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Archive for April, 2020

 

The Way to Emmaus

Susan Heffron Hajec 3-31-18

How many times, Lord
have I walked
the road to Emmaus
like your disciples?
Distraught over what
has happened.
Afraid of what lies
before me.
Confused that things
didn’t work out
as I planned.

Many times, I
must confess,
many times.
How can I so
easily forget
it is you, yourself
who told me—
“Behold, I Am
with you always.”

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Couple jumping dolphins, blue sea and sky, white clouds, bright sun

 

 

“The full potential of the heart and its intelligence has is yet to be fully unfolded and understood. Much like the electricity changed the outer world, learning to harness the power and intelligence of the heart can change our inner world.”  

During this time of rapid and massive changes, due to the presence of the world-wide Corona virus, Covid-19, we all have a chance to look outward into our external world and inward to our soul, heart and value system. Many people from different backgrounds are experiencing an impetus for positive change in ways they never had before. Other people are desperately sick with the virus itself and very near their last breath. Many families are encased in a private grief of lost dear ones and distanced from others who could give them physical comfort.

These are enormous changes — over a time span of which we do not yet know.. What do we do with this rapidly changing world in our food and goods delivery systems, our at-odds and feisty political parties, our religious worship practices, our education and health systems, our jobs and financial structures? All of these things touch us daily and will be changed forever even when the virus is gone.

One of the most important aspects of the changes taking place is a rediscovery of what’s been hidden in plain sight all along…its the heart. Along with the chaos, there is a new emergence of heart-based awareness and intelligence. I studied some of this in 2012 with Barbara Marx Hubbard, an evolutionary visionary and with the HeartMath Institute.

A unified message is emerging in public service announcements because of the gigantic way of delivering help, services, and companionship.  “We’re all in this together,” and never has it been more clear how inter-connected we are to one another throughout the world. There is a human presence of using the vast internet programs and platforms to build up the human and the human spirit from its loss of many things including free mobility by air, sea, or car. There is a recognition of the sacrifices and struggles of all of the world health care systems, and the nurses and doctors closest to death on a daily basis.

There is singing. There are thank you’s.. There are pep talks, “We will get through this, together.”  There is a remembrance of forgotten populations of our society, the poor, the sick, the elderly and individual efforts to give where it is needed. The commercials from the banking systems, retail, personal services all point toward, “we’ll be back” but in the meantime , “take good care of yourself.”

All of this points to a fundamental fact. Goodness and health is based in the heart. And the heart knows what is best in both our actions and our thoughts. I have signed up for a short course summary of the HeartMath Experience. It will be a good precursor for my cardiac evaluation coming up this summer. I intend to put some of the summary reminders on Napkinwriter so my readers can attune their hearts to wholesome practices and communication. Good nutrition is a great baseline, but there is so much more your heart is asking for.

 

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Today, Napkinwriter posts a guest piece written for DAILY OM on line by Madisyn Taylor. I check in on her writing often because she talks about things that make a difference to me or give me a new way of looking at an old routine. Today is about SHOWING UP for life, and very fitting while we all are on some type of temporary hold in our life patterns because of COVID-19. If we are not on hold, we are either fast-tracked into a day full of urgent needs by the first responders and health care personnel who are overwhelmed by the instant demands of their day, and emotionally bonded to the human loss of life and separation from loved ones as they succumb to the disease despite all of their efforts.

Then the greatest number of us are in a “hold” pattern until we get into the staged re-entry of our lives as they were in January and February, knowing that even then we will be entering into a “new normal” before normal ever appears in our life.

Yet, we still have to show up in our life which means new routines and creations to keep physical and mental and emotional areas healthy. We have to move forward in some way that is meaningful to us. And so, most of us do just that. I offer you a few thoughts on that.

Showing Up For Life

BY MADISYN TAYLOR
If you show up for yourself in your life, the universe will show up for you.

The way we walk into a room says a lot about the way we live our lives. When we walk into a room curious about what’s happening, willing to engage, and perceiving ourselves as an active participant with something to offer, then we have really shown up to the party. When we walk into a room with our eyes down, or nervously smiling, we are holding ourselves back for one reason or another. We may be hurting inside and in need of healing, or we may lack the confidence required to really be present in the room. Still, just noticing that we’re not really showing up, and having a vision of what it will look and feel like when we do, can give us the inspiration we need to recover ourselves.

Even if we are suffering, we can show up to that experience ready to fully engage in it and learn what it has to offer. When we show up for our life, we are actively participating in being a happy person, achieving our goals, and generally living the life our soul really wants. If we need healing, we begin the process of seeking out those who can help us heal. If we need experience, we find the places and opportunities that can give us the experience we need in order to do the work we want to do in the world. Whatever we need, we look for it, and when we find it, we engage in the process of letting ourselves have it. When we do this kind of work, we become lively, confident, and passionate individuals.

