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Hello God! You There?

Cat - Hello God

When you place the call, God answers. This was my recent communication.

September 15, 2014
I am reading “They Speak By Silences” author listed as A Carthusian; and Surrender, a guide for prayer by Jacqueline Syrup Bergan & S. Marie Schwan; An article in AARP magazine (Aug-Sept) The Missing was a light bulb going off for me yesterday. Although it was an article focused on the loss suffered by the families of Flight 370, Vietnam MIA’s (still 1,500 listed), missing children and adults, it put a name to a condition I believe myself to be living…..AMBIGUOUS LOSS….. though fear is involved, it is more a gathering of many different emotions that are open to hit strongly at any given moment.

Psychologist Pauline Boss says “Ambiguous loss triggers a kind of stressful, unresolved emotional state distinct from traditional grief. ..resistant to usual therapeutic treatment (don’t have $$ for treatment now anyway) instead the path to healing involves negotiation an uneasy rapprochement with the unanswered questions that such a loss leaves in its wake. “Grief therapy doesn’t work because there is nothing wrong with the person, there is something wrong with the situation itself.

I would not go so far as to say there is nothing wrong with me, BUT I do feel the reality of living in the WAKE of personal challenging circumstances , and constantly discerning between what I must surrender to and the courage to change the things I can change, which seem so very few at this time.

Then I call upon my higher self to manifest, live in faith and continue my life one step at a time; I can cycle anger, despair, confusion, craziness, at any time of any day; I do not know when they will assail me and at times overcome me. I do all this with acknowledging my responsibility in all of it and consciously trying to knock out any traces of blame.

And my life looks from the outside looking in that “nothing much is going on here.”

I feel I am in constant negotiation, daily, with the terms of my life.

GOD’S ANSWER came on Tues. September 16 at 11:16 am in the
Twenty Four Hours AA Meditation Book:

Cat, pen and blank open notepad

(This looks just like my journal that I pasted the following answer in).
Sept. 9 Meditation of the Day:

“In God’s strength you conquer life. Your conquering power is the grace of God. There can be no complete failure with God. Do you want to make the best of your life? (yes) Then live as near as possible to God, the Master and Giver of All Life.

Your reward for depending upon God’s strength will be sure. Sometimes the reward will be renewed power to face life. (yesterday, I was in great need of this renewed power, I could not feel my own), sometimes wrong thinking overcome
( great struggle here yesterday and trying to quiet the wrong thinking, oh woe is me, what will become of us?), sometime people brought to a new way of living. (What is this new way, when you are doing the best you can?).

Whatever success comes will not be all your own doing, but largely the working out of the grace of God.”

Forgiving - Jan RichardsonArt by Jan Richardson (c)

 

I share this website with you today. The words and work of Jan Richardson

http://paintedprayerbook.com/

 

What Floats Your Boat?

QUIET - Rebecca Emmons Lambert

 

I am sharing my enjoyment this morning of two more perspectives  on God, boats and laughter written in the poetry of Hafiz.

“Two Giant Fat People
By Hafiz

God and I have become like two giant fat people living in a tiny boat;

we keep bumping into each other and

l
a
u
g
h
i
n
g
.”

 

“Barely One You Wish To Harm
by Hafiz

There are only so many people you can carry in your your small boat before their weight sinks you.

A hundred you can carry whom you love. But barely one you wish to harm.”

 

Poetry from:  A Year With Hafiz Daily Contemplations by Daniel Ladinsky

Photography by Rebecca Emmons Lambert

 

 

Love a Laugh

In honor of laughing, I share Snoopy and Hafiz with you today.

 

Hafiz

 

Jealous Hearing Someone Laugh
by Hafiz

“Have you ever felt jealous hearing someone laugh? And then began to think to yourself,

‘Why am I so caught in the world’s snare? Why don’t I know right now the freedom in other voices when their spirit like an arrow takes flight above the hour’s concern?’

But the heart’s laughter is never there to taunt another, especially if the other is feeling low.

Real laughter is a waving, a beckoning, a message, a calling to all that says,

‘Over here, come over here for a minute…where things look so different, and you can have more fun!’ “

 

Source:  A Year with Hafiz Daily Contemplations  by Daniel Ladinsky

Generations on the path

Giving my thanks and love to Tom who has carefully and faithfully groomed our backyard labyrinth since we first put it in under his design and direction.

This circular walking prayer path is a delight to have in place. In all seasons, it gives me pause for quiet prayer just from the window, enjoyment as I watch birds gather around and on it and memories of other labyrinth walks Tom and I have shared on Mackinac Island, San Francisco Grace Cathedral, and Chartres Cathedral in France, plus many other places.

