Clarity Is Just Above Your Problems

I have a friend who recently moved to Missoula, Montana. The move coincided with an extremely challenging time in life for her, with many difficult and nagging unknowns.

Before the moved she lived near Houston, Texas. She is a lover of the sun and had been dreading the winters in Montana. Recently, she sent me two pictures, one from the outside of Missoula and one from the inside.

Here they are:

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As it turns out, her new city was submerged in an inversion, which can occur when warmer air is above the cold air sending a thick blanketing cloud cover down near the ground.

My friend felt stifled inside of the inversion, claustrophobic even. She said it felt like the sun was just a memory. But one of the foremost things I love about this friend is that she seeks to see the spiritual message in almost everything. And so, under this inversion, she wondered what life lesson, what spiritual message, what guidance she could receive from this new experience. I think the answers she found were beautiful, aware, and worth sharing. Here is some of what she wrote:

“No vision of what’s ahead or what’s been or what’s going to be. …And yet the sun and clear skies are right there. Just a couple miles above. … The Son is right there at the top of the mountain but in this layer of smog it’s difficult to decipher that God is so near. It feels as if hopelessness and sadness and depression is trapped inside this thin layer that won’t lift. … I mean, the Son/sun is everywhere but you can’t see it.”

“Clarity is just above your problems. Hope is there.”

I share this with you because I hope that you can also relate to what she’s experiencing. Not just the occasional dreariness and hopelessness of course, but also the remembering that the sun is always there. Hope is always there. No matter what your circumstances are, clouds lift, things change and new days come before.

I send a big THANK YOU to my friend, who is hanging in there and being always a positive influence in my life and in many others’ as well. Love you, ~~~A Wave~~~!!

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Folow us at www.facebook.com/lifeasawave!

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As Much As I Can Summon

“Whatever may be the tensions and the stresses of a particular day, there is always lurking close at hand the trailing beauty of forgotten joy or unremembered peace.” 
― Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart

This is going out to those of you who might be going through a challenging couple of days.

I know that there are those individuals in my own life with whom I share a connection that befuddles my understanding in terms of the synchronicities that we have in our spiritual journeys. The synchronicities make me believe a little more easily that perhaps the moon, the stars, God, the butterfly effect–whatever it might be might truly be causing a certain atmosphere to be manifest and that those of us who think we are just experiencing some really “bad days” might actually be riding a purposeful wave of cosmic and/or divine change that is beyond us.

Not that I know what to do with that. I just can entertain that possibility more…the alternative being more about random moods, inconsistent perspectives about very important things, and in the end not much purpose to it all. In the latter scenario I fear that, in the middle of a low time, I could wreak havoc on the beautiful things that are being built in my life like relationships and new healthy practices and the pursuit of dreams. In the former there is always the hope that the bigger purpose is GOOD and that if I persevere that good will prevail.

And so over the years it has given me gradually more and more comfort to think that perhaps I am not so alone in my low times, but am actually experiencing something that is being shared by many of us as we represent a larger “body.” It has also taught me to try and turn my attention away from myself during my low times if I can and to place my inner attention on others that might be going through something of similar spiritual character. 

On that note, I turn to any of you who have experienced something in the last few days like I have.  A confusing resurgence of old fears and negative mindsets. Less hope and more negativity. A feeling of disconnect. I’m thoroughly aware of the tangible circumstances that have caused this for me, but what is perplexing is the strength of these things and the seemingly insurmountable load of them.

That is why I look around from under the brick pile of all this negativity and peer to and fro to see if any of you are under your own pile right now too.

There’s a good chance that one of you is. So to you, I am here too! Get those bricks off if you can, but otherwise hang in there under your pile and remember that the bricks aren’t going to be there forever. They aren’t really you but are something that you are experiencing for some reason right now. Try to believe that..what you believe about your circumstances becomes your reality. There is goodness on your side and there is a “body” of which you are a part that couldn’t function without you.

I speak these things to you because I am unable to speak them to myself right now. Or I should say, I can’t “hear” them right now. But if we really are one then maybe I can share in your upliftment and perseverence.

