"The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Posts tagged ‘purpose’

Knowledge is Power

Doing some cleaning while watching this. I keep finding myself stopping to sit down and really listen. What’s really impacting me is that the stories in this film begin around the time I was born. The stories from yesterday are the roots of the challenges of today. The branches of today are the leaves of tomorrow.

It’s been 50 plus years since my time in this story began and yet somehow the stories of today are still the same. We’re they also the same 50 years prior to me? Will they be the same for my children and grandchildren in 50 years?

I recognize some of the faces in these stories as part of my childhood watching them unfold on the evening news. The narrative that went with them then made me believe that I needed to fear these people. “Here’s what’s going on with these armed and violent thugs in other parts the country,. We are telling you about it because we want to scare you. But don’t worry! We have it all under control. Our government agencies are on full alert and are monitoring the situation. We won’t let them get you.” Seeing the same stories narrated by the voices behind them is quite a liberating experience!

What I’m grateful for is this age of information and the ability to connect to the world in my own way via the Internet. My life and my understanding is no longer controlled by what is chosen by others to be broadcast to me via the black box in the living room. Now, I get to choose my own programming. Now, I get the chance to find the real stories behind the narrative of what “they” want me to believe.

I think the power that the ability to choose awakens within me is the very reason why the powers-that-be want to limit what I can do and what I can know. We, the people, are empowered with knowledge and are connected across the world in seconds. In that connection we learn that we are not alone. Knowledge is power.

How will we use that power? What will we DO with it? Will we speak up or will we stand down? Will we put aside our differences and come together with one voice? Can we put aside our differences and unite peacefully to make a positive difference? I think we can and I think our indigenous brothers and sisters are showing us the way.

One Word – What is YOUR word?

Recently I had the opportunity to spend the weekend at the shore with some of my favorite people, my family. After a long night of fishing we sat together on the beach talking and enjoying breakfast in the morning sun.

Alexandria quietly played in the sand at our feet. She used a small piece of wood to scrape the sand smooth, like a blank canvas, and then made fingerprints, foot prints and bumble bee prints with a plastic bumble bee we found on the beach. Sometimes she coaxed one of us to make prints, too. Every so often she picked up the board and wiped the area clean to start again.

BE

If you could summarize the purpose of your life with one word, what would it be?

Our conversation shifted into wondering aloud about why we are here or what our purpose is in life. I shared that I had heard from different places that our individual purpose in life can be summarized with one solitary WORD. And that we can find clues to what that word might be in some of our most challenging moments or life patterns.

For example, for someone who is overly critical of everything that is “different” from their perception of what “should” be, the word might be ACCEPTANCE. Being overly critical and always finding something wrong or something to complain about feeds the negative energies of hate and intolerance. It also indicates a rejection of one’s own SELF. It attracts and brings more situations to complain about … often over and over and over again.

So, for this person, what is required is to become aware of the pattern of rejection. Then to make the conscious choice to evolve from the energies of hate into those of LOVE – to make the shift into being more accepting. That choosing to shift the energy from hate to love requires practicing ACCEPTANCE, beginning with accepting the SELF … over and over and over again as life brings its challenges. And life will bring challenges to practice on!

We were quiet for a few moments and then began sharing around the circle what our greatest challenges were and what we each thought our word might be. After everyone had a turn speaking it was again quiet for a few moments … Alexandria, still looking down and playing in the sand said, “I think my word is be …” and the rest of what she said was cut off by a loud noise from somewhere else. I asked “What did you say, Alex? Your word is be happy?” She looked up at me, right into my eyes, and with the perfect certainty and wisdom of a four year old said, “No, my word is BE. Just BE.”

no words …

~LM

A Perfect Day

Listening to my “Willing to Grow” playlist on my iPod while I’m working. This song by Jann Arden really speaks to me today …

“…follow your voice back home…”

A Perfect Day by Jann Arden

You can do it I know you can, I know you will

You can make it I know you can, get up the hill
You can be anyone you want, just close your eyes
You can picture a perfect day inside your mind

You’ve gotta pull your head up, stand your ground and face it all
You’ve gotta hold your heart out to the universe
If you believe in who you are my shining star
If you believe in who you are my shining star

All you weary, all of you on your own
Listen clearly, follow your voice back home
All you broken, all of you without love

Shine On!

