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The Orchids of the World

“Most people are dandelions; they’ll come out okay under almost any circumstances.  Others are orchids; they’re not just more sensitive to negative outcomes but more sensitive to everything.  They won’t flourish in the dirt by the side of the road like a dandelion would.  But when they’re well tended in a nice greenhouse, their beauty will put the dandelions to shame”

-Eric Barker, ‘Barking up the Wrong Tree:  The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know about Success is (Mostly) Wrong

Beauty is subjective.

The point here is not to label ourselves more beautiful or less beautiful.  The point is for the orchids of the world, myself included, to recognize we have any beauty at all.

What do humans do but label and categorize ourselves until we whittle our best qualities down to piles of useless dust.

I have lived life frightened of my own beauty.  I’m still scared I will lose all I have longed for and love, but I can no longer deny the spirit self that resides within me waiting to be expressed.

As an orchid, I have realized the intense nurturing I seek may not be available to me in the form of other people.  The nurturing I seek is within me.  To access it, I have to be so honest that my heart breaks again and again until all that remains is love.

This love is beyond what is found in the world.

A happy by-product of this love, once recognized, it makes the world around you appear more loving and accepting of who-you-really-are.

How is this possible if you haven’t changed at all?

It’s simple really.

You don’t need to change, you only have to change your mind.

Choose love.

Don’t mess with perfection.

I see it in you.

Have the courage to embrace it.

See how your world changes.

Illumination

If you happen to think there is something within you unexpressed whether it’s art, thought, deed or dance, it’s time to let it out.  Be unafraid of the world’s reception of it.

Where does the fear originate?

Not fitting in?

Rejection?

Being alone?

Let me ask you this, by suppressing this within magic, does this support you in feeling alive, connected and whole?  Or do you feel though you are surrounded by many…. few, maybe none, appreciate the truest version of you?

Take some risks.

The anticipation of failure is far worse than anything that may or may not happen as a result.

Even if you fail to a proportion not yet imagined, this would fade with time.

As soon as you read these words and thoughts they are gone from the page.

Maybe the goal isn’t ‘success’ or acceptance.

Maybe the goal should be something more universal.

Maybe the goal should be love.

If we create and express from our true compass of internal light, however it lands in the world is perfect.

Whenever I write I let love lead me.

You can choose to receive it or let it go.

Both responses equal in that they both are impermanent.

If a flutter of love floats near you as a result of my wording or imagery…truth has been served, my purpose fulfilled.  Even if you aren’t ready to receive it yet, the doorway to love may have moved a millimeter towards truth.  All I can do is my work, and if it happens to help you do yours, that’s a natural by-product of the work itself.  It isn’t me, it isn’t you, it’s ALL of us.

I can rest my pen and my heart knowing I tried.

What is trying but another form of illumination?

Illumination

The Stages of the Path

A spiritual path is not chosen.  It is given to everyone.  Every single one of us has the chance to journey inward to our highest self, or remain trapped in the machinations of the seemingly unfixable external world.  Honestly, I’m not comfortable with either, but the inward path, while currently quite painful, makes more sense to me than anything that unfolds in the world.

The first stage is recognizing that we are more than our bodies.  That part is easy.  Once our self-identified egos realize that we are open to the Truth beyond our personal selves, this is where it becomes treacherous.  Most of us abandon the path at the first sign of trouble.  That is okay.  Whatever you do or don’t do aligns perfectly with however the eventual awakening of the planet happens.  Do not worry one bit if going inward hurts too much because believe me, it does.  Maybe some day you will be ready, maybe some day you won’t, you are perfect right where you are at.  As much as I’ve tried to avoid going beyond the self, it hurts me more not to.  So, I keep going, one painful step at a time.  On to the next stage…

This is where you understand that there are two thought systems in your mind.  One that is full of judgment, blame, guilt, fear, comparison, lack…these all are personal self-ways to stay mired in the story of life.  The other thought system is LOVE.  This isn’t love in the traditional sense (as related to a personal self or selves).  This love doesn’t transform the outer world, this is the love that transcends it.  Very different.  This is the love that accepts the world exactly as it is because it is beyond the world.  This probably doesn’t make a lot a sense, that’s the trap built into it.  It seems to make no sense to keep the personal self denying the Truth. Even slightly entertaining the thought of something beyond the self might make you angry, upset or spark a myriad of malaise and maladies.  If it seems like too much trouble, then it is.  Let it go and if being a self in the world works for you, then keep going as you are.  Nothing to change, nothing to do, all is well.  However, if something inside you is recognizing even a tiny speck of the truth beyond the veil of the world, then you might make it your life’s work to consciously discern from the two thought systems in your mind.  If you do this, it is the hardest work you will ever do.  Your personal self will fight you tooth and nail.  It will be subtle, sneaky, overt, mean, seductive, and whatever else it can throw at you to keep you engaged in its story.  The personal self knows if you are outwardly focused on making the story of your life different, better, shinier… then you don’t have to do the work of letting it all go.

