Friday, July 29, 2011
Love- give some. Compassion- have some. Respect- offer some. Kindness- distribute some. Sorrow- comfort some. Wisdom- gain some. Faith- trust some. Happiness- spread some. Ignorance- educate some. Responsibility- take some. Injury- heal some. Connections- increase some. Affection- offer some. Dreams- encourage some. Relationships- nurture some. Imagination- cultivate some. Consideration- bestow some. Beliefs- challenge some. Truth- share some. Reverence- consider some. Empathy- increase some. Beauty- appreciate some. Cruelty- dispel some. Conscience- heed some. Hate- eradicate some. Differences- accept some. Needs- meet some. Forgiveness- grant some. Tolerance- encourage some. Hope- increase some. Damage- undo some. Innocence- protect some. Violence- prevent some. Peace- demand some. Patience- practice some. Nature- respect some. Strength- build some. Purpose- define some. Change- create some. Mysteries- contemplate some. Equality- ensure some. Opportunity- seize some. Darkness- enlighten some. Virtue- represent some. Perfection- recognize some. Awareness- raise some. Future- ensure some. Life- live some.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
One of life’s most difficult challenges for me (and many others I imagine) is allowing myself to feel unpleasant feelings. I STRUGGLE against them. I squirm and crawl and all but go insane! I despise feeling uncomfortable. Negative thoughts and feelings cause me a great deal of discomfort. I recognize on an intellectual level that there is a divine balance to life. In fact, life is much like a spinning coin balanced precariously on its rim, with positive on one side and negative upon the other. The important thing to remember is that one side of the coin cannot exist without the other. Allowing the negative to BE, embracing uncomfortable emotions and finding the value of their existence is critical, not only for survival, but in order to thrive.
I’m wondering if it is something like photography; the negative, must be exposed to light and then processed to create a positive image… This manner of thinking leads me to believe that the negative is not to be avoided or resented. There is no shame in recognizing sorrow’s existence. The multifaceted experience of life as we know it is something we take utterly for granted. We often, in our attempts to avoid sadness or darkness, miss the very depth of reality. Perhaps there is worth to be found in despair. Perhaps it is through the true acceptance and absorption of these emotions that we attain their opposite… It may be that we actually transmute ourselves through one state of being into the next. This may help to explain the state of the planet at this time. Atrocities on both personal and planetary levels seem extraordinarily heightened. We as a species may need to stop trying to evade or counter this phenomenon, but instead to incorporate it into ourselves in order to become aware that there is purpose in all things, including misery.
To forgive both ourselves and others our frailties and perceived weaknesses, to truly open our hearts and minds to the concept of “wholeness”. Accepting fully that our purpose here is to live wholly and experience the entire range of humanity's capacities. Allowing for the possibility that perhaps there is power to be gained by leaving resistance behind and moving into a fully integrated state of being. Letting go of detrimental, judgmental thought processes that seek to segregate and displace our true capabilities. We might utilize the anguish and despondency to cultivate compassion. We may see the beauty and profound opportunities for connection shadowed within life’s tragedies. Compassionate living is the key to transformation. Through love and compassion, all things are possible. When our hearts go out to others… When we acknowledge our own need for compassion and understanding… We are becoming something greater than we can ever imagine. So, the next time you or I find ourselves in a state of “negative” thinking may we have the strength and wisdom to offer up kindness and consideration for the divine purpose it might represent.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
At the bottom of our road just down the hill and around the corner, there is a large yellow house with a huge front porch, a yard filled with gardens and a chicken coup. This house has a sign hung on the railing of the side door entrance that says, Fresh Eggs. When the sign is facing outward, there are eggs for sale found just inside the door in the kitchen of this genial home.
I have lived here on this road for nearly ten years. I have spoken to the woman whose tender love and care has made the yellow house and yard so endearing. Yet, for some reason I had never stopped to buy the eggs. Upon moving back to the area with my family last month, a few things about New England living were must do’s, number one being, fresh eggs from the neighbor up the road...
So my girls and I have kept a close watch on the sign to see when it would be flipped informing us that there were “Fresh Eggs” to be had. This evening after dinner we walked down the road to the lovely yellow house and found that the sign was indeed facing out. My girls full of excitement skipped up the walk and we knocked and then proceeded to open the screen door. I could hear voices just out of sight and smell the familiar scent of cooking food. I thought briefly that I hoped we weren’t interrupting their dinner.
“Hello!” I called. “Knock, knock!?”
“Hello? Who’s there?” Came a voice from the kitchen. I stood in the entryway feeling a bit like an intruder and all at once eager and awkward about greeting the people to whom this home belonged.
“A neighbor.” I answered. “We’re here for eggs?”
A kind looking woman came into the hall, followed by an older man with a gentle smile. They were of course, immediately taken with Emma and Abbie. Introductions and a short explanation of where we lived and how we’d moved away but were now back, took place. Although they appeared to have a guest for dinner, the man offered to let the girls “help” him feed the chickens. We happily followed him out to the chicken coup with our carton of fresh eggs in hand. He and Emma poured feed into the feeder and spread some on the ground. Emma found two chicken feathers and then he opened a side door to reveal four nests and had the girls reach in and each take out two eggs! The first he put into his bucket, and the second he said was for them to keep.
“For breakfast in the morning,” he smiled.
We walked back to the kitchen door, filled with joyful wonder and appreciation, for the warm and welcoming people whom we are lucky enough to call neighbors, for the chickens for producing a bounty so rich and plentiful as to provide to an entire neighborhood, for the kind and generous way we were treated as friends and taught something new. I myself was feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the opportunity to be here, in New England on this first day of July when the trees are lush and green and the wildflowers are in bloom. Where the air smells of life and the sun shines warmly through a canopy of leaves, where the crickets sing and the fireflies dance and the dew settles sweetly upon the grass… Elated and satiated by the endless, wondrous beauty of Nature as I know her. All decked out in her summer splendor.