“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life”. Rachel Carson
What would our lives be without mystery? I would not want to imagine that sort of world. A world where everything is explained away as having one particular meaning or understanding. A world where the sacred spark that starts the heart for the first time is explained away as a biological function and the mystery of a caterpillar being turned into the liquid form of imaginal cells that assist the creation and emergence of a stunning butterfly with the opening of the chrysalis is downplayed as just nature doing its thing.
Even our very breath that keeps us alive. Where and how does your breath emerge? Have you ever thought of it in terms of a mystery instead of attempting to pin it down in scientific terms? What happens with that first breath, the 7,000 each day, the 500 million in a normal lifespan, and the last exhale that flies from our bodies to soar elsewhere.
Breathing supports every experience you have. You exchange 10 billion trillion atoms with your surroundings with every breath you take. The atoms that you inhale every day have traversed the bodies of living beings across the universe and across time – a testament to the law of giving and receiving. What mystery connects us all in such an intimate dance in something as simple as breathing in air and out air – each breath having emerged out of or taken in by another living form. Always interconnected….
Even the cosmos beyond, around and within us bubbles with mystery of the unknown. Man’s efforts to pierce the veil of something so immense that one cannot even grasp a very tiny bit of it’s character or vastness is at best futile.
Perhaps the daily mysteries that face us as we walk through the moments of our lives are meant to provide the spark for opening our arms, our minds and our hearts to moving forward into the places that hold no explanation….but instead hold a place for awe, wonder. and creativity.
It is within this dance of creation that we feel the life pulse that creates the greatest natural art piece that we will ever behold. Know that the beauties and mysteries of the Earth and all that surrounds it will always hold the meaning for our lives. It is this which we indulge in. It is this that keeps us awake and present to the endless mystery and wealth that is life here and now.
Indulge and be shaken apart never to be “put back” the same way ever again. Soak in the mystery and behold that you too are a part of this natural dance of the Divine.
When we surrender to (Grace) we surrender to something bigger than ourselves – to a universe that knows what it is doing. . . . We learn to trust that the power that holds galaxies together can handle the circumstances of our relatively little lives.” ~ Marianne Williamson
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When I found this picture it literally demanded to be placed directly in the center of this particular post. A giant redwood in the California Bear Creek watershed stands tall amidst the other trees in this old growth forest. There are many things that caught my attention here. My experience with old growth forests is that they are quite different from forests that have been cut down before. There is a unique smell and feel to the earth and other life forms that inhabit this sacred and beautiful natural resource. The quiet is so pervasive that when there is a sound it immediately draws your attention. It almost feels as if you could put your ear to the bark of the tree and it would whisper untold wisdom into your ear.
When walking in one of these forests, awareness expands and broadens as attention is caught by the fact that these trees have been living for much longer than we have years to count. They have survived natural disasters and encouraged the trees around them to grow and thrive just by their very presence in the forest community. This one tree has obviously been present much longer than the others marked by its sheer size. One might feel by looking at this picture that this one tree is guardian standing as protector with a much more expansive view. However, each tree is deeply interconnected to the others and has its’ unique role to play.
In yoga class this morning our practice was guided by 3 teachings of Milarepa who is generally considered one of Tibet’s most famous yogis and poets.. One of those teachings was “Act so that you have no cause to be ashamed of yourself, and hold fast to this rule.” When I saw this tree standing so much taller than the others I immediately thought of each of us in our lives and whether we consciously make the choice to “stand tall”. By “standing tall” we declare that we are not ashamed of who we are, but instead choose to show the world our fullness and actively bring our unique gifts for all to see. There is no way that this particular tree can hide!
As were the dancers at the event I was privileged to see last evening. Viewing a magnificent expression of the dance arts I witnessed a performance that literally had me mesmerized (and wishing I was back in my youth again!). Each dancer found the energetic flow and rhythm that was uniquely their own expression within the choreography, and then combined it with that of other dancers sharing the stage with them. Even amidst the demonstration of angst and conflict during a few pieces there was a sense of something much larger expanding….a greater story, a more expansive view……… than the small one unfolding before your eyes. At times one or two dancers would take center stage, yet there was always movement happening around them expanding the focus and the story.
