Finding Your Groove

“The state of self-realization, as we call it, is not attaining something new or reaching some goal which is far away, but simply being that which you always are and which you always have been.” — Sri Ramana Maharshi

The Jazz Man

Do you ever find yourself so absorbed in something you lose track of time? It’s as if the rest of the world has disappeared and you are one with your focus. We do this with work and play. Even daydreaming. Creativity draws us in and swallows us. We lose ourselves within ourselves when we tap into the flow. Whether we are singing, painting, playing music, or writing we reach a part of ourselves we know by instinct to be truth. While in the zone, no one can touch us.

When fixated on art, we enter a realm of collective separateness. We are uniquely touched whether we are the creator or the inspired, and at the same time we share the holiness of the experience with those likewise heartened.

Have you ever watched someone perform/share his gift? He transforms into the gift. As a witness you are a recipient of the gift.  It is one of the most beautiful moments I’ve witnessed. What a beautiful and magical moment to see someone living out his destiny.

If you listen intently while someone is speaking of his passion, you will hear the life in his voice and feel the love in his vibration. You know that person was born to teach, create, perform surgery, or whatever. They move with a rhythm that makes you want to dance with them.  Above all you remember them long after your encounter.

I have met many such people as entertainers like musicians and storytellers. I know chefs, business owners, doctors, and teachers who live their dreams.

Have you ever met such a person? How was your life affected?

Where do you lose yourself? Between the lines you write? Within the words of your song? The strokes of your paintbrush? Amid the stitches of fiber? When your hands are digging in the dirt? Funny isn’t it that it streams from your heart to your fingers and then to the world? Have you found your groove? Tell me your story.

On Death and Rebirth

“When love awakens in your life, in the night of your heart, it is like the dawn breaking within you. Where before there was anonymity, now there is intimacy; where before there was fear, now there is courage; where before in your life there was awkwardness, now there is a rhythm of grace and gracefulness; where before you used to be jagged, now you are elegant and in rhythm with your self. When love awakens in your life, it is like a rebirth, a new beginning.” ― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

“When love awakens in your life, in the night of your heart, it is like the dawn breaking within you. Where before there was anonymity, now there is intimacy; where before there was fear, now there is courage; where before in your life there was awkwardness, now there is a rhythm of grace and gracefulness; where before you used to be jagged, now you are elegant and in rhythm with your self. When love awakens in your life, it is like a rebirth, a new beginning.” ― John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

We die and rebirth aspects of ourselves time again as we discover our true selves. We let go of conditioned beliefs as we begin to think for ourselves. People leave our lives and new ones enter throughout the seasons of a lifetime. Our experiences bring wisdom to our souls. There is a peace about us when we learn to accept what we once didn’t.  When we love ourselves, we see the beauty of life and find joy in the simple state of being. At stages of our lives we take things for granted, and later have a great appreciation for them. I experienced one of these moments this past weekend.

I was sitting on my mother’s porch (out in the country) early in the morning drinking a cup of coffee. While it seemed the world was sleeping, people that is, life around me was in full swing. Cardinals and blue jays were singing and the squirrels were rustling about the oaks, cedars, and maples. I could hear the train keening over the mountain. Once the echo disappeared in the distance I heard something I’d never heard from my position. The gurgle from the small creek below the property played like a lullaby upon my soul. I spent much of my youth perched upon the bank or rocks in the creek writing poetry while listening to that very sound. It was such a joy to hear this at the house. I wonder if I could hear the flow of the creek because the water was up from recent downfalls or because I was quiet enough within to listen. My point about death and rebirth within ourselves is many years ago my mind was filled with chatter. This morning meditation filled my heart with love and set my day with graceful intention, a balance I welcome.

Tell me your story of a newfound appreciation.

Instant Gratification or Fulfillment?

It is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfillment, it is in the happiness of pursuit ~Denis Waitley

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I’ve been thinking lately. Dangerous territory, huh? How often do I choose instant gratification instead of long-term fulfillment? In reflection I see I do it much less than in my past. I used to chase happiness while thinking things would fill that void. I now know those type of jollies are fleeting. Today I am happy in simply being. Finding contentment in nature and connection with others may seem simple, but love, peace, compassion, and abiding joy soothe souls. That to me is long term fulfillment.

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It is of little significance how I get where I’m going or even where I end up. I find what I encounter along the way touches my life in deeper ways.

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Life is budding everywhere. You are flowering as well.

I hope today you encounter simple beauty soothing to your soul.

I hope you take in vast blue sky and stretch of life, whether lush and green or concrete and steel, and know this is where you are supposed to be at this minute.

I hope you hear the robins sing and crickets chirp.

I hope you smell the sweet fragrance of spring hyacinths.

I hope you feel the silkiness of flower petals upon your skin or the soft bristle of a fallen feather. I hope you experience a gentle breeze that fills your lungs with life.

Wherever your journey takes you today, I hope you taste the sweetness of life.

Within the heartbeats around you, I hope today your life speaks to you.

I ask you…Instant gratification or long-term fulfillment?