If you believe in who you are my shining star …

You’ll be fine, you’ll see when the morning comes

You’ve gotta hold your head up, throw your shoulders through the wall
You’ve gotta count your blessings, count your lucky days
You’ll never know unless you try, until you risk it all
If you believe in who you are my shining star

All you weary, all of you on your own
Listen clearly, follow your voice back home
All you broken, all of you without love
You’ll be fine, you’ll see when the morning comes

All you weary, all of you on your own
Listen clearly, follow your voice back home
All you broken, all of you without love
You’ll be fine

“They pick up me when I fall.”

Yesterday afternoon I experienced one of those precious moments of life that are so sweet, so heart-warming, so divine that it made me wish I could package it up in a pretty purple box and tie it up with a gold ribbon and a big bow so that I may open the gift again and again and again.

Jeff was feeding bees and putting mouse guards in the hives while I was in the garden gathering, bundling, collecting and preparing for winter. Our granddaughter Alexandria was back and forth between us, assisting, asking questions and just being her happy little 4-year-old self.

It had been sprinkling on and off all afternoon until a point came where it seemed like it was going to be more on than off. As I started packing my harvest into the truck I called to Alex to gather her things and come sit in the truck with me to wait for the rain to pass.

“I not wet Gairma!” she said, as she trotted off and disappeared behind the garden shed. (she calls me Gairma instead of Grandma – “Gair” sounds like “Hair”) As I was putting things away I noticed that she was purposefully going up and down the garden rows, stopping occasionally, and then continuing on.

We’ve had a few really cold nights so most of the garden has wilted, however Alex is rarely without a fistful of flowers of some sort and this day was no exception. We climbed into the truck to watch the rain. As we talked she opened her little hand and laid an assortment of flowers out on the console.

Her collection contained flowers of viola, anise hyssop, lavender, white snake root, stevia and borage. We talked about each of them in turn, noting the colors, the scents and the size of the flower petals. When we got to stevia we tasted the leaves. Her face lit up at the sweetness and she quickly asked for another. After talking about each flower and before moving on to the next she would declare it her favorite. “Viola is my favorite!” When we shared about anise hyssop before moving on to the lavender she said, “Anise hyssop is my favorite!” and so on through all of the flowers.

I observed, “You really love flowers don’t you?”

She nodded her head and said “Yes … they pick up me when I fall.” I think I may have held my breath at that moment, wanting to stop time right there in the divinity of what she had just said and how it made me feel. She started to explain “When I fall down … ” and she spread her hands down toward the floor “they pick up me” and she brought her hands back up and crossed her arms over her heart.

I love flowers. They pick up me when I fall. Alexandria Jordan Buckalew - Age 4I said, “So they make you feel better?”

“Yes” she said, nodding her head again. She selected a beautiful geranium blossom she had brought with her from Pop-pop’s house, brought it to her face and said, “They give me a kiss.” Her angelic little face glowing in refection of the pink-orange petals, she puckered her lips, closed her eyes and kissed the flower. “See?”

Celebrating the Gift of My Birthday – A Tribute to Waking Up

With 48 autumns, winters, springs and summers behind me, today I begin the journey of my 49th year of life on this earth. My birthday wish for others is usually shared as “Enjoy an incredible day celebrating YOU!” so today, as I make a wish for myself, it is the perfect day to explore what it feels like to enjoy an incredible day celebrating me.

Lisa's 49th BirthdayCelebrating me means that I am required to acknowledge my own gifts … things that I am or that I bring to the world that are worthy of celebration. One way to do this is to reflect on how much I have grown. To look back one week, one month, one year, ten years ago … and see and acknowledge all of the positive steps forward I have made.

I feel that the biggest gift of my life, a gift that continues to bestow blessings on me every day, has been that of my awakening. There was a point several years back where I began listening to the small, still voice inside me whispering “Wake up, Lisa!”

