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Monday, October 23, 2017

Celebrate! Celebrate! Dance to the Music!



I am a devotee of many holy things.  I am a surprised Christian.  I am also a bit of a Buddhist. I am a humanist. An  animist.  I might be a druid.  I worship art and makers of art in all its forms. I celebrate all these and more.  I celebrate my waking and my sleeping and the moments in between.

I am  a Celebrationist.

My conversion happened like this:  our blended family had gathered and one of the step-people-in-law said to me, "Lisa, you are Just a Party Girl."  (She was being a bit snarky. I enjoy drinks and party food and people and happiness and I look for occasions to swirl those all together.  So yes, she was right...in her view.)


 I sassed her, "No, I am a devout Celebrationist."

As soon as I said it I knew it was the truth at the core of me.  :)  I prefer to live my life in Celebration. Once I named it I began to examine and ponder this term and how it applied to me and to my life.  As I did it became the intention in my moments and became more and more true as a natural result.

If I had a personal flag it would be a smiley face on a sky-blue field.

Yes, I like to make a party.  I would and could do it every day.  "It IS Friday!  It IS the weekend! The weather IS turning cooler!  The sun IS shining!"  There is always something to celebrate when I bend my attention to that perspective.

No, my life is not painless.  I have had sorrows and my portion of tribulation. Sometimes I let myself sink into them for a time. In recent days we have experienced pain and tribulation globally the likes of which many of us find incomprehensible. But that is not all we are.

I do delve into matters of the spirit.  I study all I can with the goal of ascension, not just for myself but for the ways I can help move the world in that direction.  I avoid the titillations of mainstream media and I pray for "The World" to get a grip on itself and turn some of the energy expended on titillation to better, more worthy things.

For a start by offering Love and Compassion to those around us.  By focusing on Joy and Celebration of everything that is RIGHT with our beautiful blue planet and it's amazing and diverse inhabitants.

There are probably some "serious" minded folks who consider me flaky and vacuous.  'K....But my background music is not a dirge! My favorite music is made of many heartbeats, clapping hands, laughter.  It is easy to sing along to and made for dancing!

    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.
    Be cheerful.
    Strive to be happy.
    Max Ehrmann, Desiderata
    http://mwkworks.com/desiderata.html



Thursday, September 14, 2017

Stormy Weather and Good Boots



I wanted to write out some thoughts I have had today regarding storms, fear, compassion, security, pushing through.  It seems to be hard to gather the words for some reason.  Maybe it's the residual effects of getting ready for the bad weather...maybe my brain is still swirly from the recent Atlantic cyclones.  I don't know.  I will just keep hammering at this and see if something takes shape.

I have some experience with big storms.  I am no weather expert but life here in the hurricane magnet of the Universe has been rich in hurricane events.

I experienced the catastrophic landfall event we call "Hugo" years ago....watching a a hurricane that had seemed to be nothing about me turn into a missile with my name on it....striking at my brother to the South and my mother to the North and with my little town in its sights, blasting straight up the interstate highway to my very home.  Exploding transformhers.  Splattering mobile homes.  Taking down protected forests and casting tornadoes across my state in every direction.  We here in South Carolina were stunned by Hugo.  It was a mega-maniacal beast of a storm.

Harvey out in Texas made our Hugo look like a spiteful child's tantrum.

But the  fear of the storm is as bad as the event, as bad as the recovery, isn't it?  Like this bad boy Harvey. Watching it's vastness approach. Comparing it's progress to the spaghetti string paths of projections. Glued to the TV as it rages.  Rescues and aftermath running continuous images that break the heart. Then having a bit of the drama brought straight to you  from halfway across the country in the spin-off weather bands containing violent thunderstorms and "conditions favorable for the formation of tornadoes".

We were flooded the past two years as a result of hurricanes Joaquin and Matthew, which came calling at the coast of Carolina and just hung around and stayed and dumped water until our little rivers could not hold another drop.

I am my Mother's caregiver.  Both times as those storms approached our coast I weighed the need to leave Mom's house and get her to safer shelter.  Neither time did it seem that we were likely to get major trouble from these Atlantic storms.  They were fairly small.  They were predicted to go elsewhere.  Then they turned and it was too late to get out of the way.   Small or not they brought water.

Both times I woke up the morning after the storm to find water up the front steps and fish swimming in the yard. Fridge flipped over and floating around in the garage. Power out.  Messy, destruction, stink, ruin of much of mom's property.  Both events were scary as hell but each time I got Mom out dry, with the help of rescuers.

