Tag: spiritual growth

Living with Scarcity in a World of Abundance

Living with Scarcity in a World of Abundance

Fall gardensThis morning as I look out my window, I am drawn to the awakening blue sky and the rays of the sun that wash over the lush green foliage along my driveway. It’s hard to imagine that in just a few short weeks the landscape will look quite different. In late August and early September we find, fast growing greenery such as wild morning glories and other late summer vines (and weeds) growing with such speed one can almost see them growing. It’s as if they see the end in sight and know it’s time to hurry.

I feel much like the morning glories some days. It’s time to hurry up and do what it is I’m supposed to do in this life. I’ve grown weary of earthly endeavors, the abundance of things that no longer have much use to me, much as I grow tired of the impatience in my garden that seem to go on endlessly this time of year.  By mid-September I want nothing more than to pull them out by the roots and be done with them, their splashy pink tones an assault to the senses.  It is now the season of yellows and golds and browns.

It reminds me of the ebb and flow of our lives, the abundance of youth, the eagerness to expand at midlife and the desire for simplicity and a less lush environment as we we reach our wisdom years. Like the leaves that will fall, age calls us inward. We are called to settle the score of our soul and leave the worldly things to those still finding their way.  It is a time of simplicity, not scarcity; an abundance of the soul, not a worldly abundance.

Though the seasons are changing, there is still much to be done.

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Banish the Darkness

Reaching – A Poem

REACHING

REACHING

ANTON PAVLENKO LANDSCAPE OIL PAINTER

REACHING

When I bent down to pick up the pieces of my life,

I shoved my hands into the black soot of death and

reached through the bitter haze of unspent emotions,

to find fragments of me, inert, motionless and suffocating.

*

When I bent down to pick up the pieces of my mind,

I found a tiny girl child, wrapped like a mummy

in wordless memories weightier than her

tiny shoulders could carry. Though carry she did.

*

When I bent down to pick up the pieces of my soul,

I found an embryo who bargained with the devil,

who gave up choice in order to live, an uneven exchange

that lasted nearly a lifetime. She kept her promise.

*

When I bent down to pick up the pieces of my will,

I found a stomping mad two-year old who knew

her own mind, and suffered the consequences

for the knowledge. She stomped anyway when she could.

*

When I bent down to pick up the pieces of my heart,

I found an innocent, carefree child with

a passionate love for all things seen and,

a deep reverence for that is unseen.

*

When I bent down to pick up the pieces of my body,

I found a source of energy and flow

that I never knew existed, for it had been

traded at birth…or before.

*

When I bent down to pick up the pieces of my spirit,

I found light and power, guidance and vision,

angels and guides  a thread through my life

never to be broken.

*

When I bent down to pick up the pieces of my life,

I put down the yoke of fear, set aside the sorrow,

and abandoned the dark rivulets of despair.

I cancelled the bargain with the devil.

*

Now, I no longer bend down. I reach up instead.

Outstretched arms, fingers pointing toward the sky.

I stand anchored, connected, grounded in the earth,

heart wide open, assembled.

All the important pieces collected.

Banish the Darkness

Banish the Darkness

Poem
“In the Middle of Nowhere”, A Poem by NARYABUTTERFLYLEAVE Click on picture to read.

I’ve come to see that when darkness resides in our soul it’s because we dare not look in the corners and crevices that contain our pain. We fear the darkness when we could choose to shine a light to banish it.  A self-protective mechanism no doubt. Still….

In recent years, I’ve more often chosen to shine a light in my dark places, when I see an opportunity.  They are so well hidden sometimes, so evasive and sneaky. I find it’s worth persisting. I poke and prod, track and wander until I am weary with the effort and then wonder if it is, in fact, worth the effort.

After a rest, at the dawn of a new day, I usually decide it is. Turning over one rock at a time, I have found a measure of freedom, a modicum of peace, a self-awareness that knows itself. What more can one ask? To stand firmer, and taller and more certain, and to have a little more of what it takes to tackle the uncertainties of life…and death…is a welcomed thing.

Caroline Myss, a modern-day mystic, sheds so much light on the workings of the soul and the energy and anatomy of the spirit.  This excerpt from her book was posted on her Facebook page today. I have found her words to be true.

“Every thought you have had has traveled through your biological system and activated a physiological response. Some thoughts are like depth charges, causing a reaction throughout the body. A fear, for instance, activates every system of your body: your stomach tightens, your heart rate increases, and you may break into a sweat. A loving thought can relax your entire body. Some thoughts are more subtle, and still others are unconscious. Many are meaningless and pass through the body like wind through a screen, requiring no conscious attention, and their influence upon our health is minimal. Yet each conscious thought—and many unconscious ones—does generate a physiological response.” Caroline Myss, Anatomy of the Spirit

I highly recommend Caroline Myss’ books to all who travel the path of healing.

The Willingness to Face Our Pain

The Willingness to Face Our Pain

Image by Trevor Pottelberg
Image by Trevor Pottelberg

 

“Retreating into yourself to find purpose can be like straddling a dock and a boat that is moving away. We are pulled in opposite directions by the intense desire of the mind for human involvement and the equally intense need of the soul for its own company. In the sheer immensity of solitude, when one can no longer draw energy from external sources, we come to see how much of what we habitually call being productive is merely the evasion of sitting still and meeting what is most difficult for us to receive with compassion — our own pain.”
Dawna Markova  from her book I Will Not Live An Unlived Life: Reclaiming Passion and Purpose 
 
Sitting on the edge of freedom, unable to step foot into the unknown, we are terrified of the fear that wells up inside of us. When we even consider stepping forward, something calls us quickly and urgently back into the known. Our fear is mistaken as a dark and dismal warning to run away. To hide. To pretend we didn’t really catch a glimpse of the light or truly want to meet ourselves and embrace our truth. We wear masks to protect ourselves from ourselves. Why do we do this?
 
