Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Walking Home -Messages from a Morning Walk

This morning while I walked in Nashville's 19 degree weather, I met Bo and Bella's human, Rachel a new neighbor who was equally bundled and standing with her cell phone in hand as her two dogs sniffed about in the yard.

We two humans met and Rachel asked fairly quickly if I walked every day. Her tone suggested she might think me odd but that was okay.  I heard myself respond with an enthusiastic "Yes" which was followed by "I do this to survive." I shared that I loved walking because I need sunshine and nature and I love being outside.

We parted.  As I walked on I realized my walks are about survival but they're really about much more than survival.  In the recent years walking and being outside even in the cold is how I thrive.

I am fed by Nature's beauty, the blue sky as well as the clouds.  My spirit is fed by patterns above in the barren tree limbs and below in the leaves on the ground.  My heart is fed by the birds singing, by neighbors and strangers I pass and I am drawn to things along my path offering messages when I listen.

For example, today only a few steps past meeting Rachel I found a dried piece of ornamental grass lying in the middle of the sidewalk. It just felt right to pick it up as "Bread of Life" crossed my mind.  A few steps further a dove feather, symbol of great Love and Peace, lay before me.  After picking it up I realized it's structure or patterning was similar to the grass.  A few houses away I came upon a yard filled with these leaves having fallen recently.

I was reminded immediately of the Tree of Life then noticed it too had a pattern similar to the grass and feather, many arms reaching from a body stationed between heaven and earth.

Then I came upon the blue dental flosser.

Near my turn, there it lay.  It had been there yesterday as well.  At first I picked it up because I'm prone to gathering trash on my walks.

This time though I walked with these things and pondered the manmade and Nature-made.

I considered how flossers are used to get at hard-to-reach gunk between one's teeth which are in the mouth, the vehicle of voice.  Maybe we need an instrument for getting to the hard-to-reach "stuff," the fears and issues old and new, the things affecting our voice so when we speak we speak with more love and less judgment, arrogance and hate (that includes more loving self-talk as well).

We come to Earth equipped with the instruments for clearing this stuff. It's found in an open mind. It is found in compassion's vibes radiating from the heart.  It is found in our arms extended from our bodies and wrapped around our fellow man as well as wrapped around ourselves. We come here equipped with all that's needed to clear out the stuff that builds up without and within.

Then as I continued my walk home this prayer came to me.

Bread of Life
Help me/us fly
and take my/our place 
on the Tree of Life.

Bread of Life 
Help me/us sing 
and reveal the Love 
that is in All Things. 

We are each "walking home" in a sense.  I share this prayer with you in hopes that it will make your daily "walk home" a bit lighter.  I share this experience in hopes that you'll be increasingly mindful of how your spirit and soul are fed and the messages surrounding you in the man-made and Nature-made daily.

-Dawn, The Good News Muse 18 November 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

What Shapes Your Beliefs?

How do you come to your beliefs...even regarding the simple things? 

A comment about apple butter started this pondering about belief.  A food blogger in the local paper wrote of making apple butter and stated if canned it shouldn't be left on the shelf longer than six months.  

Yikes, I had apple butter stored since fall of 2012.  I opened a new jar to test mine out and emptied it, not into the trash, but onto toast and oatmeal over a couple of days.  

My two year old apple butter was as good as the day I made it possibly even better.  Eating it took me back to my neighbor's orchard and the load of apples she let me pick as well as the smell that permeated the house as the apples simmered for hours on the stove top.

Realizing the writer was wrong at least about my apple butter  reminded of transplanting lenten roses last winter.  Landscape and garden blogs I perused after transplanting them suggested these January beauties are not transplantable.  

As someone who loves plants, I felt horrible.  Had we just killed the six green clusters, we moved from our country yard to the city? According to these writers, we had given them a death sentence. 

Similarly a landscaper told me recently that redbuds are extremely hard to dig up as their roots run deep. In that moment, I believed this person who was the authority with a successful landscaping business.

That evening as I told Jerry about redbuds he asked, "Did you tell her about the two large ones I dug and transplanted over a year ago?"  

How had I forgotten the two successfully growing redbuds by my driveway?  

In that brief interaction, I granted this knowledgeable, experienced person authority and simultaneously forgot we had two examples that were contrary to her opinion.  

If I had granted authority to the other writers, I would have trashed my jars of apple butter without opening them and I would have never transplanted the lenten roses. 

And I would have missed this....