I wish sometimes that waking up happened all at once … apparently it does happen overnight for some, but for me, waking up has been happening continuously over the past several years. When I think back and count them, they total nearly seven. Seven years of day-by-day increasing awareness. What does increasing awareness mean?

Back in the early stages it meant that I was re-awakening to me. I began hearing the whisper of my own spirit, re-connecting to my passions, my purpose and the essence of my Self as a woman. Then a bit later the perspective widened to include the awareness of what’s happening in the world. There’s a saying “When the cat is away, the mice will play.” and I woke up to see a rodent-dominated world that my sleeping self could not see. I was too numb.

What numbed me?  Pain, grief, guilt, fear …. all assisting in keeping me asleep. Asleep I am easy to be led. When preoccupied with my internal pain and my attempts to numb it I became like a sheep. As a sheep I was easily herded to follow along with the rest of the flock.

I started dreaming of flocks of sheep. White sheep, black sheep and silver sheep. In my dreams the black and silver sheep were lifting their heads up out of the flock or standing up on hind feet to get a different perspective on where they were being led. The silver sheep wandered back and forth between the white sheep and the black sheep not saying much at all. The black sheep would call out to the other sheep, “Wake up! Don’t go that way, go this way!” but the white sheep would continue on following the path they were told to choose … right to the slaughterhouse.

The grazing areas the sheep were led to were certainly green, the chemical companies saw to that. The White and Black Sheepsheep became excited seeing the vibrant color and anticipated how great it would be to gobble it all up. The first few bites were juicy and delicious, but the pasture, although lush and green, somehow lacked the nutrients the sheep needed to feel satisfied inside. Although they watched their bodies grow fat, they were far from healthy and felt slow, sluggish and still ravenously hungry. They yearned for green pasture that would not only be pleasing to the eye, but that would also satisfy the hunger.

As I started noticing what was going on in the world I began to see how a entire populations of people are being herded like sheep through one lush green pasture after another not even realizing that they are ultimately being led to the slaughterhouse.

I recently read a quote that said, “The truth will set you free, but first, it will piss you off.” As I awakened to the truth of what was happening while I slept I became angry and I quickly disassociated myself with my life as a white sheep. I identified deeply with the black sheep, rejecting my former white sheep self completely. I raged against the machine of manipulation that had kept me asleep for so long. I refused to follow along blindly any further.

Once the anger passed, I quickly realized that separating myself from the flock called attention to me in a way that was not conducive to continued life among the flock. I realized that if I became a “management problem” I would be culled. Problem solved.

I also realized that while my life as a white sheep was primarily spent in a hypnotic state of following along, there were a lot of wonderful things about that life that I was not ready to walk away from. This was when the silver sheep started speaking.

Like my inner voice, the silver sheep whispers softly which requires me to be in a space of quiet peace so that I may hear the words. Her words were few and were delivered simply as “Love. Courage. Essence.” Reflecting on the silver sheep and the words she shared, I began to notice that her fleece was not silver at all but was made up of individual black and white strands that twined around each other so tightly that it gave the appearance of being made up of a single strands of shimmering silver. In her fleece she displayed the perfectly balanced blend of black and white – the gray, or in my view, the silver space in between.

This was when I began to understand that life was not meant to be about choosing sides but was meant to be lived in honor of both the black and the white. This is also when I began to see the numbers 1+1=3. I did not understand it at first as I know that mathematically 1+1=2 but the silver sheep kept showing me examples of how two things, two people, two events coming together in collaboration create a third thing that could not have been created without the initial two things AND that the third thing appears as greater than the sum of the contributing parts.

Most recently the silver sheep has been whispering “Love. Accept. Forgive.” And then “Start with you. Begin now. I love you.” “Start with you” means that I am meant to love, accept and forgive myself first. “Begin now” means that at any moment of any day if I discover that I am not acting in a loving, accepting and forgiving way toward myself I can choose to begin again. The great thing about this is although the choice is made to begin again, I am not starting at the beginning each time, but I am continuing to build on prior investments in learning how to honor myself.

“I love you.” To me, I love you represents my higher self or my spiritual self reminding my physical self of what I came here to do and who I came here to be. It reminds me that the journey is and always has been primarily about Love. It carries with it, “I believe in you” and “I support you” which when combined with 1+1=3 translates to me to mean I believe in us, I support us, I love us.

