this…is who we are

While enjoying my inspirational email messages, I came across a quote in one that was simple, yet beautiful and easy to understand…by anyone. What I also realized after I reflected on the truth in the metaphor, I realized that there are many who walk among us today, whose beliefs would prevent them from seeing the beauty in this piece.

“Everything is a facet of the one thing. Think in terms of white light shining through a prism to reveal the full spectrum of color perceivable by the human eye: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Each of these colors is part of the original whole and cannot be separated from it—turn off the light source and the colors disappear. Now apply this metaphor to the world around and within you. Everything you see, think, feel, and imagine is part of and never apart from the same Source. We call this Source by such names as God, Reality, Brahman, Allah, One, Krishna, the Absolute, and the Nondual. The list of names is long; the reality to which they all point is the same.”
— Rabbi Rami Shapiro

This is who we are…really. Whether we believe it or not, this metaphor offers us an existential, natural truth.

It’s worth noting that this quote was included in a lovely daily meditation post from Fr. Richard Rohr (a Franciscan priest).

If only more of us could see the inherent and profound beauty in our vast diversity.

Visible Light View of Lagoon Nebula
downloaded from hubblesite.org; 8/1/18

 

 

*Quote from: Rami Shapiro, Perennial Wisdom for the Spiritually Independent: Sacred Teachings—Annotated & Explained (Skylight Paths Publishing: 2013)

who are we?

The human heart is the first home of democracy. It is where we embrace our questions. Can we be equitable? Can we be generous? Can we listen with our whole beings, not just our minds, and offer our attention rather than our opinions? 

 – Terry Tempest Williams

As I observe our world and reflect upon events of the last year, in particular, I continue to ask myself what I hope we are all asking ourselves — this essential question: who are we?

This year has been an interesting one to observe. As the anniversary of the horrible events in Charlottesville inches closer, I keep coming back to the essential question. As I see what is happening to so many people here in the US and abroad at the direction of our government, I am reminded of a few things.

One; we can’t know everything about all that is happening. I wish we could and I know it’s not possible. Two; human rights, the condition of the planet and many other issues which need attention are taking a big hit, while more and more money continues to accrue to the most wealthy at the expense of these. Yes, I know this isn’t news to all of you. And three; until we heal ourselves of the wounds that we carry so deeply and which cause us to react angrily and to project shame and blame onto others; the broader peace, grounded in love and acceptance of others will elude us collectively. It begins with each of us. We must ask ourselves the questions offered in the quote above from Terry Tempest Williams.

When we forget that politics is about weaving a fabric of compassion and justice on which everyone can depend, the first to suffer are the most vulnerable among us—our children, our elderly, our mentally ill, our poor, and our homeless. As they suffer, so does the integrity of our democracy.

 – Parker Palmer

 

Not sure what you have to heal?

Start with that judgmental thought, those harsh words for someone who looks different, or dresses in a way you don’t approve of. This is an old and ingrained habit in our society. It is an effective way for us to keep ourselves separated from others. Somehow, we believe we are safe there. The late Wayne Dyer once said something that really helped me check myself on the habit of judgmental thoughts or words. He said adding, “and I am that, too,” at the end of a judgmental thought or words about another, can wake us up to what we need to see and heal within. It is true. Try it the next time you feel that negative, judgmental thought or those negative, ugly words about another, beginning to rise. Then try it again. And do it again the next time. It works, if you commit to it. You will become a more powerful observer of all of life, when you can lift yourself from the negativity of judgments.

We can do this. We really can. One step, one word, one thought at a time.

Namaste.

 

 

 

the color purple

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.

 – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The color purple is my favorite color.

It is also the title of a book, a movie and a Broadway play. The book, written by Alice Walker and originally published in 1982, was a Pulitzer Prize winner in the category of Fiction. A few actor’s careers were enhanced or launched as a result, as well. I studied the book in an English class in the early 1980s. I read the book and saw the movie as required and was challenged in many ways for which I was and still am deeply grateful.

It is also the color that is created when two colors are mixed together in equal amounts – red and blue.

This color has been given many meanings – from spirituality, royalty and nobility, creativity and wisdom to wealth, extravagance, dignity and peace, among many others.

As I continue to observe the goings on in my country (the United States and I use the term “united” only as a proper noun – a name; at present we are not living into that name at all) I am saddened by so many things that simply do not align with what I have come to know that democracy is.

