It’s a Thing…Really, it is…

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I took one of those odd FB quizzes recently that says that I am more of a left-brain person. Those that have known me in my work environments would probably agree with that. I do tend to over-analyze stuff, asking a bunch of “what if” type questions. The need to picture the end result and how you get there is important to me. Check and double check. Drives some folks crazy because they just want to get things done and figure the details out along the way…

Then there is this. The writing. Is this a left brain activity or is it more a right brain, creative pursuit? I want to believe it is creative. My little corner of the market on art and inspiration. Words carefully chosen for the best, most thoughtful, impact. Reread, edited and flowing into perfection….

…OMG! I analyze my own thoughts! Seriously!? No wonder I got 63% left brain inclined on that stupid test!

Sigh.

Creatively left-brained….is that even a thing? 

Enjoy this day, my dear friends, and find some time to laugh at yourself.

From my heart to yours, Diane

 Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash

Perfect Harmony

Deanna's Feather in the Sand

In our search for understanding of this “light within” we hang on the words of gifted teachers believing that if we just listen hard enough, if we sit in just the right position, with just enough silence and practice over and over again the steps to enlightenment that they offer us, we will find God.

I am grateful for the many teachers who have walked this path with me. I, truly, have learned much from each of them. But I will not find God through any of them. I will not find God by reading another book, listening to another lecture, attending another workshop. No one has the power to “give” God to me.

God is right where I am. It is who I am in the stillness. It is who I am in the giving. An equal measure of both. A perfect harmony of self.

The same is true for you. You are your own teacher. Each step into this world that you take contains every tool you need. It is all right here with no need to reach for something that feels unattainable.

There is nothing to attain. You are Spirit. You are God. You are the living, breathing Truth.

You are the teacher. You are the student. In the receiving and in the giving. In the peace and in the chaos.  You came here to teach and to learn. You brought with you  lessons unique to you and you will take with you new tools to share when you move on.

Let your next teacher be you

Live in perfect harmony with yourself and you will awaken to the truth that there is no separation between you and God. You are One and the Same.

From my heart to yours,   Diane

photo courtesy of Deanna Fleenor

Those Prickly Feathers

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This post was going in a completely different direction. It had to do with the prickly feathers of someone’s ego whisking away the ideas of others in order to bring importance to what the ego in them desires.

But then I glimpsed my reflection and saw my own prickly feathers beginning to flutter open.

I stopped mid-thought, mid-rant, and my breath held for a few seconds. What was it about this experience that irked me so much?  Why did it ruffle my feathers so-to-speak? I understand that I was witnessing someone’s desire to be recognized no matter the cost. I get it. We all need to feel valued. But there seemed to be more to it.

And then I remembered.

I remember the first time my work was “stolen”. I remember the raw shock of reading someone else’s name attached to my work.  It is true – feelings never die, they just get buried waiting for the opportunity to say “See, I told you this matters!”

I was a copy editor for my high school Senior yearbook. Each Senior had the opportunity to write a few lines under their photo about their H.S. experience. I was to read them for appropriateness, word count, spelling, etc.  It was fun. Until I read the following:

If I am to die tonight,

never to feel the warmth of the sun and

never to say goodbye and thanks,

please remember that though things didn’t always 

seem right, I tried my best to overcome.

And though I did not always succeed, I did try.

That was my poem. Mine. Not the person who used it and put her name to it. Mine. My 17 year old self was so angry!  I remembered when I shared it with her and how she loved it and how she asked if she could copy it. She never asked if she could make it her own. Angry! I went to our Editor and the Teacher who headed the yearbook to complain. What I remember about that conversation is the teacher telling me I should go and talk to the girl. Maybe it was a mistake. Maybe she didn’t mean to have her name as the author. Maybe she didn’t even know her name had been added.

So, maybe, I was getting ahead of myself? Maybe my anger was unwarranted? Well, then, tell that to my ego.  It had already taken flight! Flapping it’s wings loudly and circling for the kill!

I did as I was asked to do.  In truth, the girl didn’t realize I was reading copy for the yearbook and she didn’t think it was a big deal but she was fine with me removing her name.

Now, I could go on for pages about how I felt at the time. The thing is, the lesson I remember from that experience is one that I still find I am working on today.

Non-attachment. 

My words, while important to me, matter more if they are important to you. I am not saying, by any stretch of the imagination, that you should steal them. Share them, yes. Leave my name attached to them, yes. But most importantly, let me be honored that my words create opportunity for you to stretch yourself, stretch your imagination, bring new ideas into the foray.

Let me not be so attached that the beautiful words that are gifted to me through Spirit become weapons for the ego to brandish.

I’m still working on it.

From my heart to yours,  Diane

photo courtesy of Pixabay

 

 

 

 

Wonder Awaits

vero-2016

This day was tailor made for you.

Placing your feet on the floor as you rise from sleep, this day has so much to share with you.

Every moment a new thought, a new opportunity, a gift. How will you use it? Take a breath and smile. So many possibilities! So much wonder awaits!

Ahhh, but you feel the weight of your world upon you….

How can I think for a second that you can be joyful every moment when so much is going “wrong”? What do I know about what goes on in your head? Who am I to tell you to “cheer up”?

