Welcome friends: Our kitchen door
I read this story last night and wanted to share it with you. Even though I believe that heaven and hell are simply states of mind that we live in now, brought on by our thoughts (not places that we will go after we are no longer in physical form), I still loved this story.
A man spoke with the Lord about heaven and hell. The Lord said to the man, “Come, I will show you hell.” They entered a room where a group of people sat around a huge pot of stew. Everyone was famished, desperate and starving.
Each held a spoon that reached the pot, but each spoon had a handle so much longer than their own arm that it could not be used to get the stew into their own mouths. The suffering was terrible.
“Come, now I will show you heaven,” the Lord said after a while.
They entered another room, identical to the first – the pot of stew, the group of people, the same long-handled spoons. But there everyone was happy and well-nourished. ”I don’t understand,” said the man. “Why are they happy here when they were miserable in the other room and everything was the same?”
The Lord smiled. “Ah, it is simple,” he said. “Here they have learned to feed each other.” by Ann Landers
“The kingdom of Heaven is a condition of the heart, not something that comes ‘upon the earth’ or ‘after death.” Friedrich Nietzsche
Read Full Post »
Ben on the meditation cushions
Years ago, when I entered a 12-step program, I remember seeing a banner that read, “Let Go and Let God”. It was hanging on the wall behind the speaker, and I had no idea what it meant, but thought, “What a lame philosophy! How could anything get done if we don’t do it ourselves?” It took me a long time to understand this spiritual teaching. Being raised with the concept that God was something separate from me (a distant, critical, large “being” that was waiting to pounce on my every transgression from the good path, or someone who gave gifts and answered prayer if He felt like it) was not only disempowering, but it left me lonely and scared of living and life.
We are no less than temples of the Living God, which means that we can never be separated from the sea of infinite Good. If we need help, we don’t need to grovel and beg to some distant power. There is no distant power. What many of us have been taught about God; that this force is Someone removed and different from us, was wrong. God; Universal Spirit, the Divine, The Field of Infinite Possibilities, is accessed through our own hearts. What we desire, what we need, is also a part of us. When we “surrender to God”, we are only giving up the idea that we are little, individual, lumps of flesh and blood, trying to figure this life out on our own.
“The day I surrendered myself for God, I transcended all anxiety, because trying to look after oneself is the only anxiety.” Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
Read Full Post »
Luke and one of his toys
When we first got Luke, we were warned that German Shepherds were territorial around their homes, the cars that they routinely rode in, and their food. Luke never lived up (or should I say down) to any of those labels. Labels are dangerous things. They don’t have to be at all true for our subconscious minds to accept them (especially when we are very young) and then we tend to live them out. I’ve met brilliant people who believed that they were only marginally intelligent, thin women who believed that they were fat, responsible people who believed they were untrustworthy….and the examples could go on and on. We’ve all met “them”: people who believed lies about who they really were, and so were destined to live out these smaller existences, constrained only by a false idea.
We are all here to spiritually wake up to the wondrous, magnificent beings that we really are…To make friends with our true Self. Here is a big assignment for the weekend. Think of one “label” that you have accepted as true about yourself and question it. A wonderful prayer is: “I wonder what my life would feel like, if I was willing to let go of the idea that I am (fill in the blank with the negative label)” You don’t have to dig through your past and find the root of the negative image. You can simply start claiming the opposite, and just like the negative was accepted years ago, the new thought will also be (eventually!) accepted if you stay with it. It is time that we all made friends with ourselves.
“There is but one cause of human failure. And that is man’s lack of faith in his true Self”. William James
The song “Friends” from Elton John is the link below:
Read Full Post »
On a recent trip, I saw this little house with a clock built into the peak! I have never seen such a thing (outside of Disney World houses, which I also love!). It made me smile. The Spirit of God is alive in this world, manifesting through us all of the time, in countless ways, including laughter, play, fun and happiness. I tend to take myself and “my work” too seriously.
There is a prevalent belief in our society, that to be spiritual you must be “subdued”, quiet, almost in a meditative state 24/7….so you will be taken seriously as a minister, healer, or spiritual person. Where did we get this idea? Look at nature. It is bright, fragrant, bursting with life!
Time for me to lighten up!
“The master of the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which; he simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both“.
Read Full Post »
Liz Laflamme in her studio
I woke up yesterday morning and really felt inspired to hold a contest on my blog. Within a minute apprehension set in: What would people think? Would they think it was tacky? Would they feel it was somehow shallow? I knew what my motives were…it felt like a “divine idea” which to me is just an idea that pops into consciousness and feels good (fun, adventurous, an answer to a prayer …there is a knowing about it…until the head takes over and starts to analyze it. Then, instead of “divine” it can start to feel “dumb”). Divine ideas are always for our expansion, but expanding also comes with fear of the unknown.
