Wind

IMG_0085

When I first created this website, I was inspired by the idea of finding peace on a windy day.  At the time, that meant that even when storms rage, you can find a place of calm and sanctuary within yourself, and use that to return to balance and joy.  Although that is all still true, lately I find that wind means so much more.

Wind is change.  It is transformation, inspiration, movement, magic.  It is what allows us to be lifted into the air, to soar the heights, to hear music and our loved ones’ laughter.  It is power.  It allows us to sweep away the past, and make room for the future.

And so “finding peace on a windy day” has taken on a different meaning for me.  The peace found on a windy day does not deny or ignore the wind, but rather it embraces it.  It uses the wind and all the powers of creativity and change that it represents.  This is the power of artists–to harness the wind, to use it to create something new, something beautiful, something full of joy.

So when the winds are raging in your own life, you do not need to fear them. Instead, let them inspire you to create something worthy of the artist within. See what you can do with that wind to create your own kind of magic, whether you call yourself an artist, a writer, a parent, a lover, a knitter, a sculpture, a dream-weaver.

We are all artists.  We all have windy days.  The greatest art is in allowing that wind to bring us new beginnings, and the possibility of creating greater peace and joy than we had previously imagined.

Unexpected Storms

Yesterday I dreamed of rain.  The air was thick with water, turning my desert home into a living memory of ancient oceans.  Clouds were thick on the mountains, covering the rocks and earth in a blanket of gray mist.  The rain was steady, undisturbed by wind, falling in sheets.  The sound of rain and distant thunder permeated everything–indoors it was felt as much as heard.

We learn to cherish rain in the desert, for we can see it for the gift it is.  We welcome its cool kiss, damp on our skin, the air washed clean.  We linger beneath the rain drops, breathing in air that is heavy with moisture.  We find sanctuary within unexpected storms.

But as suddenly as it began, the dream was over.  The clouds began to part and the birds to sing.  The light returned, clearer and brighter than before.  The air was still heavy, but now it sparkled.   The light, at first golden behind gray clouds, softened into tones of pink and purple.

We need rain to clear away the past.  We need storms so that in their aftermath we can see the light that surrounds us.  Within the half-light of these unexpected storms, we can find love where we never before thought to look, as rain falls all around us and even the wind rests.

It was a brief dream.  The hot desert air returned, with only the memory of rainfall left behind.  That is why, when the rain comes, we must open to the pleasures of the moment rather than wish them away.  For this is the reason we are here:  to learn how to accept the beauty that is offered to us, and to learn how to share that beauty with others.

Loving Now

Would you be happy?  Then love where you are now.  Not later.  Not yesterday.  Not if only something was different.  Now, as it is, in all its imperfect perfection.

Wherever you are, however you feel, there is something to love.  And when you focus on that, rather than on what you think is wrong, you allow your awareness of love and beauty to grow.

When we focus on the love and beauty that is in front of us, we stop sending our energy into the past or future.  We do our part and let the Universe do the rest.  We accept the abundance.  We get out of the way.

The future is not under our control.  But in this moment, we have a choice.  We can appreciate what is, or we can push it away.  What will you choose?

Trust love.  Know that all you have is all you need, and that if what you want does not appear, it is because something better will.  The shadows of the past and future are not real, but this moment is.  This moment is sacred.  Choose to fill it with love.

Sunflowers

How we do anything is how we do everything.

Do everything with love.

It is always a choice, and one that must be made again and again.  Others may not notice.  If they do, they may think that the choice to love, to be patient, to forgive, was easy–easier than battling, easier than fighting.  It is true that it gets easier.  But choosing to love is the path of heroes, not the path of least resistance.

Who we are is expressed in every single thing we do, in each moment of the night and day.  So often we forget who we are and instead react to what is around us–we meet impatience with impatience, anger with anger, rather than letting our true natures shine through.

