Happy endings

 

Happy Endings (acrylic on old board)

Happy Endings (acrylic on old board)**

I recently finished reading two really well written books, but can only recommend the first* because the second one, although it won some big awards, had an unhappy and unsatisfying ending. As I sat looking at these two books last evening (I was going to loan them to a friend who is going on vacation) I was struck by the thought that no children’s books have unhappy endings . What teacher wants to read a book to a group of 8 year olds and have them, at the end, all crying or depressed?

I did this to my sons once. I can’t remember how old they were, but I thought that they should be introduced to “important” literature and read them, Edgar Allan Poe’s, “The Tell Tale Heart”. I’m pretty sure that I didn’t get to finish it. At least one of them was crying, and they were both afraid.  What a stupid thing for me to do. Really. Horrifying, really.

Yet much fiction (and non-fiction) is exactly this: horrifying.  What also struck me as I thought about these two books, is how arbitrary endings are. What is an “ending” anyway? No story is ever finished. Even if the character that we fell in love with dies, where did they go? Surely that gorgeous energy is somewhere…the story is not over….ever. Removed from our view, changed, different, but not over.

Goodness is happening all around us. Every life is an ongoing story of positive expansion….even if in the moment it seems unhappy, stuck, bored, depressed, hopeless, or helpless….the story is not over. My story is not over, your story is not over, no story is over.

Sometimes, when I’m in the middle of a tough time I will say to myself, “I wonder how this is going to turn out? I am looking forward to seeing the gift!” When I remember to do this, I can feel my energy lighten and I know that I’m shining a light on my path so the wonderful things can find me easier.

Imagine happy endings…even though there are no endings. It will make the journey a lot more fun.

Do you want to be always happy?
Then give up fighting
For negativity
And learn the beautiful art
Of self-encouragement.          Sri Chinmoy

*the title of this book is, “Masterpiece” by Elise Broach (a wonderful children’s book that I thoroughly enjoyed)

** this painting and others are for sale on MY ARTWORK page

This entry was posted on August 19, 2014. 14 Comments

take the love….. leave the judgement

Dream Big (my latest painting, acrylic on very old, thick board)*

Dream Big (my latest painting, acrylic on very old, thick board)**

There is a scene in the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, where George has just gotten married and he runs into his uncle Billy, who was not at the wedding because he forgot about it. Uncle Billy forgets a lot and he also drinks a lot. The two seem to be related. Uncle Billy says to George, “Was it a nice wedding, George?…” and George smiles, points to one of the many strings that Uncle Billy has tied around his fingers (to remind him not to forget things) and says, “You can take this one off now”.

There was so much acceptance in that brief exchange of love.

A few years ago,I was listening to a woman* in a spiritual workshop complain that her mother kept sending her expensive containers of frozen wheatgrass juice which she did not want to drink. This woman had cancer and her mother thought that wheatgrass juice could be healing. The woman was angry with her mother for persisting in sending something that she didn’t want. The leader of the workshop then said, “Keep the love and throw the wheatgrass out”.

So many things have love as their essence, yet if I am unable or unwilling to see the love hidden in the message/gift, I miss out. I grew up with a family member who was a “big talker” when it came to fantastic plans for the future ….but  he wasn’t big on follow-through.  This aspect of him was criticized by everyone in the family to the point where almost anything he said was ignored and his promises scoffed at. It never occurred to me that his promises were full of love for me. It never occurred to me that I could take the love that was being offered in that moment, and let go of the future.

I had a conversation with him last week and he said, “Next year, we are going to go on a big trip together….maybe Paris or somewhere fantastic” and I smiled and said, “I love that idea”, and that was the truth. Will we go? Maybe. Maybe not….but it doesn’t matter to me. I felt his love for me and I kept it!

*”Keep the love and throw the wheatgrass out”   from a live workshop given by Carolyn Myss

 

* this painting and others are for sale on MY ARTWORK page

This entry was posted on August 12, 2014. 17 Comments

The world is for me…. and for you

Noah watching

Noah 

I forgot to breath today…but I found myself breathing anyway. I forgot to grow my hair, beat my heart, or circulate my blood…but they all worked just the way they were supposed to, even though I didn’t consciously do them. As a matter of fact, with the exception of breathing, I don’t do any of the other functions that my body so easily performs day in and day out. And truly, I don’t know how I take a deep breath. Sure, I have the thought, “breath” and then I do it, but what is a thought? How does that work?

