entering the mystery

Eleanor sleeping on top of blankets and a large frog pillow (reminds me of the Princess and the Pea)

Eleanor sleeping on top of blankets and a large frog pillow (reminds me of the Princess and the Pea!)

Did you ever have a day where you felt like you didn’t know what to do or which way to turn? Several days ago, this is how I felt. There were many things that I could have done and many things that I should have done and yet I didn’t want to do any of them, so I decided to take a nap, which at the time, felt irresponsible. Lying down on my bed I had the thought, “If I knew that I only had 24 hrs to live, what would I do?” I originally thought I was asking this question of myself because of my seemingly extreme lack of motivation to do anything. The question (I thought) was like a kick in the butt. But what happened next was extraordinary.

As I truly pondered the question, I could see options moving across my inner vision. Would I go to Paris? No. India? No. The special restaurant I’ve been planning to visit? No. There was no place I would go.

The question: What would I do if I only had 24 hrs to live?

The answer: I would see the people who I loved, and I would thank them for being in my life.

I also knew that no matter how much I loved them, I couldn’t attach myself to them for 24hrs….none of us would enjoy that, but I would want to see them and thank them. So I closed my eyes and let the faces of my loved ones come to me. I saw their smiles and I heard their voices. At first I sort of “controlled” who I would see, calling to mind those closest to me, but then others started coming in. People who I’d known years ago, neighbors, casual friends, and some people who I would’ve considered difficult or unpleasant, began to appear in my mind’s eye, and what surprised me most was that I felt only love and gratitude for them. When I imagined that I only had 24 hrs to live, I saw all beings as equally “important” in my life.

This revelation has left an impression on me and has changed me….I’m not quite sure how, but I can feel it. Knowing that if I only had 24 hrs to live, I could somehow drop my preconcieved ideas about people and their “value” in my life, has expanded my consciousness and it was born from a sense that I was wasting time, being lazy, and opting for a nap when I should have been “productive”….

 

This entry was posted on September 18, 2014. 8 Comments

Back on the path of love…again and again

Good Morning Love!

Good Morning Love! (my latest painting*)

I was sitting here this morning thinking about friendship and a memory popped up from when I was about 11 years old. A girl from my class and I were playing at her house, and when it was time for me to leave, she walked me home. I was about to go into my house when she said, “Now you should walk me home.” I didn’t want to do it and told her that. I can remember feeling like it was a courageous thing to tell someone that I didn’t want to do something that they wanted. She then told me that I wasn’t a friend and that I wasn’t nice. I was devastated….and so I walked her home.

It seemed like I spent the next 40 years of my life trying to be the kind of friend, sister, daughter, mother, wife, employee…(the list could go on and on) who other people wanted me to be, until I lost myself so completely that I feared if someone was mad at me or didn’t like me, I would be somehow cast into the outer darkness of life. I know that this sounds dramatic, but it is how I felt. I wanted to meet everyone’s expectations of what a friend should be, but since everyone was so different, I was living in a constant state of anxiety that I would somehow fall short.

What I had also done, because of my fear of being unliked and unloved, is I’d drawn very critical, unloving, people into my life. I felt like I could never be good enough and so I drew to me people who mirrored this belief and reinforced it. Fear is a powerful force when it goes unrecognized.

As I became more conscious of this, I began to search for my authentic self. I sensed that “she” was inside somewhere and that she wasn’t this insecure, oversolicitous, anxious, person that I had become. I made a decision to discover her and to spend the rest of my life honoring this part of me; to look for what I was doing right instead of wrong and to honor my inner voice instead of trying to get others to like me. When the fears about what I thought someone was thinking about me crept in I would say to myself, “It isn’t important if ‘they’ like me or not. It is only important if I like me.” I began to try to think kind thoughts about myself and to try not speculate about what others were thinking about me.

The more that my mind cleared (and the mind will always clear when we begin to think thoughts of harmony, kindness, happiness and peace) the more I could see that these people, who I had tried so hard to please, were not just unhappy with me. As I took a step back, I could see that they were pretty much unhappy with everyone and lived in a state of conflict and struggle with the world…just as I had. I also realized that they had played an important role in my life; they were simply the outpicturing of my thoughts about myself…and often my thoughts about them.

I don’t want to make it sound like now, I don’t care what anyone thinks of me or that I am totally serene and secure within myself at all times. But what I do now is I catch it sooner when I am feeling like I am wrong or bad or unlovable. When I find myself in one of these unhappy states of mind, with a little investigation, I can see that these feelings are coming from my own thoughts about myself or others and I know that it is time for a course correction…it’s time to take my own hand and gently direct myself back to the path of loving, gentle, kind, encouraging, thoughts.

 

 

“One day a girl told me of her difficulties in working with her employer. She was convinced that he unjustly criticized and rejected her very best efforts. Upon hearing her story, I explained that if she thought him unfair, it was a sure sign that she herself was in need of a new conversation piece. There was no doubt but that she was mentally arguing with her employer, for others only echo that which we whisper to them in secret.
She confessed that she argued mentally with him all day long. When she realized what she had been doing, she agreed to change her inner conversations with her employer. She imagined that he had congratulated her on her fine work, and that she in turn had thanked him for his praise and kindness. To her great delight, she soon discovered that her own attitude was the cause of all that befell her. The behavior of her employer reversed itself. It echoed, as it had always done, her mental conversations with him.” Neville Goddard

 

*This painting and others are for sale on MY ARTWORK PAGE

 

 

 

This entry was posted on September 15, 2014. 7 Comments

All is well and a give-away!