Amidst Treasure

“Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in the magic will never find it!” — Roald Dahl

Crabtree Falls bridge B&W

 

There are times we seem to be stuck in a rut. We forget how precious life is. We take people for granted. We lack appreciation for all we have and are able to do. Lately, I’ve been absent from my blog, but I’ve been totally present in life.

These days I am doing little writing. I am busy traveling to visit with loved ones. I’m exploring the neighborhood and beyond, taking in the colors and scents of spring…my spirit is enjoying this, but my allergies disagree, ha! Still taking some photos with my new camera, but not getting any better with post processing, probably because that part of photography is too much like work rather than fun. I’ve made some quilts. I’ve gone on a few outings with friends. Surprisingly enough, I’ve actually been to gatherings AND have lots of fun! (Of course, I did have to go home and have some down time afterward…)

I suppose it sounds like I am indeed in a rut, not doing many new things. When I do things with new eyes or refreshed enthusiasm I find many gems along the way.

Here’s wishing you the opportunity to get out and enjoy this lovely spring day. I hope your spirit is refreshed and your allergies not irritated. And remember when you’re just enjoying yourself and not looking for treasure you’re most likely to find it. Tell me what you’ve been up to.

 

Snow Gypsies

Quarry in the snow panoramic by Addison

 

Last Friday night we got a late start in leaving town. I hoped the roads weren’t icy where we were headed. They weren’t, and we made good time along the journey. We entered enchanted landscape driving the country roads. Luna was dressed in her full gown with her celestial bridesmaids in tow…their golden auras gleamed upon a pristine vista of snow. The velvet night was as light as day. We became silent witnesses to this sacred night. Sorry, no photos of the night. Here are a few my son had taken earlier in the day of our destination…home; the place I grew up.

Snowy Old Home Place Panoramic by Addison

Big Mama Horse in the snow by Addison

 

This little old snow gypsy had shown her face about a year ago. She returned this winter and has claimed this land as home for now. She is fed several times a day and roams as she pleases, so I think she’s happy. I’m sure she’s ready for spring. As beautiful as this snow was, I’m ready for spring as well.

The Search For Happiness

“Happiness is like a cat. If you try to coax it or call it, it will avoid you. It will never come. But if you pay no attention to it and go about your business, you’ll find it rubbing against your legs and jumping into your lap.” — William Bennett

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Happiness isn’t sitting in a gift wrapped box waiting to be opened. It isn’t a link on a chain of events that one gets to after marking other things off the list. It isn’t the destination of a storybook life or the reward of a successful career.

Happiness can’t be caught as it flies by on the tail of the wind. It is a way of life. Choosing to be happy is a decision you, me, or anyone, can make. Happiness stems from the positive attitude in any given situation.

The happiest people have times of sadness and anger.  It’s how they handle those times that determine their happiness. By not focusing on the negative aspects of life, becoming resentful, or refusing forgiveness, one opens the door to happiness and allows peace to dwell.

The search for happiness is an inner journey. It is the result of knowing and liking yourself and sharing your love with others. Happiness is the agreement between your heart and your way of life.

What do you feel is the secret to happiness?

Beneath Voice

Life is always flowing on like a river, sometimes with murmurs, sometimes without bending this way or that, we do not exactly see why; now in beautiful picturesque places, now through barren and uninteresting scenes, but always flowing with a look of treachery about it; it is so swift, so voiceless, yet so continuous. — (Faber)

Life is always flowing on like a river, sometimes with murmurs, sometimes without bending this way or that, we do not exactly see why; now in beautiful picturesque places, now through barren and uninteresting scenes, but always flowing with a look of treachery about it; it is so swift, so voiceless, yet so continuous. — (Faber)

Cold seeped into my soul this past week as Mother Nature blew in like a gypsy dancing and shaking her tambourines. Her fingernails tapped against the window panes and her voice shrilled though the air. She ranted and raved while this old house simply moaned arthritically to the tantrum outside. While I was not excited with yet two more snow falls, I bundled up and enjoyed the wonderland left by the icy nomad. Knowing what I needed to do, I decided I would enjoy the task. Yes, even shoveling snow can be pleasant when approached with the right frame of mind.

What good does it do to complain? Venting eases the tension within, but it doesn’t change the weather or the remaining circumstances, snowy and icy sidewalks. Regardless of whether we are vocal, we do what needs to be done because that is the way we are wired.

When approached with the mundane tasks of daily living we simply put one foot in front of the other. We’re not always thrilled with where we are, what we’re doing, or even where we’re going. We wear our masks or smiles and keep on moving. We trudge along not really understanding why we feel this way, but somehow we know we will get where we are supposed to be…so then the question is if we are uncomfortable where we are does that mean we are in the wrong place? I tend to be a believer that we are exactly where we are supposed to be at all times. Is it really important to understand the significance of our placement all the time?

Are we silent or do we speak up? When we are vocal, others offer us assurance and direction. I’ve found when I remain silent and allow the stirrings within nudge me the steps I take are natural to my soul. What is it beneath the still voice that drives us forward? It is heart or spirit? We often quickly adapt to change and don’t realize we are evolving. We are drops in the stream, a pulse of constant flow…over sticks, under rocks, a merging current rounding the bend. We are the beating hearts of the river, a song of spirit finding her way home.

