Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Behold, Something New

"Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:19 (NASB)

The words of this verse were brought to my attention via the melody of a song written decades ago by an artist named Phil Keaggy. I have a lot of his old CDs, which were purchased to replace the LPs and cassettes that had worn out from excessive use. I had pretty much forgotten about these CDs because I hadn't played them for a very long time, as in decades. Probably three of them.

I was a bit surprised when this song entered my head and refused to give way. I have learned through past experience to stop and pay attention when this happens, for it invariably indicates that heaven is sending me an ethereal message, a true e-mail. So I stopped and listened to the words being floated through my brain via this melodic blast from the past.

Okay, so God is informing me that He's going to do something new and I need to be aware of this new thing. According to the passage, God is going to make a "roadway in the wilderness and rivers in the desert," at least metaphorically. I know that Spirit often uses the language of symbols, so I am not looking for a literal roadway in the wilderness or rivers in the desert. So now I need either to unlock  the symbology or I need to wait for God to reveal this new thing He is about to do in His own time.

In order for this to be a "new thing," it will have to be something that hasn't occurred before, at least in my life since the message was sent to me. Of course, the message could have been sent to Joel Osteen as well since he recently put a different translation of the same verse on a bookmark and sent it to a gazillion people. Ahem. Coincidence? I think not. This is not a common verse, bandied about by people in football stadiums, as is the case with John 3:16. I read his mailer, and it didn't even mentioned the verse on the bookmark.  His message seemed to be more about God not being done working on us or through us. His word of encouragement felt more like a confirmation of the ethereal message that had already reached me via that old Phil Keaggy song. The real tell will be if the message is reiterated again in a way that is personal to me. You may think that God doesn't send personal messages to humans, but that is exactly what God does do in our lives, if we're paying attention.

I know some people don't believe in God, much less a God who has a personal interest in our lives. All I can say is that my experience tells me otherwise. I'm not a Christian mystic, who believes in angels, because it is a cool concept. I believe in God and angels because my life experience confirms their existence. You may think me a fool to believe in a personal God who dispatches angels to help and protect us on our life journeys, but I would have to be a fool not to believe after all that I have seen and heard. I have no need to convince you that I am right and you are wrong. Each of us has our own life experiences and our own interpretations of those life experiences. Who am I to judge your conclusions? I  think we each have to work this out on our own. We may argue cerebral concepts, but it's futile to argue against life experiences.

What new thing is God going to do in my life? I have no clue. My job right now is to pay attention, to watch for heaven's next move. Rest assured that I am on high alert, waiting for that other rather large shoe to drop. I'm awake in the midst of these dark times, but I am not merely awake. I am awake and watching with a purpose. I'm not merely experiencing metaphysical insomnia. I have already received word about what I need to be doing while I wait and watch, but that is another blog to be written another day. Namaste!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Duck, Duck, Goose!

Okay, so this blog should really be entitled "The Power of Music" or something like that. However, the title I gave it is more likely to get attention if only to see what kind of nonsense I'm up to today. This blog is about our feathered friends. It is a true story about a day I rode my bike to a nearby pond with a mini guitar I could carry easily on my back while I rode. When I arrived at my destination, I sat down next to the pond to relax and commune with nature for a bit. I didn't bring any food with me, and I had no agenda except to enjoy a pleasant day off work. What I didn't expect is that it would turn into an impromptu concert in the wild.

When I first sat down, I watched the ducks, geese, and a few swans paddling around the pond, as carefree as could be. They were no more interested in me that they were in the clouds drifting overhead in the blue sky. In a few seconds, all that would change. I pulled out my little guitar and starting playing and singing some of the songs I wrote long ago. I immediately noticed a change in the pond activity. All the waterfowl in the pond (and there were dozens of them), paddled over and formed an audience in a half circle in front of me. They stayed there until I stopped playing and singing after about a half hour. Then the crowd dispersed as suddenly as it gathered. All my feathered friends went about their business once again. I was in awe of the moment because it felt so holy. That's the only word I can find to describe it. It was so clear in that moment, that we were all one. We were all God's creatures. Every last one of us.

Although the birds didn't join in and sing with me (they didn't know the words, of course), they did enjoy the concert. I can honestly say that it was best concert I've ever given. None of my fans have ever sat in more rapt attention. They weren't listening to the words, since I doubt they spoke human, but for a time my music became a language we all shared--the ducks, the geese, the swans, and me.

Friday, February 23, 2018

God is a Mighty Dragon! Wait...what?!?

