November 2017
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Archive for the ‘Health & Healing’ Category

Weather

The power of extreme weather is profoundly affecting millions of Americans.  The south is drowning in a sea of polluted water dumped by Hurricane Harvey.  The west is ablaze with raging wildfires, stretching from Washington to southern California.

Loss of homes, of precious resources, of lives and of normalcy is unprecedented.  These are indeed trying times, and trying times elicit the best and the worst of human nature.

“We should expect the best and the worst of mankind, as from the weather.”  Luc de Clapiers

“The signs of climate change are visible across the nation, from the drought-stricken fields of Central California to the flooded streets of Michigan.  Extreme weather is turning people’s lives upside down and costing communities millions of dollars in damaged infrastructure and added health care costs.”  Frances Beinecke

“I have seen many storms in my life.  Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature.”    Paulo Coelho

Resilience, spiritual strength, love, compassion and faith are demanded of us all during these difficult times.

 

 

 

Pinnacle

A pinnacle is a lofty peak.  We strive to achieve pinnacles of success in the important areas of our lives, to reach lofty peaks.  We admire the achievement of others as they reach pinnacles in their professions and in their personal lives.

“There are lots of people shaping decisions, and so if we want to predict correctly, we have to pay attention to everybody who is trying to shape the outcome, not just the people at the pinnacle of the decision-making pyramid.” ~Bruce Bueno de Mesquita

“You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity.” ~Thomas Wolfe

Savor the pinnacles of your life experience.

Poetry Therapy

Poetry Will Save Your Life by Jill Bialosky created immediate curiosity for me.  In her beautiful and powerful memoir, Bialosky chronicles how poetry gave her strength, hope and comfort through the challenges and heartbreaks of her life’s journey.  Poems “…might be about what hurts,”  but they “…remain a sustaining source of comfort.”

Using the power of the poetic form to help me through some of life’s most agonizing and arduous moments, as well as memorializing celebration and triumph, initiated in me a strong resonance with Bialosky.

Looking more deeply into this healing process, I discovered that there are Poetry Therapists and a group of organizations devoted to Poetry Therapy.  I am including the following links should you wish to pursue this thread.

“If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it: blame yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches: for the Creator, there is no poverty.”  ~Rainer Maria Rilke

“Every age has its own poetry, in every age the circumstances of history choose a nation, a race, a class to take up the torch by creating situations that can be expressed or transcended only through poetry.”   ~Jean-Paul Sartre

I am a devout convert to the comfort, joy and healing power of the poetic process.  I invite you this week to connect with your poetic muse.

 

Patience

Western Culture, especially American Culture is lacking in patience.  We want everything day before yesterday, and we want it delivered.

The advertising industry plays a large role in our inability to consistently practice patience.  However, inherent in capitalistic economic function is a built in structure for learning patience.  Patience is having control, discipline and restraint, a challenging practice for Westerners.  The ability to defer immediate gratification goes a long way toward achieving our long term material dreams and goals.

One of the fruits of a strong, vital spiritual belief system is patience.  Indeed, patience is a major factor in the function of enduring faith.

A spiritual discipline of practicing patience has the same benefit for our personal growth and maturation as it does in the material world; helping us to secure and sustain authentic relationships and substantive inner peace.

Inviting you this week into the practice of patience.

“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”  Tolstoy

“Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.”  Joyce Meyer

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience” R. W. Emerson

 

 

Crickets

I love the cricket song!  From childhood to the present, their sound is magically compelling to me.  On a warm summer evening I am often spellbound by a cricket symphony.

Celebrated in literature,  The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens;  in poetry by Wadsworth, Keats and Du Fu;  and widely  in film.  Disney’s Pinocchio is a classic cricket movie.

In many Asian and Latin Cultures crickets are a sign of intelligence and good fortune.  Cricket and it’s cousin grasshopper, are symbols of virtue, good cheer, abundance and even nobility.  And to harm a cricket can bring grave misfortune.