I never had to climb out the window holding her and try to float us up onto the roof to wait for our rescuers to come with a helicopter. Watching those rescues and hearing the stories of what people had to find the courage to do to get to safety made me cry and filled me with fear.

Fear, fear, fear, fear...like sirens in my brain and chest.   I was talking to somebody about Hurricane Irma, as it approached just days after Harvey had hammered the state of Texas and I could hardly talk because my teeth were chattering.  (I never knew that was a real thing)

Because even though we have done this before, my mother is 89, in a wheelchair, fragile-boned, on continuous oxygen, a hospice patient.  There is a lot to consider in her case.  Is it safer for her to try to stay put even though we have had to be evacuated in the past?

The thing about fear...we need a bit of fear, but it tends to stupify and paralyze us.  Fear can work its way into the space in our minds that could be used better for finding solutions.  It can make us selfish too. Thinking of saving our own hides.  Devil take the ones behind us.

Then, in the midst of planning and preparations for our getaway this week I came across my green rubber boots.

Last year, after Matthew did it's mess on Mom's place and I was facing going back there to begin cleaning up, my husband made me buy the boots.  At first I resisted because they were not cute and did not look comfortable.

Let me tell you about comfortable.

When you have to work in muck that looks and smells worse than sewage; when you have to walk across water you just saw a snake swim through, when you have to put your foot in a dark place and you have no idea what might be in there...a pair of knee high boots feels just about like heaven.

Finding those boots.  Cleaning them.  Stacking them on my readiness pile.  These calmed me.

I knew I would be able to face the days ahead because I knew that when the time came I would put on my boots and get Mom out and when the time came I would be able to walk back in and start the clean up.  

Fear was put behind me and I got back to the serious work of getting ready.  Oh and I prayed.  Boots can only do so much.  But being more calm helped my brain work better to get us as prepared as possible.  I was also better able to think past our personal needs and give some thought to the needs of others.  I am pretty sure that thinking about others helps turn the tide on fear.

Another thing about storms and fear is that they pass. Once they do you can emerge from your shelter, assess the damage, put on your boots and start repairs. Then you can reach out to your neighbors.  Offer them your hands.  Be a human being.  Like all those rescuers in Texas.  Like the electric company linemen who worked all night those nights this week so we would have power.  Like the first responders working so hard now in Florida.

This storm, Irma, thankfully, passed Mom's place by unharmed.  When I got up Tuesday morning the swamp was where it belonged.  (Not in Mom's yard.)  The trees were standing.  My car was where I left it.  I got down on my knees and thanked God for this great mercy. Then we tried to touch base with all our people and learned they had come through with minimal damage.  Blessings upon blessings.

There is one thing more I want to say about these big catastrophic storms.  They are necessary it seems.  Last year, a scientist told me that hurricanes are nature's way of cooling things off here on Earth.  Like big turbines fanning heat off our oceans.  Maybe they work some of the heat off we humans as well.


Over the last weeks we have watched people set aside fear, anger and dissension and go help each other.  Other people witnessed and photographed and shared this phenomenon.  We saw and felt better about human kind.  Something to think about.        

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Wage Peace


I recently posted the words "Wage Peace" on my Facebook page.  I did it because of the impact those words had on my heart when I first encountered them reading a little book called "Love Is All There Is" back in 2015 when my word of the year was Love and I studied it as hard as I could.

"Wage Peace" means that you actively choose peace in every moment.

"Wage Peace" is a call to arms!  Lift your arms.  OPEN them WIDE.  Offer gratitude. Offer kindness. A smile.  Offer solace and shelter.  Support.  Offer Big Love. Create peace right where you are and aspire to spread peace in your home, community and the wider world in the ways that you can.

Many people out there are waging peace right now.   With all the media attention directed elsewhere it is easy not to notice the peace makers.   I have been so grateful for the quiet reminders I have read posted in social media that the sword clashing and yammering  and violence and anger are not all there is to report about the world today.

It isn't much to do to wage peace.  It is the best that I can do.   Sharing the mission whenever and wherever I can.  It is not a new concept. But one we would do well to finally learn.

"Come on People now, smile on your brother!  Everybody get together, try and love one another right now..."  (Youngbloods, 1967....50 years ago.  50....)



