Harvest Blessing

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

I offer thanks for the cycles of the harvest today.

With my body, I dance the gratitude of all mankind into the ethers.

I send gratitude to the soil for all that has been birthed for us this growing season,

And I honor her need to rest now and replenish so she can continue to nourish in her fullness.

With my breath, I inhale the memory of all the ancestors who have walked this way before,

I honor them deeply in my bones and my blood, exhaling healing and love.

Hand over my heart, I feel the blood beating through my chest, the water of my own life.

The same water that has coursed through other veins, fallen from other skies, and danced in the waves of other oceans for eternity.

I feel the heat of my body, radiating through my skin, the same heat that shines from the sun, the heat that has warmed us all.

With joy, I feel the connection to all the lives who have shared this soil, this air, this water and this heat with me, and all those yet to come.

Sing and dance with me the Blessings of the harvest! For those who have come, those who are and those who will be. Sing and dance for the Energizing Spirit who Created it all!

Divine Balance

cloud-754365_1280pixabayHere’s a thought I keep having, based on my own inner, gut intuition. I feel the Divine is not one gender or the other, but both. It seems a duality based, humanistic standard to judge the Divine by the boxes of separation we place ourselves into.

To me the Divine feels very Feminine, yet also has very Masculine energy. If we have both (and we do) then how can the Divine only have one or the other? It is Balance Supreme. We humans are the ones who are in a state of separation and dualism. Our ultimate goal seems to be to return to the Oneness, not continue seeking which side is the “right” one.

Feminine and Masculine have truly been out of balance for endless ages. I see and feel it in the Earth and her people. I feel it in myself and in others. We all have this imbalance. I hope we can heal it by seeing the wholeness of all. Loving all of it. If we honor only one, we surely suppress the other. We will come further with healing ourselves if we seek balance and wholeness, which is truly Divine. The Divine cannot be separated at Its core.

Let the Light Flow Through You…Just Like a Child

And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.…”–Jesus in Matthew 18. This doesn’t mean be converted to Christianity, but converted from the ways of the world. Remembering the ways of Spirit, which are within each one of us and all around us.

“Neither shall they say,’See here!’ or, ‘see there!’ for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you..”–Jesus in Luke 17. Some translations say the Kingdom of God is in your midst, which is true as well. It’s not something we have to wait for or search for outside of ourselves, but instead we open ourselves to remember and see our connection to it, within and amongst ourselves. When you recognize the same God within your own heart is also flowing through the heart of everyone and everything (even if they don’t remember), the way you interact changes naturally. All people, all things become honored.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”–Paul in Romans 12. Once we begin to remember and see that God (or whatever name you choose to call the larger energy of the Cosmos) is within us and all things, we know our connection to each other and to everything. You can feel it and that changes how you relate to everything. To me, this teaching speaks to opening your heart and mind to the larger energy (or God) and allowing that to guide you in a constant state of renewal.

Really, we are both what we love and what loves us. We interactively weave the world around us, along with the larger energy that many call God. We get what we give and what we allow ourselves to be open to. We see what we can be open to seeing. And the larger energy of the Cosmos, the river of life, will flow through us to the extent that our hearts and minds can allow.

Giving and Receiving Our Talents

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Photo: Pixabay

Many of us wrestle with an underlying feeling that it is not OK for us to succeed at anything we attempt. This deeply buried belief keeps us from fully embracing our talents and our own understanding of God. We hold ourselves back. We self-sabotage and we keep ourselves small.

For years, I felt it was not safe and somehow wrong for me to fully express myself or to allow myself to receive anything in return for my talents. I subconsciously felt intimidated and resentful of others who were free of this belief and who lived in grace and abundance.

I told myself it was much more important to be a good person, to love others and serve Truth, God. I believed that it was impossible to do these things while feeling whole and being blessed in life. As if being happy, safe and well somehow nullified any good that had been done. What I am realizing is that I can serve God best by fully being the light I was created to be, by fully using my talent and by fully following my intuition, insight and inspiration. When I do these things, I find that I am serving God and all Creation to the fullest of my ability. I am also happy.

When I shine, I feel most in alignment with God. I recognize that everything each of us does can be done in service of each other and God. It is a matter of doing it from a standpoint of love and service, rather than fear, limit, lack or greed. My being unafraid of my own light allows those around me to also be happy and shine in their own way.

Holding myself separate from those that made more money than me or had more success was being judgmental of them and myself. I saw myself as better or more holy than they were because I had less.