"God is a mighty dragon!" said no theologian ever. Yet in Psalm 18:7 and 8, the Psalmist David (also known as King David), describes God in terms that seem very dragon-like. You'll never hear anyone preach on the dragon-ness of God. That's nowhere included in the study of theology. Still, there is this one psalm that describes God in terms that could have been used when JRR Tolkien was writing about Smaug, the dragon that terrorized men, hobbits, and dwarves (sic) alike on the mountainside and at Lake Town.

Those of you who follow my Facebook posts may have encountered my post for today on this very subject, but just in case you didn't, I'll share it here.

"Okay, I need to apologize in advance to those of you who think that God has no sense of humor because you’re going to take offense at this post. I am of the mindset that there is a lot of laughing that goes on in the divine realm. If humans are “created in the image of God,” then God has to have a sense of humor. So, there’s my lengthy, apologetic preface to my post. On to the actual post...
This morning, I was reading in the book of Psalms. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It’s in the Old Testament portion of the Bible. The Psalmist David (also known as King David), was describing God after one of his military victories. He writes: “Then the earth shook and quaked, and the foundations of mountains were trembling and were shaken, because He was angry. Smoke went out of his nostrils, and fire from His mouth devoured; coals were kindled by it.”
I had to stop and giggle because all I could see in my head was Smaug, the dragon, from JRR Tolkien’s book, The Hobbit. I suspect the angels were giggling right there with me over the picture in my head. I think there is such a thing as divine humor and hopefully you’ll take this post in that vein and refrain from lambasting me for finding it funny.
Now, please, have a blessed day.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Changing the Lyrics of My Life

 I had an interesting revelation recently about the timbre of my life journey. I realized that because of a heartfelt song I wrote decades ago, I had set the tone for my spiritual journey with the words and message of that song. Part of the lyrics read, “Keep taking me through those fiery trials, Lord. Keep the dross from collecting in my heart. Keep my eyes on the things above, Lord. Keep me, keep me set apart.”

While I definitely don’t want dross (impurities) from collecting in my heart, I need to write a new song/prayer that connects God’s purifying power to something a lot more gentle than “fiery trials.” I have had enough of those to last more than a lifetime.

My prayer now is that God will purify my heart with gentle, nourishing love. I’ve had a lot of that too in my life, but I definitely need to focus on connecting with divine love through quiet meditation and gentleness. Fire purifies, but so does water and it’s much more gentle and soothing. Maybe I needed fiery trials early on in my life, but what I need now is tenderness and comfort. I don’t want to live in stagnation and complacency, but I want to walk with God in a gentle way. Jesus said that his yoke was easy and his burden light, but like many fervent believers, I ignored that message and went along the hard path.

It’s time to embrace my journey with a 23rd Psalm perspective: “The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

These words met me in a dream one night when I was enduring a very difficult psychic attack by a woman who claimed to be a Christian. The vicious nature of her attack proved to be darker than any energy I have ever encountered, definitely not at all Christ-like. These words came to me in a dream following the most vicious assault that occurred in a dream. I’m not one to have nightmares, but that night I had a nightmare that made me completely black out in the middle of it. When I returned to consciousness, it was with words of this gentle psalm reverberating through my mind.

At the time, I knew it signaled the end of those horrific psychic attacks both in the daytime and during the night. That has proven to be true. When I reached out in the moment and took God’s hand and let him lead me to a safe place, things began to shift in my life. While I have been through a number of “fiery trials” since then, they have been physical and emotional ones. Gone forever are the psychic attacks. I know this with a surety that comes only from having a divine connection.

Now I will continue to look to the gentle shepherd to lead me on the rest of my journey. I chose the “fiery trials” of my earlier life, but today I choose green pastures and still waters. God has always been waiting to lead me in the paths of righteousness by way of green pastures. It was me who chose the desert and fiery trials. I didn’t realize that until yesterday when the words to my song came back into my mind. I chose that path, but now I choose the route of green pastures and still waters. I choose the gentle life of a sheep with a kind and trustworthy shepherd who will lead me where he wants me to go —“in the paths of righteousness” — and I will be safe and protected and blessed.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thunder Shirt Comfort

I used to dogsit for a collie named Bess, who was a Hurricane Katrina rescue. I didn't know then about thunder shirts for dogs, but that sweet girl needed one for sure. If we had a thunderstorm while I was taking care of her, I had to sit on the sofa and hold her shaking body until it was over and she finally calmed down. Bess required a human thunder shirt to make it through the smallest thunderstorm, which are a daily occurrence during most Florida summers. I was glad to be her thunder shirt during those times when she was in my care. Even though the thunderstorms seemed like no big deal to me,  it was apparent that her life experience had been such that even the smallest reminder of Hurricane Katrina sent shock waves through her entire being. The more she trembled, the more closely I held her and spoke softly to her. 