I am your reminder.

I am your reminder that this day WAS tailor made just for you. Whether you choose to look for the beauty in each moment or for the disappointment, you are the one that is choosing.

So, yes, I am your reminder that you do, indeed, have the choice to choose a gentler, kinder day.  Maybe you can just start with a gentler, kinder moment.

One moment at time. Hmmm…this seems like it might be a good one.

Take a breath and smile. Wonder awaits.

From my heart to yours,  Diane

 

 

Dad’s Wall

Dad's Wall 2

My Dad was an artist.

Throughout his career he worked in the newspaper field as Art Director for several New York papers, including the Daily News.  He was also a WWII Vet and had been a member of the O.S.S. (the forerunner of the CIA).  The combination of the creative mind and the experiences of war defined him greatly, I think.  He was a quiet gentle man, but he was troubled by the war as many Vets were. Growing up we knew not to argue with him. He was not violent or abusive. He was just never wrong. My older brothers got the brunt of that I think. My younger brother and I learned to be quiet and not engage with him when he was in that mood. It made for a more peaceful life for me anyway.

An avid gardener and a creative man, Dad loved color. In our childhood home we had 15 foot ceilings in our living room and one wall was free of windows and doors. He loved that wall. He wanted color on that wall. Bright color. Bold color. Vibrant color.

Unfortunately, Mom did not.

The wall always was a different color than the rest of the room (gold with cream side walls is the one I remember the most) but he wanted it to be the color of red wine. Mom just could not grasp his vision so she gave him a room of his own. Do with it what you want, just leave my living room alone!

So he did.  Dad had a den which he transformed into his own artistic version of a 60’s man-cave. He painted it a rich turquoise. On one end wall they built a wall to wall desk for his TV, radio and art supplies. The opposite wall had two bookcase/cabinet units on either side of the door for books and more art supplies.  The room had a large picture window which allowed him a wonderful view of the front gardens that were always filled with bees, butterflies and birds or, in the winter, snowmen and igloos. But the opposite wall was his personal masterpiece. He worked on it for years, adding to it whenever the inspiration hit.  About 4′ x 15′, his mural contained sketches of the famous and the infamous. Some he labeled with their names. Others, when asked who they were, he would wryly smile and say, “I don’t know.” or “Guess.” So it became a game, a great conversation starter when they entertained. He was happy, Mom was happy, and that’s what mattered.

Over the years, we all grew up and moved away but the wall remained.  Our kids became fascinated by it. Some of them have grown into the next generation of artists. My Dad would watch them create and be in awe of their talent. I hope he knew how in awe they were of him.

How in awe we all were.

Dad passed in 1990 when my son was just 5 months old. I’m glad my daughter got to know him and I am glad we took a photo of his wall before we sold the house. It was truly a grieving process for us all to let it go.

His life was troubled by what he experienced just as many Vets. It took me years to understand but I will say that it never diminished his ability to love.

Here is another piece that I treasure. He was definitely talented, yes?

Dad's JFK

A quiet, gentle man who loved color, loved to sketch, loved his gardens, his family and his arguments. Not so different than the rest of us.

Except for that wall. Now, that was different.

From my heart to yours, Diane

 

 

Gently, Please

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When you stop paying so much attention to something, it’s control over you begins to disappear. I have found this to be true in my finances (stop checking your balance – you already know what’s in there…or not in there), my relationships (stop trying to make them work “your” way), and my spiritual practice (so you meditated 5 minutes instead of 20. OMG!)

Stop. Stop forcing things. Learn to accept (this is my new word thanks a sweet spiritual guide I know) and not force, control or spend hours and hours trying to understand.

Gently live your life. Stay on your path. Let the goodness that lies in all situations gently rise to the surface and show you a simpler way to live.

 

From my heart to yours, Diane

Please Don’t Bite Me

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When I was young, my family would spend hours (many unwilling hours) working our family’s flower and tree gardens. We had many little pockets of tended space on our two acres so there was always some weeding to be done. When the work was finished my brothers and I would run off to play, spending countless hours outside with our friends until the dinner bells would ring or the street lights came on. Outside is where we lived regardless of the season.

To this day, I would prefer to be outside working in my gardens, hiking, finding a lake or reservoir somewhere and exploring. However, in the past few years I have become a landing pad for mosquitoes. Lately, because of the higher than usual amount of rain, the little buggers are taking over Atlanta. Since my husband and I are naturalists when it comes to our gardens, this is a challenge. Our gardens are natural habitats and bugs are an important part that process. I love our little sanctuary. But I hate mosquitoes. They may love me, but they have seriously curbed my ability to do what I love.

We have planted the mosquito blocking plants, I have covered myself in mosquito repellent essential oils, I have covered my arms and legs in clothing in 90+ degree temps to work in my garden. We use natural citronella candles and have even put a fan outside.

They still find me. If I miss one spot with oil or if my shirt inches up my back as I’m working, they find me. Earlier this week they found my face. I had dressed appropriately and decided (against my better inner judgement) to use a “natural” commercial bug repellent on my face. Everything was going great until I began to sweat (no perspiring gracefully when you’re dressed for combat) and the little buggers took advantage of the sweet scent of perspiration and found every spot where the repellent had melted off.

