Sunday, January 20, 2008

[“You never know What You’re Gonna Get.”, In a Nutshell….]

Quakers believe that there is “That of God in everyone”. They are charged to go about their “work “in the world, looking for that “light”-- The light that reminds us where we all came from. That can be a difficult expectation to live up to. So how do we do it? How do we find the good in people that are different from us? How do we learn to value diversity, if we haven’t been exposed to it? How do we step away from fear that exists as we come upon all of the unknowns that life places before us? I think it begins with exposure. But as Forest Gump’s Momma so aptly put, “You never know what you’re gonna’ get.” Might we be drawn to someone very like ourselves? Maybe. Maybe , if deep down, we need reinforcement. Maybe if we need to build pride, perhaps. Do Opposites attract? Sometimes they do. Sometimes the magnetic force is so great, that there is no doubt that those opposites were destined to be drawn together so that they would be made whole. Their differences may be so great that they subconsciously seek balance, that they may assist one another in seeing that there are other ways of greeting the world.

So here is my take, In a nutshell. I believe that we are brought together, warts and all, TO LEARN FROM ONE ANOTHER. I think God gives us lots and lots of opportunities to grow-- Opportunities to LOOK for “that of God in everyone”. I truly believe that he allows us to be different to draw us together, so that we may naturally investigate. He makes us different, yet brings us together to blend, so that there might be even more VARIETY in the world—More of the Wonder of his creation. What is He, if not Creative, and we, being “That of God” are not only His Creation but his Creativity in Action. So we are all little parts of him, like the cells of the body, the infinite body. Seeking that which we do not understand, we side up against one another. We can not live with out the cells that make up the heart, nor can we live without the cells that make up the liver, or the brain. We can not live without the cells of the body that make up the fascia. Fascia? Fascia, I have learned, is a very interesting thing.

fas·ci·a n. pl. fas·ci·ae

A sheet or band of fibrous connective tissue enveloping, separating, or binding together muscles, organs, and other soft structures of the body.

Its purpose is both to separate and to hold together. But interestingly enough, although it has these two very different purposes, we refer to it as “connective tissue”. We may be different, but it is our differences which draw us together, to make the interesting “whole” that we are. So that is my Nutshell. OK, maybe my nut is a Brazil nut. I looked up Brazil nut and was surprised to see that there are many nutshells, as it were, within one seedcase. I could show example after example, but I won’t. Suffice it to say:



WE ARE, indeed, ONE.

"I pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas . . . that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world; that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life..."

Jane Goodall
"The Power of Prayerful Living"



Thursday, January 10, 2008

You Have Nothing To Lose.

"You can conquer almost any fear if you will make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn't exist anywhere except in the mind."

Dale Carnegie
1888-1955, Speaker and Author


You have nothing to lose. What would happen if you stepped out and attempted the things you wish to do? One of two things will happen. One, you will succeed; or Two, you will fail. These are the odds, no matter what the project. We must risk failure if we wish to succeed. This is a hard and fast truth. Take a deep breath and begin. Encourage yourself! Write down all of the reasons why taking the first step in situations you have been avoiding, would be beneficial. You deserve to feel connection and you deserve to step out into the world and enjoy what it has to offer. It is a wide open world with so many possibilities! You can reinvent yourself as many times as you like.


There are NO rules.

It is Undoubtedly True.

Whatever you consider,

or dream about becoming,

Whatever you wish you were doing,

but instead are avoiding

Whatever your heart desires to do

Begin It!

Begin It!

or about it you'll stew.


You'll Never know What

You're Capable of

Where your skills are best suited

What You're REALLY made of

Until You take a deep Breath

Take a deep Breath Right Now

Step into new Territory

To Yourself make a vow


For the Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with One step

And the next one that follows is easier yet

And the next one

And next one

will invariably flow

From a place called your courage

You are getting to know.


And this place called courage

You must search for to find

It resides behind Fear,

In the Back of your mind.


You can get them to trade places

You're in charge of your thoughts

Decide which one makes YOUR choices

It won't be for Naught.


A whole wide world awaits you

Possibilities abound

For the courage you misplaced

Once was lost

But now is found


Celebrate its return

Invite it for lunch!