We have forgotten our humanity. There is little comfort for me in the knowledge that there are many countries in our world and on our planet facing similar, if not identical, challenges, too.

I thought it was worth a few moments to research the meanings of the colors which, when mixed, created the beautiful and spiritual color, purple. Below I offer some of what I found in my quick research about the meanings assigned to each color. I invite your thoughtful consideration and reflection.

~~~~~

Red Color Meaning – The color of passion and drama. This color attracts the most attention and is associated with strong emotions such as love and anger. Red is the color used universally to signify danger, courage, strength, and power. Red is stimulating, vibrant and exciting. Red inspires desire with a strong link to sexuality and increased appetites. In Chinese culture red represents luck and prosperity.  Use red when you want to get pulses racing and to inspire action.  However, use carefully as red can evoke feelings of aggression and cause visual strain. Lovers of red are passionate with an enthusiasm for life.

Blue Color Meaning– The color of trust. Blue, the shade of the sea and the sky, is thought to induce calm and convey tranquillity, serenity and peace. The popular color instills confidence and inspires feelings of trust, loyalty, integrity and responsibility.  Cool blue is conservative and can also be perceived as aloof. Blue tends to suppress the appetite – there are not many foods associated with blue in nature.

Violet Color Meaning – The color of spirituality. The energy of red with the calm of blue combine to create violet, a color that inspires reflection and self-awareness. It is the color of the sensitive, compassionate intuitive soul – the introvert. Also, violet has long been associated with royalty, and characteristics of quality and luxury. Overuse of violet can invoke irritability and arrogance.

Copied from the website, Graf1x.com; “Color Meaning and Psychology of Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Pink and Violet colors.” Retrieved 7.10.18.

~~~~~

I also found similar and additional information on another website:

Red

Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love.

Red is a very emotionally intense color. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure. It has very high visibility, which is why stop signs, stop lights, and fire equipment are usually painted red. In heraldry, red is used to indicate courage. It is a color found in many national flags.

Red brings text and images to the foreground. Use it as an accent color to stimulate people to make quick decisions; it is a perfect color for ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Click Here’ buttons on Internet banners and websites. In advertising, red is often used to evoke erotic feelings (red lips, red nails, red-light districts, ‘Lady in Red’, etc). Red is widely used to indicate danger (high voltage signs, traffic lights). This color is also commonly associated with energy, so you can use it when promoting energy drinks, games, cars, items related to sports and high physical activity.

Blue

Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.

Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. Blue is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness. In heraldry, blue is used to symbolize piety and sincerity.

You can use blue to promote products and services related to cleanliness (water purification filters, cleaning liquids, vodka), air and sky (airlines, airports, air conditioners), water and sea (sea voyages, mineral water). As opposed to emotionally warm colors like red, orange, and yellow; blue is linked to consciousness and intellect. Use blue to suggest precision when promoting high-tech products.

Purple

Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. It conveys wealth and extravagance. Purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic.

According to surveys, almost 75 percent of pre-adolescent children prefer purple to all other colors. Purple is a very rare color in nature; some people consider it to be artificial.