Think of a sunflower–no matter what is going on around it, a sunflower takes in sunlight and water and turns it into beauty.  It does not bloom for some and not for others.  It shares what it is with everyone.  Be like a flower, spreading love and light–even to those who might not deserve it.  You will feel better, they will feel better, and moment by moment the world will grow in beauty and light.

Do you know someone like this?  My mother is my sunflower–warm and sunny even on a cloudy day.  You can be this way, too.  Just keep turning towards the light, the way a flower follows the sun.  See the clouds as an opportunity to shine, rather than an excuse to despair.  Act always from your true nature, your beauty, your kindness, your truth, and watch love grow around you.

Happy Birthday, Mom, and thank you for being a beacon of light in my life.  I love you.


Worthy

There is a reason many of us are unable to see how much we are loved, how much the universe supports us, how we are surrounded by beauty.  It is because we don’t think we deserve that much love, that much wonder.  How could we?  We are given every breath we take, we are given the freshness of a new morning, the taste of water, the stability of the earth beneath us.  Why should all this love be ours, what could we ever do to deserve it, and what could we ever give back?

And so we think it isn’t real, or isn’t good enough, or we rush off into a million distractions without appreciating the gift of the moment.  The truth is always with you.  The universe needs you as much as you need it.  You could not exist without sunlight, wind, water, earth; they could not exist without you.  You are precious.  You are irreplaceable.  You are part of the mystery, the dance, the magic.

You do not need to do anything to prove yourself worthy–you already are.  There is nothing you need to do or be.  Notice the love around you, appreciate the gifts you are given and give thanks for the beauty without and within.  Or don’t–they will still be there; truth will not change.  We give because it opens our hearts to more joy, we appreciate the world because it creates more joy and beauty.

This is who you are:  Loved.  Precious.  Infinite.  The more you let yourself relax into that knowledge, the more peace you will find.

Let the beauty you are be what you do.

See What You Want To See

It was windy earlier.  White rose and oleander petals are floating in the pool.  Birds are singing to the day, welcoming the promise of rain.  Behind their song, I hear a voice saying see what you want to see.  If you would find beauty, look for it.  If you would find love, open to it.  There is so much to love in the world–is that why we push it away?  Do we fear there is too much and it will overwhelm us?  It won’t.  Our hearts are great enough, if only we will trust them.

What do I love this morning?  White birds flying low across dark mountains.  A hummingbird flying close enough that I can hear its wings beating.  The half-light of a cloudy day.

It was windy earlier.  It will rain later.  But just now there is nothing but beauty.  The beauty was there before; it will be there later.  All we need do is decide to see it.

Embrace

Once you have truly seen something–seen into its heart and understood it–you can never not see it again.  It is always there, always whispering, always waiting.  It is the awakened Beloved.

Find the quiet beauty, the hidden perfection.  Let yourself be guided by truth.  How do you know when you are hearing the voice of truth?  It does not taste of fear.  It does not blame, reject, accuse.  It forgives.  It is kind.  It is the best in you, the best in others.  And it is always there, waiting for you to choose love over fear, hoping that you will listen.

So put all of your eggs in one basket.  Stop hedging your bets.  Act as though you trust the God you believe in.  Give your all to love, to light, to hope.  And remember:  your life is not yours to fix.  It is yours to embrace.

Kindness

Joy, kindness & love–my mother & me, 1979.

For my mother–my muse and inspiration for joy, kindness and love, and for all the mothers who see and nurture the beauty of their children.

Magic lives in the most simple acts of kindness. When we are kind, when we notice the kindness of others, we invite more beauty and grace into the world.

Kind people are more beautiful to us. We trust them, we cherish them, even if their gifts are not always trumpeted. True kindness requires intelligence and courage. It is a quiet power, but one that is unique and formidable. We love kind people; we want to be around them. We love ourselves when we act from a place of compassion. When we act from a place of love, we understand the divinity in all things, feel the oneness that mystics and sages sing about.

Acts of kindness do not ignore the self–after all, the way we treat ourselves mirrors the way we treat others. We cannot deal with ourselves cruelly and still be good to others, or the other way around.

