Tag Archives: the Universe

Die before you Die.

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I have always been a person that has tended to accumulate a fair assortment of stuff.  I would save my favorite childhood stuffed animals, hundreds of pictures, or other items that remind me of a earlier life memory.  I often believed that the object that I was keeping represented that moment in time in such a way that it was difficult to part with it.  Over the last few years, I have cleared and purged many of my belongings, from a perspective of not needing to have much; to lighten the load.  That objects do not hold the importance I thought that they did.

 

When I started reading about the present moment, Eckhart Tolle, and how much emphasis the Ego puts on belongings, I more deeply understood that I, and others, form our identities around who we think we are, and what we have.  So, not only did my belongings represent memories to me, but also in that, aspects of my identity, at least according to the Ego.  

 

In his book, The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle writes about the idea to “die before you die”.  What he means by that, is to die to the idea of your identity before your physical form dies and is no more.  The fact is, we all are mortal; physical forms that will one day be dust, and then nothing.  And, although that is fear producing to people, including me at times, it is a fact.  All physical forms are fleeting; they live, and they die.  So to me, to die before I die not only means acceptance of the mortality of my physical body, but also to die to my assumed identity.  To me, it means to die to the belief that I am who my Ego says I am in terms of identity:  all of the personality traits and forms that I take on to define who I am, whether that be daughter, mother, worker, lesbian, wife, and so on.  To die to those ideas for me, means to not believe that I am only that.  

 

As living beings, we share two things in common:  not only are we all mortal, and will one day be dust.  But, we also are all immortal, in terms of our true selves.  We are all part of what is known as the deathless dimension:  the divine presence.  So, when our mortal selves pass away, it is only the physical form that dies, but our radiance, our true essence, lives on.

 

The beauty of this realization for me is that it takes away much of the fear I have experienced in the past of death and dying.  I more easily understand that I am not merely a physical entity that is here for a short time, but a radiant light that is always shining, and that is one fragment of the Universal light that is all of us.  That we are all part of that universality and although we forget it, caught up in our physical forms and identities, that it is not all that we are.  That to die to who we see ourselves as in our identities, helps us to let go of things, and be more present to our light, our true selves.

 

To surrender to this reminds me of how free I am.

 

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Only a Body.

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I have been thinking so deeply over the last few months about death and dying. Between having a health issue that I was worrying about, thinking about my own aging process, and the deaths of a friend to suicide, and my beloved Felix, it has been a topic that feels closer than usual. And, besides the circumstances around me bringing it more to mind, I have found myself drawn to the subject of death and my feelings around it.

There is no doubt that my feelings around it have changed; changed in the sense that I am deepening my understanding of what death is, and what my fears are around it. There are a couple of specific parts of death, and all that is involved in the process, that are new and peaceful revelations for me.

First, I have deepened my understanding and acceptance of how close to death I am in every moment. We all are. We are literally one breath away from physical death, in every moment. As I consider that more deeply at this stage in my life, I appreciate the moments even more so, the moments that are here, on earth, among my loved ones and friends, doing work that I enjoy and playing fully and happily. There are times that I believe that this is all a dream, an illusion, and that the life that I am living is all in mind. However, even if that is the case, I enjoy living it. So, presence of moment is more important to me than ever.

The other way in which I have been considering death, is that I don’t have to live in fear anymore, at least not as much. I don’t have to complete countless diagnostic tests, just in case I am prone to some disorder that has come down through my family, yet I may never have it myself. I don’t have to worry that if I don’t eat precisely a certain way; go to the doctor and take medicines; or miss a day of exercise, that I will shorten my chances of a long life. I may, indeed, not live to be 90. Yet, I don’t worry on that so much anymore. I want to live a life that is full, rich and free of concern about what comes next.