Excerpted from color-wheel-pro.com; Retrieved 7.10.18.

~~~~~

All of this leaves me where I have been for some time. If blue and red, mixed in equal parts, create the beautiful and rich color, purple; what is possible if we begin to mix ourselves outside of our self-identified groups and begin to explore what we might create together – if we listen, suspend judgment, respect the perspectives of others whose views may not align with ours. What is possible?

Red + Blue = Purple.

We can do this. If and only if, we choose to.

Got crayons or colored pencils? If so, get red and blue out and try it and see what you get. If you don’t have crayons or colored pencils, maybe it’s time to go get some…and while you’re at it, get yourself a coloring book.

 

I kind of view everybody like a rainbow. Everybody on the planet has all the colors of the rainbow inside.

 – Alexia Fast

With gratitude to Loco’s Photos for this and so many beautiful images used on this website, with permission. For more information, see the Images link on this website, or visit Loco’s Photos on Facebook or Flickr.com.

love, unity, collaboration…and competition

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. 

 – Chief Seattle

This is one of those quotes that so deeply resonates, reading it always makes me pause to have another look at where we are collectively, as seen through my eyes, perspectives and beliefs. We all do it. In fact, we probably need to pause and reflect more often.

Today, this quote reminded me of my experiences of a recent Saturday.

While enjoying my early morning cup of coffee, I remembered the Royal Wedding was being televised here, and early! While watching the ceremony and all that unfolded after the ceremony with the carriage ride, three words seemed to float in and out of my head (and my heart)…Love, Unity, Collaboration. If you saw it for yourself, rather than reading all of the commentary in the days following the event, you saw it through your own eyes, perspectives and beliefs.

Later that evening, I happened upon the Preakness. Watching bits and pieces of it, and reflecting upon races of the past, I started to see something that I hadn’t seen the same way before. Competition. Looking at all of those beautiful animals, no longer running free and trained to run hard and fast, I couldn’t help but look at it all from the widest view possible. Many people are or become wealthy in the horse racing industry. What happens to the horses? At what cost….being first, richer or above it all?

The bookends of that day captivated me.

For your thoughtful consideration, I offer the following.

 

From Dictionary.com:

competition

[kom-pi-tishuh n]

noun

1. the act of competing; rivalry for supremacy, a prize, etc.:
2. a contest for some prize, honor, or advantage:
3. the rivalry offered by a competitor:

 

There are many aspects of our lives on this planet which are replete with competition – in one form or another. Some of it is easy to see. Some of it is not so visible…and yet, it underpins so much of our day-to-day experience. It’s not for me to identify all of the ways we as humans are competitive or to offer my observations about any of it. I’ve brought this here your consideration, reflection and comment, dear readers. We each see the world, our experiences in it and what we observe of others, through our eyes (sometimes our ears), perspectives and beliefs.

So…what do you think?

About Love, Unity and Collaboration?

About Competition?

How do YOU see these?

 

 

anger, rage and healing

I really believe that all of us have a lot of darkness in our souls. Anger, rage, fear, sadness. I don’t think that’s only reserved for people who have horrible upbringings. I think it really exists and is part of the human condition. I think in the course of your life you figure out ways to deal with that.

 – Kevin Bacon

In the course of our lives, we hope that we figure out ways to deal with the “anger, rage, fear, sadness” that we all feel.

I have written previously about grief. In some ways, I feel as if some of our fear, anger, and rage is rooted in the sadness of the unfelt, inexperienced grief. It is also worth mentioning here, that anger and rage also have connections to, if not deeper roots, in fear.

Many of us were taught to be “good”; to behave, to not say a “cross word” or to “keep our thoughts to ourselves.” When we are not in nurturing environments, where we are invited to talk about our feelings – whatever they may be – we generally put them away. We essentially bury them. We sure don’t believe rage is good….or that we are capable of feeling anything as intense and ugly in its display as that. Right?

Did you know that these buried feelings leak out? Did you know they find their way to the surface of our experiences – to the light of day, through the words we speak, the sharp judgment of others or the actions we take? Oh, how we wish they would remain buried…deeply buried in the dark recesses of the past. No one wants to dredge up all that stuff, right?

 

It would be impossible to estimate how much time and energy we invest in trying to fix, change and deny our emotions – especially the ones that shake us at our very core, like hurt, jealousy, loneliness, shame, rage and grief.

 – Debbie Ford

There are many ways in which the unexpressed, the unfelt or unspoken feelings manifest within. Depression. Chronic headaches. Hives or other breakouts. Stomach ulcers. Excessive weight gain.

How do we unleash this dark monster that lies so deep within us? How do we acknowledge all of these feelings, express all of this anger and process all of our grief?

There are so many ways to do the extremely important work of healing ourselves. And for each individual, what will ultimately facilitate the effective and successful reclaiming of oneself, is different. It’s also important to remember that it is a process, and not a one time fix.