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Today is a special day in Spirituality. No matter what I’ve claimed and left behind in the traditions of Catholicism today IS Palm Sunday. I am in a dress with makeup on and I will bake something special. I am playing old CDs with the musical doxology and other songs of a spirritual nature and I will create here at home and the nearby outdoors for I am grateful for the gifts of faith and family freely given to me.

Today also begins what the scientists and CDC is also the beginning of two of the hardest weeks of sickness and death due to the pandemic virus COVID-19 attacking the world, and has been focused on the United States of America for the past four weeks, having arrived here earlier than that.

Healthcare in NYC, the epicenter, of the disease in America, is scrambling to provide adequate hospital space and the necessary PPE Personal Protection Equipment to the growing need. Healthcare professionals are coming in from other states to help the overburdened system. Ventilators are in such high demand and number needed so high, they are in a race to get one before a patient dies from the respiratory virus that shuts down the lungs.

And I know I shall rise and persist upon my own path of life. They say we have an unknown future. But we have always had an unknown future as those so fully know when an instant tragedy bested them. What we have is now and our actions and thoughts in this day.

I don’t know. And becoming friends with “I don’t know” is grace, itself. This is the second set of words that confirm me today. The first was another writer/artist speaking and she brought a quote in that said, “You can’t make the abnormal, normal. It is NOT normal.” I think therein, I give up the fight. I do not try to trick myself by doing “what is normal” to do. What I do is what rings true for me within this abnormal time. My interior world feels fairly normal. But as my gaze and my hearing focuses in on the outside world-wide — it is anything but normal. And that is what it is.

I do not know the future, but then I never have. A normal future is palatable. An unknown future leaves so many questions in its wake. Most of us try for the most normal we can manage for this abnormal time of Covid–19. We are plagued with the big question— how long? Someone tell us please when we can return to normal

With a return to normal, will survivors (because that is what we all are now) go back to the jobs they had? Will they, once again, work from an office rather than home? Will small businesses be there for the employees to return to? Will the economic structure hold for ourselves and our families? Will we bring the good, bad, and ugly back with us in our ways of life, or has this forced “time-out” reshape us in ways that we want to continue with and shed other stuff we would see as of no value?

This all remains to be seen. But for today, Palm Sunday, I am raised up, in the spirit of Resurrection, because others have reached through “social distancing” and touched me with their normal thoughts and actions. And for me, today, that is enough. It is normal.

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“Good grief, Charlie Brown,” says Lucy many times over in frustration of their childhood antics.” And now in our world, both adults and children are suddenly shot into a world very unfamiliar to us. The coming of the Corona virus is the only thing that is “sudden” about it. Every day, restrictions, losses, and new rules “of being” flood into our day. If we have not lost any family member or friend by now in the fourth week of its rapid spread, we are the lucky ones. Many have and are losing loved ones that  leave many stranded with isolated good-by’s and inexplicable grief.

As much a many are helping the rest of us with upbeat messages, music, innovative ways of “being together, and the promise, that we will go through this together, and we will win over it together, the population of the grieving is building daily.

This poem posted today I think takes this population under her wings of prayer. This truth that now lives amongst us, when contemplated is both complicated and simple. Amid the living, there is much death. Therefore, also much grief.

I do not believe this poem to be a downer. Contemplative Christine Valters Paintner has crafted a very real part of the remnants left in the wake of Covid-19. Last night, I lay awake deep in the night, praying rosaries for #1 those “at the hour of my death. Amen”, as repeated over and over in the Hail Mary prayer who are in that hour as I prayed. Between the Hail Mary’s, as I slipped the beads through my fingers, I asked Mary and the Mantle of Mary to be so present to give peace to the person dying and to the health care worker closest to the patient, so that a “bond” could exist rather than “aloneness” between them.

And so I also prayed for all health care workers providing the last sense of touch and caring to the dying. What a sacred mission, and with whatever feelings I had during prayer, I just sunk into that reality alone—and left all the outer world (our world) changes and hopes, and losses alone for the moment. It was the dying and their families, and the endless effort of the professional caregivers I put into the sanctuary of my prayers. No, grief, and perhaps even rage, is not to be ignored; it is all around us and through us.

This is an invitation to rest in the space of grieving for all that is being lost right now, before we try to “make meaning” from it all.  Yes we must claim grace and gratitude, but let’s not bypass sorrow.

*In a Dark Time*
Christine Valters Paintner

Do not rush to make meaning.
When you smile and say what purpose
this all serves, you deny grief
a room inside you,
you turn from thousands who cross
into the Great Night alone,
from mourners aching to press
one last time against the warm
flesh of their beloved,
from the wailing that echoes
in the empty room.

When you proclaim who caused this,
I say pause, rest in the dark silence
first before you contort your words
to fill the hollowed out cave,
remember the soil will one day
receive you back too.

Sit where sense has vanished,
control has slipped away,
with futures unravelled,
where every drink tastes bitter
despite our thirst.

When you wish to give a name
to that which haunts us,
you refuse to sit
with the woman who walks
the hospital hallway, hears
the beeping stop again and again,
with the man perched on a bridge
over the rushing river.

