Reflections From My True Self

Remembering Who I Really Am


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Gratitudes

I am grateful that I am here, whole, present, alive… and taking this time. I am grateful that this day that threatened chaos has moved me to center myself, to remember what is important. I am grateful to remember that my only job is to align myself with my Deepest Wisdom.

I am grateful to realize that what is before me is what I must attend to, and that whatever is important and not before me, is also already unfolding. Therefore, I am grateful for the promised scent of toast and coffee.

I am grateful to trust enough to relax, even though I could cringe in fear for one hundred thousand reasons. I am grateful for Reiki, for the warmth it spreads through me, and for the love I can extend through it to others.

I am grateful that I serve. And grateful, too, that I don’t need to understand how I do. I am grateful for the connections I experience each day with the people whose paths I cross.

I am grateful for the awakening that my loved ones open in my chest: my children, Brujo, the friends of my soul. I am grateful for their help in expanding my experiences, my awarenesses.

I am grateful for beauty: in the white sky brushed by naked branches, in the music of laughter, and the stark silhouette of a high rise by the lake. I am grateful for red: in my Oma’s shawl, and the cardinal in the window.

I am grateful that this day holds so many treasures that I cannot sit here and enumerate them, that I must go now and waken my children with soft kisses to warm cheeks, and feed them, and begin again the dance of the day, that wearies me, and enlivens me, all at once!

 

Photo Credit: John Boyer

Photo Credit: John Boyer

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A Practice of Sharing Good News

I have a natural tendency, which I can trace back at least as far as adolescence, to notice what feels challenging. It turns out I have been keeping a mental list of everything that I thought has gone “wrong,” of every ill feeling I’ve had, regardless of how fleeting. And I have been keeping this list just beyond the surface of my consciousness, so that it feels almost like a secret I have kept from myself! I am, apparently, exceptionally skilled at this tracking of all that would weigh me down, hold me back, feed my self-pity.

So it is truly a blessing to have acquired a spiritual practice of noticing and sharing the good news of the week with a companion of my Spirit, every Monday evening. Often, I will start out not knowing very clearly if there has even been any good news to share. But as soon as I enter the space of sharing, it comes to me, flooding me with awarenesses of the wonderful, important occurrences. The visit this week of a dear friend, whom I haven’t seen in years definitely qualifies as important, good news. But the awarenesses include the small things that do so much to nourish my soul from moment to moment, such as reading a blog about a widow’s reluctance to share her still fresh grief a few years after her husband’s death, and finding a slew of comments of encouragement and compassion that renew my sense of connection with strangers. Or the chance encounter I have with a house finch when I step out of my car, noticing how colorful his feathers have become, and my day seems suddenly brighter than a moment before.

Regardless of what I may have been feeling when we begin retelling our good news, sharing it is one of the most powerful ways I know to lift my mood. Hearing the news of my friend, and the genuine feelings of celebration it elicits could be another item on my list to share! And even beyond that, looking back at all the wonderful experiences of the week balances out that tendency I have to keep an accounting of all I did not like, it reminds me that there is even more to celebrate than that which I am remembering, and that, when that tendency I mentioned earlier kicks in, I have only to shift my focus to tap into the energy of recognizing my blessings.

And there are more gifts from this practice! One of its highlights is sharing the challenges I am experiencing at the moment through the lens of good news. It’s so easy to be caught up in an energy of struggle, to focus on the distance between where I am and where I want to be. Speaking of the challenge as good news reminds me of what I am receiving by being where I am, and by the process of getting where I am going. And those are blessings easily missed, with only the bigger, more colorful ones being rescued by hindsight. Sharing good news is my way of harvesting every blessing and allowing gratitude to fill me.

Photo Credit: ©lusi (sanja gjenero) at RGBStock.com

Photo Credit: ©lusi (sanja gjenero) at RGBStock.com


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Sets of Seven

Somewhere, I once read that the body renews itself every seven years. It’s unlikely to be true, physiologically, but I like to think that I am starting a new seven year cycle, and that, therefore, like a child, I can observe with delight everything around me, experiencing the world with wonder, seeing clearly what is there, instead of what I have learned to see.

My first seven years I spent drinking in the world. The next seven years were about shaping myself to what I found. The third seven were the back and forth between resisting and trying to fit in. The fourth set of seven years were about my Self beginning to call me back, beginning to remember it, to recognize its glimmer. The fifth set of seven years was the time of struggling to come to terms with what I had created, the places I found myself in. And the sixth set of seven has been about accepting my Self, respecting it, as well as my Wisdom. I am curious and open to what the theme of the seven years before me could be.