What wealth we accumulate in our individual lives when we choose to “stand tall” no matter what is happening. Our actions in every situation and every relationship can uphold living a life of fullness. Each and every one of us is a magnificent expression just as these trees and dancers are. The trees so much lower than the single one are “standing tall” as well in their own unique ways. The Divine Design of our life awaits us to wake up and root our toes into the wealth and creative passion of our lives….. leaving any thread of shame behind. Life is simply too short to waste on anything less……
Standing Tall In Austin, Texas –
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As 2012 begins I am struck by the generosity of the natural world and the reflection that it mirrors back at us of our own true and essential nature. The water flower above radiates an energy that is so perceptible it feels that even if you could not see the flower you could feel it! The water droplets only add to the magnificence and the depth. I believe that we are meant to be that generous with our being….. G.A.
IT FELT LOVE
How did the rose
Ever open its heart
And give to the world
All its Beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light
Against its Being
We all remain
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“A Sioux Indian story… My grandfather took me to the fishing pond when I was about seven, and he told me to throw a stone into the water. He told me to watch the circles created by the stone. Then he asked me to think of myself as that stone person. “You may create lots of splashes in your life, but the waves that come from those splashes will disturb the peace of all your fellow creatures,” he said. “Remember that you are responsible for what you put in your circle and that circle will also touch many other circles.” “You will need to live in a way that allows the good that comes from your circle to send the peace of that goodness to others.” “The splash that comes from anger or jealousy will send those feelings to other circles. You are responsible for both.” That was the first time I realized each person creates the inner peace or discord that flows out into the world. We cannot create world peace if we are riddled with inner conflict, hatred, doubt, or anger. We radiate the feelings and thoughts that we hold inside, whether we speak them or not. Whatever is splashing around inside of us is spilling out into the world, creating beauty or discord with all other circles of life. Remember the eternal wisdom: WHATEVER YOU FOCUS ON EXPANDS…”
I start with this story as I was inspired by your last post on the man in the park Richard. My version of your experience occurred last Sunday when I took an afternoon break to stroll on the path around our local lake here in Austin.
Whenever I feel isolated or alone the practice of a walk around Lake Austin on Sunday is the elixir that will always shift my inner territory very quickly. Like the man in the park this lake trail is right smack next to downtown Austin. Now mind you it is nothing like Hong Kong in size, but it is a busy city.
On this path you will see all shapes, sizes, ages, and colors of people and dogs. There is room for engagement with others, focusing on a run or workout, or simply just being quiet to take in the natural surroundings and the presence of others enjoying their day.
It was in the midst of this that I had a decision to make. Would I hunker down inside of myself nestled into separation and barricade away from the activity going on all around me, or would I engage with my world in a loving and curious way as the old man in the park engaged with his practice – fully and completely while being in the moment?
You might guess that I chose the latter and here is what happened. Just “simply being” for the first part of my walk my clinging to inner thoughts opened into a moment to moment delight in taking in all of the sights, sounds, smells and activity. As I felt more of the ground beneath my feet my attention was increasingly drawn outward as that pebble dropped into the water.
The ripple effect from within me then drew in experiences that reflected my openness and willingness to engage. Seated on my favorite bench high above the water I was awaiting an entire flotilla of stand up paddle board people that I had seen in the distance, before I sat down, to emerge from beneath the bridge that I was on. Standing up I gazed down at the water beneath me to see where they might be as it was taking an awfully long time for them to come out the other side!
Meanwhile, behind me people were lined up looking down at the water on the other side of the bridge. Curiosity got the best of me and I strolled over to see what they were looking at. There were the paddle boarders – all women and all dressed in Halloween costumes from mermaids to harem dancers to pirates. They were talking with all of us standing above and enjoying every minute of having their picture taken. The bystanders, of which I was one of, were all smiling and laughing, and small children were being taken up in arms to gaze down at this playful display.
An older man came up right beside me after they were back on their way towards where they had come from (they never did come through the other side of the bridge!) and we engaged in conversation around the women in costume, life in Austin (he is a native), and music.