Sunday, August 6, 2017

Gifts Of The Spirit


There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 
I Cor.12:4-6

This is a very personal story.  It came in one of the lowest points in my life and, in the way of those, a point which I will always remember as the one from which my life was reframed forever.  A moment from which I started allowing myself to feel joy and to hold hope again after a longish, dark spell.  “Every disaster holds a blessing” was re-explained.  My heart cracked open and light came in.

A series of unfortunate events had me in a bad place.  I found myself a full-time caregiver to my mother.  Neither one of us was happy about the way the situation was unfolding.  She had had complications from surgery after a fall after an exhausting move after losing her husband and her sense of security…more, too much.  After nearly two months in hospital and rehab she came home to a strange house in a wheelchair with aphasia.  In my care. 

I had to quit the job I loved at the church at the beach and somehow try to make this strange house in this strange “hometown” of hers familiar and home to my unhappy, confused and resentful mother.  On top of being homesick and missing my family and friends, I was feeling abandoned by some of the really important people in my life who seemed to have no idea what I was coping with in this strange and unhappy role.  Extended family and non-family drama which Mom seemed to think I should be able to resolve or at least mediate kept me tied up in knots.  And then the thousand-year-flood came and swept away half the work I had done to get things right in this place.

I do not want to fail to recognize the many Angels, who came to our aid, my aid in this difficult season…”walking-around-Angels” I call them.  I was amazed and grateful for those people who did show up with help and answers when I was out of juice for the work I was doing.   I had promised Mom I would not leave her.   But a cloud of resentment hung over this house.   Some was mine, some was hers.  In spite of the many gifts of light,  I began to see only the dark, the losses, the hurts, the abandonment.  That is the way of depression.

One morning early it had me on my knees.  At that time I think I was still praying to the ether.  God, but nothing personal.

“God”, almost a curse, “I can’t keep doing this.  It’s too hard.  I just can’t go on serving her.”

Clear as a bell:  “You are not serving her.  You are serving ME.”

Never before had I received such a clear message of comfort from my Source.  Direct. To. Me.  I did not originate that thought.  I was not capable of it.

From that morning until now those words are as clear in me as when I first heard them.  We are still riding the waves in this strange house and there have been plenty of storms since and more work than I can do to keep us floating. The message from God through Spirit stays with me.  And my service is given with measures of joy, honor, humbleness, gratitude. 

It is my hope that this story will allow someone else to open to the voice within and bless you too with gifts of the Spirit. 



Onward and Upward!  Peace, Joy and Much Love, Lisa

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

So What Else Is New

The last day of August...going out in a light rain...finds me reflective.  So, what else is new?  But this week the Universe mentioned to me that I was just possibly ignoring...side-stepping...reneging on my dharma. Well.  So what ELSE is new? I have been a lifelong avoider of that stuff!

Night before last I sent a letter.  An email actually.  I had been carrying around the thoughts contained there in my heart for some time.  I had been reluctant to involve myself in a family matter but having become involved by geography I pulled out my iPad and carefully, gently, wrote out my concerns.   I made a couple of loving edits and hit send. By morning the results I had hoped for were more than fulfilled.  Big changes were set in motion, for good or not, in a flow that started from my heart, carried on down the line by my thoughts, through my hands into the cyber-ether to the  mind, and heart of my friend and cousin.  I trust the results will be good for all concerned. I think they will.

Words have power and that has always scared me.  But I thought more about the gift of kind words yesterday. Given or received. They are so much mightier than harsh ones. Critical words carve away the self-esteem.  Complaining words drain the joy from any moment.  Angry words cannot be revoked and do hurt forever.  Careless words...someone once said to me: you never know how important what you say may be to someone else. That is a true truth. But kind words empower. Elevate.

These thoughts circulated and percolated as the day went on and I went around feeling an active kind of happiness that I had taken a positive action that had results.  Wonder if...could it be?  Should I consider that writing, which I love to do, is the tool with which I can make some contribution in my small corner of the cosmos?  Is it my neglected gift?

So this morning I read in my book of Celtic Wisdom, Anam Cara, by John O'Donohue a little passage about individual destiny and being in rhythm with your life.  He writes that there is a unique destiny for each person and that reneging on your own talent and potential causes you to fall out of the rhythm of your life.  He warns of settling for the mediocre as a refuge from the call.  I got that!  Been doing that a long time, very well. ("Nudge,nudge; wink,wink", says the Universe)

Just something to reflect on for the last day of August 2016.  Light rain lovingly washing away the hot, dryness of these end bits of summer.  Something to think about, and just maybe, to actively pursue. Break out of the old patterns: hiding out, hunkering down, getting by. Stepping out again into the rhythm of life that was my destined gift long time ago.  Now that would be something new.