The leap that I have been taking lately is to trust that my life is working, opportunities are coming, circumstances and events are showing up, even when I have no clue how this is happening. I am moving into the realization that my life is “being done” by the much larger part of me and that my part is to show up; open, relaxed, and ready to take action when I know that the action is being directed by my larger self. If someone needs me, I trust that I will be led to them, or them to me.

I heard a wonderful talk by Alan Watts several days ago and he basically said, “The larger part of us, the part of us that is connected to everything, and everyone, is omnipotent and omniscient. We are a part of that field so we don’t have to know how to do something to do it.” It is impossible to figure out the “hows”, and if I think that my life needs to make sense (to my conscious mind) and that I need to get everything figured out before I make a move, then the world I’m living in is way too small, since it doesn’t include any variable beyond what my puny little mind can conjure up.

I cannot figure out how miracles, magic, mystery, healing, or love happen. When I look back over my life and notice where these wonders have occurred, one consistent theme prevails: none were orchestrated by me (my conscious mind). All seemed to come from some other place. I do not have to figure out what this place is to trust in it.

“I perceived that I wouldn’t have to go out and search for what I was supposed to do, it would unfold before me….but I wouldn’t have to pursue anything or work at figuring out how I was going to achieve it. I simply had to allow it to unfold. To access this state of allowing, the only thing I had to do was to be myself!” Anita Moorjani, from her book, Dying to be me, (talking about the revelation she had during her near death experience)

 

Help is here, now

 

Mary and I having a wonderful lunch at the Upriver Cafe in Latke Luzern NY

Mary and I having a wonderful lunch at the Upriver Cafe in Lake Luzerne NY

I was supposed to pick up my niece from the airport a few days ago and for some reason I left the house late. I don’t like to be late, as a matter of fact, I’d rather be early and wait. When I think I’m going to be late I feel anxiety well up inside and no matter how many times I tell myself to relax, take it easy, no big deal, some unconscious part of me thinks it is a big deal to be late.

About half way through the trip, I took a turn that I hoped would be a shortcut and as soon as I made it, I began to doubt the decision. My anxiety escalated and I felt worse and worse until I said out loud, “I need help”. I turned on the radio and the words, “I can’t stand this indecision, married to a lack of vision….” were playing. Exactly what I needed to hear….the answer to my prayer was being broadcast into my car.

I realized that I had been thinking about what I didn’t want: being late, imagining Mary getting off the plane, looking around for me, forlornly getting her bags, thinking I didn’t care enough to be on time. This was the scenario I was playing in my head. No wonder I felt bad.

I took a deep breath and thought of the “vision” that I would like to see; me standing at the gate and Mary smiling when we saw each other. From that moment on, I kept replaying the new scene in my mind (although the old one kept trying to push in).  I did make it to the airport on time.

Help is all around us, all of the time. 24/7, it is as close as our breath, our heartbeat, our next thought, the words playing on the radio, ….the ways that our larger self (the Divine Self that is always connected to All) tries to help us are endlessly varied and always available. Just remember to ask …..and then listen….and then do what it says to do!

 

“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing” Arundhati Roy*

 

* Thank you Liz for this wonderful quote! I loved it so much that I painted my version of it, and it is for sale on MY ARTWORK  page

"She is on her way" acrlic on 2 boards (with nest and bird 'inside')

“She is on Her Way” acrylic on 2 boards (with nest and bird ‘inside’)

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted on August 5, 2014. 8 Comments

I love “us”

Noah napping

Noah napping

It’s no secret to any of you who read my blog on a regular basis that correct spelling and grammar are not my thing. I wish that they were but although I know that I could (well, I think that I could) work really hard and learn the rules, and all of the exceptions, I am probably not going to. I saw a quote on Facebook the other day that said, “Grammar: the difference between knowing your shit and knowing you’re shit”, and I cracked up.

It must be a challenge for those of you who do know your grammar to read some of my posts. I image you good grammar people saying, “Why did she put a semi colon there? What about all of those commas? and spaces where they don’t belong? My god, doesn’t Mary know any of these rules?” If you are one of these good grammar people then I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking with me here and not pulling your hair out declaring, “I’m sorry. She might have a good message but I cannot get beyond her poor grammar”. And I really mean this.

One of my biggest challenges in life is not correcting someone if I see/hear them doing something wrong (or what I think is wrong). I am also very thankful that there are people who know things and have talent in areas that I don’t have. I am currently working on a large project and I marvel at the skills of my friend Rick and my son Tom who see in ways that I don’t even think in. It makes even more aware of how much we all need each other.