Since Hurricane Irma plowed through the state of Florida, and covered nearly the whole state, most of the residents of Florida have needed the comfort of a thunder shirt, both animals and humans.  We have all needed a little comfort and had only each other to give it. I know it took a toll on me. When I was finally able to go back to my usual routine, I started hearing more stories of devastation and power outages that still hadn't been restored. There are still piles of tree debris lining the residential streets, even though trucks have been rumbling through our neighborhoods for days. I am finally feeling less shell shocked now that our power has been back for nearly a week. I have stopped feeling the need to reach out to try to find anything that would serve as a thunder shirt for my shattered nerves. 

It is important in times like these to realize that even though we survived the same hurricane, we all experienced it a little differently. The hurricane was worse for some of us and not as bad for others. Some people are still without power, even though the majority of us have electricity again. Some lost homes, while a few lost their loved ones or their lives. No matter what happened to us or how we experienced the storm, we need to remember that sometimes the earth kicks up storms that frighten some beings and enthrall others. Sometimes life itself kicks up its own kind of storm even in the midst of a calm day. Everyone has their own experiences and it is important to remember that there are some who may need a thunder shirt at times while others can provide one. It is not always easy to tell which is which until the trembling begins. Listening compassionately to others will aid us in knowing when someone is in need of comfort. 

While I was saddened this year to hear that Bess is no longer on this earth, when I think about what Irma might have done to her, I am glad that there will be no more Katrinas or Irmas for her to face. Her gentle soul is at rest. I pray that I will always remember to be a thunder shirt to the ones (human or animal) around me who need one. Even when I need one myself, may I remember to be one.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

God's Timing in Our Healing

"Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way."

(Psalms 139:23,24)

In my youth, I wrote music to  David the Psalmist's, words. There's no telling how the original music sounded, but I often used to write contemporary Western melodies to scripture verses. One day when I was reading the Bible, I came across this psalm. The words nearly leaped from the page, and the music flowed from my heart in response.

In recent months, all these decades later, I have been working on updating the recordings of my songs. This song has stuck with me amongst the hundreds of songs I've written over the years. Many of them have been preserved on cassette tapes. I had the tapes transferred to CD last year with only a relatively small loss of quality from the original (unprofessionally recorded) tapes. In replaying these old songs of mine, I was struck again both by the beauty of the words David wrote and the melody that came to me when I was reading that passage thousands of years after the lyrics were penned.

Today when I came across them again, it was only those two verses out of the whole psalm that were included in the mini Bible passage for the day. Simultaneously with the reading of the verses came the playing of the music in my head. I decided to read the whole psalm again. As I did, I felt and heard God speaking quietly to me, as he has before, with gentleness and love. It is not often that I have encounters of that depth, but when I have them, I am always profoundly changed by them. That I don't have them daily is my fault for getting so caught up in the urgency of the day that I don't create the space in my heart for those intimate moments to happen. Many times I have made the space in my head, but not in my heart. Many times I have allowed time and space for neither. I can't predict those times when I will hear softly spoken words from God, but when I do, I realize that God is always that close to me. It is me who loses sight of the close proximity, not God.

While I was focused on dealing with my physical frailties, God reminded me that I am "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139: 14). The vast majority of the times when my cells are damaged by illness, abuse, or injury, they restore themselves to health. Those that don't heal themselves quickly may yet heal themselves given more time and rest. Those that don't, may be healed through divine intervention. When they aren't healed quickly, or at all, there is a reason. You may discover that reason on this side of the veil or the other, but when you do discover the reason, you'll understand the wisdom behind the affliction and the delay in healing, if there was one. The trick on this side of the veil is to accept God's wisdom on the matter, be grateful for the teaching that is attached to the affliction, and trust God's timing as what is best for you.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Take Aim at a Better Life by Taking Responsibility for It

(Reprinted from a now defunct web site of mine. Originally released October 11, 2011)

I started learning a lesson back in my twenties that has stayed with me through several decades. That lesson has to do with taking responsibility for our own actions and decisions in life. I was first exposed to this basic concept while I was working in an emergency shelter for teenage girls. It was a temporary shelter where the girls who had been brought there by county social workers were supposed to transition out of our facility within thirty days. So I met and bonded with hundreds of teenage girls during the years I worked there. Most of these girls had been removed from their homes because of abuse--physical, sexual, emotional--or the threat of it. Some were taken from homes where they had been greatly neglected. A few of the girls were considered status offenders, usually because they had run away from home to get away from the abuse they had been experiencing.