I’d show you a picture of my face from that night, but I would really like you to continue reading. It was scary, trust me. Scary enough that I took a trip to Urgent Care and the doc stopped short when he walked in the room and said (ha-ha) “What does the other guy look like?”

This depresses me. That’s a big statement for me to make because depression is not something I am prone to and I am very grateful for that. But not being able to go outside without fear of being attacked by creatures no bigger than my fingernail is reason for me to be depressed. I love the outdoors. For me it used to be a peaceful place, a place of quiet meditation. A place where I could breathe and explore and always find something new and interesting.

I am a spiritual being and I need to understand the things that cause me fear. I learned from my journey with A-fib that finding the meaning for things that disrupt my joy can take time. As much as I learn, I also need to learn how to use what I learn to change it’s course.

So a journey begins.

I have a wonderful friend, Sonia Osio, who is probably one of the wisest women I have known. She’s also very honest. When I had just had my first cardiac ablation and was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and attention, Sonia said this: “These people need to be able to give you this gift of love. It’s important to them. How can you be so selfish and say no?” Whew. I will be honest in saying it took me two more years of “suffering” with A-fib before I got that and other messages of my heart.

Yesterday, Sonia did it again.  She recently went through some medical stuff herself. She said that it wasn’t until she started accepting it, instead of fighting it, that she began to get better.

Accept the mosquitoes. Yeah, that’s gonna be a tough one.

Elder, Mosquito, Male Mosquito

So begins another journey. This morning began the research and this is what I will share:

Go inward and focus on personal joys. It’s the easiest way to shield yourself from attacks on your personal self esteem and worth. Irritations and unresolved issues will quickly dissipate in this way.
-Mosquito

https://www.spirit-animals.com/mosquito

Go inward. I talk about it all the time. Yet for the past few years I have been fighting the mosquitoes.  Even though their bites are temporary and annoying I spend hours angry at what I perceive they have taken from me.

But what if they are trying to alert me to something? Time to take this experience to the place I know will show me answers.

Time to get out of the way.

Accept that you may not know the answer to the things in life that you fear. There is a greater source of knowledge just waiting to show you that answer.

Once again, Sonia’s wisdom has gently placed me down onto my meditation cushion.
I’ll keep you posted on what I learn…
From my heart to yours, Diane
photos courtesy of Pixabay

 

You are Not Alone

You are not alone

It’s been that kind of week. Friends and family members and even strangers struggling with relationships, with money, with jobs, with no place to live, with a new diagnosis and, with death and dying. All in one week.

It would be easy for me to say I’m exhausted and that being a listener takes it’s toll on my energy. It would be true. Empaths will know what I mean. It would be easy to try and run away and hide when it gets to be too hard. Then I remember how grateful each of the people were to have someone to talk to. Someone who is not a professional counselor or someone who wanted to fix them. I am just someone who cares.

I would not, will not, cannot change who I am to make myself feel better. I am forever grateful for the ability and willingness to be there when needed. What strikes me, however, is how much turmoil exists in the world at the moment. We all know it. It’s everywhere. Today more than ever it is too easy to be pulled into the distress of the world. There is so much at stake.

My Minister (who is also my friend and business partner), Rev. Richard Burdick, has a something important he would like to know when people come to him for advice:

“Tell me about your prayer practice.”

Hmmm….

Without a daily practice of prayer (or meditation) the world can easily spin out of control. We pray to God (or someone) all the time asking for help and guidance. We want things the way we want them and God needs to do that for us. Why else would God exist?

How’s that working?

The more you demand, the more you will think this prayer stuff sucks. God is not at your beck and call. Sorry. It doesn’t work that way.

What God will do is listen to hear what you need. Not what you want. Once you realize this, everything changes. Slowly, you become more clear. You begin to remove the obstacles and allow God to do God’s work.

There is a wonderful essay on prayer called the Golden Key by Emmet Fox. You can download it for free here. This short little essay changed my life. Every single time I have put it into practice it has worked.  Every time.

I will continue this thought in a future post, but, hopefully, this is something to get you started if life is sucking right now.  And please know that I am right here and I am listening. Always.

From my heart to yours,  Diane

 

 

 

The Music of Your Morning

Danny in a tree

Today your life may look anything but harmonic, but, internally, where it matters most, there is pure, sweet music. There is perfection coming from the sound within.

Where it matters most.

As you opened your eyes this morning, where did your thoughts turn? To the day ahead and the many things left unresolved from yesterday? Did you feel sadness because it’s “the same old song”?

There is a prayer within you for something better, a different awakening, a different way to wake up.

Wake up with the perfect sound of gratitude. Don’t think of what you have to do. Whisper, instead, a prayer of gratitude for the heart that beats and the breath that brings you life and allow yourself to be fed from where it matters most.

‘God, please think through me, speak through me, act through me in every moment.’

Let this be the chorus of your life.

From my heart to yours, Diane

And here is a bit of music that is very special to me…

video courtesy of Unity North Atlanta

photo courtesy of Danny Glynn