The next stage is the letting go part.  I’m not there yet so all I can write about is what I imagine this to look like.  This is where the thought system of love wins all the time.  There is no need or desire to change the self, the world or anyone or anything all.  This is where we are liberated from thinking we need to change anything about ourselves.  There is nothing wrong with us.  The only idea that is wrong is that we believe something that isn’t true.  We are more than our bodies.  Believing we aren’t is the source of all our pain, separation and angst.  However, I will say this again, if you are at peace with the story of your life and the world as is, it is okay to stick with it.  On the other hand, if something feels off or like you will never quite belong here, maybe consider the inward path.

I used to think that it was all up to me.  It’s not.  It is inevitable.  We all awaken in our own time and at our own pace.  This I know for sure.

“The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

-Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

A World of Light

At the beginning of 2017, I started a daily yoga practice.  Often, during my time on the mat, various teachers and instructors have said, “Take what serves you and leave the rest.”  This is a guiding principle for all of life and recently, I have realized it is especially applicable to relationships.

We make relationships harder than they need to be.  If we are conscious, we can interact with another without making them responsible for how we feel.  We can allow them the space to be a full expression of who they are.  We can learn to judge less and observe more.

It’s never the person hurting us, it is our story about them that hurts us.

We must learn to ‘take what serves us’ in a relationship and let go of everything else.  If the relationship does not serve, then we have to let go of it completely.

Let them go with love.

 

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The Buddha Heart

Having experienced the beyond-ness of all-that-is (which is something you can’t know until you do), I spend much effort trying to make sense of it.  My goal used to be enlightenment, but now it simply is to end my internal struggle.

“‘Enlightenment’ is just a spiritual concept. It’s just one more thing to seek in a future that never comes.”

-from A Mind at Home with Itself by Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell (and quotes below)

I am relieved that there is no goal to attain.  Any goal we imagine for ourselves is simply a way to stay married to the dream of our seeming existence.  The present moment is gone as soon as we notice it.  Goals are equally elusive…gone as soon as they appear to be realized.

“If you’re trying to monitor your progress on your spiritual path—if you think you have any idea how far along you are—you might want to save yourself the trouble.  There’s no attainment, because you already are what you want to become.”

As I am adjusting my mindset to the letting go of not only enlightenment, but all the concepts my mind appears to create, the conflict within me remains fierce.  However, suffering has a purpose.

“Suffering is what creates buddhas.”

Therefore I remain steadfast on my journey towards freedom knowing I have no goal, timeline or ‘right’ thoughts to think.  I only have to let the dream unfold.  If the dream is painful I give thanks.  If the dream is joyful I give thanks.  I give thanks to all and to everything until I don’t even do that.

What remains after that is truth.

 

The Floating Heart

The tiny girl sat on the step.

A wisp of wind blew her golden strands across her face,

Matted to her tears, she moved them aside with her hand.

She watched herself doing this but not from where she sat,

The tiny girl was somewhere else.

 

Her heart floated away when it became too heavy for her small body to carry.

This is how she coped when life broke her.

She had learned no one outside her had any answers.

Often, other people were more broken than she was,

The difference is she knew she was and she owned it.

She didn’t deflect her suffering onto others,

She held it in her small body until it was too much, and then,… she was gone.

 

She rested in Love while everything crumbled.

 

Her prayers were only for the realization that none of us are separate.

We are all branches expressing the deepest roots of Love.

 

When the tiny girl returned to her body, the suffering had not subsided, at least not today, maybe not tomorrow and maybe it never would.

 

This seemed to matter to her but somewhere beyond herself she knew that it didn’t.

Suffering seems to define a body’s experience but instead, it strengthens the soul.

 

When our suffering is so deep, so true, so beyond ourselves, this is when we begin our

journey Home.

The tiny girl’s ancient journey had started before she began.

She couldn’t alter the path even if she had wanted to.

It made her feel so alone until she understood it was teaching her True Connection.

 

But for now, all she had was the step she sat upon, the tears that would not cease and an unbearably heavy heart…

 

And in that instant, she floated away once more…

 

The Path of the Dragonfly

As you walk through the world do you ever notice signs?  While I consider myself to be spiritual, sometimes I’d prefer to take a walk and not be on the lookout for anything.  I’d rather be, than meticulously survey my surrounding for signs.  That’s how most of us are most of the time.

Lately, the universe seems to have a different plan for me.  I am being inundated with dragonflies.  They swarm me in parking lots, they swarm my car when I’m at a traffic light, they are constantly trapped in my screened-in patio.  I’ve seen illustrations of them everywhere, too.  I was in the post office today and there was a picture of a dragonfly!  I was shopping for clothes on-line (I don’t do stores), and a sweater I liked came in dragonfly blue.  I had a dragonfly trapped in my bedroom blinds that buzzed intermittently throughout the night.  I waited until daylight to see what it was, too afraid of what I would find during the night.  As I walked my dogs I came across a moving truck parked in a driveway in the middle of our path with a giant dragonfly on it.  I couldn’t take it anymore.  What is the universe trying to tell me?  What am I trying to tell myself? These are one in the same if you think about it.

The dragonfly, in almost every part of the world symbolizes change and change in the perspective of self-realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.

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The changes unseen are the ones that matter.  I do not look different but I am different.

It’s time to follow the path of the dragonfly.

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