I had an extra copy of this book, so it is the "give away"

I had an extra copy of this book, Dying To Be Me: My journey from cancer, to near death, to true healing,by Anita Moorjani, so it is the “give away”. If you would like it, all you need to do is comment by telling us one thing that happened in your life that you felt wasn’t a good thing but turned out well. I’ll pick a random winner tomorrow 9/9.

Our oil company overfilled the oil tank when they made our delivery last week. The man caught his mistake before too much oil spilled out, but even a little bit of fuel oil smells bad, and the odor-killing powder that they put down smelled really strong as well. I spent most of the next few days removing things from the basement so they wouldn’t be ruined, and washing the clothing and bedding that we had stored down there.

When it first happened, I felt somewhat overwhelmed but quickly began to say to myself, “This must be for me, what is the gift?

I’d been wanting to clean out the basement  for at least a year but kept putting it off…I just never felt motivated enough. Suddenly the motivation was right in front of me and not only did I need to clean it, I wanted to. It felt wonderful and freeing to get rid of so many things that I’d been saving just in case I wanted or needed them at some future time.

Bags of books, paintings, mirrors, pot and pans, dishes, sheets, and clothing are all now someplace where they are truly wanted and needed: Goodwill.

“…after my NDE (near death experience) things got a whole lot easier. I no longer feared death, cancer, accidents, or any of the myriad things that used to concern me…I detach myself from preconceived outcomes and trust that all is well.” pg 128 from the book, Dying to be Me” by Anita Moorjani

 

letting go and learning about the perfection of life

Sweet Dreams (acrylic on old board)*

Sweet Dreams (acrylic on old board)*

A couple of weeks ago, we noticed that our cat Ben was seeming off. He wasn’t hungry and was sleeping more than usual. We’d contemplated taking him to the vet but he began to improve. Then one day last week, he ran out in front of a car and made an instant transition into the non-physical realm.

After I recovered from the shock of his sudden passing, a deep knowing came over me that this was his choice. It wouldn’t have been mine. I would’ve preferred to take him to the vet, find out what was wrong, then make decisions from there. As I thought about this, I could see that my desire to control so much, even believing that life and death were things I should have some sort of power over, was futile. Alan Watts once said, “Believing that we have control over life is like the little child sitting next to father in the car, holding onto our plastic steering wheel, thinking we are the ones driving the car.”

When I take my emotions out of the picture, I can see that Ben’s passing was perfect for him and helpful for me. It was a great lesson in letting go of my ideas of right and wrong, my ideas about how others should live and die. He’s also been showing up in my dreams almost every night, and in my dreams I always say, “Ben! you’re here!” and he looks at me like, “Yeah, of course I’m here. I never left.” So he continues to teach me about the perfection of life, even now.

As the years advance upon me, I see not only greatness but goodness, not only possibility but inevitability, in every little happening in the cosmos”. Sri Chinmoy

*this (and other!) paintings of mine are available for sale on MY ARTWORK page

This entry was posted on September 1, 2014. 32 Comments

a wonderful talk

Fred

Fred doing what he does best…relaxing

I just watched such an inspiring talk by Jim Carrey. When I finished I thought, “I wish that I could share this with everyone in my life!” …and so I am. Loving thoughts to you all today, Mary

This entry was posted on August 28, 2014. 6 Comments

friends surround us

a perfectly lazy afternoon at White Feather Farm

a lazy afternoon at White Feather Farm

I was asking my 86-year-old mother the other day if she was planning a trip to Florida this winter. She doesn’t go every year, but it has always been something that she loved doing. Her answer took me aback. She basically said, “One of the things that I loved about going to Florida was walking on the beach. I’m not steady enough on my feet to do that anymore, but it’s ok. I’m finding that I don’t necessarily want to do the things I’ve always done.”

She was so absolutely peaceful as she talked that I sat in amazement. My mother has always been the kind of person who wanted to do everything fast….and faster than other people. She didn’t accept “limitations” in herself or others, and while I think it can be wonderful to have high standards, there can also be something exhausting about it (both for the person and for those around them). Even people who are constantly trying to “be better people” often seem uneasy….and so they are not easy to be around.

I never remember my mother being at peace with herself and so as I watch her move into this place of acceptance, and not fighting the natural rhythm of her life, I feel at peace being with her too.

Life is not a battle to be won. There are no enemies who need to be fought. There is nothing to struggle against, or for, or with….unless I approach life that way. I’ve done that in the past, and I have exhausted myself and others. Life is happening for me…life is happening for you…life is happening for us all. …it’s time to relax, it’s time to trust that we live in a friendly universe…filled only with friends (and this includes our bodies, our animals, our families, our communities, our country, our world).

“Strenuous effort defeats your purpose and suggests the consciousness of an adverse force to be fought against….” Genevieve Behrend, from Your Invisible Power

 

 

Perfect Comes in All Shapes and Sizes (acrylic on old board) for sale on my artwork page

Perfect Comes in All Shapes and Sizes (acrylic on old board) for sale on my artwork page

This entry was posted on August 24, 2014. 7 Comments

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