For Breakfast

and Dinner,

Invite it a Bunch


Let it move into the FRONT of your mind

Begin It! Begin it!

Now is the time.


Every one of us is worthy. We all have something special to give to the world. Commit yourself to sharing it, and take a chance. The truth is, you need no one's approval to speak your piece. They are allowed to disagree, and so are you. And the world would be a very Boring place if only a few points of view were represented. Your individuality is your Gift, and gifts are for sharing ;)


"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing which you think you can not do."

-Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

"Be a Light Unto Yourself"

So said the Buddha as he breathed his last breath. I have these words in a collage I created. They inspire me. To me they have meant that "the answers are inside you". I have always thought that this was what the Buddha meant. But I decided to look up the word Light. Dictionary.com has 39 results for the word light. Many Buddhist principles are simple. But I think the Buddha meant much more.

For Instance, the first definition that appears is"something that makes things visible , or affords illumination." Hmm... to make things visible. So maybe we should spread that light...or set an example, by searching inside for the answers we seek.

The 12th definition: " the aspect in which a thing appears, or is regarded". How we see what we see is unique to us. When we look deeply, we see what pertains to us. What WE need to know individually in order for our own unique growth to occur.

The 18th definition is "spiritual illumination, or enlightenment." In order to enlighten ourselves we must expose ourselves to things we can learn from: people, words, experiences, the breeze on our faces--Then we must go inside and learn from our experience, enlighten ourselves with what we have been exposed to.

Another definition is "to discover or reveal" and another to"furnish with light or illumination" Perhaps he meant to assist others somehow in relying on their own abilities to discover their truths....

Another incarnation of the word light is " to conceal or suppress one's talents or successes" The light, our own personal light which makes us who we are, the one divinely earmarked for each one of us. But why would we want to conceal our special traits, what makes us who we are?
Marianne Williamson puts it Brilliantly:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

- Marianne Williamson

I couldn't agree more.

Number 33: "a prospect of success, relief or redemption-the light at the end of the tunnel.
To me this means Faith. For if we are all part of God, we can trust in the infinite wisdom he provides--perhaps through synchronicity, perhaps through serendipity, perhaps through silence.

"to Clarify, or to clear up" I think the more we sit with issues that befall us, the more we understand how they were meant to affect us--what their lesson is for us personally.

"Free from trouble, sorrow or Worry; carefree, light." Ah, to let go, and to let the Universe sort through and recycle.

The word Light in the Quaker Doctrine means "the guiding spirit or Divine presence in each person." Quakers believe that there is "That of God in Everyone" and are charged to Look for that light. That can be a tall order sometimes. So be the light within, that sees God in everyone and everything. As Yoga enthusiasts say at the end of Each practice, "Namaste" or the God in me recognizes the God in you. Like attracts Like, or is it Light attracts Light?

And number 34: "as in to travel light" to be unencumbered by excess baggage ...to let go of anything which complicates......like reading way more into a single quote than the Buddha likely intended. "Be a light unto Yourself" and Don't forget, that you are your best cheerleader.......

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Automatic Writing, Free Writing: A Development Tool

Some of my very best, most revealing, most helpful, most profound work is written this way, In fact, It is all written this way. I think that our Source guides our words when we write this way. I am amazed sometimes at what I have written. In fact, it is how I give myself the advice I was needing. It is a development tool that writers use to empty their minds...so that their ideas can flow. But it is a great practice, writer, or not for allowing your mind to be empty, by releasing its contents onto a piece of paper, or a computer screen. It can be a very meditative process in itself. It is a way of letting go of the "clutter" so to speak, of raking away all of the dead leaves, so that the grass, which is living, has the potential to grow. If we allowed the dead, and rotting leaves to remain on the dormant grass, which has the potential, in the spring to be green, that beautiful, lush "potential" green would never be seen.


It's that Damn Editor who's the Problem.

The one in our heads who says, "Don't feel that!
"That's not what everyone else thinks!"

"If other people knew that, they may not approve"

We must silence the editor!
Silence him now!

The one who keeps us from growing somehow.

He makes us feel like we can't, but we Can!

