Tag Archive | love

goodbye to a limiting way of thinking,…hello to a friend

Maud and me

Mary and Maud

I’ve been wanting to write this story for a while, and finally I am. I first met Maud Maynard in 2009, but I’d heard about her, and had been briefly introduced to her, in 2002… but I didn’t want to have anything to do with her. Not because she wasn’t a perfectly nice, possibly interesting person, or because she had done anything wrong. I didn’t particularly want to like her since I’d found out that she and Jack had dated before he and I met, and that they were still good friends, and it was obvious that he thought the world of her. That right there was enough for me to not care for her.

It wasn’t like he’d talk about her all the time or anything, but he’s say, in casual conversation, things like, “I ran into Maud at the bank and you’ll never guess what she just did?!” I would pretend I didn’t hear him or change the subject, but he’d inevitably get back on-track and say, “She just went skydiving with her son!” or some other equally fun sounding story, knowing how I myself like adventure and thinking I might appreciate another woman with the same spirit. I didn’t. I’d respond to his stories about her with a casual “Oh”. This went on for years, and I thought it was an odd joke the universe was playing on me, that one of my favorite names was Maude (my grandmother’s name) but I had no intention of getting to know her.

Then one day it happened. I’d been asked, along with a number of other alternative health/spirituality practitioners/healers, to give a short presentation to a group. After I’d agreed, the schedule of events was mailed to me and I was aghast to see that Maud Maynard was one of the presenters too.  I wondered if I could get out of it.

Fate had different plans, and several weeks before the event, another friend of mine suffered a horrific loss in her life. By the night of the presentation, I hadn’t even had time to prepare. I knew what I was going to talk about but I didn’t have a note or any emotional reserve. I showed up empty, hoping Spirit would help me to say what needed to be said.

Maud presented before me and as she began to speak, and tell the story of how she became involved with Reiki, I felt a light, that was surrounding her, almost reach out and hug me. As she continued to talk, I had to hold back the tears. I thought, “She is wonderful. She is wonderful.” …and I told her this as we walked out together that evening. We’ve been walking together, as friends, ever since (and Jack is thrilled and occasionally says things like, “I knew that you would love her. You two are so much alike.”) I now take this as a high compliment.

I started this story by saying that I’d wanted to write it for a while, and one reason that I didn’t was because it was/is so multi-faceted. Do I write about how sometimes we resist what is right in front of our faces and is so perfect?  How the Spirit of this Universe is always putting the highest and best in front of us to simply say yes to? How jealousy can be so insidious, and can limit our lives, if we don’t challenge/recognize it?

All of these are true, but I don’t think I’ve ever written about jealousy before, and if anyone had asked me if I was jealous of Maud, I’m not sure I would have had the awareness to say yes. After all, I didn’t really have a reason to be jealous. But I’ve found out that jealousy doesn’t need a reason. Just like all destructive emotions: hatred, resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness, jealousy manifests when we don’t feel good, for whatever reason, about our lives or about ourselves.

I’ve also found it very healing to recognize, uncover, and admit when I am feeling jealous. For me, being able to tell this story, first to Maud (years ago …and we’ve had some good laughs about it) and now here, helps me to keep an eye on that tendency in myself. Because it still does come up at times, and maybe it always will. But it won’t hold me captive if I see it, maybe even talk about it, and then gently say goodbye to it.

I want to live in inner-peace and happiness. I want to be open and free of tormenting emotions and thoughts.  Every time I let go of an unhappy belief or emotion, the world, my world, opens up a little more….the world becomes a little kinder, nicer and friendlier.

“The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves.” William Penn

Maud’s website is http://maudmaynardreiki.wordpress.com   She has a blog and also her contact information for her Reiki practice. I’ve had many sessions with Maud (all have been wonderful) On my trip last spring with my brother (when we were planning on driving 20 hrs straight) I asked Maud for Distant Reiki and found I had an energy that was surprisingly great.

Our deep and loving connection

I was speaking with a friend yesterday and she said, "Do you have your magic wand?" I had just picked up this little paperweight with the angel inside and had placed it by my phone...and was looking at it when she asked me that question!

I was speaking with a friend yesterday and she said, “Do you have your magic wand?” I had just picked up this little paperweight with the angel inside, had placed it by my phone, and was looking at it when she asked me that question!

A couple of months ago, I asked my friend, Sister Madonna Buder, to keep me in her prayers for an issue that I was having difficulty turning over. She replied that she would love to pray for me, and as a matter of fact was competing in (yet another) triathlon the following Saturday and would dedicate a portion of it to me. I felt like a weight had been taken from me when she said that.