If anyone had a "right" to blame others for their lot in life, these girls certainly did, and yet I started learning then that the best way to help them (and myself too) was to encourage them to take responsibility for their own actions. That's when I started on that path, but somewhere along the way, I slipped back into old ways of thinking that someone else was to blame for at least some of the difficulties I was facing in life. While blame could certainly be attached to my father for giving my family a difficult start in life, now that I am an adult, I have to let go of that, heal it, forgive him, and make my own way. I have done this over and over and over again. That's the way it is with taking responsibility. You have to own up to your life and the events in it, and not just once. As many times as it takes, daily even, until you truly get it. Sure, there are a few things you might not be able to control or change, but most things you do control, not by controlling others but by acknowledging that you are the one who is drawing all your life experiences to yourself.

You may not be able to control the fact that someone in your life is an abusive person, but you do control whether or not you stick around for the abuse. If you stick around, you might as well be signing an approval waiver for that person, and anyone else for that matter, to treat you badly. If a person is so abusive that you feel that your life or the life of your child is in danger, then run to whatever helping hands are available to get yourself and/or children out of the danger zone. It's not your job to make someone else take responsibility for themselves, but it is your job to take responsibility for your own life and those who are in your charge who are incapable of defending themselves--children, pets, or invalids in your care. Get out and get to safety. Then you have to begin the task of building a life for yourself and your dependents that will better reflect what you truly want in your life. If you don't know what you want, then start by wanting the negative parts to change for the better.  You'll figure out soon what "better" means to you. Then you have to own the power you have to change your world. Don't worry about the rest of the world in the beginning. Get your own life to a better place before you start to try helping others get there. You will inevitably get to that point, but wait until you and your family are in a place of safety before you reach out a hand to help someone else. Otherwise you'll end up repeating the pattern of putting yourself last, which is how you got to a place of danger in the beginning. First get yourself and your family established then you can reach out to help the next person behind you.

So that's where you start. That's where we all start. We open our eyes to all the bad stuff, and good stuff too, in our lives and realize that we have the power to create something better than what we have. Once you became an adult (sometimes earlier), you were given the keys to freedom, whether you took them or not. They were there in your hands. The next part of your life is figuring out which key opens which prison door. That's where the responsibility kicks in. You can stay in your family-made, religion-made, society-made, or self-made prison, or you can choose to use the keys to freedom that are in your possession. Start with one key at a time until you find the right key to unlock the corresponding locks on your prison doors. You may have to try more than one, but one of them will fit and will help you walk into the freedom that awaits you. What are you waiting for? Now is the best time to start owning up to your participation in your imprisonment. Now is the best time to start figuring out what it will take to get yourself to a better place. Take responsibility for yourself. Let go of blame. Let go of shame. Take aim and go.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Chance Life

This is a new blog from a longtime friend of mine. Check it out.



Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Power of Prayer/Love

Every day I read of FB friends and/or their families who are in need of healing or help of some kind. I believe in the power of prayer. No, we don't always get exactly what we think we want, but we always get what we need. While I have not yet reached the point where I am walking and standing tall, I know that I am getting there. Every day I pray for further healing and strengthening of my body. I admit that I have not been very patient with this process, but I do see and am grateful for all the advances. Even though I am still in this physical state, I continue to believe in the power of human beings to help each other through the challenging parts of our lives. I pray for each person who shares about a loved one or about their own struggles. I believe that all of our prayers help those who are prayed for. There is a healing/miraculous power in this universe. Call it God or whatever you will, but I believe there is a powerful being at work in this world. A being that heals, helps, and comforts us all in our times of difficulty. Even if you feel totally alone, help is within your reach. I know some of my friends don't believe as I do, and that's okay. I'm still here praying for any of you who reach out for help. If nothing else, Facebook can be a conduit for loving thoughts and words that can help lift up those who are feeling discouraged and defeated by sickness or other difficulties. Having said that, please know that love is the answer. Prayer is love energy put into words and sent out to those who need it. Namaste!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Shrinking/Expanding World