I am richer, fuller, stronger, and more centered than I ever remember, and I can’t think of a better way to begin another stretch of this journey.

Photo credit: ©Coloniera (Héctor Landaeta) at RGBStock.com

Photo credit: ©Coloniera (Héctor Landaeta) at RGBStock.com


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Under the Surface

I have entered the entrails of the Earth. As I expected to, I found darkness there. But also, surprisingly, warmth, color, and life. Entering Kartchner Caverns, I discovered that, under the surface, under the soil, whole worlds unfold, on a timeline of such vastness that my own life span does not cause even the slightest mark on it.

I observed such magnificence and beauty, made of water and stone, minerals and time, that, even standing in its presence, my mind could not fully grasp it: water carved limestone, calcite draping, gleaming crystals reaching in minuscule fractions of time and space to meet the columns dripping one drop at a time.

This is what lies beneath the surface.

Column, over 58 feet tall in Kartchner Caverns State Park. Photo by Noelle Wilson, Arizona State Parks postcard

Column, over 58 feet tall, in Kartchner Caverns State Park. Photo by Noelle Wilson, Arizona State Parks postcard

 

Stalactites, Stalagmites and flowstone in a room the size of a football field. Arizona State Parks postcard, no photographer credit provided.

Stalactites, Stalagmites and flowstone in a room the size of a football field. Arizona State Parks postcard, no photographer credit provided.


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Whole

There are days when I am unable to summon my willpower, regardless of how much my brain knows I need it.  And there are days when I can feel strength coursing through me, as if it were a current in my veins, days when courage comes effortlessly, and power vibrates in my voice.

Some days,  I am a mouse, shrinking into the shadows, hiding there from sight. And others, I am an oak in a gale: allowing my limbs to shake, my trunk to bend, but I remain grounded firmly.

Some days, just as I awake, I am aware of a heaviness in my heart, and some days sadness hangs over my shoulders everywhere I go. But on others, I open my arms to the sky and I want shout at the top of my lungs for joy— and some days, I do!

There are days when what I say comes out crisp, clear, pointed. And others, when my feelings and my thoughts tangle in a cluster of knots, and when I try to speak, my words are muddled, or simply fail me.

There are days when, if you know me, you would know exactly what I am about to do, where I would go, or what I would say. And there are also days when I am completely unpredictable, even to myself; when my intuition guides me down unmarked paths.

Today, I embrace the mystery of me, with all of my ambiguities, my paradoxes and contradictions.  I celebrate the whole.


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In Full Alignment

Some days I am in full alignment.

I don’t know what that means, with my mind.

I feel it in the currents of energy streaming through me,

streaming from me,

like rivers… quiet on the surface,

but deep and strong, pulling boulders, underneath.

Some days I am in full alignment.

I don’t know what I know,

but I am aware of the luminous threads that connect me

to the butterflies closing their wings over a blossom,

to the roots of the trees, extending beneath the soil,

to the wisdom in the healing hands of a forgotten ancestor

tending to the pain of a child.

Some days I am in full alignment.

I don’t know who I am,

but I don’t need a name for myself,

I don’t need a name for the radiance breathing me.

I stand upright,

the heart of me open,

and I step forth.

Photo Credit: Graham Soult at RGBstock.com


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Let the Beauty We Love Be What We Do

Today, like Rumi says, I wake up empty and frightened. I don’t even know why, perhaps because the children’s coughing interrupted my sleep, or because I have not been mindful, these past days, of stepping outside in silence, of reaching deeply inside. And once I enter the day feeling quaky and constrained, small self would have me believe there is nothing to change that, any memory I have of expansiveness and peace is just that, something faint and musty that doesn’t belong in the present.

But then I open the shades and the soft brushing of snow shines up at me in sunlight and a beam of light falls warm upon my arm. And even though I am still indoors, even though I have not yet stepped out into the brisk morning and the cardinal’s calls, already I can feel  a shifting inside me, a readiness to notice beauty around me, in the scent of the tea I will soon drink and the gentle click of a dog’s steps on the kitchen floor.

Rumi says:

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down the dulcimer.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

And, as I turn to make breakfasts and lunches and hurry through my day, I stop to take a deep inhalation of tea-scented air, and hug Golondrina’s warm body.