Do not let your handful of light
sting the eyes of those
who have bathed in darkness.
—Christine Valters Paintner

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When I studied SpringForest QiGong with Master Chunyi Linn, he gave us a very beautiful meditative and healing verse to repeat:

“I am in the Universe.
The Universe is in my body.
The Universe and I combine together.”

 

So there are many spiritual and faith traditions and ancient learning that come from long ago that teach us to know there is union between all. I and the Universe are One. In God, there is only One. In God, I live and move and have my being. The Universe lives, moves and breathes as ONE.
I just recently caught up with the fact that there is a solar eclipse today on November 13. I was looking forward to this date for another reason.

In December 2011, I, with Sara Houseman, presented three workshops based on the writings and work of Barbara Marx Hubbard at Unity of Kalamazoo, Michigan.  The purpose of the meetings were to simply acquaint others with the life and the work and the grand vision Barbara Marx Hubbard had for Conscious Evolution.

She, too, in her pursuit of the “pulse of Evolution” came to the conclusion that there is only One and our earthly time is spent within that One. She has studied the history of Evolution and says whenever crisis and chaos appeared in the chain of evolution, that the species has always moved forward. That has been true, she says, since the time that the first single cell needed to grow into two cells to survive. It did so, and it did it again and again changing species along the evolutionary timeline to today.

With the global pandemic of  the Corona Virus – Covid – 19 racing across the globe, claiming thousands of lives in it’s wake, and in a way we never thought possible disrupting our lives, work, family interaction, school and business closings, and social isolation, we are at another crisis point of evolution.

Marx Hubbard calls these current times a “chaos point.” Things are broken. There are many things systems-wide that need change. The way we communicate and lead needs changing, in order to grow past the chaos today into what she calls a “Universal Being” — a species we homo sapiens are all capable of being.

But first, we need to become more familiar with our heart. Indeed, we must learn to breathe through our heart. We hear the beat of our heart, and without our heart, there is no breath. This is the exact muscle, we need not only strengthen for fitness, but for our very life, itself.

All outward appearances point to this being the type of change — Universal change — that she foretold in 2011. A global happening which required a global response. A response that was heart-led.

And as we await the eventual physical cure of this with a vaccine, the American health system is overrun, food suppliers are over-worked, first-line responders are over-taxed, children are confused with the changes and not being able to go to school, and businesses hope that in the long run, they do not lose their business, and people are generally stressed to keep on time with their bill paying, while they protect their families as best they can.

Amid these catatrophic changes, the human heart is out in front beating just for the present moment with love. Also concern and attention to who needs help and how to give it. This is the prediction of the Universal Homo Sapien being born right in this troubled and unprecidented time. Our hearts are beating as one. Our eyes are tuned to the needs of others. Even when groups cannot come together, the actions of one are spreading out over and over into this world of need. The common question is How Can I Help? What Can I Do?

HeartMath Institute, under the direction of Doc and Sarah Childre has studied the workings of the heart and the effect it has on ourselves and others. We are encouraged to “lead with our heart”, to become aware of heart resonance, which beats with the pulse of the Universe – with all that is.

They have a measured Science with convincing data, that our hearts produce an electro-magnetic field of about eight feet extending from the center of our being. When filled with heartfelt peace, acceptance and resonance, this field CHANGES the interaction and the space it is holding – for the good.

Long ago, we heard the story of “one little candle” at a time being able to light up the whole world. The same is true with heart resonance. It is a practice that benefits us physically (it is more than just being calm, it is a frequency that the Oneness in which we exist recognizes and beats in harmony with us).

I will write another blog on the actual practice of Heart Coherence and how you can easily put it in practice and accomplish immediate results with it.
An old tune comes to mind. (by Dusty Springfield or Rusty?)
“Once upon a time I was falling for you
Now I’m only falling apart.
Nothing I can do
A total eclipse of the heart.”

In the movement of Birth 2012, we wanted to get beyond the feeling there is nothing we can do to fix the things in the world that are now falling apart. We believed we could do something, within ourselves by recognizing our soul Essence, our Oneness, and joining what Marx Hubbard calls “our genius” with another or others and then — see what wants to be born within us in the new year as a new world.

Now, in 2020, eight years later and one year past her death at the age of 89  on April 10, 2019, the woman who is credited with “the birthing of the human” over the long, long time of evolution, would see for herself the appearance of joining “our genius with one another as scientists, business leaders, entrepreneurs and   philanthropists and common citizens indeed “join genius” to make forever choice of evolution to MOVE FORWARD, and birth a new reality. Most serious commentators agree, life will no longer be what it was, something new is coming, but we are working in a time unknown for that something NEW to be GOOD for us and our neighbor.

 

In times of crisis and chaos, we have ALWAYS moved forward. We can move forward into the world, leading with our hearts, within the spheres of family, church, community, and even bigger stages. It all depends on what “is waiting to be born” in us.

A new moon….a solar ECLIPSE…..a TOTAL eclipse of my heart.

Namaste.

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