Change is difficult. Change is challenging. If anyone tells you otherwise they are fooling you, and chances are good that if you think change was easy in the past,  it really wasn’t change at all, at least not the kind that Dawna Markova and I are talking about, change that brings your life into alignment with your true self and all that you have been called upon to contribute. Real change is inner transformation, and above all else it requires solitude and a face to face meeting with ourselves.
 
The most terrifying part of change is this face to face meeting – for it requires meeting our pain. We cannot change if the shadows of the past have us in their clutches, directing our choices and our actions. We will only carry the darkness into the future and rest assured, the pain will be a constant reminder, appearing again and again until we face it, embrace it and put it to rest.
 
The fear of change is our unwillingness to face our pain. To walk toward it. To let it come to the surface. After all, we have spent so much time and energy pushing it aside, pretending it isn’t there, shoving it deep down inside of ourselves, layering mask upon mask over top of it.  It takes some serious excavating to even find it, and then….when we do….we believe we will have to suffer the excruciating pain all over again. 
 
This time, however, the pain is like the lancing of a wound. Oh, it hurts when the knife begins to break the skin, but the pain feels like healing, not dying. As the wound drains, as the pain pours forth, there is great release and relief. It is different. It is not like the original wounding, it sets us free and once we are on our way, it even propels us forward. We begin to understand the necessity of the healing process and the great rewards that come with it.
 

Are you allowing your wounds to drain? Or, are they festering under layers of protection? Real change not only takes a willingness to step forward and meet the challenges, it often requires support of many kinds along the way. You need not go it alone. If you are looking for guidance, support or direction for your journey, get in touch with me. I may be able to help. AgingAbundantly@gmail.com

My Unfolding

My Unfolding

Unfolding

The unfolding of consciousness sometimes feels like a runaway freight train…and I’m just hanging on for dear life. Ah, but what a ride! My only regret is that I got on board so late in life.  On the other hand, my life’s path that led me to this point carries with it an experiential awareness of the many life lessons we all must face. The pain of the past also propels me forward toward union with soul consciousness and away from the void of spiritual death that we live with when we are disconnected from ourselves and from creation.

I’ve sought a deeper connection with the divine since I lost my awareness of that connection as a young child. I did not know that I was also seeking a connection with myself, the deeper, true self that was set upon a shelf for safe keeping for survival’s sake.  My child self knew intrinsically the love of the divine, the safety net of a benevolent universe, but believed she had to trade it for life. It doesn’t matter if this was true or not, the trade was made.

Taking back the soul self is both incredibly easy and inordinately difficult. It is taking baby steps of trust, incremental achievements in awareness of self – what is true, what is not – what is soul, what is not – what is love, what is not – separating the wheat from the chaff, the truth from the lie.

When I started crawling out of the hole I was in I had no idea it would lead me here – lead me home – lead me to where I always wanted to be. So very familiar. So very new. I’d like a safety net, but it is my job to weave one for myself. I’d like directions, but it is up to me to listen to my own inner voice. There are no answers outside of myself – ultimately. Taking full and total responsibility for the choices I make, the steps I take, the love I give, the love I turn away, the time I waste, the words I share, the thoughts I keep to myself – it’s all on me. Just me. And, that’s okay.

Spaces

Spaces

Helle Summer houseI began to think about “spaces” this morning after reading a post by Laurie, one of my favorite bloggers. She is blessed with an abundance of courage and enthusiasm for life. She and her husband recently picked up and moved from the Midwest to Boise, ID. This is a popular and growing trend among boomer retirees.

Laurie continues to entertain her followers with her adventures and today she announced that she has a new temporary home in Boise, in a lovely carriage house. Her enthusiasm was palpable but it carried with something ore than simply living in an interesting place. The “something more” was captured in these words: “My writing space is phenomenal!….this gorgeous view has triggered a spurt of fiction writing.” 

There is something powerful about spaces, both the ones we live and work in, and the ones that show up unexpectedly in a quiet moment, or between activities.  Our homes are more than an artistic expression of who we are, though they are that. They are filled with energy. Sometimes this energy is positive and creativity inducing, sometimes the opposite is true. Too often we choose to ignore our sense of this energy, if we even notice it at all. Instead, we choose spaces out of necessity, circumstances, budget constraints, practicality, thinking perhaps we have no choice, opting not to notice.

Does your living space inspire you, energize you, invite you to expand yourself, your creativity, your life?

As a highly sensitive person I have lived more by the sensory field around me than by my brains. (My husband will testify to that!) It has not always been the case. I tried for many years to do what “everybody” thought I should do, and/or what was good for everybody else. Be practical. Be responsible. Be normal. Buy a house with enough room for the kids and the aging parents. Make sure it’s in a good location, good school district, and with good resale value. Above all, it must be affordable.

What about the feel of the house?

The spaces that dot are days, those moments when nothing is demanding our attention, either from the inside or the outside, are an opportunity to discover our interior space. Our interior space will not demand our attention, but it is there waiting and always present. It too is a source of powerful energy. It is the place where our truest self resides, our creative, soul self. In just the same way we often block these spaces from our conscious awareness. We override them with activity and to-do- lists. We stuff them down with food or mind numbing activity.

What is lost when we avoid our interior space?

Tuning in to the “spaces” in our lives, both on the inside and the outside, is an essential practice when engaging in the transformation process. Every thing we need to know exists within us. We simply have to choose to pay attention to the signals and clues that are already present and waiting for us.