I started writing anyway….wasn’t sure it would be published but I have found that if it isn’t right, the energy around it will fall away (I am aware that not all of my ideas are divine… some really are dumb and those don’t, hopefully, go anywhere). Sometimes though, I cannot tell, so I start. There is a wonderful quote by Will Rogers, “You may be on the right track, but you are going to get run over if you don’t move.“ There comes a time in life that we must push out from the shore, so to speak,…leave the safety of staying small, trying to guess what other people want/need instead of listening to our own inner voice, if we are going to live bigger lives and become who we are meant to be.
The day before my “contest blog” I had just met (and gotten my hair cut by) Liz LaFlamme. I walked into her salon and she shouted a very friendly, arms-wide-open greeting…like she had known me forever. I instantly liked her. She was working on someone’s hair when I arrived and was talking about going to New York City to a past life regression seminar. The woman in the chair said she wasn’t really interested (and her body language was showing it too) in that stuff, but it did not change Liz. She didn’t apologize for thoughts or her interests…she was just being herself, and that is no small thing in a world that likes to get people into “manageable” little boxes!
…and I think that as long as we are alive we will all be unfolding…coming out of little boxes, that we didn’t even know we were in until we had a dream…an idea…a hope or wish that seems to just spring up. Happy springing to everyone today!!
Read Full Post »
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged being available, Boston Marathon, expanding ourselves, fun, new experiences, Runner's World, running, Sister Madonna Buder, spirituality on March 8, 2011 |
14 Comments »
Sister Madonna from Runner's World Dec. 2007
Lately I have been considering getting a cell phone…especially in light of the fact that I will be again accompanying Sister Madonna Buder (if you want to read about an incredibly inspiring woman, look her up on-line) to the Boston Marathon. 3 years ago when I did this, I missed her finish, and did not connect with her for several hours after. She looked briefly for me and then luckily was asked, by a fan of hers, if she wanted to go back to their hotel room with them, shower and relax..I am very grateful that she did. After all, she was 77 years old and had just run 26.2 miles.
I, on the other hand, sat anxiously waiting for several hours, in the B section of the “Lost, Alone, and Looking for Family Members” area (not really the name but that is what it felt like) set up by the organizers of the marathon for others just like me who “lost” their athletes.
I saw people during the race watching the progress of their loved ones on their cell phones and thought that was amazingly wonderful. I love the idea of being able to do this. I also like the idea of information at my fingertips….love looking up most everything.
I just wonder if I will be giving up something if I get a cell phone. What exactly would that be Mary? Some odd concept of “freedom”? For many years, Jack and I both “prided ourselves” on not having technology in our lives. Jack ran his shop without lights (used candles) for a number of years until he was forced (by his Insurance company I think) to use electric lights, I did not own a computer until 7 years ago when my son Tom bought me one as a gift, we did not have a cell phone (Jack has one now) until 2 years ago.
Every one of these changes have improved our lives and expanded our experiences of the world and yet initially, we resisted each one. The older I get, the more I want and need “connection”…not less. I want to be more open and available to others. The idea of getting a cell phone is exciting to me…feels like fun…and I can never get enough of that!
Read Full Post »
a sweet yearbook entry
When I was in high school, at the end of the year, buying yearbooks and having kids sign them was a really big deal….maybe it still is. It seemed to me that I was running around trying to get the popular girls and boys to sign it….as if their saying something nice would elevated me in status.
I recently opened a yearbook from 1969 and found this entry written to me, a 9th grader, ”To the sweetest little gal all the luck and happiness in the world. AFA Pat”. I don’t remember ever reading this before.
I didn’t think that there was anything sweet about me….did not believe it when someone wrote a positive comment, so I never really took these in. I don’t remember much about Pat MacNeil but she looks like such a nice person…and isn’t, “the sweetest little gal”, such a nice thing to say?!
I wonder how my life would have been different if I had believed the good and remembered that? …if I had paused and really read this comment after she wrote it and handed me back my yearbook.
42 years later I am wondering what Pat MacNeil saw in me…I really like the thought of seeing myself differently…through the eyes of someone who obviously didn’t have any agenda but to say a kind word to a kid in school.
So thank you Pat. Starting today, I am going to open my arms and receive the good. I am going to pause, the next time I get a compliment, and really take it in, absorb it….appreciate seeing myself through the positive lens of another.
Read Full Post »