Archive by Author | Mary Muncil

a million tiny kindnesses

Jack and I were driving through a small city several evenings ago and noticed that traffic had stopped about 50 feet in front of us. We couldn’t really make out what was happening but could see a man with long dreadlocks and a huge backpack, standing in the middle of the road, waving his arms. Within a minute or so, traffic began to move. As we got closer we saw that the man, who was now on the side of the road, was responding to someone in a passing car who had yelled something to him.

Slowly driving past, we noticed a family of geese (mother, father, and many tiny babies) confidently waddling past the man who was smiling and waving as cars passed and thanked him. We did the same.

We felt so good on the ride home…so privilaged to witness such a sweet act. This story didn’t make the evening news but it could have, along with a million other tiny kindnesses that are happening at every moment of every day….some witnessed, some not, but all of them a wonder.

detail from a new painting of mine,

detail from my new painting, “Create your world” for sale on MY ARTWORK

This entry was posted on May 29, 2015. 6 Comments

Seek and you will find….just make sure that what you are looking for is something you want

 

a new painting

“Innocent Mind” a new painting of mine. I saw all of the blue balls as ideas which as soon as they were “captured” by the open mind, lit up. This painting is for sale on MY ARTWORK PAGE

For a while now, I’ve been working with the concept that all emotions are just energy; not good or bad, positive or negative, simply energy. The easiest time for me to notice this energy is at night when I’m lying in bed and it’s dark and quiet, and usually it’s what I would’ve called “negative” energy that gets my attention. What I did in the past, and what almost always kept me up and led to a poor night’s sleep, was trying to figure out what was wrong.

The scenario when like this: I’d fall asleep, or be on the edge of sleep, and suddenly feel jarred awake with hot, spiky-feeling energy running through my body. I’d throw back the covers, usually in a sweat, and begin the mental investigation to find out what was wrong. My mind was on a “search and label” mission…and it always found the unhappy answer to what I’d done at sometime in the past, or what wasn’t going to work out well in the future.

And then everything changed.

One night, I woke up the same way but instead of letting my mind grab me by the wrist and take me down that fretting and well-worn path of searching for the bad, I said, “This is just energy. I wonder what this perfect energy is?” The more I repeated this, the more my body relaxed. I felt as though I was experiencing a miracle. The question, “What is this perfect energy?”, was like a magic pill to my body, mind, and emotions. I didn’t ask the question and then engage my conscious mind, it was more like the question was a stone dropped into a pool and the answers came back to me, on their own, like the ripples bouncing off a distant shore.

One day when I was speaking with a client who had been having the same night difficulties as I’d had, the words, “The mind is always wants to label and box-up everything, and usually those labels are negative. Give it something positive to search for, and it will”, came out of my mouth and I suddenly realized what I’d been doing at night myself; I’d given my mind a new search (one that it didn’t have an answer to) so it had to look for that…it had to look for what this “perfect energy” was.

Seek and we will find. What are we looking for? Tell the mind to look for what is wrong, and it will find endless things to satisfy that question. It will tell us what is wrong with us, our families, our friends, our work, our finances, our health, our sleeping patterns…. and all of the low, unhappy, crippling, emotions that go along with these answers will accompany this search and be ours too.

But tell the mind to look for what is perfect and watch what it comes up with….watch how the body and mind respond to this command. It brings peace, freedom from fear, and blessed rest, as it begins to search for what is right, good, and perfect within us, and our world.

 

time to fly...the fourth (and last) baby robin left the nest this morning.

time to fly…the fourth (and last) baby robin left the nest on Tuesday morning (my father’s 90th birthday)

 

Perfect timing

 

the babies are getting big!

the babies are getting big!

Several days ago, my mother called and asked me to change her airline reservation for an upcoming trip. She said that she wasn’t comfortable with the original schedule, which involved driving the final leg of the trip, and that she wanted to not only change her original flights but to add two more. When we hung up, I felt the strong urge to do it right then, but I hesitated for a second because I had a full day of appointments that were about to begin in 20 minutes….yet I really wanted to do it, so I called the airline. I was feeling very good at the time.

Within ten minutes all flights were changed and the new ones added but the agent said that there would be a $200 fee/penalty for the change. I then asked her a simple question, “Can you waive the fee?” She put me on hold and came back a couple of minutes later saying that the fee had been waived. I thanked her, hung up and began my day with no delay.

Perfect timing…Divine timing….Miraculous timing…

I believe that there is a Divine Flow to this entire experience that we call life, and when we are feeling that flow, it is the perfect time to make those calls, take whatever action feels right, or trust the thought/idea that just seemed to appear from out of the blue. It is equally important is to wait (when possible) and not do anything when I’m angry, frustrated or afraid.