Yes in less than two months of moving the lenten roses, they honored us with beautiful blossoms.  

How do you come to believe what you believe? 
To whom do you grant authority and power? 

Beliefs contribute to violence that is external and internal.  Beliefs have resulted in unfathomable numbers of deaths over the centuries due to war, conquests, torture, and punishments resulting from people believing in the powers and power structures of the time.

In Time's big picture belief has been handed down through rulers, preachers, politicians, teachers and parents - those in authority.  Now pop culture and media figures increasingly influence belief.

Personally I would be called a "flip flopper" (a term used politically when someone changes their mind) because belief for me is fluid and flexible.  It is derived from my experience, especially listening to my inner experience.  My insides most often are the source of my authority.  Experience informs me as to what I believe which is why for me belief is fluid and flexible.  

And experience is what prompts me to ultimately share this story written in a journal a month ago.  

I had decided not to share it until I had an experience

I was cleaning off a bookcase and there on a bottom shelf was the silver vase (or grail cup) a neighbor spontaneously gifted me months ago.  How had I had forgotten it? 

Inside was a cricket, a dead cricket.

I love bugs. They are often messengers to me.  I immediately looked up the meaning symbolically of crickets in "Animal Speaks." 

Cricket represents "belief.  Trust your intuition before believing others." 

I immediately remembered this story and knew I was to share it.

So cricket's appearance prompts me to invite you to consider how it is you've come to believe what you believe? Are you open or closed to the opportunity to reconsider your beliefs and their origins?

Sincerely, Dawn! The Good News Muse, 15 November 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

It's All about Me (and You) - Self-Love Could Usher in Peace

I recently saw three-year-old James. I had not seen him or his mother since they moved from next door months prior.  James came running from his condo and threw himself around my lower half while shouting, "Dawn, Dawn, Dawn."

My experience of James was followed by seeing photos of another young soul who's not even a year old.  His mother shared photos of his discovering his BFF (Best Friend Forever) in the mirror. His expressions in the mirror as he greeted himself were priceless.

The joy, delight and enthusiasm of these two boys have stayed with me for they hold the keys to greater peace, love and understanding.

Think about it.

If we each looked into the mirror and saw our BFF or had the joy of James upon seeing me, the world would not be the same. (It's much harder to condemn and judge another if I'm happy to see them in the world as James was me.)

I cannot authentically and deeply love myself (be my own BFF) and neglect myself.

If I authentically love me, it is harder to harm you because to harm another in thought, word or deed creates discomfort and dissonance not just in you, but within me.

It just doesn't line-up with love.

I viewed the "it's all about me" trend a few years ago as yet another means to sell cheap stuff to narcissists and consumers feeling internally empty. Now I wonder if many of those who bought into it being all about them possibly needed their lives to be all about them for a change.

On a deeper level this holds a beautiful and profound message.  If 'It is all about me" I will genuinely embrace being Me, especially since no one will ever be me!

Think about that for a moment. No one has ever been you or will ever be you.  This is something to celebrate. Imagine someone running up to you, especially if you were in a down space, and exclaiming your name " _____, _____, _____" as James did mine.  Wouldn't that be a beautiful thing? I know, I know you might first have to get over being embarrassed.

The fact that You are You is a beautiful, amazing, once-in-a-lifetime thing!

The fact that We are all here together on this beautiful, amazing planet at this time is a once-in-a-Universe thing.  The expressions of these two boys are key to living within and without in much greater joy and peace.

-Dawn, The Good News Muse  14 November 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Spirit Speaks - Self-Loathing and My Cat

Spirit speaks in whispers.  
Seldom is the writing on the wall.  
Though last night, it was in my hall.

11/11 or Veteran's Day saw me enveloped in a bad mood.

I didn't begin my day in this state.  I awakened early to take the keys to the mechanic diagnosing my car.  It had to be towed the prior night.  Before dropping off the keys, I sat outside and listened to the robins sing.  They had not been present like this since Spring.  I felt such joy. Their chorus was the perfect gift on this day I had intentionally set aside to listen.

Sometime around mid-morning though anger wrapped itself around me.

I asked Jerry and the cats to not take it personally. I wanted to scream, vent, and shout and I didn't know why.  I felt possessed by negative energy.

Mid-afternoon, I put Redbud who's just over a year old in his room.  Redbud is rambunctious.  I didn't want him picking up on my anger and acting out.  Animals do this just like kids. They pick up on and react to our vibes.