The Magic Is Back!

The appearance of things change according to the emotions, and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves. ~Kahlil Gibran

2015 Snow

 

As a child and later as a parent and from the mountains to the sea, snow days held uncontainable delight, energy, and possibility. The anticipation was as magical as the first flakes that melted upon our hot outstretched tongues.

Snow was in the forecast Monday, but I headed out into the bitter wind to meet a friend for lunch. When I left the restaurant I found myself in an extremely long drive through line at Starbucks…and then the magic began. First a few huge flakes drifted by then several small ones splattered across the windshield. When I got home, I grabbed my cups and walked to a neighbor/friend’s house to share some hot chocolate and spend some time together. By the time I left the ground had begun to shift from a dull winter green to a bright blanket of hope.

Most of the night I watched the white softness transform our street. Early the next morning I listened to the tings of ice hitting the tree branches and admired the tall pines glistening beneath a sun whose rays didn’t seem to touch us with warmth. While I’d dreamed of the productivity of an extra day off, I admit I did none of those things. Nor did I go play in the snow or even help with the shoveling. I curled up under a fuzzy blanket for most of the day. I removed myself long enough to make a pot of homemade vegetable beef soup and later to make some awesome homemade hot chocolate. I didn’t read. I didn’t write. I didn’t clean house. I didn’t work on taxes. I did absolutely nothing, and it was wonderful. In fact, it was magical to me because I seldom do absolutely nothing without tagging a bit of guilt upon myself.

We ended up getting about five inches of snow covered with a thick layer of ice. This city is not prepared for snow so it all but shut down. Others might have ventured out, but not us. We had power and food, so we were good.

Last night we watched a movie we missed when it came out several years ago, “Hachi”. I found myself with a knot in my throat and tears pouring down my face. I was a snotty mess. There’s something about dogs (animals, babies, or old people) that hit a deep level in me. This was a beautiful and emotional tale. At any rate, needed or not, I got a good cry.

Did you get a snow day where you live? If you did, what did you do?

Wylie 2015 Snow

Heart Vision

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

flower field and lake

I used to think I was a peace keeper, and perhaps I am in some ways. However, I find myself wanting to be a fixer. Instead of accepting people and situations as is, I tend to want to repair with words, hugs, whatever is necessary. I introduce new perspectives and possibilities. Sometimes it works out for the best and other times I realize I should have left well enough alone. I’m not talking about big drama, just gentle nudges when I really could have walked away. I think my problem is as an observer I see opportunities of growth I don’t think should be wasted. Is it better to remain a silent observer and allow others to discover things in their own way and time? Or is a catalyst needed to promote needed changes?

I’ve found myself slipping in exercise routines and healthy eating habits. It didn’t just happen overnight. It’s been in the working for the past few years. DirtMan and I have spent many weekends traveling in and out of town tending to family business. We haven’t made time to hike, bike, or canoe like we used to. In doing so we didn’t take up alternate exercise regimes, and we grabbed food on the go at times.

It seems my word “focus” has not been used on what I intended, but has shifted me to personal health; physical, emotional, and spiritual. The one thing I need in my life is balance.

I’ve found by cutting bread from my diet, my fibromyalgia symptoms have disappeared…yay, me! I’m thinking I had gluten intolerance and didn’t know it. I was prompted to do this due to stomach issues, but has helped in other ways such as weight loss. I’m eating many more fresh fruits and vegetables and stopped using most prepackaged foods. I’m making time for exercise. I took a bible study with a friend. I don’t pressure myself to produce but follow my creative urges wherever they lead. Letting go of the stress I put on myself was a great relief.  I feel better physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Oh wow, could it be I’m finding balance?

I think we each intuitively know what we need even if we refuse to acknowledge it. When we act on it, however small, it fills us with personal power and purpose…and we all know peace is all about balance. Invisible as it may appear to us at times, I think the heart’s goal is really joy. And yes, love…always love…

“Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible – it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could.” ~Barbara de Angelis

Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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We appear cold, stuck up, or non-caring when it couldn’t be further from the truth. Social interaction is difficult for introverts. We are often processing the commotion (and that is how it feels to us) surrounding us or spaced out in a memory or daydream. Not to say we don’t enjoy being engaged in conversations or included in activities but after said event we are spent, physically and emotionally exhausted.

Though I am timid and quiet in large gatherings among strangers, I am guilty of thinking others cold rather than taking to heart they might feel the same social awkwardness I do. I try to keep this in mind and force myself to initiate exchanges.

I take refuge in my home with book and outside along nature trails. I like solitude. I revel in silence. It takes effort to get me into the mainstream, but I seldom regret it. I depend on my trusted small social network to keep me connected. I am fully aware of how easy it would be for me to slip beneath the ice and forget the warmth of the sun. Last year I focused on connecting. I’ve discovered more meaningful contacts and surprisingly a stronger sense of self. As with all things in life it comes down to balance for me to remain socially and personally healthy.

How about you? Does socializing come naturally? Would you rather be among lots of people or alone? Do you have difficulty maintaining balance?

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