Felix and her death has taught me a specific lesson regarding death, and the body. After she died, we brought her body home from the vet’s office, because we both felt as if we would want to bury her, rather than have her cremated. Both Jamie and I have had several pets over the years, that are buried on the property that I lived on with her. I wanted to have Felix buried there, with her friends. But, right now, in Northeastern Pennsylvania, there is still snow on the ground, and in most spots, is frozen solid. So, on Tuesday night, when we brought her home, we wrapped her lovingly in a scarf of Brenda’s; put her into a bag, and placed her on a bed of ice and snow in a large blue cooler. That cooler is on our porch until we can bury her.

It felt weird at first, to put her body in there, and now, to walk by it every day as I go to work and return home. I have even been opening the lid each day, to make sure that there is still plenty of snow left. Yet, she isn’t in that bag, in that cooler, out on the porch. She is not in that body.

After all, what is in that cooler, what I walk around in, it is only a body. When she left this place, just like when I do one day, what stays behind of me is not the physical body that I was appearing to be in. What is all around this house, in every room, and in the air and in my dreams, is her spirit, her light, her voice and bright eyes. Felix’ soul is every where here, and she surrounds me, as do all of the souls of my loved ones who have passed on. What we bring to this world is so much more than flesh.

When we remember where we come from, we remember that we are light, soul, and part of everything.

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Who Am I?

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For a couple of years now, I have been really searching, seeking, and trying to figure out what it is that I believe, in terms of spirituality. I have wondered about God, about Great Spirit, about a Higher Power. I have wondered if I am more Christian or Buddhist. In my life I have done yoga, meditation, gone to church, and reflected and prayed at times. I have tried on many things. Most recently, I have been reading and listening to writings and speeches of the Dalai Lama.

I have figured out on a basic level what I believe; that life is a gift; that I want to appreciate it fully, in every moment; that there is some type of afterlife; that I want to be kind and loving in the world; and that I am part of the bigger connections around me.

For the last few weeks particularly, I have been trying less hard to figure it out. I have been listening to a lecturer and philosopher, Alan Watts, who died in the 1970’s. Alan Watts has struck a particular chord with me, because he reminds me, rightfully so I believe, that I am two things: I am a body, and I am also one with everything. And, he means, EVERYTHING.

Being a body is the part that I feel connected to most often, when I am driving in traffic, working at my job, or dealing with a physical issue of some sort. Or, when I am feeling like I am in conflict with others around me, or my feelings are hurt, I am angry or sad. Then, I feel just part of me, an entity on its own.

However, I also know, and believe, that I am connected to the world as a whole, yet as I have been listening to Alan’s words, I realize that I am truly connected to everything around me. And, it is an interdependence, so that the world exists because of my presence in it, and vice versa. To me, to consider that part, being part of the whole world, and to see it and know that it exists because I do, seems so vast and bigger than I can comprehend. Yet, it makes total sense to me.

Since this past weekend, I have found myself to be more acutely aware of my presence in the world, in my body and with others. The more present that I am in my days, the more beauty I see in myself and everything around me. It has been a profound experience. I feel awakened and more alive than I have in a long time.
When I remember that I am part of a whole, and not just in a body, within myself, I understand more deeply how the world really is here for me.

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Your gift to the world

 

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Don’t you see?  On your journey to discovering your magic, or rediscovering it as the case may be, that you have a gift that the world is just aching to have given to it.  Don’t you know, the Universe has been waiting, patiently, sometimes, not so patiently, for you to give that gift, all wrapped up in beautiful paper, and topped off with a big bow? 

What is it?

Your gift to the world, the one that means more than anything, is loving yourself.  Sure, that isn’t an easy sell some days is it?  There is so much within ourselves to despise, to loathe, to criticize and self-deprecate.  There are so many things wrong with us, what could be lovable?

Try your laugh.  Your smile.  Your heart.  Your genuine spirit.  Your humor.  Your intellect.  Your talent of writing, singing, dancing, creating.  Your family.  Your profession.  Your ability to make a meal.

There is so much there to love.  What is taking you so long?

