mental body and connect with our Soul consciousness. Because in a state of laughter, we are closest to our natural state of being, fully present in the moment with love and joy. There is no question of who laughs better or when we’re going to be done laughing and get on with more important things. We are in the pure experience of a higher frequency state of being.

Years ago, I was sent a link to a video about the power of laughter. You can find it on You Tube at Buddha on the Train It’s an 8-minute French video about the infectious state of joy and togetherness that comes from the pure and simple act of laughing. You don’t even need a reason to laugh because it’s not about whether something is funny, it’s about tapping into that pure state of joy which is always within us.

I invite you to take a few minutes and enjoy the pure, healing power of laughter within you. Go ahead, laugh! (Hee, hee).

picture courtesy of www.pixabay.com

The Joy of the Unfinished Task

The Joy of the Unfinished Task

I confess I do like checking items off my “To Do” list, and I have always been one of those people who unpacks within the first few days of a move so that everything is in its place. These are great organizational skills to have, but they can also distract my focus toward the end goal rather than staying fully present in the experience of the moment.

For a while now, I’ve been working on several long-term projects that are each in the “middle” phases of progress and are not showing obvious, major jumps forward. The “list” part of me sometimes has a desire to jump in and make something more visible happen. Even though I can check with guidance and know that they are just in process and not stuck, I feel the pull of that old desire to feel the satisfaction of checking something off my list as complete.

But every creation has a life of its own, involving many unseen factors and energies, and the greatest benefit comes from learning how to remain in alignment with all of those factors as the creation unfolds. Like a good wine, we need to allow time for our creations to “breath.” In Standing in the Light® Level 2, we talk about the cycle of creation which starts with holding the vision, taking action which has an impact, then going into a phase of evaluation and rest before creating a new vision and starting the process again. This is how we can listen to our creation and stay in sync with the divine timing of it. We learn just as much, if not more, from the quieter phases of visioning and evaluation as we do from the more visible action phases.

In nature, everything is essentially incomplete as it’s always moving toward something else. The sunny sky will not stay that way as needed rain clouds are already blowing in from the West. The vibrant bean stalk growing so rapidly in Spring will not stay that way once it finishes fruiting because it will begin to wither and die.

Rather than thinking of these projects of mine as messy and incomplete, I am learning to see them as simply alive, either actively growing or temporarily resting, but always perfectly in alignment with each phase of creation. I am enjoying the freedom of putting one down for a time, walking away or shifting to a different project so that it has time to percolate. And whenever I’m guided to pick it up again, I know that I am perfectly in sync with the next step. Surrendering to the ease of this ebb and flow is the true joy of the unfinished task.

image courtesy of www.pixabay.com

Resolutions of Willingness

Resolutions of Willingness

Here we are again at that time of year when so many feel the urge to list the things we want to change about ourselves, about our lives. The lists are often packed full of what we want, but are light on the concrete follow-through for achieving them. So, why not do an honest self-check and ask yourself what you’re really willing to give in order to experience those goals? Rather than a list of wants, create a list of willingness.

If you really want to lose weight or be healthier, what old habits are you truly willing to give up? If you want to put more into your savings each month, what monthly splurges are you willing to stop spending on? If you’re wanting a new partner, identify qualities within yourself that you are willing to share with that person, rather than what kind of person you want them to be for you. Be honest. If you’re just not willing to make that change yet, then set it aside. Sit with it and ask yourself why. If you know it would be in your best interest, then what is blocking you?

In Standing in the Light® classes, we teach that the first step of any manifestation is to check in with your Soul for guidance on what is the highest good to create in the first place. Then identify and clear the blocks you are still holding back from manifesting it. Next, allow yourself to begin to be those changes you want to make, as feeling states within yourself. Finally, what are your action steps to create that change out in the world? Instead of creating from outside in, we teach creating from inside out. With each step of the spiritual creation process, there must be a genuine willingness to make changes within in order to be aligned with new outer change mirrored back to you. That is the fundamental law of attraction.

So, this year, approach your goals a little differently and ask yourself what you’re willing to give to your creations rather than what you believe you’re going to get out of them. In the end, what you create in your life will be more deeply satisfying and infinitely more long-lasting.

picture courtesy of www.pixabay.com

Divine Knowing

Divine Knowing

What do you know for sure? And how do you know this? Spiritual teacher Krishnamurti once taught, “The day you teach the child the name of the bird, the child will never see the bird again.” The child will lose its innate connection with the spirit of the bird and see only the labels attached to the name.

We need language to function in the world and to communicate with each other. Words contain a great deal of information, but there is a big difference between third dimensional knowledge and Divine Knowing. How do I operate my car to get someplace? Where do I meet you when I get there? What is the name of the restaurant I’m looking for? This kind of information serves our physical needs. But when the words stop being simple tools because we start to attach meaning to them by giving them labels, they become ways for us to justify and strengthen our walls of judgment and separation.

Divine Knowing is not about facts or measurements we can see but is an understanding that comes from within, from our Soul. In Divine Knowing, we do not require proof that something is what we know it be in our hearts. We feel it. We connect with it. We know it without having to think about it.

Ask yourself: How do I know I love someone? How do I know that someone is sad even though they have a smile on their face? How do I understand the freedom of the bird in flight even while I’m on the ground? Because you feel it. The feeling is your knowingness. And the feeling comes through your connection.

While on a silent retreat some time ago, I took a long walk through the woods and tried to go through the entire walk without thinking of a single name of anything that I saw. (And it was much harder than I expected!) I focused on simply seeing the colors, the textures, the shapes while feeling the aliveness of everything. I was connecting with the unique essence of each plant, tree, rock without placing any labels or expectations on them. I was practicing what is natural to us in our pure divine state: to know something simply through being present with its energy, through my connection with it, through our Oneness.

As we move into the quiet of the winter season, focus on your knowingness from within. What do you know for sure, as your divine self? Does your divine self require words or thoughts to know this? What triggers you to forget what you already know?

The more we can let go of what we think we know, the more we can truly enjoy the mystery of the world around us. It is in the surrender of these identities, including our own, that we truly come to Know everything in the universe.

image courtesy of www.pixabay.com

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