I’ve made more messes out of situations by taking action when I was not in a good frame of mind. I’d get upset about something and then feel that I needed to do something to relieve the anxiety that felt unbearable. I wanted resolution so I would feel better, damn it! Usually this involved talking with someone who I was upset with; whether that someone was the representative of a company, a family member, or really anyone who I was perceiving as the cause of my trouble, and my goal was to get them to do something that I wanted so I could feel better. It rarely worked and often I just caused more anger or upset. I almost always felt out of control.

I didn’t know that I had to work with my own mind first. I didn’t know that I could get quiet inside, imagine the outcome that I wanted, and then wait until I felt “moved”, trust that feeling, and then do “it”. Being out of control is not the same as “being moved”.  When I am allowing the spirit within me to inform my timing it can feel like an adventure …but it never feels like I am preparing for a fight.

 

 

Many people are using personal power instead of God-power, which always brings unhappy reaction. Personal power means forcing personal will…The only person you can change is yourself. When you are undisturbed by a situation it falls away of its own weight. Your life is outpictured by the sum-total of your subconscious beliefs. Wherever you go, you take these conditions with you. As you change, all the conditions around you will change! People will change! Florence Scovel Shinn

This entry was posted on May 15, 2015. 9 Comments

Faith

Happy Mother's Day!

                 Happy Mother’s Day!

A few weeks ago, I posted a picture of the robin who had made her nest right next to my window. I’ve been watching her ever since, and a few days ago I spied four little heads peeking up. At first I was thrilled to have such an intimate look into the world of these birds, but then I noticed that I was worrying about them. Did they have enough to eat? Was the mother safe when she ventured out to look for food (first for herself and now for the baby birds too)? What would happen to the babies if…..

I realized what I was doing and what it really meant. The question I had to ask myself was, “Do you believe that the Field of Love/God/Universal Good is taking care of those robins (even better than you could, Mary) and that worry means that you lack faith?” The truth was that I was opting for “concern” over faith. I also realized that this was how I often approached areas of life that were important to me. It is fairly easy for me to trust that all is well when I don’t feel emotionally involved with an outcome, but when I do…when something is closer to my heart, then where is my faith?

It takes some effort on my part to discipline my mind away from worry. At times it feels more natural to worry than to have faith that all is (and will be) well, but really, how could it not? Most of us were raised in atmospheres of worry (at home, church and school) and were even taught that worry was what responsible, loving, people did.

It came as quite a shock to me when years ago I had the revelation that I worried about almost everything. I worried about my weight, health, what I ate, how much sleep I was getting, what I was going to wear to events, how much money I was spending, where that money would come from, what my children thought of me and  how they would turn out having me for a mother, had I been good enough, my hair color, how much hair I had, wrinkles, how much lead was in the gasoline that I just purchased, how I would feel if ____ were elected president, how many pesticides were in the ground…..I could go on, but you get the point. I was living the Helen Ready song, “You and me against the world”, except it was really just me. How was I going to take care of everything in this difficult, complicated, sometimes cruel, world? How was I going to take care of and protect myself and those I loved?

It was a very odd moment when I, Mary Muncil, who had gone to divinity school, studied world religions, read hundreds of spiritual texts and attended more workshops and retreats than i cared to count, realized that I didn’t have faith…or should I say, I didn’t have faith in the Goodness, Perfection, and Wonder of this Universe. I did have faith that every “sin” would be punished, every mistake would be counted (and held against me) and that at my core, I was a flawed human being, but faith that everything was being done for me? Faith that everything I needed: ideas, openings, opportunities, money, and assistance of all kinds, was constantly being offered not only to me, but to everyone? From the moment I realized that this was the faith that I’d been searching for my entire life, I began to change.

In time, I’ve come to have faith that all is well, all is perfect (including you and me and the birds), and that all is being magnificently orchestrated by something (that I am also a part of but cannot comprehend with my conscious mind) for the good of us all.

Do I forget this? Yes, I do. But I know when I’ve done that because I notice that I’m worrying….and when I notice that, I try to gently bring myself back by saying, “All is well. I have faith that everything is being taken care of. All is well.”

Dreaming

Fred

                              Fred napping

Several nights ago I had a dream that a rat was sitting next to me. I wasn’t afraid of it but I also knew not to touch it. The next night, the rat appeared again and this time it was a little more threatening, but the same feeling was there not to touch it. When I have serial dreams, I know that my inner being is trying to show me something, so I asked (myself) for clarity. The word “shrewd” kept coming up and as I felt my way through this, the answer became clear: “Don’t be shrewd. Don’t try to figure out anyone else’s motivation for doing anything.”

I can always tell when the correct interpretation of a dream presents itself by the “ah ha” feeling that washes over me.  I also know that if I need more information, or if the interpretation isn’t correct, the dream will show up again.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve paid attention to my dreams. I never say that dreams are bad, weird, strange, awful, confusing, or stupid. I never say that I can’t understand them or wish they would stop….even though I’ve felt all of these things. If I’m doing something in my waking hours that isn’t helpful (or is harmful) to myself or others, I will hear about it in my dreams. The more off-base I am in my actions or thoughts, the more intense and shocking my dreams will become. That’s why I do my best to honor dreams even when their highly symbolic, sometimes frightening, images can make me want to recoil or run away from them.