There is a slogan in AA circles, to help those on the road to sobriety and recovery to stick with the program.  It is, “Fake it ’til you make it”.  Keep on doing it, even when you might not believe it.  Keep telling yourself, “I am worthwhile.  I am lovable.  I am smart and funny and beautiful and caring and special.”  Keep telling yourself all of those beautiful thoughts, even when deep down, you don’t believe any of them.

And you know what will happen?  You WILL start to believe it.  Not because someone else agrees with those thoughts.  But because YOU start to believe it yourself.

Believe.  There is so much power in that world.  To believe in others, and mostly, believe in yourself, has such power to it.  To say, “I can, I am able”, rather than, “I cannot, I am worthless and nobody special”.  Nothing could be further from the truth. 

I heard a friend of mine say recently, “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.”  Simple words, yet so profound to me.  When we decide to look at ourselves with loving rather than despising eyes, sooner or later, those eyes will see a person worth loving. 

It will happen.

If you want your magic to happen, if you truly are saying, I am SO ready, then start to say those words to yourself.  Those loving, kind, and positive words.  Believe in those words as you think them and say them.  Write them down, and put them on your mirror, in your car, at your desk.  Believe, believe, believe.  And, when you don’t believe, pretend that you do.

And, the magic, the magic of love of self, it will begin to happen, right before your eyes.  The things that you look at, the way that you see your self, will change. 

This, my dear friend, is the greatest gift that you can give to the world. The gift of loving yourself. 

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And goodwill toward……. EVERYONE.

My heart is so full of giving.  Now, mind you, I do not say that due to wanting to be patted on the back, or to pat myself.  It is just a fact.  I think about giving almost every waking moment.  To my family.  To my friends.  To Hannah’s dance teacher or babysitter or a coworker or the construction workers on the highway.

Seriously.

I feel such goodwill toward others; I want to understand their experiences, their lives, their challenges and joys.  I want to give to them to let them know that someone in the world cares, that not all of us are self-centered and unable to offer to someone of themselves.

Ubuntu, in a word. 

That word encompasses more than I could have ever imagined.  Like meeting Audrey, for me, the word, Ubuntu, puts to rest all of the parts of me that it seemed that others often could not understand.  The giving.  The loving.  The aching heart for those in pain, for those that grieve.  Tears of compassion.  Connection to people that I have never even met.  Some on the other side of the world. 

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A friend of mine here in the blogging world recently deleted her entire blog account.  I was a bit worried; where did she go?  Luckily, I did get an email from her, to know that she is okay,  just taking some time in the 3D world with the energy she had been giving to the cyber world. 

Time well spent.  For sure.

But, so is this for me.  For the blogging world has brought me so many more friends, and when I say friends, I mean FRIENDS.  Sure, it seems a bit scary and strange, for we could all be portraying ourselves as one person, and actually be someone else. 

I trust it no differently than my other friendships.  You have all come to mean so very much to me.  From the deepest part of my heart, you have become friends, and some of you, family to me.  The family of the world.  The family that is welcome into my home.  nov_af_diversity

 

I want to acknowledge all of my new found friends from here on the blogs, it has been a pleasure to meet and to get to know all of you.  Any one of you would be welcome in my home; worthy of a hug when I see you.  Your humor, your love, connection, and compassion makes a world of difference in my life.

So, here’s to all of you:  Amandazing, Amber, Angryafrican, Christine, CordieB, Deeps, Lindsey, Gypsy-heart, Hayden, HearttoHeart, Joy, Katie Starlets, Keltic, Kwoneshe2, Leah, Psychscribe, Audrey, SurfaceEarth and Tinkabell.  All are here on my blogroll and worthy of a good read.

You all are among the blessings that I count, each and every day, especially at this time of year.  You have helped to make me a better, more informed person each and every moment of my life, and I thank you, and wish you peace, love, and blessings to you and yours throughout this season……….

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I love you all!