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Why continue the frantic searching? I have learned where the answers lie…

Waking up to the realization that we are so much more than our physical selves is just that – waking up! Just as our physical bodies wake and stretch after a good night’s sleep, ready to face the day, our awakened souls are also bright and bushy tailed, ready to face a lifetime of living more from the heart and less from the mind. As the heart begins to open to all the love it discovers was always there, we can find ourselves swept away by all the wondrous ways to access this delicious feeling of love. And that is a good thing! For a time anyway. We find others like ourselves, and we find teachers and gurus and healers and mediums and books and CDs and DVDs and psychic fairs, all designed to help our emerging selves figure out how to live from this new found energy of the soul – phew! It can be a blessing to find the right guidance and healing, but it can also be overwhelming after a time. And numerous times I have gone into what I call my “bull in a china shop” mode in regard to my spiritual path, filling my calendar with everything I thought I had to do, to ensure my soul’s enlightenment. But the object of all the learning we gather is not to hang on the apron strings of another, but rather to find our own apron strings to hang onto; they are there inside all of us, the answers we have been looking for.

This is not to say that we don’t need all those gifted and amazing souls who help us during the start of our awakening. Lord knows, I would still be crumpled in a fetal position on my bed, crying my eyes out or else still throwing eggs at the pine trees in my ex-husband’s yard. No, all the wonderful souls on this earth and in spirit that have helped me to heal and grow have been treasures sent to me; helpful beyond words. But just as a child grows and matures, readying themselves to go out into the world, so do we in the name of our spiritual selves. Any good metaphysical teacher of any type will want their students to learn from them, rather than cling to them for constant guidance and answers. The last few readings I have had with mediums and intuitives were more like sessions of validation for me; telling me things that really, I already knew beforehand. Oh, I still came away with useful guidance, and of course I realize that the learning never stops, as I still take in various seminars and books, but in a much lesser degree. I find that I may actually be in a position to impart some pearls of wisdom, to help others as I have been helped. Granted, I have no formal training in anything metaphysical, I don’t have years of psychic experience. But I am starting to turn more and more to my soul, learning how powerful it is, actually trusting it! And you know, it feels good to be able to trust myself – confidence in what I hear and feel. I found a couple of passages that illustrate what I am trying to say – that I have learned where the answers lie, inside of me, much closer than I could have ever imagined.

 

This is part of a channeled message I read somewhere, sadly not having made note of the source, but the words really resonated with me and still do:

“Our true purpose is to help you connect with that higher part of yourself that is God. Once that is accomplished it is easy to see that you will never need to ask for answers outside of yourself. Hold your own power of free choice ever at the forefront of your being. Take your time and re-align your energy where it best suits you.”

 

And here is part of a passage from Luang Por Chah, a revered teacher of Buddhism:

“In the beginning you must rely on a teacher to instruct and advise you. When you understand, then practice. If you understand the practice it’s no longer necessary for the teacher to teach you; just do the work yourselves. You may wish to travel, to visit other teachers and try other systems. This is a natural desire. You will find that a thousand questions asked and knowledge of many systems will not bring you to the truth. Eventually you will get bored. You will see that only by stopping and examining your own mind can you find out what the Buddha talked about. No need to go searching outside yourself. Eventually you must return to face your own true nature.”

 

 

 

 

Love is all you need – the last music story

I saw those words written in the sidewalk – Love is all you need – preserved for posterity, for all to see. What a great message to leave in the wet cement, words of wisdom we should all live by. Yes, it is Valentine’s Day – my very favorite holiday! But here’s a thought – what if we could celebrate love every day? Not just relegating it to one day out of the year. Wouldn’t that be something…. My gift to you on this day of lovely celebration of all things love is a love story, a love poem, and tokens of love in the form of some photos from the International Rose Test Garden here in Portland, Oregon featuring the flower of love, the rose. And I leave you with a favorite quote from William Shakespeare, in regard to something that fills me with absolute joy, the lovely strains of music –  If music be the food of love, play on.