I have been blessed with being an aware participant in my own magical awakening, understanding that when I allow both the dark and light parts of myself, as well as both the physical and spiritual parts of myself I am actively collaborating in the creation of something that is so much more than the sum of the parts. Integrating one part into another can be an intense and emotional experience, but with the right tools to assist with the integration, Wooooo Hoooooo!!! I am so totally enjoying the ride!

I have always found it so much easier to celebrate the gifts of others than to celebrate myself and my own gifts. I feel this may be due to how we are conditioned to not feel too good about ourselves so that our ego remains in check. When we do get “too full of ourselves” there’s always someone out there waiting to bring us back down a notch or two.

The trick is, or more accurately, the gift in that is we get to choose what to celebrate regardless of what anyone else may think or feel. Each and every day brings the gifts of a birth-day where, if we wish to, we can choose to be re-born into the true Essence of our Self. On this day, my 49th birthday, I choose to celebrate the Love, Courage, Essence, Acceptance and Forgiveness that are alive and thriving inside of me and I honor the Love, Courage, Essence, Acceptance and Forgiveness that are alive and thriving inside of you.

Happy Re-Birth day to ME, to YOU and to US! Woooo Hoooo!!! Enjoying the ride!

Dreams Awake: Out of the blur and into the light

The other day, for some reason, I began referring to my life as my dream.  I had been meditating in the garden through which I saw a blank canvas, paint and brushes.  As color was loaded and brush strokes applied I began to see a clear picture of how I was actively painting my own reality in each and every moment.  This ‘mind movie’ was comprised of a series of mental pictures representing the thoughts constantly streaming through my head. I saw symbols of my thoughts from the distant past, recent past and the here and now. It appeared and felt to me as though I was dreaming yet I was wide awake.

Step by StepAfter opening my eyes the dreamy state continued. I was observing Jeff cutting a section of PVC pipe to make holders for the bamboo sticks in the garden shed. As he cut and mounted the pipe on the wall I became aware that his actions had created a sort of brush stroke on the painting of my dream that I simply would not have made.  While what he was doing made perfect sense and was a valuable addition, I had not considered it. My own vision somehow took certain things for granted and in my mental painting of my dream they were slightly out of focus or part of the background.

In Jeff’s painting however, these sections of pipe had purpose. He felt it important enough to load the brush and then apply the stroke with a specific goal in mind. The results are a beautiful and functional order in the chaos. No more bamboo sticks falling all over each other and getting in the way. Need a bamboo stick? Here they are all neatly bundled and waiting to be chosen for a task. It was a place where the addition of a small ‘tool’ created certainty. It struck me how this one seemingly silly little thing was an example of how attention to detail in the right area can result in creating an ease or a natural flow as we move through our garden shed.

Watching this happen seemed to be in slow motion.  I realized how fortunate I am to be sharing and living the experience of my dream with someone like Jeff who is living the experience of his dream. He didn’t ask me for ‘permission’ to load his brush with that particular color. He didn’t consult with me before he made the stroke, he just did it. It was part of HIS dream to do so.

In choosing to share my dream space with him there is a trust that is developed between us. I trust him to go along following the motions of his dream and he trusts me taking action in the motions of mine. What’s happening in the building of this trust is absolutely beautiful. As I saw these silly little PVC pipes being attached to the wall they began to take on so much significance that I realized they weren’t silly at all.

Inspired by the two brush strokes, my mind began rearranging some of the contents of the shed to complement the new additions. What was, fifteen minutes ago, a blur on the canvas suddenly began to have detail defined. What were previously large clouds of light and shadow now began to take on more definition.

I was inspired to load color of my own and apply a few more brush strokes to continue in the shed after Jeff moved on. To define in more detail, a place where for a moment in time our dreams merged.; a place where one plus one equals three. By each of us painting on our own canvas yet sharing a third, separate canvas at the same time, we created something that remains behind to enhance the space that supports us as we travel through it performing the tasks of our callings.

What dreams will you paint on your canvas today? Who will you share them with?

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