  

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Year Of Love

Heeeeeyyy!?!?! I can't believe that it is three years since I posted anything here.  It seems like a very short while ago that I sat down to write about "the Perfect Storm" that was my family reunion in 2012 which I quickly deleted.  I never had the heart for telling that story.  The events surrounding that last family reunion coalesced and cascaded and grew ever larger and more powerful, and overtook us and carried us ALL off and away from our homes, our comforts, our normal.

Which is where I write from today. Staying with Momma at Myrtle Beach while she composes the ending of her life story.  Rarely visiting my home.  Rarely seeing my friends.  Rarely seeing my son. Poor husband John home alone (finally living out the movie he loves so much) with visits from me every couple, two, three weeks to stir things up.  A very different place than my last writing found me.

In some ways this time of great change has been a miracle. Richard Bach and other people have written that every disaster contains a blessing and every blessing contains a disaster.  This past three years have been a case study of that concept working in my life.  Mom sold her house and moved South.  The move broke her back and Gil's and they never recovered. Gil has died. Momma is weaker than before but still holding onto her life on her own terms.  The rest of us are accommodating these changes and others.

I did not go to Italy.  I did find a great Italian restaurant right down the street here in Myrtle Beach. I did not take a tropical retreat to an exotic destination, but I live a couple of blocks from the ocean. I thought I would take the time to go deep and write my soul and spirit whole.  The Universe is a trickster!  I got a part time job at a church and gave my soul and spirit quite a workout!  But hardly wrote a thing.

You know I set lessons for myself every year in the form of a word chosen for reflection and study:  Peace, Joy, Service, Hope. Every year's lesson taught me deeply in unexpected ways.  And yes, sometimes I tried to take short cuts in advancing my education.  But these life lessons are not to be skimmed through. 'Peace' and 'Joy' brought me great satisfaction.  'Service' was thorough, intense, and by the end of that year I was exhausted.  Hope was especially brutal.  It seemed the curriculum was to have Hope dashed as often and as hard as possible.  I am OVER Hope. By the end of each year I was ready, sometimes more than ready, to move on to the next year's word.

Love is my study word for 2015.  At first I thought it might be a sweet class. Valentines?  Candy hearts?  Goopey smooches? Oh Boy. The lesson began with promises made earnestly:  "No, I will not leave you Mom.  We will do whatever you want to do.  Anything is possible.  I will help". Already I am challenged to keep these promises by John's health crises and Mom's inability to settle on a course of action.  I face big physical effort packing this house and moving us into a different place but   I have expended my resources (physical, financial and others) and have no way of knowing when or how I can rebuild them.

Still, I think Love is going to be a Great Course.  Remember, every disaster holds a blessing.

My first text for 2015 is a little book I got on kindle...in a very strange way.  It appeared as a book sample which I have no memory of adding to my library.  The book is "Love is All There Is: The Revelation of Heaven of Earth, authored by The Source, and in first person tells how Love is All There IS.  Source is Love.  Living in Love is Heaven.  Everything other than love is unreality and insanity.  Dwelling in unLove is hell.  Source has created us in Love for Love.  We will eventually get it.

Next there was the Gift.  A pearl locket given to me by Aunt Lib and Uncle Bill.  It came as a kit containing an unopened oyster and an empty locket with a little cross clasp. A tiny oyster knife.  The poem "Footprints".  You open your oyster and find your pearl and place it in your locket.  There are five colors of pearl possible in these kits.  Each color stands for a different quality.  My pearl is a golden peach color which is for the quality of Love!  I added the locket to my necklace of talismans and I will wear it always.

Then yesterday on my drive into work every song that played on my radio was a love song.   :)

I call these little synchronicities "angelic whispers"...gentle nudges along the path that help us find our way...guiding lights that lead us through the fog or even the darkness that obscures our view.

That little book I got teaches that we love at all times.  We do not judge.  We do not envy.  We do not anger or fear.  All we do is love.  "Love is all there is".  We are made of the stuff.  Go in Love, it guides me.  I have already learned "Do all things with Love".  Source says that every time you choose Love, heaven expands.  It says that the more you choose love, the more you will choose love. It soothes, "surrender to love...take joy in love....rest in love".  Then Source charges:  Wage Peace in this World.  That is such a power-packed charge.  Wage Peace.  I want to do that.