Smiling we both walked our separate ways and my walk back reflected the splash of feelings I radiated out from inside. A flash of knowing hit me that I would see “Bob” the dog and his owner Nancy on my way back. Sure enough about 10 minutes down the path there they were .
Now Nancy and Bob are regulars on this path as like me they live alone and love getting out into the company of others tucked into nature. Bob is a very large Bassett hound with long floppy ears and he is often seen dragging his lease behind him with the perpetual plastic bag tied around it in case he needs to relieve himself so to speak. Upon seeing me he immediately laid down right at my feet (well actually on my feet to energetically bond) and proceeded to show me his belly to rub. Now, mind you this is only the 3rd time that I have seen Bob and Nancy on the path!
Nancy and I agree that Bob, who is getting on in his life at age 12, must really enjoy being a dog as he brings so much delight to everyone that comes across his path. This day he was to delight a 1 1/2 year old little girl who was ringed in smiles as she realized that this doggie was shorter than her and she could pet him. The absolute delight in this little girls face upon that first touch of Bob’s fur was priceless and radiated right smack into my heart. How simple happiness can be!
And expand that happiness did! To Nancy and I, to the mother of the little girl, to the many others that walked past during this exchange, and certainly to Bob! My return to openness, curiosity and love of being in the moment to moment experience of life collaborated with all that was around me and made a regular walk extraordinary.
How many times in a day do we have the power to shift what is happening not only in our life experience, but in that of everything and everyone around us? I would say with each inhale and exhale….
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In Sanctuary Creation Richard Cawte’s gentle voice and beautifully detailed imagery take you down into a sensual world of nature where color, breath, and beauty activate all of the senses and drop you into a depth of being from which you can discover what it is like to fully embody your life’s moments.
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What a beautiful metaphor for the transition I am now making! Thank you. I feel in good company as many of us on the planet, and the earth itself, are in great shifts right now – yes, a rebirth.
You speak of trusting this new support system coming in as I transition into the fullness of having streams of income be completely from my own creative efforts. This transition I am finding is a powerful one, and also one in which there are choices to be made while navigating the new territory.
Last week I had a dream that I was out in the ocean by myself happily swimming around when I was caught in a rip current. At first I was afraid of drowning and struggled a bit to free myself from its grip. Then I remembered that you are supposed to simply let go and allow the current to take you where it is going. Once I surrendered there was no more struggle and I was carried quite rapidly to the point where the rip current ended and was once again back into calm waters where I could then swim back to shore.
This dream was clearly a gift from the unconscious to support me during a time last week when I was attempting to do a task that would have taken a very steep learning curve to perform well. In the time constraint that I was under my frustration level grew with the stress of knowing what I wanted, but realizing that there was no way I was going to pull it off if I didn’t ask for help.
I could choose to struggle or I could ask for help and not struggle. But was that really the issue here? What was more at stake was an attachment to being the one that could pull this off and save some money. The attachment was causing the struggle in the first place. Was I going to sink, swim, or merely let go and see what would arise as a resolution to the challenge I was facing. I do believe that the solution or resolution to any problem is there before the problem…and so it was in this case.
I was attempting to format a website (in fact the Natural Wealth website) and didn’t have the expertise to do so in a timely way. But, I did have a resource that was right at my fingertips. This person had already done some beautiful formatting work for us. As I released the attachment to being the one to pull it off, it became very clear what course of action should be taken.
As the choice was made to have this task done by a professional I became free of the attachment and was in fact able to swim in waters where I could be effective without the struggle. Breathing eased and opened. My frustration level went to zero.
My efforts were then much more effective because I was enjoying a challenge that inspired me (swimming freely in the ocean) instead of frustrating me (the rip current). Someone else was handling what felt to me like a rip current, but to her was an enjoyable challenge.
I can truthfully say that this new support system is powerfully nourishing……. if only I remember to let go of the attachment of how I “should be” within it. No struggle necessary. Be breathed and follow the heart indeed! On that note I end with this quote:
Carry a jar of bubbles in your car.
Add a little fantasy
to the next traffic jam. – Jennifer Louden
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