There is a universal principle that states that whatever you focus on expands. It's also been framed as the statement "Energy flows where attention goes." A great illustration of this principle is found in the experience of health challenges. Few things in life stop us in our tracks as quickly as a health challenge. When we suddenly have to focus on our bodies, or even a body part, our worldview will rapidly shrink to fit this redirection of our attention. Let's say for instance that you step funny and slip and fall, breaking your ankle or your foot. Suddenly your entire world telescopes to the region of your injured body part. Not just in the next few hours while you get to the doctor and get it set and casted, but your whole world will shrink down to figuring on out how to deal with the world with a broken foot or ankle in the process. Most of your attention in the days to come will focus on crutches and casts and keeping your foot elevated. While times in our lives such as these can provide needed down time, we must be aware of their potential to cause a permanent shift in our lives to the four walls around us. In this case, a shrinking of our world manifests in a smaller part of our world capturing our attention. The larger world shrinks while the smaller world grows in our awareness. In order to pull ourselves back from this shrinking perspective, we have to focus on it only as long as necessary to move beyond that stage in our lives. We can't afford to get mired there. If we do, we risk spending more time there than necessary. 

In recent years, I've had to focus on navigating different health challenges. Because of this needed change in the moment, I found that it began to impact me on a larger scale. A larger scale that kept reinforcing my need to shrink my focus. The more I focused on the smaller picture, the more life supported this refocusing and created more reasons to shrink my worldview. I suspect that if left unchecked, this shrinking focus could continue indefinitely until all I was left with was the existence of health challenges. In the beginning, the change in focus was caused by an extreme attack of vertigo that had been brought on by sinusitis. During this event, my worldview got very small and continued to be small as my needs in the moment changed. While living in a place of great and expansive beauty, I had to narrow my vision to what was directly in front of me in order to maintain my equilibrium. Eventually I was able to expand this view to cover more space. As that expanding view was reinforced by the world around me, I was able to cover more ground, eventually shifting my focus to driving across the United States in a pickup truck with my four feline children. Because of other mitigating circumstances, I shifted my focus inward and had to reverse my path and after a trip back across the USA, I reshifted my focus to recovering from that trip, which was accompanied by other health challenges that required me to continue narrowing my focus. Eventually my life became all about my physical challenges. That's pretty much where I am today. 

Only today my mind is opening up to the fact that this is something I can choose or not choose. I may not currently have my expansive view of Puget Sound right outside my living room window, but I do have windows to look out of that incorporate nature. There are trees and a peekaboo backdrop of skies out the main window that is my view. I can also open some windows onto other views and now is the time of year in Florida that it is good to open up the blinds and see what all is waiting out there. I suspect that looking will lead me to go explore what is out there, which will lead my feet to get on that path again. As soon as I put my feet on that path, there's no telling where it will lead me. Right now, my looking needs to lead me to get up out of the wheelchair I'm using right now for mobility and get my feet moving towards a future where dancing and walking and biking and standing strong while I do my yoga and tai chi routines is part of my daily experience again. Part of my daily expanding worldview. I hereby declare that my world has gotten as small as it is going to get. From this day forward, my worldview and accompanying life experience will be expanding again. Who knows? Maybe you'll be reading about my travels with my kitties again before you know it. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Perspective of Wealth

Wealth lies not in the abundance of material goods but rather in the savored experience of being. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Energy Flows Where Attention Goes

If you've been around New Age or New Thought teaching much at all, you've probably already encountered the saying, "Energy flows where attention goes" or similarly, "what you focus on expands." It's the same principle and it is found in many schools of thought. In Huna, the former of these two sayings is referred to as Makia. I believe in this principle and I've seen it in action in my life. Without meaning to prove it in three-dimensional life, I did just that when I happened to notice that there was a puny little rose bush in the yard of a cottage I rented for six months on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, Washington. It was so small and spindly that I must have walked by it dozens of times before I ever even noticed it. When I did notice it, I was a bit shocked by it. I love roses, and I've tended a lot of rose bushes over the years in various places where I've lived, so to find this one looking so pathetic was startling to me. All I did to set this principle in motion was to stop what I was doing and pay attention to this pathetic excuse for a rose bush, which in the beginning consisted of a few sticks and a small leaf or two. I simply looked at it and studied it for a few seconds to convince myself that it truly was a rose bush. It was nearly invisible it was so non-impressive. 

