I love to read! This week Sara Alexi, one of my favorite authors, came out with her latest novel in the Greek Village series, A Pocket Full of Pebbles, and I immediately downloaded and read it. What a surprise to read a story line that sounded like Ms. Alexi had been auditing my classes, or reading Syd Banks! The Australian goat herder meets the British tourist and teaches her about Thought! The Enlightened Gardener goes Greek!
The ageless wisdom that Syd was able to quantify for us in such simplicity is nothing new. We forget sometimes that Truth was Truth before Syd was even born. It was the nature of mankind to tangle up in thought before the 3 Principles were named.
I was exposed, in my youth, to Positive Thinking, Faith-based Thinking, and Critical Thinking. Nothing, until I was given the clarity of the 3 Principles, brought the peaceful mind, and the wonderful self-humor, that I have enjoyed for the last thirteen years. When we see that it’s just our Nature, the struggle just isn’t engaging any more.
At the age of 80, my mother organized a rent strike at her assisted living facility, because their shuttle bus which took them on all their outings had broken down and management was making no moves to repair or replace it. That summer, I sent her a beautiful watercolor poster I bought at a festival, which read, “I am a woman becoming.”
Being a senior citizen now myself, I reflect that becoming is no small thing.
The intelligence of Life which we call Mind continues to unfold new realities for me, and never in my life have I known more certainly what I deliver, and what it is mine to do, than I have in my years of retirement. Perhaps it’s the slowing down, and less mental commotion. Perhaps it’s understanding the 3 Principles and deeper internal listening. Perhaps as we age, wisdom speaks with more clarity.
I only know that I am a woman becoming.
I spent a good part of my life afraid of hugs.
I would freeze up, keep my arms straight down, hands out and hold my breath. Many, many times I would suffer a small panic attack while held by someone else. My mind would scream, “RUN!” It took great effort to force myself to be. I guess at the time I felt vulnerable, exposed, maybe a little unworthy of something I didn’t understand. I always got through it with a quiet determination although those seconds felt like an eternity.
I never really understood why I suffered from being hugged; I imagine reasons and everything I think up inevitably feels sad. I guess that was a time when I didn’t trust that those hugs were meant as a good thing. That was then.
Now my life is filled with hugs that keep me connected to an array of beautiful spiritual beings.
I love hugs. I’m now the hugger. I reach out and hug people and I do so energetically. I’ve had experiences where someone looks at me with “want and sadness” in their eyes asking if it’s okay to hug me. I open up my arms and take them in. What I receive in return is better than mere words can explain. Those few seconds make my entire day! Sometimes I feel the stiffening, the hesitation. I smile to myself; I know it feels uncomfortable but I also know that the human experience of a compassionate touch is a good thing and one that is sorely lacking in many lives.
Hugs feel like an instantaneous little gift of love passing from spirit to spirit. That feeling is a small reminder that we are all connected at a profoundly deep place so far removed from the struggles we put ourselves through.
Hugs are our way of showing there is someone out there that wants you to be well. Truly an important reminder as we traipse along caught up in our day to day thoughts about life.
Come by sometime and I’ll give you the best hug! I’ll even throw you a smile to let you know that I get it and it’s going to be okay.
Life is after all a series of unfortunate thoughts about stuff that never really mattered mixed in with moments of miraculous connections helping us to stay grounded and to feel loved!
Many of you know that my son spent eight years working in Iraq during the rebuilding. It is not surprising that the news this week has me reflecting on this, both grateful that he is currently stateside, and remembering how much knowing about the 3 Principles changed my experience of his being there. Almost immediately when he told me he was going, I had a profound insight that the only issue for me would be my imagination! If I created stories utilizing the data I had collected from the 6:00 news, I would be filled with worry and misery.
The news is also full of those who are once again marketing fear as a means of divisiveness and separation. Shall we try to imagine all those who might possibly someday become enemies and bomb them now? How many of the problems in our geopolitical world happen in our collective imagination? That’s where our fears of each other look real to us, and we forget our oneness.
I was sitting in a large room at the Hayes Mansion in San Jose, listening to Syd Banks talk about the distance between two styrofoam cups, when the absolute unity of our universe began to dawn on me. Our opinions, our differences, and even our hatreds come from the same old place. We made it up!
June 11, 2014
Tomorrow is a big day – 20 miles. So I will do what I do – lock in on a steady pace and just go.
Spain has been an experience. Not all fun. I’ve had about 2 weeks of bad blisters, then 4 days where I couldn’t eat but felt fine to hike until I realized after 2 days and 30 miles I did have to eat or I was going to do a face plant in the middle of the Camino. But I am feeling great now and the countryside is beautiful. The Camino is EAT- WALK – REST. My routine is walk 13-17 miles; check into the albergue (the pilgrims hostel); shower; wash out clothes; then have a beer (maybe nap). Check out the local scene. In bed by 830 up by 530. Pilgrims from all over the world are here – New Zealand, Australia, China, Korea, Japan, Brazil, Canada, UK, Ireland, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Holland, and Norway to name a few. There are lots of Americans from all over US.
I’m doing OK with the Spanish. Last night I was at “Foncebedon” a semi abandoned village which was built about 900 years ago during “Medival” times. It was a very important pilgrim stop home to 12th century hermit Gaucelmo who created a simple church and the pilgrims hospital (hostel). Today it is mostly ruins although there are some young people rebuilding the albergue and tavern with the intent of reviving it to once again be a favorite pilgrim stop. It is one of the most peaceful places I have ever been to.
I am feeling very quiet.
“Now silence unweaves the shroud of words we have woven.” Rumi. What can I learn here?
Today I went hiking at a park I had never visited before. As we strolled along the water’s edge of a beautiful lake, I became disgusted with the water bottles, beer cans and plastic bags that had been left behind by my fellow humans, and for a brief time, my mood was ruined. It was “their” fault!
As I write this I can almost hear my longtime mentor and friend Dr. Mark Howard saying that a new thought will occur to you, and you will see more.
The new thought was, if it bothers you, pick it up! I had a bag with me, clipped to my backpack. I unfolded it, and as we walked along, I picked up all that I could. What a great feeling I had, leaving the shoreline better than I had found it! I even felt compassion for those who are not yet feeling their connection to the rest of life and the holy ground we inhabit. I am blessed with lots of nature time.
Appreciation shifted me. A few moments were ruined by my irritation, but a new thought restored me.
It struck me this morning, while listening to the morning talk shows, how much our “news” broadcasts are permeated with speculation and fear.
If I spend my personal energy imagining all that could possibly go wrong, I am truly doomed. While the 3 Principles understanding does not always affect the ways I think, truly it helps me recognize that it’s only me, making up disastrous scenarios and coping with their possibility.
This day, will I be able to successfully live in the glorious reality that surrounds me? How many times in one day will I get caught up in imagination, and swerve off into the tricky landscape of fantasy?
It’s 9:15 in the morning, and so far, I’m okay.