Tag Archives: peace within

Hurricane.

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Ever since I was a child, I remember being fascinated by the weather. I would do projects in grade school that focused on weather maps and weather patterns. I would get scared and intrigued by the way that Mother Nature could be calm and beautiful one minute, and mighty and destructive the next. I had fears of high wind, mainly tornadoes, and although I didn’t live in an area of the country where such incidents were common, I was scared, just the same. Same with hurricanes; not common, but the intensity of them would stir up fear in me.

 

One of the most fascinating things to me about a hurricane is the eye of the storm. On the outer perimeter, a hurricane is fierce, in wind, rain and destruction. Hurricanes change communities sometimes forever, by the intensity of them and the impact of that intensity. Yet, in the center of it all, there is a calm, peaceful spot where none of that turmoil is seen. It is really amazing.

 

This morning, I started thinking about storms such as hurricanes, but not in terms of an upcoming weather pattern. I was thinking about the hurricanes of times that I encounter in my life. I feel grateful that I don’t experience upheaval or destruction in my world very often. My life feels very grounded, peaceful, and going in the direction that I really most want to go. Yet, I have times when it feels like life and circumstances are swirling around me. I feel overwhelmed, tired, frustrated, hopeless, and small. I feel like the wind is blowing and the rains are falling, and I am without shelter or reprieve.

 

The most helpful thing for me in those times, is to remember my own, internal, eye of the storm. I have within me, as all of us do, a peaceful center. A core essence of being that is always available to me. ALWAYS and in ALL WAYS. It is my peace; my soul; my true nature. When I am swept up in the currents of storms that may be occurring outside of myself, I at times forget that the eye is always at my disposal. However, when I do remember this, which I always do, it is a great sigh of relief to come back to that center. To breathe deeply, consciously and presently. To remember that no matter what is happening outside of me, I can always rely on what lives in me.

 

Even though it feels simple and small, that eye of peace is strong and powerful. It creates for me, or brings me back to, that sense of knowing, of having my feet firmly planted. No wind or force can uproot me when I am coming from that place of pure peace, pure knowing. I am so grateful, each and every day, that I understand and know what really exists in me. So that I can call upon it whenever I most want or need to do so.  It is nothing short of a blessing.

 

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2016: The Year of Transformation.

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I can recall many New Years eve celebrations in my past; some spent at home, waiting for midnight to strike.  Other times, I would get all dressed up, and go out and ring in the new year with close friends.  No matter what form it took, New Years eve was always spent in reflection of the year before, and anticipation of what was to come next.

 

On most occasions, I had many things that I wanted to leave behind from the year before, and expected that the new year would bring something new, needed, or different.  I was always looking at the past as something that had impacted me in some negative way, and the future as my reprieve, my new beginning.

 

This year, 2016, brings with it a newness that feels the same, yet different.  There is a part of me that feels nostalgic, in that I feel a sense of anticipation and excitement as to what will be in store for me and my loved ones in the new year.  Then, I am also looking at the new year with eyes that see things in a different way.  Today, I am thinking about transformation, in my life currently and as I go forward.

 

Transformation can mean for many of us, changes to our life situation, events that occur outside of us.  So, for me, winning a million dollars would definitely transform my life situation in major ways.  And, yes, I would enjoy having some aspects of my life situation transformed.  But I am, more than a transformed life situation, seeking a more internal transformation in this new year.  Rather than anticipating what the new year will bring to me, I am seeing what I can bring to myself.

 

For me, today and every day, I am seeking transformation from within. I do that in little ways every day:  by being in the present moment, as often as possible; by not taking things personally that occur; by not making assumptions about others; by doing my best; and by coming back to my peaceful center as often as possible.  It is not perfect, and some days I am better at it than others.  Yet, I know that these small steps will bring the transformation that I seek for myself.

 

Transformation will come to me most powerfully the more willing I am to see the world, and accept it, as it is.  When I no longer resist seeing and accepting the world around me, then I stop separating myself from others. I stop judging the world around me as bad, or evil, or less than myself.  The more willing I am to accept the present moment, to be with it as it is without putting a label on it, the more transformed I become.  The more connected I feel to myself and the world around me.  The more peace that floods into my soul.

 

Transformation allows me to become more of my self in the world than I have ever been.  

 

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The Miracle of Letting Go and Acceptance.

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There has been so much going on in my life in the last few months, exciting, fun, as well as challenging and deep. I have gotten married; supported my teen through some difficult moments, and started planning a move to the south. In the most recent days, I have remembered again the gift there is in letting go and accepting what is.

My desire to hold onto things, situations, people or circumstances, comes from a couple very specific areas of my being. First, it is almost always an attempt to control the world around me. For me, control has been something that I have struggled with much of my life, wanting to have it when I felt I was out of control. This control has done its share in breaking down relationships in the past, and the need for it is based in nothing of substance.

Another reason I want to hold tight to things is that, especially in situations when I feel powerless, I want to at least do SOMETHING. I want to feel needed, of use to someone or something, or at least feel like in a difficult situation there is something that can be done, and I usually want to be the one to do it.