I find the cricket song comforting.  I think of them as little, active warning systems.  When they suddenly become quiet, I know some creature or cricket predator is near.  And I am always delighted when the symphony starts anew.  Their song makes me happy.  I hope when you hear cricket music, it will fill you with delight too.

Wishing you all a week full of cricket wonder.

 

Unconditional

Is your love unconditional?  Do you give others unconditional support?  Are you capable of unconditional surrender?  Not necessarily easy questions to answer.

Think about the adult child that you may be financially supporting for whatever reason.  What, if anything, do you expect in return?

A spouse or love partner whose behavior and attitude often grates on your nerves.  Do you love them unconditionally regardless?

In your spiritual belief system, is the love in your heart and mind unconditional?

Unconditional love is not co-dependent, needy or lacking in self-respect.  Healthy, loving relationships require boundaries, respect, tolerance for ambiguity and forgiveness.

“Unconditional love really exists in each of us.  It is part of our deep inner being.  It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being.  It’s not ‘I love you’ for this or that reason, not ‘I love you if you love me.’  It’s love for no reason, love without object.”  ~Ram Dass

“Never give up, which is the lesson I learned from boxing.  As soon as you learn to never give up, you have to learn the power and wisdom of unconditional surrender, and that one does not cancel the other; they just exist as contradictions.  The wisdom of it comes as you get older.” ~Kris Kristofferson

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the last word.”  ~Martin Luther King Jr.

Endurance

To endure is to last, to persist; endurance is the ability to withstand hardship and/or stress, it is fortitude.

Marathon anything demands endurance to be successful.  We get to the other side of personal and collective hardships by enduring.
Assaults on our health and ensuing treatment, for example chemo-therapy, require endurance.  Surviving the grind of daily living is an act of persistence.

“Not in achievement, but in endurance, of the human soul, does it show its divine grandeur and its alliance with the divine.”  ~ Edwin Hubbel Chapin

“The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”  ~ Frederick Douglas

“Small change, small wonders – these are the currency of my endurance and ultimately my life.” ~ Barbara Kingsolver

This week I invite you to acknowledge and celebrate your ability to endure.

 

 

Puzzle

Life is full of puzzles, big and little.  Some are in our environment and others in our spirit and psyche.

All of us are multiple puzzle solvers.  Watching an electrician solve a partial power outage at my home was such a welcome example of the process…and it is a process, not an event.

What is my work?  What is my purpose?  What is my destiny?  What is the purpose of life?  We each work to find answers to these stirring questions.

“People who work crossword puzzles know that if they stop making progress, they should put the puzzle down for a while.”

~Marilyn vos Savant

“There are no extra pieces in the universe.  Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle.”

~Deepak Chopra

Betting you are a great puzzle solver.

 

July 4 2017

Tuesday we celebrate our annual Independence Day.  Inviting you all to reflect on the gift of freedom.

There is much to be said for the struggles we face and the erosion of personal personal and collective freedom, but not on the 4th of July.  It is a time to celebrate the glory and heritage of our independence.

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die of happiness….”  ~Erma Bombeck

Glow

Do you glow?  Do you see others glow?

Collectively, we speak of glowing health, glowing smiles, radiant glow, glimmers of thought, glowing embers, nature’s glow, glowing sunsets and and the glow of the moon.

There is a light within each of us; the light of our spirit.  When our spirit light is glowing strong, it is seen and felt by others.  Conversely, when the spirit light is dim and barely visible, that too, is noticeable.

We understand the fundamentals required for glowing health.  And when we apply them consistently, we reap the reward.

In this frenetic age it feels far more difficult to maintain the fundamentals of spiritual health. spiritual glowing.

Daily physical exercise contributes to our overall health and vitality.  Daily spiritual practice does the same.

I invite you to appreciate your daily spiritual practice, and ramp up your spirit glow.  The world needs your light!

Thomas Jefferson wrote. “The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money.”