That is as much positivity as I can summon right now and it is for you, whoever you are! Tomorrow is our new day!

~~~S Wave~~~

Keep Me Hanging On

Start by doing what’s necessary;
then do what’s possible;
and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

– St. Francis of Assisi

This week has been especially disturbing to me in terms of farmed animal welfare. Two new undercover videos were released from Mercy For Animals (MFA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

The first, from MFA, shows dairy farm workers at an Idaho farm sexually molesting dairy cows. You can read about it and/or watch the video here.

The second, from HSUS, chronicles a practice in a Kentucky pig breeding factory of feeding ground up body parts of piglets back to the mothers. These piglets apparently die from severe diarrhea, so that is in there too. You can read about it and/or watch the video here.

What?? (sigh)

Meanwhile, I was also reminded this week of the Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness which was signed in 2012 by a group of neuroscientists. It states that based many non-human animals have “neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors,” including all mammals and birds.

Interesting juxtaposition. We exploit and abuse animals. <—> They might be conscious like we are. Quite an implication for us.

Now I know that science competes with itself, so is the Declaration based on “sound” evidence? I don’t know.  But I know that it shows that there are people alive, now, who are discovering animal consciousness to be at the least a possibility.

Don’t you feel sometimes like your pets are self-aware or are connecting with you or other animals emotionally? Don’t you sense that they have true affection for their babies? That they fear? And love?

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Then why not a pig? Then why not a cow?

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It is hard for me to imagine any sound argument supporting our culture’s current treatment of our fellow creatures. Whether you base your reasons in the science, the spirituality, the indigenous traditions, or just the gut reaction you have to animals in pain, doesn’t something seem off? Doesn’t it seem like something should change for the good of our OWN species, let alone all the others? I’m not talking about “extreme” changes like a vegan world or animal rights being written into law…I’m pointing just to a basic respect for non-human animals. A humbling of ourselves to recognize the impact our choices have on them and to entertain the possibility that we, as a species, could treat them better.

I personally believe that our future survival really does depend on a change in consciousness. It requires an end of division and competition at the levels we suffer now and a new collaborative, cooperative civilization. Not just with each other, but with the Earth and its other inhabitants with whom we should be sharing this home. It is the hope of that civilization (brought about by necessity, compassion, and divine guidance) along with my own proactive efforts to propel change that keep me hanging on.

So hang on! To each pig crammed into a gestation crate, each elephant shackled in a concrete shed for our entertainment, each of you that feels like it’s too much to try and change….hang on. It might not be in my lifetime or yours, but I believe that things will change. Or, I should say, that they MUST.

In the meantime, go to those links, sign the petitions, get some more meat out of your diet, keep on improving your own choices to align with what you believe and FIND YOUR HOPE! There is always hope. Truly.

I think I might be a broken record when I’m writing about this. 🙂 And I’m guessing that I’m probably preaching to the choir. So be it. There’s too many reasons to keep writing.

Love to you all. The world needs you!

~~~S Wave~~~

12-12-12

UPDATE (12/12/12):

Since these last two posts that introduced my HERE I AM! plan, I have heard from a number of you telling me that you also will be writing your own list of intentions. I just want to say how honored I am to be included in this exciting and sacred journey that you are embarking on. Whether there are big changes ahead for you, small steps that you will take, or simply increased awareness about your life, I send you all my encouragement and love. I’m right there with you and look forward to hearing about your experience.

~~~S Wave~~~

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After writing about my HERE I AM list in yesterday’s post (don’t forget to read it!), I was left wondering when I should write my list. As soon as possible? January 1st? Midmonth? I left the questions to answer themselves. (A good thing to practice, by the way.)

And then a friend pointed out to me that tomorrow is 12/12/12. She said that she is planning on writing out her own HERE I AM! list of intentions tomorrow because it “feels like a strong spiritual day.” I couldn’t agree more! It was a lovely coincidence because my sister and I were planning on being together on the evening of 12/12/12 and after reading the post, she said she may feel inspired to write one as well. What a beautiful evening it will be then! And yet a third perk for choosing tomorrow: I will now  have an easily remembered date on which to rotate to a new intention. January 12th, February 12h, March 12th…and so on.

So that was decided. Tomorrow night, there will be a special little ceremony as we listen to our hearts, write our lists, and bless them with some words of kindness, gentleness and faith. Then begins the first month of

HERE I AM!

Out of curiosity, I did want to see if 12/12/12 had any special spiritual meaning. Oh, the things you can find on the internet! But instead of summarizing them here, I am instead going to tell you: make the day what YOU want it to be. Celebrate, pray, love, panic…..in the end, what you expect is probably to some extent what you are going to get. So choose wisely! I know I am.

Connectedness…on a dreary day

I’m not going to lie. I’m not always a happy person sitting around praying and contemplating love and life. A blog is where, for many of us, we want to just be ourselves. We want to be authentic to a circle of strangers who, through words and common ideas, have come to feel somehow like distant friends or respected colleagues. So although I’m tempted to strictly maintain an uplifting vibe on this site, even at the cost of authenticity, I also just want to be real. Some days are dreary! I’m not Amma or the Dalai Lama after all!

But thank goodness that it also takes some thought to put together a blogpost because trying to write about feeling down got me to thinking….maybe the darker days and the less hopeful moments are just as important as the positive days in respect to being interconnected. After all, isn’t the challenge to maintain some kind of elevated perspective even through those times? To believe in hope and a greater love when there seems to be no hope, especially in “love”?? (Sheesh, I’m sorry but doesn’t love just deserve sarcastic quotes sometimes??) To hold each other up when that is what’s needed and to be sensitive to the energy of others?

The other day I cried. Just a few years ago I used to cry A LOT. I used to be quite sad quite often. Not so much anymore, except that last Sunday there was a familiar dark cloud over me whose presence felt like an old frenemy. And since my grasp on hope and optimism was already slipping that day, I willingly (and I would say, weakly) invited that old friend to come on over and stay for a while. The familiarity of something destructive is sometimes more comforting than all the (mere) potential good that the unknown holds.

The downside to inviting gloom to hang out is that it isn’t a friend who knows when it has overstayed its welcome. Hence, here I am on Wednesday night still entertaining my guest. If I had to counter that with an upside, I guess it would be this: letting gloom settle in for a while is a great way to get a lot of tears out…which feels so good sometimes,  especially when it’s been a while.

So point is, on Sunday I was crying a lot. Not that anyone saw that. I was supposed to spend part of the day with my sister and 21 month-old niece, two of the most luminescent lights in my life. But I called to say that the day was rough and I needed to be alone.  I didn’t think being around my niece who is pure joy would be the best place for me to be…like I would “contaminate” her with my energy. So instead I went for a long hike (and cried), I went to a matinee (and cried), I gave extra attention to my two cats (and cried), I talked to a few close friends on the phone (and cried), I cleaned the house (and cried).

And then something amazing happened later in the day. My sister sent me a short video of my niece, who calls me Momo. She was just sending it to say hello, but my niece surprised us both. On the video, my sister asked my niece, “What’s Momo doing?” My niece didn’t give her typical response of “sleeping,” “playing,” or “home.” Instead, she paused, her face became worried and she said, “Cry.” When my sister, perplexed, asked, “She’s crying? Why is she crying?” my niece responded with, “Tears on it,” in the same worried tone.  Then, as my sister prompted her, my niece went on to tell me she loved me, missed me, and that I should feel better. At the end her two little hands flew into the air, her smile broke out and my sister exclaimed, “All better!”

In talking about the video later that day, my sister told me that she hadn’t said anything about crying to my niece. We have no way of explaining why she would say that. That has to be a living, breathing example of interconnectedness right there!  At least I’m going to believe it is. And believing in anything right now is not something for me to scoff at. My niece’s video has been more than enough to get me through these last few nights anyway…and I’m beginning to think that, in the end, that is part of the purpose of being connected at all.