This weekend, I’ll be riding a bike 25 miles. Nothing like an Ironman, but still, I’ll riding for (by my estimation) at least 2 1/2 hours and would love to be able to offer this time to those who would like prayer.

Is there is something that you’ve been carrying …something that you haven’t been able to let go of (even though you feel you really need to)? If this speaks to you, please comment (as specifically as seems right for you) with your request, and I will hold you in prayer during my ride. Your request (or requests) can be for yourself, a friend, animal or situation that is important to you.

In a book by David Holmstom, published in the mid-nineties, When Prayers Are Answered, Dr. Doyle explains the amazing healing he had of an open fracture he sustained as an adolescent. Doyle was participating in a judo tournament when an opponent sized his finger and bent it back until the bone protruded. Seeing the bone was broken, his instructor sent him to the hospital for x-rays. He sat in the emergency room for three-quarters of an hour, waiting for a doctor. While he waited, he pondered the biblical story of God healing Job when the latter prayed for his friends.

He says, ‘I began talking to and comforting all those people with me in the emergency room until I completely forgot about my hand. When I did look down again, the bone had slipped into place. When I got my x-ray the technician said that the bone had been broken, set, and sealed already…and that I shouldn’t’ have come to the emergency room at all….My interpretation of the healing was that your hand exists in your thought. So when your thinking is correct, nothing , including time, can stop the healing process.

We are at the verge of being forced by physics into accepting the fact that thoughts and body cannot be separated. What are the laws of Mind? That’s the renaissance. That’s what’s coming, and that is why I pray.”

From The Gentle Art of Blessing, pp 34-36

New beginnings

Noah on the couch (with his cute paws folded)

Noah on the couch (with his cute paws folded)

Thank you everyone for the blessings and wonderful wishes for Tom and Lindsay’s wedding. It was better than I could have imagined,… in every way (and I will be posting a picture when I get them).

Possibly every family has a couple of members who are not easy around each other, and I am no exception, but I made a decision that I was going to be open and welcoming to everyone, including the two who, judging from past experience, have been more of a challenge. When we first saw each other at the rehearsal dinner, they averted their eyes and looked like they wanted to escape, but I knew that if I was going to feel peace during the events (and after) I needed to look past this. I thought that maybe if I extended a genuine welcome (which I really was feeling), told them that I was so happy that they had come, it would be the needed opening. They were cordial.

The wedding was like stepping into a fairy tale. All of  Lindsay and Tom’s hard work and planning had paid off and even the weather cooperated. It felt like we were being carried on the wings of Love. Even the air seemed like it was so full of joy that it would burst with happiness.

Before the dancing began, I got in line for the bathrooms and as I looked out to the beautiful lawn I saw the two family members walking away from the wedding, heading toward the cars. My first thought was, “No, you can’t leave yet! Don’t you at least want to try to say something nice to me? Anything?…like, “Beautiful wedding, or this is such a special day for Tom and Lindsay, you must be so proud”, or anything nice, kind, or open?”

As I stood in that line, I had the realization that I was at a crossroads. These people, that I had tried to please for so much of my life, didn’t want to be involved with me; they didn’t even want to say hello or goodbye. I’d known it for a long time, had always felt this, but I also always believed that I could do something, should do something, to change it, to make them see me differently.

I watched them leave, and wondered if I should go after them, and a small voice inside said, “No. Let them go. They have their own choices to make, their own lives to lead, in the way they choose. Now, you need to choose.” I don’t quote much scripture (from any religious tradition) but the words that came next were:

“I set before you life and death. Choose life.”

In that moment, I  knew that I could turn one way and follow them, try to convince them to stay, to make-up, to forget the past and begin again with me, or I could turn the other way, and re-join a wedding that filled my heart with Love. …a place that was celebrating Life, Love, and a Grace-filled new beginning.

I let them go, and as I watched them walk away, I could feel that they were also just a mirror of me: the small part of me that is still walled off, still afraid of getting my feelings hurt, still afraid that I am not getting enough, or the right kind, of attention.

But I also saw that this wasn’t the biggest part of me…it was a remnant. They are still a part of the quilt that makes up my life; the millions of little patches, threads, and beads that move from center to periphery, from large to smaller pieces, some from small to larger, all in a way that I could not possibly orchestrate, all in utter, incomprehensible, perfection.

As I walked back to the wedding, I could feel what can only be described as a blossoming inside my heart. I saw my son and his new wife beaming, laughing, surrounded by family and friends…and I felt that patch of the quilt that once only said, “Tom”, grow and expand to “Tom and Lindsay and the new family that they are beginning to create”.

…and I could see another little patch begin to take form…it wasn’t quite on the quilt yet but I could feel him or her somewhere very close, and the thought flooded me with goosebumps. It is all perfect.