Meditating, guided meditations, extensive journaling, screaming into pillows, beating our fists into pillows, talk therapy, crying all of those tears which have been held back for so very long, and the list goes on. There are many ways to embark upon this path. Taking responsibility for our healing is one of the greatest gifts we give ourselves…and others. When the breakthrough begins, we may notice that we have found more energy. We may find a part of ourselves that we didn’t even know we were missing. We find that compassion toward and acceptance of others where THEY are is so much easier.

How does one know if she has forgiven? You tend to feel sorrow over the circumstance instead of rage, you tend to feel sorry for the person rather than angry with him. You tend to have nothing left to say about it all.

 – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

This is the work of our lives. May you be blessed as you take those first sacred steps into the beauty that the darkness will unveil.

Love is always a heartbeat away…literally.

Breathe.

standing

A sign caught my eye this morning. I saw these words, “standing against…” and I do not recall what followed. I was so surprised to see “standing against” that the rest of it got by me. I started to reflect on what “standing for” or “standing against” might really mean to so many people, especially at this time in our collective history.

Somewhere in my past, I recall someone saying, “if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.” Hmmm. I thought at the time. It made perfect sense to me, as I was pretty sure what I stood for. I felt I knew what was right and what was wrong, at the time.

Back to the subject at hand, here. Standing for something seems to feel more empowering. It’s as if we are summoned by love to stand for someone, some thing, some belief, some feeling. Standing against something might also feel empowering. It’s as if it is summoned from a place of fear and anger; as if to say, “I’m not going to take it anymore!”

I am reminded of the word resistance as I continue to ponder these in the context of what is happening in our world. In many places, resistance seems to be on the minds of many and is acted upon related to specific subject matter or topic. In fact, resistance has been used as a rallying cry by many to engage, incite or otherwise encourage others to rise up “against” something.

Perhaps the words of Thomas Jefferson serve as a call to embolden many and explain the rise of resistance:

When injustice becomes law, resistance become duty.

 – Thomas Jefferson

There are many who feel that they are standing UP when they stand against and resist what they perceive is being foisted upon them.

 

And then, these words call to a different way of being regarding resistance, force and fear.

. . . gentleness is stronger than severity, water is stronger than rock, love is stronger than force.

 – Hermann Hesse

There are many who feel that standing for something is standing UP, as well.

 

 

Is it best to stand for or stand against?

I leave that to you to decide for yourself.

Can we change a negative (resist) narrative to a positive (peace) one, perhaps by simply looking at an issue from a different angle?

“It is not for me to judge another man’s life. I must judge, I must choose, I must spurn, purely for myself. For myself, alone.”
– Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

 

With gratitude to Loco’s Photos for consent to use these beautiful photographs.

on being…in between

In the last few days, I have been in conversation with several friends who, like me, are in a space in time that seems to defy a definitive word or phrase to describe it.

Many of us seem to be in a transition of sorts. Leaving what has been and not able to see what is ahead, we feel…well…even that is hard to define!

Perhaps we are meeting places in our bodies which heretofore had been quiet. Maybe we were very physically active. Maybe we suffered great losses of many different kinds which were never fully seen, embraced and grieved. And now these unexpressed, unfelt hurts and painful places are calling to us from deep within our bodies.

We are single, married, divorced, never married, had children, didn’t have children, raised siblings, nieces or nephews, cared for family members for many years. If we have children, perhaps they are preparing to leave the nest, or have married and had children of their own. Perhaps we have recently retired. Maybe we retired, started a second career and are ready to walk away from it…but to what?

Maybe we have ALWAYS been busy, active, making choices without giving full consideration to the consequences and now we are simply unsure of how to “undo” or “unwind” a particular web we have woven which rather than supporting us is now holding us down or back.

Maybe we were busy with baseball games, soccer games, extremely demanding full-time jobs and were somewhat oblivious to what was going on in the world outside of our families, our communities, our routines, our jobs.

Perhaps we are restless and cannot get comfortable with sitting quietly, doing nothing. Maybe we over-caffeinate so that we don’t have to slow down. We are impatient…with this process, this part of our life.

We are close enough to see clearly, a past filled with so much activity, and far enough away from a future that has no definition, no structure and no form.

We find pictures, cards from well wishers, messages we received or sent and we wonder where that person is.

Today…

– we see children standing up for their rights to be safe..and we wonder.

– we see so many things changing in the world around us…and we wonder.

The weight of this life – our life…feels heavy.

What is happening? What have we missed? What are we supposed to DO…

NOW?

Grief is perhaps an unknown territory for you. You might feel both helpless and hopeless without a sense of a ‘map’ for the journey. Confusion is the hallmark of a transition. To rebuild both your inner and outer world is a major project.

 – Anne Grant

We are in between. We may be grieving and we don’t even know it. Grieving what has been and can no longer be, we are afraid of what may await us. Grieving the loss of family, friends, places that we loved or enjoyed, a body that was flexible, supple and moved with such ease; we are tired, scared and unsure.

Our world is not soft for, with or on behalf of us when it comes to the delicate process of grieving. Rather, we are not even gently coaxed…we are often told to “get over it”, whatever “it” may be. So we unconsciously bury what hurts, stand up and start running while “it” is still in there…waiting for us.

We are certainly not taught that our grief may be deep…containing unfamiliar feelings of painful resonance…that we have no idea of how to hold, and what to believe about anything.

The only way out is through.

And just how exactly, do we get out? By going through…what?

Grief and love are sisters, woven together from the beginning. Their kinship reminds us that there is no love that does not contain loss and no loss that is not a reminder of the love we carry for what we once held close.

 – Francis Weller

Acknowledge.

There are so many ways to unearth that which is buried…and now IS the time.

Acknowledge.

Write. Journal. Inquire within.

Acknowledge.

Sit quietly. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply.

Acknowledge.

Walk slowly, thoughtfully, intentionally. Find a labyrinth. Walk.

Acknowledge.

Read or re-read a book which is not a distraction (fiction). Rather, find a book which contains a journey, a process, a way of working through what is buried (non-fiction).

Acknowledge…YOU.

You are worthy. You have lived well. You have given. You have taught many – by the very example of your being – how to be a good person; to love, to lose; to be grateful; to smile; to uplift.

You are life. You are love. You are grace.

It may feel like you are here right now…

Foggy trees. By Loco’s Photos

Sitting in the fire of our discomfort, our discontent, our concern about what lies ahead…the way forward will become clearer. And soon you will feel like you are here:

Morning sun peeks through the trees. By Loco’s Photos

 

Sending love and peace to all.

 

Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.
It matters that you don’t just give up.

– Stephen Hawking

 

For more on grief, see my previous posts on “the gifts of grief” and “grief and the power of healing” , the latter of which includes references to several books on grief and healing.

who or what do you think you know?

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

– Socrates

Do you know me? Do I know you?

The answer is No.

You might think you know me. I may even think I know you. We really know nothing about each other.

We may believe that we know everything about our loved ones – our partners, children, siblings, parents – and others with whom we have spent a lot of time during any part of our lives. Today, we have the added mixed blessing that is social media. We see what others post and believe that we know who they are through what we observe.

We know nothing about who they really are.

Because we spend a lot of time with different people, including colleagues, we may believe we know what to expect from them as a result of multiple experiences over a period of years. We all have habits. We all may have routines that rarely change. These are observable. Do we think we know them?

Even then, we often know nothing about who they are.

What are we missing?

This piece, written for The Atlantic, by Adam Grant  entitled, People Don’t Actually Know Themselves Very Well points out just how well our colleagues know us, in many ways, better than we know ourselves…about some things.

Maybe we have forgotten that each of us has an inner life that influences who we are and affects what we may observe others and impacts our experiences of them. Some people are conscious and others are not conscious or familiar with a deep, inner life – themselves as a soul and human. Those who are unconscious and unaware of the deep sadness, anger or grief they are carrying tend to see other people, through the filters of those aspects of themselves which may be unknown to them.

We observe others through the filters of our past experiences of them, their habits, and perhaps more importantly, the parts of ourselves that we are not familiar with – those unconscious places that harbor our deepest and most painful buried memories.

Do we really know anyone? I still believe the answer is No.

Do we really even know ourselves?

Consider this:

What do you see? (What is the first thing that pops into your head when you look at this picture?)

 

What do you think you see? (What does your mind tell you that you are really looking at?)

 

Is what you first saw the same thing that you thought you saw, after your mind got involved in the process of observing?

 

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.

 – Aristotle

 

 

things I’ve noticed

The last couple of weeks have certainly been filled with many tragedies and triumphs, as is more and more the case in our current milieu. When I find myself wandering into the darker places of despair, hopelessness, with sprinkles of “giving up”, I remind myself to widen the lens on the view I am taking of all of it. By taking a moment to look at the bigger picture – the one within which all of this is occurring – I reclaim my inner peace and acceptance of what is unfolding. I remember that I am responsible for doing what I can do – right here, right now. Consciously choosing to maintain perspective is one of my contributions to the shift that is underway.

Here are some things I have noticed.

  • The name of the high school where the most recent mass shooting of innocents took place is Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The sign on the grounds of the school show its name as “Stoneman Douglas”. The letters on their baseball case, as worn by major league baseball players last week in their first Spring training game of the season, were “SD”.  Although many media outlets are properly referring to the school by its full name, it is apparent that the school system does not. Stoneman Douglas by itself removes immediate attribution to the very powerful woman for who it is named.