But kindness can often go unnoticed, simply because we forget to look for it. We notice when others neglect us, when a careless word causes us pain. Why not look instead for the ways in which we are loved, the ways in which our love is reflected back to us? Assume that others are good and kind; assume always that others are doing the best they can as they walk their own paths. Trust the beauty and goodness in yourself, and don’t be afraid to share it.

“My religion is kindness.” ~Dalai Lama

Beauty & The Beast

Once upon a time, a woman so kind, so pure, so lovely that her very name was Beauty was taken prisoner by a hideous Beast.  Through time, Beauty grew to love the Beast, and her love transformed him into a prince.

Like all true stories, the tale of Beauty and the Beast may be understood various ways.  The first, the most common reading, is that the love of a good woman can turn even a beast into a prince.  This is the secret gift of love–that its presence awakens all of us, brings us from darkness into light.  When we know we are loved, we know we are free to be our true selves, our most authentic, most wise, most lovable selves.  When we feel the touch of love, we are transformed.

Another reading of the story is that the Beast represents a part of Beauty herself, the unknown and denied animal nature within, the subconscious, the primal.  To be fully whole and free, Beauty must learn to accept this part of herself, her darkness as well as her light, as we all must.  Only by accepting and loving the darker parts of herself can Beauty come into her true power and grace.

But I see an ever greater lesson hidden within this story.  As I see it, the Beast represents the whole world, the whole universe.

At the beginning of the tale, Beauty finds herself in a strange world governed, she thinks, by a monster.  Everyone else–her family, the townspeople–tells her that the Beast is a monster and that she is not safe with him.  When she looks at him, she sees what she expects to see, what everyone has told her to see–a Beast.  And yet, the Beast is kind to her.  Gentle.  He gives her everything she could ever wish for, every comfort, every pleasure.  Even, when she asks for it, her freedom.  The reality of the Beast is far from Beauty’s expectation, far from the claims of the outside world.

When Beauty finally sees with her own eyes and heart the reality of the Beast’s love, she sees the truth that was there all along–that the Beast is a handsome prince, and that she is his beloved.

Life is much like this.  We come into the world terrified, and we learn from our family and friends that the world is a cruel place full of suffering.  We are afraid, we think ourselves alone.  And yet, if we only open our eyes and our hearts, what do we see?  We see trees, oceans, flowers–beauty spread across the earth.  We feel the warmth of the sun and feel the arms of our loved ones.  We hear the birds sing and children laughing.  If we look deeper, trust in love rather than in fear, we see there is no end to the beauty and the love that surround us.  We see that even freedom is ours, if we choose it, for the ultimate freedom, the freedom to be our true and authentic selves, has never been denied us.  We see the beauty of the world, and we know ourselves beloved, just as Beauty did.

This is the secret:  We are Beauty.  We are Beloved.  But we can only see what we are.  We must find the beauty within before we can find it without.

Wabi Sabi

Nothing is perfect.  Nothing is finished.  Nothing is permanent.  But everything is part of Love.

The Japanese art and philosophy of Wabi Sabi teaches us to embrace and celebrate the imperfect, the unfinished, the impermanent.  To notice that it is the crack in the vase that gives it character and beauty; that lets in the light.  We suffer when we deny this, when we try to make things fixed, permanent, perfect.  Those of us who reach for perfection, who want to capture time and hold it motionless, miss the glory of change, the gift of evolution.  The magic that lies in the mystery of transformation.

There is no reason to fear change, no reason to force motionlessness on a dancing world.  If you would be happy, learn to appreciate what is unique, what is changing, what is still left undone.  Instead of trying to capture the world, learn to dance with it.

It is the hidden beauty that connects us most powerfully to what is true and divine.  For who can ever know what is perfect and what is a flaw?  A closer look often reveals that a flaw is actually an object’s–a person’s–greatest strength and beauty.  What we call a flaw is merely an invitation to look deeper.

Can you be sure that what you see, hear and feel is a flaw, and not the very essence of beauty?

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 112 other followers

%d bloggers like this: