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Posts Tagged ‘Peace’

CHAKRA - 6th Chakra - Turtle  Third Eye

“God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” 1 Corinth 14:33

To have a winning team, it takes the willingness and cooperation of individuals working together in orderly strategies and the expression of their talents. Great concert halls fill with the results of musicians dedicated to the discipline of practice and harmony with all other instruments for the appreciation and inspiration of the audience.

Chemistry was a hard subject for me to learn in high school. I did not pursue many chemistry classes in college. But in biology and later in the study of nutrition, I was fascinated by all the intricate parts of our body digestive and other systems to make our physical body one of order.

By the 1990s, medical physicians and health care professionals were speaking and writing openly of “life-style” diseases such as heart disease, diabetes type 2 and cancer. They meant that while we may have some predisposition to these diseases through genetics and heredity, they were also just as likely to have some seeds in the choices we made in life. By the new millennium of 2000, we were made pretty aware of the “dirorder poor lifestyle choices could lead to. Improved recovery and prevention rates kept increasing as we set about putting accountability and order in our lives.

Bloom where planted

But what can we say about the disorder and violence and displacements of people through weather tragedies hurricanes, floods, tornadoes or violent wind and snow storms? There again, throughout world history, each and every region has suffered wars and the atrocities of cruel and horrendous murderous actions and revengeful retaliations. When we view this or personally suffer the loss and destruction, the human spirit cries out to stop the disorder and injustices.

We posses God’s wholly sufficient Divine Presence within us at all times.. So we are not a people of disorder but instead, a people of peace. Peace is having faith in the order of all things and looking beyond the apparent disorder of world event, toxic relationships, insanity or financial devastation that corrupts and unsettles our lives. Looking beyond is not ignoring these things. It means very much that we are aware of them and we seek the solutions to them in a “peace that surpasses all understanding.”

Does this peace mean no pain? No. Does it mean the acceptance of suffering, physical or otherwise? Maybe Does it mean loss? On a human level, most likely. But to have peace constitutes having hope without answers at the present time, while we hold to a belief in our God as a God of order.

We can do this.  Peace Be.

backyard sunset

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Today's Gift 7-26-15 I complicate things as soon as I get back inside but I do retain the gifts offered by my labyrinth walk this morning. I have been resisting walking and movement lately. I don’t know why. My inner critic ramps up her demands and judgments, but I dig ins with many ways of refusal So today, I decided to combine two of my practices of the quiet and walk our backyard labyrinth while I was saying my Sunday rosary. Sunday’s rosary is dedicated to the goodness and protection of Amy, my youngest grandchild. Each daughter, and their husband and my three grandchildren receive the blessings of Mary and the rosary on their designated weekday. IMG_6859 Upon entering the labyrinth, I am in my second decade of the rosary and I notice very bright fresh yellow and white miniature daisies greeting me. Just one patch It is enough to lighten my mood and willingness to step further along the path. They remind me of the fun times I have with Amy and how proud she was to fix our breakfast yesterday of egg salad, of which she proclaimed she is the best at making. I like the self-confidence and image she has of herself at the tender age of seven.  All of this is gift to me. Circling to the center Soon the circular pattern of the paver bricks lead the way both to the center of the labyrinth and to the calming peace of acceptance of being right where I am on the path.  No hurry. No worry. Just a breathing time for my soul.

The labyrinth Tom and I created a few years ago is daily present for my sight. And even when I gaze upon it from my kitchen window, it reminds me of gratefulness and I don’t know how this happens. It just does. It reminds me of a Oneness, which I might not even be feeling at the time I look upon it, but that is its constant message to me. And grace.

Now, as I walk, I pray. Random thoughts pass through and like in the practice of Centering Prayer, I hold on to none of them. I just notice them and let them pass. This leads to further stillness. Some kind of knowingness arises within as I walk that I am at a loss of words to explain. But then I don’t need to explain this. I only need to walk it. I know I am on my way to the center.  The center represents that elusive thing I seem to “grab for” in my daily life….some kind of certainty, some kind of acceptance.

On the labyrinth this peace comes as I notice the blades of grass, as I listen to the birds, as I feel both the heat of the sun and the breeze, however slight on this day when the temperature and humidity are rising. What drops away?  The plans for the day, a lot of the complexity of what seems to be my makeup — both a blessing and a bit of a curse….they begin to get left behind, perhaps to return once this labyrinth journey is complete, perhaps not if I am lucky.

WestBend Laby4West Bend WI labyrinth I have not walked.

I  have a personal story connected to the labyrinth, having discovered it through Lauren Artress’s book, Walking a Sacred Path. I had no clue that somehow that labyrinth path would lead me to training with her and walking labyrinths in many marvelous places including Chartres France, facilitating retreats, walking with groups, walking alone, and at last partnering with Tom to build our own backyard labyrinth.

Chartres Labyrinth

I think most of my walking experiences are somewhat commonplace. I rarely feel any profound “breakthrough” dramatic experiences while I am on the labyrinth, but I have witnessed it happening to others.  Journaling after a walk is a revealing time when you may not know how the flow of your pen or pencil is going to inform you. Perhaps an image flows onto the paper that you feel you are only co-creating with.  A simple walk to the center and then back out again.  Being present with the present.

Cairn watching over the building

Is it easier to listen on the labyrinth than it is in the rest of your life. One writer, Travis Scholl in his book Walking the Labyrinth, says that “underneath the surface….is a stillness…between everyday’s noise and walking it is finding the voice speaking in whispers underneath the whirlwinds of sound ” (in our lives).

I think that is true for me.  I see a tiny toad (or is it a frog, I don’t know) on the path on the way out.

As soon as I return to the house, I find the noise again…. in my head….in my peace turning to impatience….get my camera, take a photo of the daisies, find Ted Steven’s Animal Speak and see what he says about the meaning of frog,  finish two decades the rosary, blog,  fix left over pizza for lunch, continue your workshop preparation, oh yeah, write two thank you cards, and for goodness sake play with Zentangle today….noise, noise, noise.

Bird on the arch

Maybe I’ll take an evening walk on the labyrinth tonight and see how this day went.

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Dolomites hills and valleys  7-10-13

 

I remember feeling very peaceful in these surroundings on day 9 of my 12 day tour of the Alps with my friend, Martha.

 

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“Peace is the simplicity of spirit, the serenity of conscience, the tranquility of the soul and the bond of love. Peace is order, it is the harmony in each one of us,, it is a continual joy that is born in witnessing a clear conscience, it is the holy joy of a heart wherein God reigns. Peace is the way to perfection, or even better, in peace dwells perfection.” St. Pius of Pietrelcina, an Italian Capuchin. Source: Magnificat, May 2015, Vol 17, No. 3

 

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The year was 2013. The month was July. We arrived via business class luxury air to Munich, Germany and began travel through “the Ultimate Alps”, touching Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Leichenstein, and Italy.  The fortunate touch of long-lasting friendship made this possible for me when Martha asked me to accompany her, all financials taken care of.   I felt the simplicity of spirit in that and the holy bond of love.

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Peace is the way to perfection……we each knew this peace of shared past times as neighbors and the witnessing of friendship shared across the years through each one’s numerous life changes and geographical space.

Dolomites hills and valleys  7-10-13

We still picked up the old-fashioned phone and said, “Hi, how are you? What’s going on?”

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We still started new conversations where long ones had left off many moons prior.  A continual joy, a holy joy of the heart.

I was struck by the concise wording in the first paragraph of today’s meditation, knowing that peace truly is what is written there on all those levels. And that I recognize it as something I am able to experience, not just long for.

For this, I am grateful.

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Devereaux - Lift up My SoulImage by Angie Devereux (c)

The words below are not mine but I have copied them from the words of a reading I did during a quiet time meditation. They touched me deeply as I try to apply them to a time in our world where Christians are being persecuted, tortured and killed simply for the act of being Christian. It astounds me that as a young child, I tried to imagine the courage of the martyrs in the early Christian era, being sought after, persecuted and killed.

So many revolutions of the planet later with the passage of more than 2,000 years and the same exists today for millions of people, seeking some safe haven from their own homelands from those who would kill them for being Christian. My heart can hardly hold this.

So I ask myself too, “How is it that we are not living from the center of love?”

From a reflection in the April 2015 Magnificat
“….I believe that we all came from love. That the Love that is All begat us as individualized human love. That we are made in Love’s image and likeness. So I wonder as I look back across the eons of time and into our present times across our planet, “how did we get this so wrong”. How is it that we are not living from a center of love? How is it that it takes great effort and awareness to BE love in our world, in our lives, in our relationships to our loved ones, friends, and strangers?

I believe the most radical religion on earth today is Christianity. It tells us we must love. Its founder, the Christ Jesus lived a life that showed us just how radical this life of Christianity is and designated others to continue the message and the life of a Christian.

Love our enemies? Turn the other cheek? Be not afraid?”
“For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.” John 18:37

“Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid”. John 14:27

Witness of Peace – Pope Benedict XVI

“In every person the desire for peace is an essential aspiration which coincides in a certain way with the desire for a full, happy, and successful human life…Man is made for peace which is God’s gift…In effect, peace presupposes a humanism open to transcendence. It is the fruit of the reciprocal gift of mutual enrichment which has its source in God and enables us to live with others and for others…Peace is the building up of a co-existence in rational and moral terms, based on a foundation whose measure is not created by man, but by God.”

Note from Napkinwriter:

So still, in my life, I am seeking to be this radical person of love in my personal life, believing that somehow, along with my prayers, that my tiny contribution will somehow send a tiny ripple out to touch the larger world…..that I can plant a seed…..that this seed will not fall upon rock….that it will bear the fruit of love from an enriched soil and a plant that regularly bears “pruning back” and speaking and acting only from a radical love that serves its highest purpose.

Lofty? Perhaps. Attainable? On some days. Worthy goal? Absolutely. Covered with grace by the Benedictine precept of……Each Day, We Begin Again.

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light in heart

For Today and Everyday

May today there be peace within YOU.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities.
May you use those gifts that you have received
and pass on the love that has been given to you.

May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul
the freedom to sing, dance and bask in the sun.

It is there for each and everyone of you.

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“See yourself as a single cell in a body called humanity, and vow to be a cell that cooperates with all adjacent cells and has a sense of belonging to the whole.” Wayne Dyer

Your body creates 1,000,000,000 new cells every hour. Is it possible to keep them all happy, as in the Happy Cell Song“Every little cell in my body is happy. Every little cell in my body is free. Every little cell in my body is happy, every little cell in my body loves me. I’m so happy, I’m so free, I’m so happy I’ve just gotta be me. I’m so happy, I’m so free, I’m so happy, it’s so good to be me.”

My four year old granddaughter personifies this song, in truth. She is just so happy to be herself! And she shows it.

Then if I have these happy cells, are they willing to be cooperative with all their adjacent cells? Will they have a sense of belonging to the whole, as Dyer says?

I think they need to because at my deepest level, I have arrived at a life philosophy that I don’t think will change much from here on out.  I am a happy person, like my cells, at my deep core; a new-found happiness that does not seem dependent upon circumstances and has stood up to that test many times. Only the roots of this happiness have deepened into the fertile ever-growing ground of faith.

This seems to have developed a confident trust in me, that is much stronger than the wavering toe-in-the-water trust upon which it was built. No shifting sands here.

There is a line in an old Glen Campbell song, “I was a oak, now I’m a willow, I can bend”…….always loved that line and applied it to my own life many times.

I guess I am thinking about my cells for two reasons today. I’ve seen both my urologist, because I really want to make some progress on not getting up so many, many times at night, and we’ve got a plan……..then I also had my yearly mammogram, a necessary but never looked-forward-to experience.

So from tip to toe, I’ve been focused today on my body cells, and “cellebrated” on the way home by singing the Happy Cell Song.  I know I have a healthy body and I am very grateful for it.

And I have an intention to live my life the way I’ve asked my cells to:  Be happy, and cooperate with the person next to me and always keep the sense alive in me that we are all CONNECTED and part of ONE, which none of us understands.

I’ve followed many spiritual texts and writers that agree upon this and now in my queries into biology, brain study, HeartMath coherence theories of brain and heart intelligence, I find it there as well.

Barbara Marx Hubbard and her new book on Emergence and the Project of Shift – Earth Birth Day on Dec. 22, 2012, is heralding a call to attend to these matters of the heart and our life values to bring about an evolution of humankind that is not a distant theory, but one that is at hand in the moment.

I don’t know how this all works out, but I know we’ve got some things wrong here on Earth, and our current ways of being in politics, education, peace initiatives, and even religions are still too “grabby” and “mine-is-the-right-way” to be able to solve the problems of violence, poverty, and prejudice.

The Earth sits here as our mother, willing to offer us another solution — another way of being than how we are being at the moment.

So I’m willing to listen. For another thing they all seem to be saying is that IF we get quiet enough, if we can stop the non-stop brain chatter and ego-leader in us,  there is another voice awaiting to be heard. The Divine Voice.

And it comes from within us – every one of us — and if every ONE of us hears that voice, we are surely on our way to a new way of being.

There may be a few birth pains getting there.

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“Behold, I’m doing a new thing!” Somewhere in scripture, it says something like that. And there is a lot of newness in my life today, being born of surprise both in things I am doing and areas I am studying.