“Don’t look further for answers: be the solution. …Make a promise to stop getting in the way of the blessing that you are. Take a deep breath, remember to have fun, and begin”-Jonathan H. Ellerby

Something truly human: choosing love

My porch with Esther

Esther by my chair

Last week I pulled a comfy, old, cat-scratched chair outside, and put it on my tiny porch. Having it there makes opening the door a challenge, but this isn’t the door that we use most of the time anyway. After I make coffee and feed the cats, I come out here with my cup of coffee and sit. I do something else too… I think about the people who have asked for prayer, and the people and animals that I love, and the ones I’m still struggling with, and I see each one as happy and fulfilled. This way, I have loving relationships with all.

I love this spot, but I know that it doesn’t matter if I am sitting on this little porch, or on a mountain top, in a church, a monastery, or a temple. The portal into the Divine realm, the place of Infinite Good, is in my own heart. It is such a uniquely human quality/gift to be able to do this; to choose to love,…and this is what I was born to do…this is my job while I’m here on this earth.

Of all the fears that haunt us, from fear of the dark when we are young to fear of snakes and high places, there is nothing to compare to the fear that we may have wasted our lives…The challenge is not to rise above the level of everyday life by some superhuman effort. The challenge is to find something truly human to do everyday of our lives.

Rabbi Harold Kushner (from the book, When All You’ve Ever Wanted Isn’t Enough)

The open door of intuition: The Spirit of Truth

Noah heading out into the garden this morning

Noah heading out into the garden this morning

Have you ever just known that something was right? Even when it didn’t make sense? Even when there was no way that it was possible? And have you ever held your belief anyway; persistently turning away from those voices of doubt and reason (the voices that were really in your own mind, but seemed to be coming out of the mouths of people around you…the ones who didn’t want you to be disappointed or deluded enough to believe in something that you couldn’t figure out the “hows” of?).

I love hearing stories of how others did just this: held their vision and came to see it become their reality. If you have a story that you would like to share; a story of hope (when things seemed hopeless), faith beyond your ability to understand, or healing, please tell it here. There are an awful lot of stories that we hear everyday of “senseless” violence, loss, and hatred…and I know that there are so many, many more stories of “senseless” (we can’t understand how this wonderful thing happened) blessings, recovery, and Love.”…..Grace, Goodness, and Love may not make sense to our small, limited selves, but they are who we really are at our centers.

Faith does not depend on physical facts or on the evidence of the senses because it is born of intuition, or the Spirit of Truth, ever living at the center of our being. Its action is infinitely higher than that of reason. It is founded on Truth, while reasoning or intellectual argument is founded on evidence of the senses and is not reliable.

Intuition is the open end, within one’s own being, of the invisible channel ever connecting each individual with God. Faith is, as it were, a ray of light shot out from the central sun, God, one end of which ray comes into your being and mine through the open door of intuition.” from,  Lessons in Truth, by H. Emilie Cady (1848-1941)

need a smile?

A friend just sent me this video commercial for Evian water.  If you need a smile then I suggest you watch it. Have a wonderful day!

http://www.youtube.com/v/pfxB5ut-KTs

The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions–the little, soon forgotten charities of a kiss or a smile, a kind look or heartfelt compliment.” Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 

Opening our hearts to receive….

I love this picture of my father (who will be 88 in a few weeks)

I love this baby picture of my father (who will be 88 in a few weeks)…he looks so open, so sweet, so perfect

For a while, I’ve had the feeling that something was about to pop in my life; like I was on the edge of a new discovery. Over the past few days, I’ve seen so many straws (literally) on my morning runs, that I had to look up the origin and deeper meaning of the word. One definition said, “Straw in the wind: A slight hint of something to come.” But I found that this wasn’t satisfying enough, so I kept looking up more things on-line, in my books, picking affirmation cards, to give me more of a hint….I started to feel this voice prodding me with the words, “Come on, hurry up, I need to know now! Reveal to me this great mystical wisdom so I can write about it…” All of this urgency. So important. My thoughts….and then another voice, from a deeper place said, “quiet”.
I want to take the next week to give it (whatever it is) some room to breath. I won’t be writing the blog during this time because I sense that I need to give this space. …the image that comes to mind is one of standing with a tree. Not identifying it, inspecting it for disease, wondering how old it is….just standing with it without the urge to analyze. I need to be quiet inside and out, stand still, not at alert, tense attention, but relaxed, calm, open, like I had all the time in the world. I feel I need to wait without expectation of what the form will look like. Pascal is quoted as saying, “All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.” My mind tells me that I spend plenty of time alone, that I don’t need more solitude. It sends me little warnings to get busier, more involved, more action…and I hear it, and am saying back, “shhhh…

I look forward to reconnecting with you in a while, and wonder if this “something” is also calling to you?… wonder (since we are all connected at the level of the heart) if there is something wanting to be birthed inside of you as well?..something that is ready and is only asking you to quietly open your heart and receive it.