I am in the midst of planning a “Peace in Every Step” Labyrinth Walk in September to introduce it to the neighbors and my friends.  We will walk with the intention of planting more peace in our own lives and giving seed to more peace in our world and neighborhoods which are greatly in need of the growth of peace.

Greening of the LabyrinthGreening of the Labyrinth

IMG_4441Change of mind for the pathway; next year bent grass
(like the golf course green) will be planted.

Deck blossems holding onto summerDeck blossoms holding onto summer

IMG_4284The path emerging from winter

Bird on the archFaithful bird watch on the newly added arch…

Birds do the walk…while companions walk the path

Bird reaching the center…and reach the center

IMG_5286In metaphysics, the crow is a reminder of “Follow-up”
do not leave your work and play unfinished, “
and I take this message to heart.

Cosmic Connection vibrationsOn the walk, the pattern is entrancing and engaging.

Confusion clouds but path remainsChange and change of direction, like in life so many times.

Road is LongBut my eyes and heart see only what is in front of me…

Autumn Equinox  Sat. Night -even in the dark

IMG_0480My loving partner, husband, friend.

IMG_3116

IMG_0896IMG_0848And it all came together…I cannot imaging our backyard without
our completed labyrinth.

Bringing in bricks

Cairn watching over the building

Blue Sky1

befpre-directing-the-lightning4

 

It is time for another short communication with Christine Whitelaw, as I am missing her. This is a blog to which she responded three years ago. It shows just one of the “common things” we shared, wrote about, took photographs of, or values we shared.

Where is the balance? I hope Rita Marie Johnson’s work and influence is taking a deeper root in our society than we hear via the news on our states of conflict seemingly everywhere.

For myself, I continue to watch for sparks of violence in my daily actions, intents, words or thoughts and weed them out. That is my own grass-root level effort, and it feels like it is growing increasingly peaceful. May it be so, one day in the world.

“Here we are, God — a planet at prayer. Attune our spirits that we may hear your harmonies and bow before your creative power that we may face our violent discords and join with your Energy to make heard in every heart your hymn of peace.” Joan Metzner, Earth Prayers From Around The World

dadirri7
I am reading Non-Violent Communication right now, part of my course work for Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy, it is wonderful, so clear and practical, but take it bit by bit! What an inspiring story, thank you.

 

Conflict or Peace – Can we choose Peace?
March 19, 2011 by napkinwriter
Costa Rican children taught Be Peace in Daily Lives
Apparently, we can choose peace over conflict. One woman, over the past seventeen years, Rita Marie Johnson has taken this simple, but not easy to practice belief, created a high vision for it to occur, wrapped ambitious goals around the vision, and has produced a system that is taught in the Costa Rican school system. It is now being instituted in the United States. Her vision is buoyed up by foundation training courses for teachers to get it off the ground and into the children’s daily lives.

She is starting with the children — but she has her sights set on presidents and leaders of nations — to “vacation” at her Costa Rica training grounds and learn the fundamentals of her program, BePeace.

BePeace was developed by Rita Marie Johnson, in 2002, after moving to Costa Rica from Texas, where she strengthened its peace model. She was surprised to learn that Costa Rica did not have an army. She was also inspired by a poem that tells of a teacher, Rasur, who comes to a village and awakens the children to the wisdom and compassion in their hearts.

In 2000, Johnson wrote a story about The Return of Rasur, a story that holds the answer to education in our time. She went on to write and produce a musical entitled Rasur that got noticed by the President of Costa Rica.

A key element that gives life to its vision is they believe that to become more peaceful nations we must begin within ourselves and that teaching our children is the logical first step to shifting generational violence into lasting peace.
Here in our United States education system, we deal daily with the bullying problems that cause deaths of young students and much silent suffering from those who “just take it.”

BePeace, a program within the Rasur Foundation International, focuses on three things: feeling peace; speaking peace; and then teaching peace.

Their vision is a world where every child practices peace and passes this gift to the next generation. Their mission is attracting, training and supporting natural peace teachers to evoke the wisdom and compassion in children through the practice of BePeace. Their motto is: “Before directing the lightning in the sky, we must first harness the storms in our own hearts.”

The key word here is practice. Is this some lofty goal, where you keep a simple smile on your face all day and turn away from conflict in your path? No, it is a program of training in life skills, psychology, the worth of each person, and the willingness to learn and apply behavior patterns that are scientifically proven to establish calmness within a person which then gives the person some options of learned behaviors to apply to the stressful situation at hand.

Eliminating the “knee-jerk” defensive behaviors, deeply engrained in most of us, probably gets us half-way down the path anyway. But my own life experience in changing, modifying, bettering my own behavior has taught me that to change means to practice — over and over again.