The locket talisman reminds me again.  A slight weight dangling at my heart and a single word is whispered: Love.

That "perfect storm" of a family reunion brought out the worst in me.  The faces of many of the people I had loved all my life-52 years by that time- became strangers to me. I lost trust in the family, the clan, that up to that time I would have said was the bedrock of me.  My own mother was so mean to me over it that I swore out loud I was DONE with her.  And in this violent hurricane of unlove, the me I wanted to think I was got tossed into the waves and washed up here like some kind of shipwreck.

So can I really learn this? Live this?  I get so pissed off sometimes when I can't make the planet spin my way. :)

Well, it is school.  I will study on this waging of peace.  This giving and receiving, this choosing love.  I think I have a lot to learn.  And if at the end of 2015 I am pitching the word through somebody's window or maybe just tossing it quietly in the bin, selecting another word for 2016 with gratitude for having come to the end of a tough exploration, at least I can say I attempted one year to wage peace in this world and to know love more fully than I had before.

"And yet I will show you the most excellent way" (1 Cor 12:31) "Three things will last forever--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love" (1 Cor. 13:13) "Follow the way of love" (1 Cor 14:1)
(ok, I took liberties, but I may well return to the "gifts of the spirit" parts at another time.)

You are Love. Love is more than a feeling; it is the essence of you. Love is your birthright; your Divinity. Love is your consciousness; Love is Source. As you rise in Love, you rise in Divinity and the Truth of you. Love is not attached, nor is emotional in nature. Love is Acceptance and is never in duality, separation or judgment. Breathe into your Heart and feel that which you are. Feel the Peace.
-Soulstice Rising Ascension Notes

Breathe into your Heart.  :)  Feel the Peace  :)  Love that Stuff!  :)

You are Love. Love is more than a feeling; it is the essence of you. Love is your birthright; your Divinity. Love is your consciousness; Love is Source. As you rise in Love, you rise in Divinity and the Truth of you. Love is not attached, nor is emotional in nature. Love is Acceptance and is never in duality, separation or judgment. Breathe into your Heart and feel that which you are. Feel the Peace.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

solutions

Solutions
You can't improve a situation until you improve yourself. Since you have to start somewhere, don't shrug your shoulders. Plug away. Define the problem. Develop an awareness that change is necessary for solutions to evolve. Solutions come to those who take the personal responsibility of discovering them. Once your solution is discovered, act on your own desire to create a better you. We do a disservice to ourselves and those around us when we ignore problems and fail to stand up and help solve them.

^ That is stolen from "The Daily Boost" which our Marketing Director, Ryan McGrath forwards to all the Intramed Plus staff just about every day.  I like a good affirmation and this daily column is full of those. This one appealed to me particularly because it is a theme I reckon I need to reallllllly delve into...my deep-dream-self dredged up the topic again this morning...I guess I was nudged into sub-conscious conversation by my excesses last night and then brought to my full conscious awareness as the minutes ticked by and I didn't go back to sleep and I tried to recover the word I woke up to ringing in my head but lost as I explored the notion of "how do you want to conduct the rest of your life?".  Again.

It is the wee hours that call forth these self explorations, isn't it?  I go to sleep happy and content and as the night passes I drift down into my submerged storehouse of missteps and misdeeds and left un-dones and come awake with the memory of my various sins as raw and fresh as a crow's breakfast.  Because I have to live with myself I immediately plan a reform.  By noon my resolves are generally forgotten and by bedtime I am absolved again. Thank God it isn't that way every night.  Usually just the nights I give myself too much food, wine and such! Like last night.  And truthfully, the night before also...which was why I collected that Daily Boost.  It spoke to my morning intention to do good going forward.

"How do you want to conduct your life?  Do you have a code of conduct?  Are you the conductor of a great symphony that is your life story?  Are you leading the band in a tune of someone else's composition?  Or are you more like the conductor on a train- you ride along on it and steer and slow and speed it up but that train has its own power and is only affected by your choices and plans if that train is working right and is properly attended?"  These were the questions that cost me that ringing word.  

But the bigger question is intact:  what is your standard?  How do you conduct yourself?  

If I am honest, I am not living up to my expectations.  Yet I spend much more of my energy thinking about the conduct of others and how if they would just do what I want, when I want, how I want I would be happier and my life would be better as theirs surely would too.  That is the correction in course I wish to make.  The one that chooses to take the higher ground myself.  To follow the healthier path without thinking who's head of me or behind.  To take and stay steady on the right track.