One of these new things I am doing is the Norwegian folk art of Rosemaling painting. I didn’t even know the word or what this form of art was until I very recently.

When a friend showed me her photo book of creative paintings, I saw a very familiar looking wooden plate with her painted design centered in it. I had an instant flashback to my childhood kitchen wall where something very similar hung for all the years I was in that home.

That’s when I learned this art form comes from Norwegian heritage. Yesterday was the first painting session I attended and Jan, my Norwegian  friend, is doing everything getting me set up to begin something that has already wrapped itself around my heart. She asked her husband to “turn” a plate for me, so I have my first project underway now with one sanding and a base background coat.

I am choosing to do her pattern that reminds me of my mom’s and now I want to find out from my brother if he knows where that plate is.  I now have some dedicated time scheduled on Tuesday mornings to meet with the experienced rolemaling women who have taken this little duckling under their wings. Next Tuesday can’t get here fast enough for me.

Besides the art itself, there is another side of this adventure that really excites me. I dedicated this year of 2012 in my intentions to: Gain more understanding of the Oneness of All — humanity, spirituality, the cosmos, the past, present and future — and my early leadings in this year seem to push me along in that direction. I truly think that’s how I got to rosemaling, an art tied to my heritage, that I believe I will continue and have speak to me from here on.

Here is the “oneness”, that were a lot of “coincidences” that I think brought me to this art at this time.

I have a good blog friend, Christine, in Australia, who creates and sells nature’s essences;  Last year I ordered two: Space Essence;(create space in your life, elemental balance, prana flow)…..I wanted it so I could make peace, adjust or change the space I was currently living in….within six months we were quickly and almost “lifted out” (it was that easy) of our cramped and uncomfortable space into a home space I am totally at-one with.

The second essence has an even bigger task to accomplish: it is Ancestor Peace, (making peace and achieving harmony in ancestral blood lines)…and that one is very actively “moving things around” for me with new understandings, and forgivings where necessary. It was working mostly on my Irish half,…..but now I see it on my Norwegian half as rosemaling comes into view.

How did I get to this experience? This friend, Jan, is in my Tuesday, Thursday, Poolates class; can’t talk much in that class as we’re working hard. So we spoke briefly in locker room conversations about life’s going’s on and she talked of her painting group a little, and I missed an art exhibit she invited me to.

About six month later, I had a gathering at my home and Jan was there and brought her art project book. Here is where I learned of the Norwegian background. Then further, I learned she knew about Eau Claire, Wisconsin (very Norwegian settled) which was my birth place.

THEN I learned she knew about Eau Claire because she graduated Luther Hospital Nursing School, where my birth mother also graduated and where my birth mother met my father suffering with a kidney stone. They met, fell in love and married.

But this is not the mom whose plate on the wall I remembered, for my birth mother died shortly after I was born and dad remarried (a Thompson Norwegian) two years later.  So now I have this art connecting me to both mothers and ancestors.

The place where I will be learning this craft is Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. Both my moms came from the Lutheran faith tradition, converting to Catholicism with dad. And Peace in my underlying all-covering life purpose.

Could I be more on center? I don’t think so.

Yesterday on facebook, my cousin reminded me of my aunt’s birthday (sister of my second mom) and how much she missed her. I do too, she was an important support to me in my growing up years. At the time of mom’s Alzheimers diagnosis though we had some rough times working things out because she didn’t want to let her sister go and couldn’t recognize the need.

I, on the other hand, did not handle the differences with grace, so a new space was created between us, that took years to repair and heal. I think we got that done, and I felt my love for her in a special way yesterday.

I probably won’t be able to give my first piece away, but I know I will make something (I’m thinking a mirror) for her daughter, in memory of her beautiful mother. That way she can be looking at herself and seeing her mom as well for her mom looks right back at me through her daugher’s face.

And I have one other cousin, my age, who I will send a rosemaling  art piece to because she is the one who connected together for me when I was in my twenties many of the missing pieces of my birth mother’s family and I will forever be grateful for that.

This seems like the breathing process to me, as far as ancestor peace goes. Maybe a natural one, maybe sometimes a bit forced, and other times feeling like I need more breath.  For an earlier part of my life it was like the outbreath expansion and pushing away a bit, getting out as my own, independent self and finding out who that is.

Now, I’m on the in-breath, drawing in, expanding my lungs to fill them fully with all that is a part of me, and loving that energy in my heart, then using this energy in a great, supportive way to live my life now — the daughter of many who “went before.”

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