  • Our societal penchant for shaming and blaming is on display nearly every day, somewhere, in some situation where unexpected and tragic or difficult events take place.
  • A focus on mental illness seems to be a rallying cry by many who seem to believe the reasons for mass killings is mental illness…not the guns. Sad truth is that it is both.

And here is what I feel is at the core of the above:

  • The patriarchy has been at work in subtle and not so subtle ways for many, many years. Taking away or changing names is a dehumanizing practice which has been in place for many tragic chapters in the history of human experience. From the victims of the Nazi’s to the Native Americans and slaves, this has been done over and over again. So removing the first name of the woman for whom the school is named, and choosing to use the names which are masculine seems yet one more example of this dehumanizing or, perhaps in this case, removing the feminine (and powerful) reference, changes something.
  • Brene Brown said, following the August 12, 2017 white supremacy rally which resulted in the death of one protestor in Charlottesville, Virginia, that “We use shame when accountability isn’t working.” I believe that we use shame to distract from taking responsibility for our beliefs and resulting actions – whether in speaking, arguing or not listening to others who may see things from a different perspective than we do.
  • Mental illness seems to be the scapegoat of many a blaming individual or group for what is deemed by them to be “wrong” in any given tragedy or situation which doesn’t have the outcome they believe is the “right” one. Yet, if we take the even broader view of mental illness while considering what may be at the deepest roots of this tragic epidemic in our society, we will see a group of people who will not rest until the middle class in the US is gone, their health benefits completely inaccessible, while costs of living survival continue to skyrocket. And we wonder why we are where we are.

 

I have faith. Our world is changing and people  and even some governments are waking up in many places on our planet. I feel it.

The young people in this country, led by those who most recently were witness to the tragic loss of friends and yet one more layer of their innocence, have courageously stepped up to channel their sadness and grief into a powerful effort to be heard. They are not going away.

And…

More importantly, they will be eligible to vote in the next Presidential election in 2020.

Finally, I am reaching back once more to Brene Brown’s perspective following the events in Charlottesville last August, for inspiration and hope for our future. She reminded us of these:

  • Privilege is NOT how hard you work.
  • Perspective taking through the lenses of age, race, etc. is essential to coming together – listening and beginning to understand.
  • Power is infinite; “power to” and “power with” will move us forward, “Power over” is seeing its last stand.

She reminds us, “…the stories we own, we get to write the ending. If we don’t own our story, it owns us.” I feel this is true for us as individuals and, by definition, as a collective of humans on this planet.

I leave you with a quote from the late Stephen Covey, from his wonderful book, 7 Habits of Highly Successful People; Habit number 5:

Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

What a wonderful world it would be…if we all practiced this habit.

we are the roots of the banyan tree

Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.

 – E. Y. Harburg

Every single day, it seems, our nation is plunging into a deeper and deeper darkness which seeks to honor no one. Legalizing mistreatment of anyone who is non-white, lost lives of innocents at the hands of mad men with weapons of war, arrogant leaders believing that the US brand of democracy is the only answer for peace, while it stirs the pot of war elsewhere, and it just goes on and on.

It’s enough to plunge one into a deep depression.

Were it not for my beliefs that these happenings are no more than the desperate grip of the patriarchy, holding on to its money and perceived power for as long as it can, and that the shift to peace is happening within many of us and in parts of the world we will never hear about, I might very well lose my mind. This being human…ugh. Sometimes.

I remind myself that I have my heart. I will be guided by my heart. I will love people where they are…even if it is not where I choose to be.

When I find myself in theses dark places, I seek meaningful, deep, heart-resonant music. Tina Malia is one of my “go to” artists. Whether she is singing beautiful mantras or songs she has written, she offers soothing music for a sometimes weary heart.

I heard this one earlier today, as I was driving home from an acupuncture treatment.

The Silent Awakening

The lyrics are easy to discern as you listen, and are powerful to consider. This part of the song really called to me.

We are only a dream of a dream

This world is not what it seems

We are the wind

That carries the seeds

We are the roots of the banyan tree

 

We are love offered on the wing

That stretches across eternity

We are a chord in

Life’s symphony

We are the silent

Awakening

Although I knew about banyan trees, it has been a long time since I had seen a picture of one and experienced the beauty of the metaphor in Tina’s song. Indeed, as we continue to awaken, we may well see ourselves as the roots of the banyan tree. This link provides ten things for you to  know about the banyan tree.

Together we are amazing. We can rise up and lift others with us. Our individual contributions together affect the entire tree.

Namaste.

“the voice of beauty speaks softly; it creeps only into the most fully awakened souls”
― Friedrich Nietzsche