The one that may be the most powerful reason for wanting to hold on tightly to things in this world, is that I often have my own agenda, my own expectations about the way that I want my life to go or for things to work out. I want the wedding plans to go a certain way; I want my teen to choose this school or major; I want my job to be this certain way for me. Me, me, me. I know many of us can identify, and I don’t say these things as a way to criticize myself; it is just the way it is for much of the human psyche.

The beautiful thing that I get to remember, when it is that I do remember, is that in the letting go, in the acceptance of how things are in this moment, there is complete peace. Even if only for a moment, and there are many instances when I only experience this for a brief moment in time, I feel at ease, because there is nothing that I need to do, no one that I need to save, no expectation or bias that I need to cater to. I can just look upon the world with gentle eyes and accept it for what IS.

This doesn’t mean that there won’t be difficult times in my life, of course there will. It doesn’t even mean that those difficult times won’t fill me with deep sorrow, anger, or remorse of some sort. However, the more often that I can accept the present moment as it is, and be with it, no matter what it feels like, the more likely that I can be peaceful throughout it. And, it is also highly likely that I will judge others less often if I am accepting the world as it is.

You see, I am more and more often seeing the world with soft, gentle eyes, and therefore being able to see the beauty within it. The peace that rises in me when I am able to do this is tremendous. When I let go, and when I accept the world as it is, without judgment or authority, that is true surrender. That is what brings me peace.

That is the miracle.

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Surrender and Peace.

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This week, we discovered a new type of bird in our yard, by the way that it chirped. It is a Northern Flicker, a bird that is in the woodpecker family. We have many types of birds that spend time in our yard, and make their presence known every morning. Its colors are bright, and nature like, and its chirp sounds loud, declarative and playful.

One evening, we heard the cry of an animal outside after dark, but couldn’t see what it was. When we went outside, one of our cats had a Northern Flicker on the ground. After chasing the cat away, we went to check on the bird. It was lying on the ground, appearing to not be able to fly. We tried to move it, by picking it up with the dustpan and broom to put it somewhere safely. Every time we attempted to move it, it screamed and cried. We felt so helpless, yet we knew that it was possibly hurt beyond our help. We decided to leave it there, and let nature run its course, whatever that may mean.

As I got ready to go inside, I looked closely at this little creature. Its tiny eyes were blinking every few seconds, and I could see its chest slowly moving up and down as it was breathing. It looked calm, on its back, wings tucked in. It looked peaceful.

The word that mostly came to me was Surrender.

The word surrender does not mean defeat, and it doesn’t even mean giving up, at least in my mind. Surrender, what I saw in this beautiful creature, meant a letting go. It meant acceptance. Accepting and honoring that we need do nothing, just let things unfold as they are intended.

I have a hard time with surrender. I still believe at times that the harder that I hang onto something, the more likely that I will be able to influence or dictate the outcome. That theory never works well for me, and in the process, I feel as far from peaceful as I can be. I feel anxious, edgy, and controlling when I hold onto something for dear life. I am scared and wanting things to be a certain way, focused on future or past.

However, when I let go, when I realize that there is nothing that I need to do in this moment, that all is well, I feel calm. I feel peaceful. I feel no fear, and have a deep understanding that things are just as they should be. That I don’t have to be the expert, or the fixer, or to take care of anything.

The other benefit for me in choosing surrender, is that I don’t then need to feel compelled to believe my way is the only way to view things, that I am the expert, that I am the one that knows what is best. When I let go, and am peaceful within, I can not only accept my situation, but more easily accept where others are at as well, without judgment or fear. I can just let others BE.

The morning after finding that bird, when we woke up we discovered that another creature in our yard had killed the bird, and its feathers were all over the yard. Remnants were here and there. Yet, after leaving it the night before, we never heard another sound. Like it was ready.

Like letting go was what took it to peace and freedom.

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Being Myself in the World.

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Over the last three or four years, I have been more diligent than ever, to be myself in this world. To speak the truth consistently; ask questions and be curious; and dress and act in the way that feels most natural to me. And, even though it feels so freeing when I let my true self show, it is terrifying.

There are two main reasons that I find it so scary. First of all, I want people to like me; I want to look good to others, to be accepted, to keep my rank and status in good order. So, if any aspect of who I really am is not pleasing to others, I risk being rejected. I am learning more and more that looking good, and wanting to be liked is never a reason to sacrifice being my true self. It feels lousy inside when I hide my light under some bushel.

The second reason that it feels scary is because I feel vulnerable, naked, and exposed to the outside world when I am showing my true identity. One person could find my persona or actions so distasteful that they could potentially hurt me, physically, emotionally, or both. Again, to sacrifice who I really am out of that fear, is to lose out on the freedom that showing myself to the world brings.

Recently, I am getting to observe how my daughter is showing herself to the world; being her authentic self more and more freely. And, the fears feel the same; the fear that she will be rejected for who she is. Or, even more terrifying, be hurt for standing in her own truth.

Yet, I cannot discourage her from doing so. I love my daughter fiercely, and I would literally lay my life down for her. But, I can’t, and won’t, EVER encourage her to hide her light from anyone. No matter what the feared consequences could be. To me, none of those “what if” consequences compare with living a life that is a lie, that is created so that we don’t have to worry about standing alone.

In loving my daughter, and loving myself, I continue to learn, and to teach, that we never stand alone, when we stand in our light among the people in this world.

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