Love at the Listening Station

He saw her there, her long brown hair swaying all around her, covered by the black plastic earmuffs of the headphones. Jason came here often, to the place appropriately named An Earful of Music. It was a hold out in the dying breed of independent record stores who tried to stay afloat in a sea of digital downloads. But there were still enough music lovers who wanted the whole package; an album with all the songs, not just the popular ones, with the cover art and liner notes, be it in cd or vinyl format, the latter format making a comeback in recent years. The listening station at the store was like a tree in the forest of cd and record bins. But it was a haven for those who wanted to check out all the new music and even the old music at times. There were four branches of the listening station tree, each holding a cd, a small cd player, and a pair of headphones. Jason walked over and pretended to study the cds available for listening, yet he couldn’t help but stare at her, the woman with the long brown hair. She took no notice of him, she was deep into the music – eyes closed, hands cupped over the headphones, her body moving back and forth in time to the music that only she could hear. And that gorgeous hair, it moved to and fro like a soft and sweet metronome. It was all Jason could do to not reach out and touch a strand; he just wanted to feel a brush of that delicate hair against his skin.

Who would have thought he would find a goddess at the record store? Jason couldn’t help but beat himself up over his poor choice of clothing that day – the threadbare black t-shirt that said “Rock!” on it in large white letters, complete with a hole worn through in the letter o. This was paired with the jeans he had found on the floor of his bedroom; destined for the laundry basket but good for one more wearing, or so he had thought at the time. Jason had meant to shower before leaving his house, but he really needed that cup of coffee he had gotten on his way to Earful, so he had made a last minute grab of a white baseball cap with a bright rainbow colored peace sign on it – it worked just fine to cover his somewhat greasy hair that really needed to be washed. But the goddess, who was standing so close to him, she was dressed as a goddess should be. She wore a bright yellow sundress, light and gauzy, and it twirled around her as she danced to the music. And her feet, with toenails painted in pretty pastel pink, were graced by a pair of sequin covered flip-flops. Jason swore that he could see a glow of pale white light all around her. He was mesmerized! He could feel Cupid’s arrow as it pierced his heart.

He reached to one side of the listening station for a cd that caught his eye, but his eyes weren’t on the cd, they were on the dancing woman. Jason watched in what seemed like slow motion as the cd fell to the floor, glancing off the toes of the goddess.“Ouch!” she exclaimed as she was snapped out of her musical reverie and bent down to massage her injured toes, glancing up at Jason with a goddess of war look in her eyes.

“Oh my god, I am so sorry!” Jason profusely apologized. “It just got away from me – I must have butterfingers – sorry I’m so clumsy. Are you okay?”

“Oh yes, I’ll be fine; it just startled me more than anything, that’s all; no damage done.”

“My name’s Jason by the way – and you are?”

“I’m Isabella but my friends call me Belle.” So now the goddess had a name, also befitting her. Jason would have rather called her Isabella; it moved like a beautiful waltz as he said her name in his head.

“Do you come here often?” Jason asked, and then wanted to smack himself in the head after saying what sounded like the most clichéd pick-up line ever.

“When I decide it’s time to buy some music I like coming here more than anywhere else – I love the listening station – it helps me decide what I really want to buy and sometimes I find new music I haven’t heard that I end up buying.” Belle seemed oblivious to Jason’s botched attempt at conversation.

Jason breathed a silent sigh of relief – at least so far she didn’t find him to be a total loser. He still had a chance to try to speak like a normal person and redeem himself, after looking like both a clumsy oaf and a smooth talking player.

“Yeah, I love this place, especially with all the vinyl they carry now; I’m kind of into that when I can find it. And the listening station is great, you’re right about finding new music; the radio stations don’t always play what I want to hear so I can come here and find new stuff,” Jason said. “And I think it’s really important to support the independent record stores instead of just going to Target or Wal-Mart for music – those places just don’t have the right vibe for buying music, you know?”

“I agree,” said Belle, “We really need to shop local and support the little guy who’s trying to make it.”

Jason reached down and picked up the cd that had fallen and put it back on the holder.

“Can I get you a cup of coffee, to make up for injuring your foot? Maybe we can compare notes on who we like, or you can tell me what you thought of the album you were listening to before my rude interruption,” Jason inquired.

“Thanks, that sounds great. I know a really cool coffeehouse a couple blocks down if that’s okay. They make an awesome cup of coffee with a shot of caramel in it, if you like that. And they also have macaroons that are amazing!”

“Yeah, that sounds like a great place. Are you ready to go?” Jason asked her.

“I’m ready when you are. Don’t you want to listen to the cd you found though?”

Jason just smiled at her; the reason he came to Earful in the first place, to find some music, was so far from his mind now. He was ready to run out of there – quick! – before Isabella, Belle as she wanted to be called changed her mind.