Within a day or two, I walked by it again and simply looked at it and noticed that there was the tiniest little bud on one of the meager branches. I smiled at this little marvel and walked away, happy to know that I had a little hopeful rose bud trying for all its worth to come into being right in front of my cottage. It was like a little miracle. I wondered how my landlady had kept from mowing over it with her riding lawn mower when I had barely been able to see it in passing. I said nothing to my landlady about it, even though I ran into her a lot out in the mutual yard that stretched between our two dwelling places. I simply became a witness to the budding and blossoming of this beautiful rose. 

Miracle Rose
When it finally bloomed into the lovely flower you see above, my landlady  asked with great astonishment, "What on earth are you doing to that rose bush over there?" I laughed and said, "Nothing except noticing that it is there. It did all the rest. I just paid attention to it when I finally noticed it." She shook her head in wonder and said, "That thing hasn't bloomed in years." Then it was my turn to be astonished. I also started paying even more attention to it. I didn't have anything to feed it, so I fed it my attention and that is all. The rain watered it, and it started budding like crazy. It was not able to fill out again to any great fullness though because of the amount of deer traffic in the yard. Apparently roses are yummy to deer taste buds. The deer wound up demonstrating to me what had happened to the rose bush in the first place. It had been a victim of a hit and run deer foraging. But for the couple of months it lasted, I got to enjoy probably a half dozen blooms before it was added to the deer menu again. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Honesty is Good for the Memory

There is so much less information to retain when you tell the truth. You don't have to keep track of all the lies you've told and to whom. Free up brain cells by deleting all the dishonest files.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I Tripped Rick Steves the Ultimate Tripper

If you've ever turned on PBS, you've probably stumbled upon Rick Steves and one of his many travel videos around the world. Or you may have encountered one of his many "Through the Back Door" travel guide books. Rick is the quintessential travel guru, always trying to experience the culture from an insider's perspective. His home in the USA is in Edmonds, just north of Seattle. I used to hang out in Edmonds sometimes while I was residing in and around the Seattle area and have been to his travel center several times. There used to be a great Indian restaurant down by the ferry and the railroad tracks in Edmonds, so I used to make special trips there just to eat at this restaurant. It was called Sahib. I used to go there as often as I could, particularly for the Saturday or Sunday brunches. I don't know if it's still there. When the economy was being weird a few years ago, I cut back on my day tripping because gas had gotten so high, and I was already doing a really long work commute from the Kitsap Peninsula to Seattle four days a week. Even my Honda Civic, which sipped gas, was costing me a lot to fuel.

Anyway, years ago when they were having a travel expo in downtown Seattle, I attended that event with my then partner. We made sure to set aside time to see Rick Steves at one of his talks. Just before time to go into the room for his talk, my partner and I were hanging out in the hallway waiting for the doors to open so we could enter. I was leaning with my back against the wall and my feet stuck out in front of me. Rick came barreling around the corner in a hurry to get to the room where he was the featured speaker and tripped spectacularly over my feet. He managed to regain his balance and continue on without further calamity, but it was a moment that should have been caught on one of his outtakes from his travel videos. It was such a classic Dick Van Dyke style trip, and if you aren't old enough to get that reference, I feel sorry for you because Dick Van Dyke was a master of physical comedy in his day, and Rick Steves could be his stunt double.

Once he got his body back under control, he opened the doors and let those of us waiting to get inside to get a seat. I don't remember now what his topic was for the day, but I will always remember the trip I sent him on accidentally. Some day I'd like to go on a real trip with him, or at least with one of his books to guide me. In the meantime, I was delighted to see that he has connected with Bread for the World to help end hunger. Apparently Rick's travels around the globe have made him acutely aware of the worldwide problem of hunger. I think it's great that he is doing this and offering to match funds and send gifts to those who donate to this organization. To learn more, please click the link below.

©  | Dreamstime Stock Photos

This is one of many organizations making a difference in the world. Anyone who would like for me to share one of your favorite organizations who are making a difference, please contact me at mysticangelhealing@gmail.com.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Some Laws are Begging to Be Broken


If you aren't outraged by the contents of this article, you should be. When governments refuse to help the poor, it needs at least to get out of the way of citizens whose hearts won't allow the hungry to starve. As I noted on my Facebook posting of this article, I can imagine Mother Teresa banging on the gates of heaven to get out so she can come back and do something about this. I suppose if Jesus were walking the earth these days in Florida, he'd be spending most of his time in jail. Remember the feeding of the 5000? I'm not sure what exactly I can do to stop this. I'm not completely ambulatory right now, but I can still type and access the world through the internet. So I'll start by using my voice. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Choice is Yours

Every day presents us with opportunities to complain. We are also given much to be grateful for. It is our choice to focus on one or the other. I have never improved my mood or my situation by complaining. However, many days have gotten better and brighter by highlighting the good stuff.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Attachments and Suffering

To know suffering is to understand the concept of "attachment" as it is described by the Buddhists. Suffering arise from attachment to our desires. I don't believe it arises from those desires themselves. Something we desire is not the source of our suffering. It is our attachment to something we desire that ultimately always results in suffering. It is in our letting go that we find peace. When we "let go," we are not letting go of the desire. We are letting go of the attachment to it.

