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.

From Darkness Into Light

There is nothing you cannot love.  There is nothing that does not already love you.

Would you transform darkness into light?  Then find the beauty that already exists around you and within you.  Let your inner wisdom guide you; tap into your spirit, your love and your strength.  That is your true compass, not the shadows you see in the night.

Dare to feel what hurts and what heals.  Don’t cling to life or push it away.   Love what is in you to love.  Do what is before you to do.  Be who it is in you to be.

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.


Lotus Flower

Pure beauty, floating serenely on water sparkling with light, does not begin its journey warm, cradled, safe.  No, its roots lie far below the surface, in the dark, cold mud of the earth.  Its seed lies dormant, often for many years.  One day it pushes up, through the mud, through the dark, and reaches the light above.  Only then does it bloom, full of beauty, a symbol of peace and enlightenment.

A lotus flower is not beautiful in spite of the mud, but because of it.  It is the earth that gives it the strength to journey towards the light.  We are the same–it is our past, our struggles, our darker experiences that teach us our abilities.  That send us on our journey toward love.  We learn to reach for the light, to express our beauty, only after we have traveled through times of darkness and uncertainty.

We do not always see our paths.  We do not see the evolving, unfinished design.  Yet the Designer does not fail us.  Trust.  Accept.  Practice faith.  Or don’t, and that will be part of the journey, too.

There will come a time, a time beyond time, when we will be one with ceaseless, passionate joy.  Until then, embrace the uncertainty.  Embrace the many-faceted experiences of your life, for none will ever come quite the same way again.  Love it all, even when love seems distant and cold.  It never is.

When In Doubt

We all have times when we feel lost, disconnected from ourselves and others.  There are many roads that lead us back to peace–here are a few of my favorites.

1.  Move.  Fear, pain and anger get stuck in our bodies.  Dance, walk, hula hoop, swim, practice yoga.  Let your feelings move through you, then set them free.

2.  Sing.  Or laugh.  Or cry.  Or write.  Let yourself express what you are feeling.  You must name it before you are free of it.  When times are hardest, rely on your favorite sources of inspiration–whatever art or music moves you.  When in doubt, try Frank Sinatra.

3.  Meditate.  I once spent several hours letting my mind wrestle with a problem, taking me far from my center, far from a sense of ease.  When I finally sat down, got still, got clear, the problem released me and I saw a solution.  As I came out of meditation, I heard my inner voice say quite clearly:  “Next time, meditate first.”

4.  Find Beauty.  Anywhere you can.  It’s there, waiting for you to notice, here and now, wherever you may be.  Look for it.  Appreciate it.  Savour it.  Let yourself open to whatever love you find.

5.  Scatter Light.  Remember, it’s never just about you.  If you would be happy, help someone else smile.  If you would be healed, ease someone else’s pain.  Get out of your own way, and allow yourself to spread light and love to those around you.

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