Recently I was listening to a successful musician who chants and sings of the love of the Divine. It was deeply moving and very beautiful. Her face was happy and serene. She embodied the love she sang of. I thought, ‘What a wonderful service she does for all who hear her! She is at peace and encourages that in her behavior and her music. She uplifts others to that same Peace of God.’ And it flooded my awareness that she is a very holy person using her talents to serve others and being rewarded for it. I was grateful that she decided to let her light shine and grateful she earned a living doing it so that as many as possible might be able to hear her.

The most important thing, for me, is to do everything I do in the full service of God and others. It is not for my own ends, though I may greatly enjoy the outcome. The point is to release my own expectations of what I should or should not be provided with and serve. Serve all day, in every way, in everything I do and with every being I encounter. To me this means being happy in myself and happy that I am serving so that I can share my happiness with others in all that I do.

Neuroscience has shown again and again that kindness, compassion, forgiveness and gratitude increase our brain’s capacity for happiness. When we are happy, we have even more to share! It is the same thing that every religious tradition has taught for all of history. It is healthy for us and healthy for those around us. It is freeing and rewarding, both on an energetic and a physical level.

This is being in alignment with a spiritually healthy life and with serving God. This is the opposite of being selfish and greedy. This is actually allowing our cups  to be filled so that it can overflow to others.

As long as we see our abilities as small and our blessings few, we will never be free to fully give of what we have. What is there to give if we don’t believe we have enough or that we are enough? We first must have faith in what we have and be full of gratitude for our talents and the abundance that flows from them. Through this, our talents will expand and so will our service and the rewards that flow from using our talents for the greater good. When we believe we have little and may lose what we have, we don’t allow for anything different to happen.

This all made me think of the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, 14-30. The ones who were given talents and made use of them in the world received more talents and were rewarded. The one who hid his talent and made no use of it for fear it would be taken away lost his talent and had nothing. When we use our talents for the good of others, we are rewarded with more. And when we fear we don’t have enough and may lose what we do have, we never enjoy what we have and therefore have already lost it and may lose even more. Those that are grateful don’t demand more, yet they receive it.

Surrender your demands and expectations. Choose to be filled with gratitude and service. By allowing what is good to flow through us, and freely allowing it to flow from us, we honor the flow of giving and receiving. We can stop fighting Universal Law and recognize we are fully part of it. We can open our arms to embrace it, loving it and letting it love us back.

We can celebrate each day and all that flows from us and to us.

Rights, Freedoms and Responsibilities

Rights Responsiblities2There seems to be a general clamoring, grasping and hungry dissatisfaction that infects so many individual people across the world. It spreads like a virus from one of us to the other. We often urge each other to carry this misplaced longing for more into the streets, the media, our politics, driving each other to anger and, often to acts of hate or at least unkindness and inconsideration.

I feel in my heart that we all hold the light of God inside of us. None are separate from this, as far as I can see, though some chose to hold themselves as separate. In my eyes, if we all carry the light of God, then we all are the same. Kindness and love are for all, without question.

Most everyone seems to feel that they have had rights taken away and many feel inner shame for taking the rights of others, though the latter are usually too defensive to admit it. In the end, it seems that people everywhere are mad as hell about the whole “rights” and “freedom” issue, regardless of their gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, or anything else.

That leads to a whole lot of people pushing against each other. That is not the same thing as loving each other or being kind. It is not the same thing as recognizing the light of God in ourselves and each other. Whenever you hear someone say, “I have the right to fill in the blank“, that is said from a place of victimhood and anger. It is said with indignation.

I don’t deny that there are injustices. They are everywhere. But becoming reactionary certainly doesn’t resolve that. Many of the greatest injustices are created either by those who have forgotten their own inner light or by those who refuse to recognize it.

When you find yourself using your rights to do or say something unkind, even if you really do have the legal right, maybe it is a good time to consider the other person’s rights, even if only for a moment. Or even more importantly, consider the larger ramifications of the thing you are about to say or do. How will it impact you? How will it impact the other person or the people around you? Does it have possible larger consequences for society or for your family? Every action you do and every word you speak ripples out beyond your immediate sphere. It has an effect on others far beyond what you see right in front of you.

The right to worship as we choose does not mean that we are ought to mock those who don’t choose to worship as we do. It means that we are all free to perceive the world, ourselves and God in whatever way makes sense to us, without forcing those views upon others. That implies respect of each other’s views and an allowance that they will differ. If that respect is present, violence has no need to rear its head.

It may be true that we have the right to express ourselves freely, but does that mean we have to use that right to scornfully condemn or mock another? To use shame to control what another does? We can choose simply express who we are respectfully, with love, honor and dignity for ourselves and all others. We can honor the fact that everyone else has the right to express themselves freely, too. Even if we don’t like what or how they express. Otherwise we are only choosing this freedom for ourselves, not for others.

Maybe a law has given you the right to express yourself in a way that allows you to say cruel things to another, to mock them and ridicule them. Maybe you have the legal right to even say that you want them dead, as long as you make it clear that you are joking or you do it within a creative context. Does this mean it is not hurtful or even frightening for that person or group of people? It would be for me, especially if this was done by a large group of people. This is bullying, not love. It does not honor our inner light. This is one person using their “rights” to violate the rights of another.

How many times in the last 20 to 30 years have you witnessed violence erupting because a person or group of people felt they had to push back because their rights were being violated? Particularly their rights of speech, expression or religion. If you look at the larger picture, how many times has it been because of situations just like the one I just described?

A group standing for their right for something can become very indignant and that can lead to irrational decisions. Our egos get in the way when we are stuck in being right and proving it. We lose sight of the bigger picture and of other people. We forget how to be kind. There are often much more important things than our rights. Like the rights of us all. Like simply being loving and patient and gentle with each soul on this planet instead of running with the belief that any of us have the right to trample on any of the others. Even if they trample us first.

Having the belief that we have to kill or be killed leads to us all treating each other like crap, every day. It leads to more death, war and chaos. There is no chance, ever, for light to come in and let something new grow. We have had a long rampage of destruction, hate and oppression in the world. The only way to stop that and turn it to something new is to be different inside ourselves and in the way we treat each other.

We have to start looking for what we can give to each other and move away from the attitude of concerning ourselves with what others may be trying to take from us. We have to look for opportunities to show compassion and to see the soul of our fellow human, rather than find opportunities to close our hearts and turn away. We have to do the best we can to see the fear that drives us, and recognize that it’s the same fear that drives our fellow human as well. We are not different inside, though we may live our lives in different ways.

We will not all get to the place where we can honor each other’s inner light at once. Try not to concern yourself too much with those who aren’t there yet. That puts you back in the mindset of believing someone else needs to change and the whole cycle starts again. Change yourself and your behaviors. Others will follow. This may be our greatest responsibility to ourselves and to each other. Rights don’t work very well or last very long without honoring that.

Little Children are Great Teachers

girl doveWhat does it mean to become like little children? Jesus taught that we should do this, but what does it mean? They really are great teachers. I think Jesus was on to something.

When I look at very young children, I see people who live in the present moment. They know how they feel and they don’t make any judgments that they ought to be feeling something different, they simply feel. They also don’t get stuck on the way they feel, simply feeling their feelings and then releasing them and then moving on to the next experience. They seldom hold a grudge for long. And they don’t live in regret.

They love. Completely, purely. They don’t withhold love based on whether some condition or another is met, their hearts are simply wide open to everything and everyone.

Children live in a state of wonder. Every new thing and even things they have encountered before are met with pure appreciation and joy. Their eyes, hearts and minds soak in every experience knowing that each detail is a marvelous thing to behold. They are full of gratitude for the smallest of things. All things are miracles to a child.

They are fascinated with the world. They are endlessly curious. They are ravenous to ask questions and inquire deeply about how things work, how they work, how other people and the world works. This curiosity is an innocent wondering, not driven by dark dissatisfaction as it often is in adults, but instead by the love of shining the beacon of consciousness on all that they can.

A child is not afraid of magic. They recognize that magic is all around us and in us. They see the magic that we literally swim in and they have found no reason to be afraid of that. They still understand that it is a part of us.

Children know to make beautiful use of every moment, living it fully. They play, they laugh, they sing, they dance, they cry. They do everything with great abandon. Nothing gets held back in the life of a little child.

Children know to rest. As much as a young child fully gives herself to her waking moments, she also fully drops into sleep when her body needs that. Children sleep the sleep of those with no worries. Watch them sleep and you will see peace.

Children ask for what they want and need. They have no qualms about this. There is no guilt. They don’t feel afraid for being who they are. They are not ashamed. They may not always be given want they ask for, but they are not afraid to ask.

Children are infinitely wise. They may be naive to the harsh ways and customs we have created for ourselves in our world, but they are wise in spirit. We can learn a great deal from these tiny teachers, if we are not in too big a hurry to teach the wisdom out of them.

Expanding our view of Divinity (or don’t put God in a box)

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It is impossible to put the Divine in a human box. God can’t be defined with a label, words, or ideas. Our minds, as amazing as they are made to be, are not capable of conceiving of That which is part of them, which they are also part of. It is like asking a drop of water to understand that it is made of ocean and still understand the entirety and complexity of all the oceans. Impossible! The Divine that we come from is so much more immense than that. Yet humans actively frame the Supreme in small human context.

This must be forgiven because we are, after all, human. We think like humans. We put things in human terms. It is easier to understand when we do this. Fear of things we can’t understand and can’t control contributes to this tremendously. We can only see and control what is directly in front of us, right now. And often that is difficult. This is a really hard thing to let go of sometimes. But think of the drop of water. It floats in the ocean and rests, even when it’s getting tossed around on a hurricane or a tsunami. It just knows it is water, all the time, wherever it lands. Water eventually returns to the ocean. You are always a soul. You will eventually return to God, no matter how rough the ride or how long it takes. Don’t let yourself feel too separated due to fear.

It seems that we can easily fall into the trap of believing that we have the only right or true way of understanding the Divine, or that we know the only true name by which to call Him. Many cultures and religions have fallen under this spell. So much hatred, death and war have been perpetrated under the illusion that it is possible to place the Supreme into a human concept and know Him precisely through a single unique truth. But how can we say that God is infinite, everywhere, All, if we limit the Energy that flows from Source to only where we can see and clearly understand and define it? Each of us is created with this same energy, just as all things are. We can’t say that one person is less made of God Energy and is therefore less worthy than any other. Nor can we say that any creature or creation is less worthy since it is all created from the same Source. Behaviors may not be desirable, emotions may not be pleasant. These are fleeting and can be changed. That should not be forgotten. The essence, the energy from God remains the same, always. Behaviors and emotions only cloud this and disturb our ability to see it clearly. Like clouds we can wait for them to pass. There are also methods to assist them passing more quickly, like meditation, tai chi, qigong, yoga and energy medicine techniques.

If you understand God to be capable of doing anything and being everywhere, and you believe that He loves all and distributes Divine Grace, regardless of merit, then you seem to have removed all limits from God. These are the ways I understand the religions of the world to view the Divine, regardless of what name they refer to the Lord by, or if they choose to use a name at all. Ultimately God is limitless, and far beyond our capacity to grasp what that might mean. Each soul perceives the Divine through its own filters. The filters are many. There is the filter of your own unique soul’s personality, your “youness”, the filter of your experiences and woundings, the filter of the culture you are raised in (which includes your parent’s views and the religion you were exposed to), the filter of your education, and on from there. But part of God’s wonder is our unique and individual ability to experience God through the window of our own mind, body, and soul. We are each expressions of Him/Her/Life. This includes everyone, even people that do not believe or not like the term God. It doesn’t matter what the language is! We all believe we are alive! We get too caught up in words and they trip us up. Let others experience what they need to and appreciate that they are pushing through the clouds just as you are.

I am in awe of the Universe, and I easily accept that God appeared many times, in many cultures, to so many different people and in as many different ways as needed to help humanity learn and grow. I believe He is in many different places at one time, manifesting eternally. Our fear has taught us to look at only what we see right in front of us, but now, through technology, books and travel, we can see so much of the world that we can see that God has been blessing ALL of His people, forever. He does not neglect some while He spares others. He has been sending teachers with His message for all ages. I have no doubt that the Lord Himself has walked among us and taught far more than just the man called Jesus in Galilee. He continues to do so. Many texts have been written with accounts of these teachers and Saints. They all teach the same message. No matter the culture or the time. God is Life Energy, and is Ultimate. We must accept this and stop trying to place our own images on everything. We didn’t create any of this and we don’t control it. But we are souls and we can simply follow Jesus’ prime commandment and love God first and foremost and each other as ourselves.

All people seem to be seeking God in their own way, even if they are not comfortable calling it by that name. In the end, the journey is theirs, and maybe we all need to have a little more trust in each other and the Ultimate that we need not mold everything the way we believe it needs to be. None of us knows how it is supposed to be, really. Some struggle differently on their path than we do on ours. Help them, love them, heal them. If you can’t do that, then at least don’t harm them. We are all lights of Divinity, no matter how we come to understand that, or how long it takes us.