Suggests to us all " start all over again,"

so crumple each paper,

sheet after sheet,

saying "that's not what you meant,

and it wasn't so neat! "

"It's
grammar is wronger than what you SHOULD write,

It's
missspelled and miswrote and your margins too tight!

It's verbose, and banal and quite immature,

why, where it belongs is a pile of manure….


Exaggerate I must to get my point through:

If you're a writer you must write
Till your face, it be blue

And soon you'll discover,
if you really wish to,

that the answers, my friends
are Always inside of YOU!

Getting them out of your head and on paper, is great therapy, and frees up your mind for emptiness which is a much better, more relaxing state.

"We put thirty spokes to make a wheel: But it is on the hole in the center that the use of the cart hinges. We make a vessel from a lump of clay; But it is the empty space within the vessel that makes it useful. We make doors and windows for a room; But it is the empty spaces that make the room livable. Thus, while existence has advantages, It is the emptiness that makes it useful."
Lao Tzu (c.604 - 531 B.C.)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

What are You Made Of?


What Are You Made Of?


What makes You who You are

Do you show it?

Do you Speak it?

Do you strum it on Guitar?
Do occurrences in the world
Become embedded in your soul?
Are Harmony and Unity some of your Lifetime Goals?
Do you Celebrate the underdog?
Can you Stop to Breathe The air?
Are you concerned about the future
Or do you step out with faith and Dare?


Do you let the past remain the Past


And breathe each moment in?

Accept what this life hands you

Can you Rise above the Din?

Can you uncover faith in Humanity

Find the Gandhi-s in your Life?

Can you revel in the goodness

Can you overlook the Strife?

Can you value every single day--

The blessings that they bring?

Can you find at least a single truth

A bead on which to string?

Are there memories you cling to

Which help you carry on?

Are you thankful for the wisdom

That your Elders carried on?

Can you source upon that wisdom ,

When you need it and go on?

Can you look upon a little child

And learn a lot from him?

Can you find and pet a dog or cat

And savor time with him?

Can you walk upon this earth of ours

And recognize its worth?

Can you understand the gift we're given

With every single birth?

Can you sense the very message

That Is present deep inside?

Can you let your purpose find you

Dwell upon it, and Abide?

Can you understand that often times

Your calling will be tough?

Will you breathe in faith and Soldier On

Commit to Growth and become Strong?

Will you Share the Gifts you're given

Will you find that love Prevails?



Are you satisfied with Status Quo?



Does it Bother you to fail?


Can you think about

What You're about—

Might you even write it down?

Will it Bother you to have it read?

Can you see how far you've come?

Can you understand that you're Unique--

Can you wear that badge with Pride?

Can you find inside the courage

To no longer want to hide?

Can you speak your piece with confidence--

Can you state your case with grace?

Can you know inside

Deep down inside

Your perspective is OK?

Have you wondered Deep inside you

If You were meant to be much more

If your capable of something that you've never done before?

Are you satisfied with wondering

Or do you try and fail with ease?

Do you think that we are tied and bound

By the labels That we use?

Do you wonder if this world of ours

Will one day cease to be?

Do you let it shape your actions--

Do you squander?

Can you see?

Do you wonder

When your days are through

-If you're really gone-

or

Will you start anew?

Will you have a chance to right the wrongs

Will you learn from mistakes--

Will you sing a new song?

Do we have the chance

for a redo right now?

Can saying "My Bad"

Make a difference somehow?

Can you wonder and wonder and wonder aloud?

Do you mind if God hears you?

Can you stand up and Be Proud?

Can you Put Your Shoulders Back

And Step into the World

Know You Are Here for a Purpose

And Have the Courage to Be Heard?

Can you Live

Can You Learn

From this Life that You Know

Can you Find Health

Can you find Happiness

Wherever you Go?

I think that You Can

And I think that You Will

If you Commit Yourself Now

You will surely Fulfill

The life that Awaits you

The life that You're Due

The Life that is Lovingly Earmarked for You!

So Take a deep Breath

And Don't Step With care

Or you'll never know what

You'll be missing out there.

For you are Held

Right and Certain

In an all Knowing Hand

The Hand that knows

Every

Line upon Your Own hand

And He's Certain

So certain, of your future It's True

If you trust him, Just trust him,

It's Waiting For You.