“No, I’ll come back later; it’s not a big deal. I’d rather talk music with you right now than listen to any – and I’d really enjoy a cup of coffee with such a lovely fellow lover of music.” Now that was more like it, sincere words meant to show her that he really was a nice guy and not a dork who fumbled like a schoolboy. And judging by the sweet smile Belle gave him, she seemed interested. She hung up her set of headphones and followed Jason out the door, grabbing his hand as she led him in the direction of the coffeehouse.

Behind the counter, Sean just smiled and shook his head. He had worked at An Earful of Music for 10 years now, and in that time he wondered what it was about the listening station that brought so many couples together. It had to be some sort of love energy that radiated in that spot; why, they had actually had two couples come back and ask to be married there, in the place where they first met. And being such a sucker for a love story, Sean took out the small notebook he kept behind the counter and tallied another mark on the page, entitled Love at the Listening Station.

Needing

 

I am

To his love

Like a flower

Needing rain

To quench my thirst

For him

For his touch

I am

To his love

Like the moon

Needing the sun’s light

So that I may glow

In his presence

When he comes to me

I am

To his love

Like all things

That need each other

In order to flourish

He is my every need

Yes

I need him

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Enlightenment can be a dim light at times

Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.

After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.

                                                                                – a Zen proverb

It took a lot of soul searching before I could finally understand what that ancient Zen proverb meant. To me, enlightenment was something to be achieved, a state of being that maybe I would be lucky enough to touch, but really believed was only available to highly exalted Masters of any given spiritual path – not a common person such as myself. I looked at the “light” part of that word only, thinking that if I did touch any part of enlightenment, it would be a glorious path free from any pain or discomfort. How wrong I was in that assumption! Being enlightened does not equate to perfection, as we may think of it in our limited human way of thinking. We are in a place of duality here on this earth, and realizing that and experiencing the “bad” along with the “good” is the only way on the path to enlightenment. Now I don’t particularly enjoy the meltdowns; the box of tissues nearby, curled up in a ball, trying to figure out what precipitated the flow of tears and emptiness this time. More times than not, I find it is something seemingly trivial, something that bruised the fragile peach-skin of my ego. But once I recover and step back to assess the situation, my soul comes through loud and clear to remind me how strong I really am. Enlightenment is not a goal to reach and then sit back and bask in – it is a constant way of being. It is a state of grace that we still have when we stumble, it is finding love in all situations, it is respect for all people – remembering that we are all here to learn, and to learn from one another. And I find that the more I can touch my soul, the more I realize how blessedly imperfect I am! What a glorious revelation…

Success and failure are seen as part of a seamless, joyful whole.

Each is accepted and fully lived.

                                                                – Lao-Tzu from the Tao Te Ching

Peering inside of ourselves

One of my favorite quotes comes from Socrates – “The unexamined life is not worth living.”  For many years I lived an unexamined life, caught up in the time consuming world of a career, family and everything else that prevented me from really stepping back into some quiet moments and trying to figure out, what is life really all about? When I did find those quiet moments, I discovered I had buried so many wonderful treasures of my inner self that were now dying to come out. I found I needed to do some housecleaning in my life, in the manner of ending my marriage, ending my career, and living life on my own terms that I had pushed aside for so long. Not everyone needs to go through such drastic life changes to examine their lives, but it is important that we not only focus on our loved ones, but also on ourselves, in an unselfish act of love.

Wonderers and Wanderers

 

These are my kind of people!

A bit off center, off the mark

Unconventional

Defined as “eccentric”

The wonderers

The wanderers

Peering through our telescopes and periscopes and kaleidoscopes and other aides that enhance our vision

Perusing

Pondering

Perplexing and flexing ideas

Pushing forward – land ho!

We know about the mole people

In their tunnels of well dug mediocrity

They come above, at times, to dwell in our world of idiosyncrasies

But they are much happier in their circuitous mazes and labyrinths of shaded and sheltered existence

The scary safety of society

But wonderers and wanderers require much more than the daily special to thrive

Not blindly accepting society’s tape loop of conventional ways

We find our way out of the mazes and labyrinths they construct to try and fool us

We are much wiser than those simplistic paths

We can navigate our way out of them blindfolded!

We are explorers!

Visionaries

Philosophers of ancient days tap me on the shoulder

Wanderlust fills up my dance card

Life is full of uncharted territory and never ending questions

With a horn of plenty that spills out a bounty of answers, all of them the right ones

Travels and treks and excursions to new places

Gallivanting and gathering

I boldly declare

That I shall spend my remaining days on this earth

In the very pleasant company

Of those like myself

Who seem to wonder in ambivalence

And wander in ambiguity

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