Gratitude Notes

Gratitude Notes:
1. In light of my last post, I am grateful for the true heroes in this world who do amazing things without expecting any rewards. They do was is right because it is the right thing to do. 
2. Listening to your heart is its own reward.
3. "God" is the light that shines from the eyes of someone who knows what it is to suffer, but loves anyway.

A True Hero


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Love on Notice

Love is all around us. If we open our hearts and our eyes, we will see it and feel it. As we bear witness to this love, it expands in the universe. A simple act of noticing and acknowledging the love we see as we traverse our daily paths, leads this world to a place of greater love. Like gratitude, noticing love and peace and joy--all the good stuff in life--leads those things to expand in your life like wildflowers tended by heaven.

Try keeping a section in your gratitude notes for times in your daily life when you notice acts of love and kindness. I'm going to call my notes "Love on Notice." I hope you will join me in noticing love where it grows, fertilizing it with your attention and passing it on so others take notice too. If you pay attention in your life, you will find that whatever you look for diligently will show up in your life in greater abundance. Our attention is a powerful magical tool that change our lives and the lives of those who are near us.

Love on Notice, Day 1:

My house mate's kitten, Chi, has a heart filled with love. She licks her siblings' and cousins' heads sometimes and rubs against them, wrapping her tail around them like a hug. Chi is an earth angel. I know this because in her last incarnation, she was my kitty, Zuki, for a couple of years. I rescued her at age 15, but at the same time, she rescued my cat, Dustin, and me. I knew and acknowledged then that she was our little earth angel. Now she is back to be an earth angel to my friend, who is her mommy this time, and she is very aware of her assignments on earth. Chi is a very smart little kitten, but above all, she is the most loving kitten I've ever met. Not all in the house love her back because they have other issues, but she continues to love and melt our hearts with her adorable nature.


Hope is a light to illumine the path before you. If you feel enveloped in darkness, as though you are merely wandering in the woods without a friend, ask the universe for a light. You will find not only a light on the path before your feet but also friends to walk with you.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Answers in the Silence

In my mind, the divine waits for me on the beach or in the park or some other quiet place. While everywhere at all times, the divine awaits us in our quiet times and moments to impart guidance and wisdom and the answers we seek so desperately. Competing with the harsh sounds and busy pace of our lives is not how the divine works usually. The divine is there, but we cannot hear that "still, small voice" in the midst of the cacophony of our lives and this world. To hear that voice, we must find that quiet time and place and listen. I call this meditation. While I may "pray without ceasing," informing the divine of my many needs, I cannot hear answers when I am yammering. For that, quiet contemplation and meditation is needed.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Getting it Right Vs Just Getting By

The concept that humans are born into the world as "blank slates" (from the Latin, tabula rasa) goes back as far as Aristotle. It found a strong proponent in the seventeenth century philosopher, John Locke. The idea was central to Lockean Empiricism, which helped to fuel the nurture side of the nature versus nurture debate that has continued throughout the centuries. The idea that humans are born without any trace of prior programming sounds like a good argument against Christianity's doctrine of "original sin," but I don't see it as plausible. While I don't believe in the doctrine of original sin, I do think that something more along the lines of karma is involved. Of course, just writing the word karma opens up another whole can of philosophical worms. If you believe that there is some sort of balancing of accounts and life actions from one lifetime to another, then you posit reincarnation as a given. That is something many people of the Christian faith are reluctant to do. Never mind that Jesus debated a karmic issue with his followers when they asked him about a man who had been born blind:

"1As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. 2And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” 3Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4“We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. 5“While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.” 6When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes, 7and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went away and washed, and came back seeing."
(John 9:1-7, New American Standard Biblehttp://biblehub.com/nasb/john/9.htm)

Note that his followers argue from the assumption of reincarnation. How could the man who had been born blind have sinned without having lived a previous life? Also note that Jesus didn't rebuke the idea that he could have caused it as a result of something done in a prior life. He also doesn't blame the parents for it, as we so often do even today. He goes directly to the heart of the matter, the reason being that his healing was to bring glory to God. Jesus clearly wasn't into casting blame. He was interested in helping others and bringing glory to God. 