Entering RB's room is when I noticed the stone.

When Redbud first came to live with us, I asked a friend for suggestions as to stones that might be of benefit to him.  She named three. I researched them and they were spot on.  So I put three stones in his room along the edge of the window where he couldn't get to them but would hopefully benefit energetically from their presence.

I had forgotten about the stones until I saw the smoky quartz in the middle of the bedroom floor.  I smiled and placed it back on the ledge and ensured he was safely in his room.

Then I went to my room where I yelled at God, my guides and angels.  I told them what I thought about them interspersed with four letter words.

This tantrum did not help. I felt consumed. This may sound freaky to you but I felt like black goo was energetically coming out of me.  As someone trained in somatic (body) therapy, I'm comfortable with this.  I just didn't want to be dealing with black goo on 11/11. I wanted to be listening, listening to peace-filled, personal messages coming to me not angry ones.

11/11 could not end soon enough. I was disappointed and upset with myself.

I tried to write or actually re-write a Veteran's Day story I wrote years ago.  I got lost in my head rewording sentences I had not planned.  I freed Redbud and fed the cats, watched the news (something I never do and may never do again), and suffered through dinner then went to bed.

That's when I saw the stone again.  

Redbud had been freed from his room but the door was closed.

Lying in the hallway was the smoky quartz just outside the door to what we call RB's room.

Spirit speaks in whispers. Seldom is the writing on the wall.  In that moment, the 'writing' was in my hall.

I knew the stone was for me.

(Redbud is my messenger cat. He is the reason I didn't back out of hiking into the Grand Canyon a year ago. Within two weeks of his being in our home, he found a file I had forgotten. One morning I opened the door to 'his' room to find a newspaper about the Grand Canyon lying in the middle of the floor. I had been debating whether I had the stamina to backpack over twenty miles in the canyon although I intuitively knew I was suppose to. Redbud's message settled that question.)

I picked up the smoky quartz and went to bed with "Love is in the Earth," my crystal go-to book in hand.

Redbud's message through smoky quartz was more perfect than I could have imagined.  Smoky quartz helps with negative states as well as protection from negativity and issues related to the hands. (My hands had been feeling carpal tunnel-ish lately and I was quietly concerned.)

I fell asleep knowing my angels were at my side, the feline and the winged kind.

First thing this morning, I sat outside with smoky quartz between my palms in prayer. I asked that Mother Earth, Father Sky, the Divine and all my angels take the dark energy from me and turn it into love so no one else would receive or absorb it.

And I heard myself say a word, I don't think I've ever said.  I actually asked that my self-loathing and hate be taken.

Self-loathing and hate?

Yes, those words came to me as naturally as breathing.  Intuitively I suddenly knew this is what the energy in me felt like and I don't consciously think of myself in these ways.

I felt the mood depart and got why I had felt this way.

After hearing the robins sing, I posted a song to Facebook.  I actually posted me singing a song that came to me honoring Veteran's Day five years ago. Afterwards the mood arrived because I was unconsciously feeling vulnerable. I sing in the shower, the car and over the phone for occasional birthdays. I do not sing publicly.  I was afraid, afraid people would judge and laugh at me.

Yet self-loathing?

I was angry at myself for giving anyone else power over me.  I was furious that I was concerned with what anyone thought of my singing and judged myself right and left for 'wasting' my day. This snowballed into an internal tirade about my lifetime of "wasted" days.

This was even more perfect when I reread the Celestial Timing for November 11.  (I read it that morning and forgot!)  The Moon entered Leo Tuesday morning. This is connected to healthy self-love including the ability to greet the dark parts of myself with the same gracious embrace as I greet the light. 

Rather than resist and struggle with my darkness, I was being asked to embrace my mood and listen. 

As I sat with the smokey quartz, I can honestly say peace and joy replaced the mood.  Peace and joy have continued to be my partners and I am grateful for the anger that was trying to get my attention.  It just wanted me to realize that I am here to be me regardless of what others think.  I am here to repeatedly put myself "out there" and be with what that stirs "in here." Living from this space every day is exactly how it's meant to be.


How do you experience Spirit, God, Life's Mystery speaking to you? 

Do you listen?  

Are you curious about the whispers that come your way through intuitive clues as to your path? 

Do you greet and embrace your dark side? 

Are you really YOU regardless of what others think? 

Imagine that Shift.                                                              -Dawn, the Good News Muse 12 Nov. 2014