Thank you everyone for being a part of this blog. Thank you for your presence, thoughts, ideas, and contributions (both in writing and in thought). I could not do this without you.

“Non nobis solum nati sumus (Not for ourselves alone are we born)” Marcus Tullius Cicero

 

My latest painting (Carpe Diem 4 or Seize the Play!) was so much fun to do! It is for sale on the MY ARTWORK page of this blog .

My latest painting (Carpe Diem 4 or Seize the Play!) was so much fun to do! It is for sale on the MY ARTWORK page of this blog .

The best day of my life

Today (acrylic on old 2-piece board)

Today (acrylic on very old wood)*

Yesterday was the best day of my life. I got up early and took my cup of strong, black, coffee outside where I sat on my very soft upholstered chair (that barely fits on our tiny front porch) and said, “Today is the best day of my life.” I’ve been doing that for a few weeks now, and when I remember, I also say it during the day.

It seems to open new ways of seeing….like the magic words, “Open Sesame”. I consider these words, “Today is the best day of my life” a prayer. I am setting an intention and alerting myself to be watchful for the wonderful things of life that are just waiting to be recognized.

I don’t say these words because I have just bounded out of bed full of the feeling of joyful expectation. i say them because this is how I want to be…and as I repeat them I do begin to feel an inner change. Coincidentally (and I do not believe that anything is coincidental) some incredible opportunities have presented themselves in the past few weeks.

So as I say good morning to all of you today, I wonder if you’d like to join me in saying, “Today is the best day of my life!” It costs nothing to try…except of course a possible confrontation with that egoic mind which might say back, “How can you say that? Your life is a mess! It’s easy for Mary to say or someone else (anyone but you) but your life is far from good and this day can’t possibly be the best. You’ll be lucky if it isn’t the worst!” …thank god you don’t have to feel a certain way to call it into being.

We have the power to change our minds (and our lives) through our thoughts and words, and knowing that, I will boldly claim, (as I sit here writing on my couch, fully aware that after I post this, I’ll be cleaning up the mess that our elderly kitty, Noah, just vomited in the corner of our living room) “Today is the best day of my life!”

 

Words  are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal…..” Yehuda Berg

 

* this painting, along with a few others, is for sale on MY ARTWORK page

 

 

A wonderful life

Summer nap

Fred, Esther, Bodhi and Noah taking a summer nap

It has taken me most of my life to realize that if I have a problem with something or someone then I have a problem. The “problem” is mine and the problem is always with my thinking.  I’ve heard this stated in 100 different ways but one of my favorites was something I heard Edween Gaines (a Unity minister) say, “If I see a problem with anyone, it is my vision that needs correcting”.

For a while, I thought this meant that I was the only screwed up person, no one else did anything wrong, and I needed to change so I would feel love toward them. This seemed like an impossible task. …and it was.

What I have come to see is that everyone really is perfect. Just because I don’t like the way they are acting, how they are treating me, or others, doesn’t mean that my vision of how they should behave is the right one. That is arrogance in the extreme…and ego running the show.

I am the only one who can determine what is right for me. If I’m around someone who is perpetually hostile or unpleasant and I choose to stay, how can I blame them? How can I call their behaviour wrong? If I want them to change, so I can be happy then I am trying to make them into the image of perfection that I like. Again, arrogance in the extreme.

But knowing that everyone is living the life of their choice (which I have no right to judge) also means that I can leave them, or ask them to leave, or not invite them into my life, without assuming that they are wrong.

I know a woman who stays married to an unhappy, disconnected, mean-spirited, man because she feels like she need to accept him as he is. And she has suffered for years over his behaviour. She has contorted herself 1000 different ways to get him to love her, while all the time ignoring her own pain, which is saying, “Make a new choice for yourself”.

Her ego is in charge but she thinks she is being “spiritual” by staying, while it is so clear, from the outside (and isn’t it always so easy to see from the outside!) that the most loving thing that she could do for herself and him is to leave. He is perfect just the way he is. It is clear that he isn’t perfect for her but she stays because she thinks that he is someone who needs her to fix him. She vacillates between feeling sorry for him, and being angry at him, and he just continues along ignoring her as she continues to ignore her dreams for a happy life.

Dare to dream of a happy life. See it, love it, become it…and that vision will guide and direct you in ways that you could never figure out, manipulate or plan. Trust that you were meant to live a wonderful life.

 

“Everyone is perfect, just as they are, but there are some people whose perfection I choose not to be around.” Edween Gaines

This entry was posted on July 22, 2014. 6 Comments