Dreams can be fierce teachers, but they are here to help by saying to us,”Look at this now before it gets bigger.”

“Whatever is rejected from the self, appears in the world as an event.” C.G. Jung

Bring it on…it’s time to play!

http://www.nbc.com/the-island (this is a new NBC show that will air in May. My son Matt Getz is one of the men featured)

Lately it seems like I’ve thought a lot about how I handle criticism. I’d always had an intense fear of it, although I guess I hid that pretty well behind a confident exterior, since when I mentioned it, people often looked surprised.

There are a million ways to avoid being openly criticized by others, but the one thing they all have in common is the “masking” of our true selves. Whether we try to duck under the radar of life by keeping quiet, develop thick skins; telling ourselves that we don’t care what others say about us, or use some other “technique” to handle the awful emotions that we fear are bound to surface when we are being criticized, none of these ultimately work. They are all based on fear and the deep belief that we need to “protect” ourselves from the assault/enemy/unfriendly “other”.

It was a stunning revelation for me to see that the thing I was afraid of was not what would be done to me. I wasn’t afraid of being hurt physically, financially, or spiritually. I was afraid of my own feelings (and my own hidden beliefs and thoughts). I was afraid of the way that I would feel if I was severely criticized. I was afraid that those feelings would cripple me…so I crippled myself by avoiding them.

I can remember getting really offended when someone said that my cat, Fred, was fat! Well, he is fat. But the feelings of defensiveness and anger that arose in me were quite unpleasant when I perceived that statement as an attack. The meanest and cruelest things that were ever said to me were simply my own thoughts being externalized. When I was unaware of this, I was always on the defensive. I wasn’t looking at life as if it were a friendly playing-field, I was looking at it like it was a battle field and my role was to avoid getting hurt.

The only mind-set that truly works for me is to face this fear of criticism head-on, and to welcome it like a friend. I’ve begun to look at life as if it were a game; a wonderfully interconnected, immensely spiritual, mind-blowing, game, where I am just one of an infinite number of “players”.

When I remind myself to do this, I feel a great excitement bubble up as I think about the day and I can sense the “bring it on!” energy, that feels like a great life-giving fountain.

My prayer today is that I show up fully ready to play (I’ll also hold that intention for you if you’d like me to).

 

“This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whatever comes because each has been sent as a guide from beyond“. THE GUEST HOUSE by– Jelaluddin Rumi translation by Coleman Barks

 

Everything works together….

A robin has built her nest about 5 feet from my window

This robin built her nest about 5 feet from the window where I sit to do my work. I’ve watched her build it from the beginning. She’s been there through sun, rain, snow, and wind. I’ve also noticed that as I fall asleep at night, holding loved ones in my prayers, she is now a part of that group.

 

A few days ago I stubbed my toe hard enough to chip the nail. It didn’t hurt but when I stubbed it harder that evening, I noticed the pattern. The next day as I was getting out of my car, the wind blew the door onto my foot, painfully bending my toe back. After the third time, I knew that I had to do something different.

Usually, when things like this occur, I can get quiet and see what has been going on in my mind. I always find that I’ve been thinking negative or unhappy thoughts but this time the answer did not seem clear, so I looked up “toe injury” in Louise Hay’s book, “You Can Heal Your Life”, which basically said that toe injuries represented worry about minor, future, details. When I read this, I laughed out loud and immediately saw what I’d been doing.

I’ve been in the planning stage for several events and thought that my attention to detail was somewhat admirable. Right down to the wrapping paper for the gifts, I had been very focused (obsessed) on getting everything “perfect”. Once I recognized this, the pain in my toe began to disappear and by that night, it was gone.

I’ve noticed through the years that when people have sudden revelations about something they’ve been unconsciously doing, quite often their reaction is laughter. I always pay attention to emotional reactions, they are magnificent guides. When that burst of laughter spontaneously erupted from me, I knew that I had my answer. I didn’t need to rethink it. I simply thanked my inner being for the guidance to change course.

An interesting thing also happened the day after this revelation. I’d been feeling blocked artistically and a little worried that I had run out of new, creative, ideas for paintings, when suddenly a flood of inspiration rushed in and I felt in the flow again.

There are no coincidences. Everything that happens to us is really happening for us and if we want to know how we can change it, the answer is never hidden. It can come in the form of a song, a word on a street sign, an unexpected phone call, or the inspiration to look in a book.

 

Sometimes when we pray for guidance, we’re guided in unexpected directions. We may want a lofty answer and we get the intuition to clean our bedroom. It can seem so humble and picky that you don’t necessarily think of it as spiritual guidance.” Julia Cameron

detail from one of my new paintings, "Yes is the answer. John Lennon"

detail from one of my new paintings, “Yes is the answer. John Lennon” for sale on MY ARTWORK PAGE