I do believe in reincarnation and karma, rather than original sin, although I see how that doctrine arose when there is clearly something going on with the human condition from very early on. We claim that we don't teach children to lie or steal, and yet often little children do just that. While I'm by no means certain that children don't learn to lie and steal through subtleties in the environment around them, I also don't think they arrive in the world as "blank slates." I think in the reincarnation process there are impressions left on our consciousness, and I think those impressions not only color our experiences in our next life, I think they influence them. I think we often have echoes of past life influences in our present lives. In fact, I think those echoes are often the root of present live issues. Those issues are the weeds that grow from the seeds that have been left behind. I think we can get by if we leave the weeds there, but the longer we allow them to grow unchecked, the more they suffocate the healthy plants. Some  people may regularly mow down the weeds, often taking the healthy plants with them. Others may trim the weeds so the healthy plants can grow too and reach the light so they can survive. 

The only way to know that you have a truly successful garden is to pluck up the weeds and plant good seed that will yield a crop of life-giving plants. Then you have to tend the garden and make sure there are no lingering weed seeds beneath the soil, waiting to spring up suddenly. You can get by in life by doing the bare minimum of work or none at all, or you can get it right and live life abundantly. But you have to dig down and get rid of what has produced the weeds in your life so you can sow seeds that grow into lush, healthy plants that sustain you and help you to thrive.

It is popular in the New Thought movement to attempt to change our lives using positive affirmations. While I support this good practice, affirmations alone are not enough. Affirmations are the good seeds that grow healthy plants, but they will be far more effectual if you dig up the roots of the weeds that were planted in your garden, either by you or someone else early in your life or as part of a former life. It takes work to do this. Not the back-breaking, blister-inducing kind. It requires the conscious-awareness kind of inner work that starts in quiet meditation. 

Some people would prefer to dig ditches or swim the English Channel than to exercise the discipline of prayer and meditation. Those people should try working or walking meditation. This is the practice of working alone while in prayer and meditation. The key to this is intention. Choose to think about a particular part of your life that isn't working all that well. It might be finances, relationships, employment, health, or any number of other aspects of your life. Pick a topic while you are in quiet or moving meditation and see if you can't follow that trail back to see where that particular issue might have arisen. It isn't always easy, and it requires a honesty that may cause us to flinch, but it can be done. If you get all the way back to your present life birth and can find incidences there, then it is likely that the roots go back beyond this lifetime and maybe even several more lifetimes. In that case, you may have to seek out help with past life explorations. It may require several sessions exploring each issue until you find that you've dug up, released, and forgiven the final incidence. 

How do you know when you've reached the end of the trail and plucked up the final weed at the root? When those affirmations you've been saying begin to take hold and yield a bountiful harvest. Even while you are digging,  you will find that the affirmation part of the equation will begin to yield more and more fruit. You will know that you are on the right trail at least, but don't stop digging up the weeds until you feel totally free of that particular issue. Then you can go to work on the next issue. While you can work on multiple issues at once, you won't necessarily get free of each one at the same time. Just keep on working at it until you get it right. Or ignore this message and just keep on barely making it. No one but your higher self is going to be urging you to keep going. Your higher self wants to keep growing and improving your life. Your higher self wants you to experience abundant life. 

It is your ego that is content with just getting by. It is your ego that tells you that you don't want to do the work. Your ego will supply you with lots of reasons not to grow strong and to get better. After all, if you are strong and healthy and prosperous, then there is no reason not to be fulfilling your life's goals. You no longer have an excuse. If you show the people in your world that you can do it on your own, then they might get the message that you need them any more to hold your hand. And then what? Then you grow into a fully functioning adult who can have relationships that are healthy rather than needy. 

While that may feel scary now while you are doing the work, the more weeds you clear out of your life's garden, the more you will embrace the healthy crops that are growing and thriving in your life. As you fill your life with healthy plants, you'll realize how sick those weeds were making you feel. You'll want them out and the healthy plants in, but right now, you may just have to take my word for it until you get further along the path. 

My garden isn't finished. Not by a long shot, but the more I work, the more motivated I am to get it right. I want the abundant life. I want good health and positive relationships. I want it enough to work for it and remove the weeds. Do you?