“Night, the beloved. Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again. When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree.”Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 

Blessed clarity

Eleanor on the radiator (with her head resting on the rosemary plant)

Eleanor on the radiator (with her head resting on the rosemary plant)

A few months ago, someone told me that they found me difficult to be around, and I could feel that this was true. She always did seem to be tense when we got together, and even though we’d known each other for years, she hadn’t ever said this before. I also felt a sense of relief as I realized that for a long time, I thought I was doing her a favor (no ego here !?) by getting together. She’d always struggled with relationships, never had a close friend she could confide in, and I thought I was helping her to grow emotionally….and here she was telling me that she didn’t really enjoy it!

I loved this because now we were both free to spend our time with people that we didn’t feel we were in an endurance contest to connect with, and it helped me to get honest with myself about why I’d been getting together with her. Years ago, her comment would have sent me angrily scrambling to either defend myself, or try to change to be more the person she wanted me to be, or both. When she told me what she really thought, I just felt grateful for the clarity.

What someone else thinks about me is none of my business. My only business is my thoughts about them… and about myself.

“You could write a song about some kind of emotional problem you are having, but it would not be a good song, in my eyes, until it went through a period of sensitivity to a moment of clarity. Without that moment of clarity to contribute to the song, it’s just complaining.” Joni Mitchell

An end to sarcasm

I saw this spray painted metal plaque on the sidewalk in Saratoga yesterday.

I saw this spray-painted metal plaque on the sidewalk in Saratoga yesterday.

I had the interesting experience yesterday of hearing two people (one on T.V. and the other in person) use sarcasm to make a point. In both cases, it was clear that the person talking felt superior, or better than, the one they were talking about. They were trying to show that they knew more, and were more aware of the “real” situation, than the other. One was talking about spirituality, the other politics. It didn’t matter. Both of these people felt small and a little (or a lot) petty. It certainly didn’t inspire me to feel confident in them as leaders.

So, when anything like this happens twice in one day, I always pay attention: I know it is for me. I could hear myself in these two, even though it makes me cringe to admit it.

Sarcasm is a bad habit at best. It is a weapon that will ultimately be used on the very one wielding it, to bring them the disgrace, discredit, or unhappiness intended for another. We cannot intend to hurt someone without hurting ourselves.

I read a wonderful quote on Debra Saum’s* blog today, “When we tug at a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world.” ……… John Muir . I want my “tugs” to be ones of love and harmony, not hate and division.

I took a picture of the letter “G” plaque yesterday and thought about all of the wonderful words that begin with the letter G. I invite you to share uplifting words that begin with the letter G. Any language (but if not english, please tell us what language it is, and define it). I am so very Grateful today that this world constantly gives me opportunities to see myself clearer!

*http://www.debrasaum.com/we-are-all-attached/

Change your life in a moment

Eleanor at 12 weeks old

Eleanor was only a couple of days old when she was found. No one thought she’d live but we took her home, bottle fed her, burped her, purred to her, and loved her anyway. This picture was taken when she was 12 weeks old. I’d just returned from a trip and was so happy to be home, snuggled up on the couch with my little girl.

I wasn’t going to post a blog today. Sometimes I just like to slowly go back through the comments and take them in, thanking each person (sometimes in writing, always in my heart), but as I was outside playing with Luke just now, I found that I was feeling a little down. The thought, “You could step into a very different world, right now, if you would change your thinking”, came into my mind and drew me back to Fran’s comment yesterday. She reminded me of how I felt when I realized that Noah knew my voice….knew me.

I loved that moment in time. I remember how I felt that day. Nothing else mattered in that moment but that he knew me and I was going to take him home. One thing that so many of us here on the White Feather Farm blog share is our love of animals, and we all have stories that make us grateful, bringing us back to that snapshot in time when we let our hearts guide us. We didn’t always know how we were going to do it: integrate this new animal into our households or find a home for them, we just knew we would.

I invite you today to share your stories….especially if you are feeling a little (or a lot) down. I invite you to go into your mind and  shine a spotlight on that miraculous moment when your life became inseparably intertwined with another’s and you were both changed for the better by the power of Love. Notice how you feel when you do this.

Change your thoughts today. Dig back in memory, get the gold, and step into a new world right now!

“I have felt cats rubbing their faces against mine and touching my cheek with claws carefully sheathed. These things to me are expressions of love“. James Herriot