The Rasur Foundation International and BePeace program makes sure their students get the chance to practice. They have set up a foundations course for individual study, teachers and group coordinators, where the heart of the program is explained, demonstrated, conversed about, and taken into individual practice. The students, in turn, will: be peace, speak peace and then naturally teach peace.
BePeace synergistically combines the intelligence of the heart and compassionate communication for a peaceful, compassionate speaking into a daily practice for creative, peaceful living. This practice evolved from the work of the Institute of Heart Math and the work of Marshall B. Rosenberg at the Center for Nonviolent Communication.

Rita Marie Johnson, realized the powerful synergy between these two methods and developed th practice of BePeace to combine coherence through appreciation and connection to universal needs through empathy and honesty.

This is real work! Based on scientific testing and results, the work done to “feel peace” develops a physiological change within the body, called “coherence”. More than just a slowed down heart-rate, it evens out the beating of the heart and produces communication between the heart and the brain.
For those who like the scientific talk, this is the book to check out.
During the foundation course, participants will become skilled in how to “feel peace” and enhance intelligence through the practice of physiological coherence betwen the heart and the brain.

The second part then comes where they learn the steps of compassionate communication, that is “speaking peace.” Here is where, with the best of intentions, I fall down so often. I need more practice in whatever it is they learn to do here. Good intentions, for me, just don’t get the job done. The foundation teaching course says that “speaking peace” is connecting more consciously with our own feelings and needs, and of those around us.

Is that a win-win? A phrase so highly touted but so often fallen short of? I’d say so. In negotiations, someone gives up “something”. And they feel that. If speaking peace is what they say it is, then there is a respect and recognition of all needs on the table and somehow a peaceful outcome for all is a result.
The high prize! One I’d like to try for.

This is the other resourse the practice of BePeace is founded upon.

I am all for learning any method and truth that helps me MODEL, and as their organization says, be peace. That has been my life quest and I am having success…as long as I don’t push it or crowd myself. I like the Heart Math side of it and I have life experiences that cause me to know that what they report in this book is true in my own case. I’ve studied and learned many methods to the ends of eliminating violent or hurtful communication on my part — again, some success.

Somehow, the alarming feeling is that it doesn’t come naturally. A look around the world and our neighborhoods would seem to support that. I have to take the time and initiative to learn…and maybe in learning, I’ll actually see that it is remembering what I have forgotten that is most important. As an individual and as part of a mass society, in the forgetting, I became focused on the ego and protection of “little me”.

Maybe, I can hope, that it is more realistically a matter of REMEMBERING who I really am and being peace, speaking peace and teaching peace will radiate from my center.

To find out more, here is the link:

http://www.rasurinternational.org/index.php/bepeace/about-bepeace

founder, Rita Marie Johnson

befpre-directing-the-lightning4

My Life as a Tree

My Life as Tree

Today, in my spiritual exercise with St. Ignatius, where I am encouraged to let God’s word take root in my life (and it is), I was invited to reflect on my life as the life of a tree and then journal about it. The following is what I wrote:

Contemplation of Me As A Tree

I am a strong, tall, mighty oak now in my seventies. I’ve lived a hearty life, survived many hardships and yet kept growing, reaching tall to the sky, always finding the light.

I was planted in a small forest, which continually grew larger throughout my life, yet I am set somewhat apart from the other trees. Mostly, I am enveloped among my family member trees, some of them I know, some I do not. It seems I live and move and have my being among my family trees. This is where my life and my work is. Yes, I am a family-tree worker.

I’ve grown sturdy, deep-seeking roots from the feeble, shallow ones at my birth, cut away early from my fallen mother tree’s death. My roots contained the wisdom and the grace to discover and honor my true heritage and ancestors. I brought them into the family-fold and grandchildren line after years and seasons of secrecy.

My tender bark, bruised and nicked, still grew tough coated and beautifully craggy in unique patterns of creativity. A tough coat that learned how to protect myself,  yet accept touch and repel what I needed to establish in both my boundaries and my presence. This, it seemed, took ages and I grew somewhat crooked during some of the stretching periods. Now that crookedness gives way to my total beauty and expression as God’s creation on this earth.

My tree now is in a constant flux of all seasons, like they are all happening simultaneously rather than sequentially. Spring, bringing forth newness every day; summer, a flow of gratitude and love of life; winter, a slowing and reflective time of essence.

But mostly, autumn – a giving way, a surrender to the transformations of aging, a sighting of a grand new perspective of the glory of it all, the grace of my tree on earth, my time of giving.

My tree breathes in, it breathes out. Like a willow and an oak. Ahhhh.

 

Knowing

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