It honestly is hard sometimes to not practically deify our spiritual teachers. You’re thinking “OMG you are so much wiser than me! What would I have done without you!?” This gifted, intelligent voice of reason in your times of frustration, depression or struggle. You feel like they’ve saved you from yourself… It’s a slippery slope from gratitude to worship when it comes to mentors and teachers. And when one person you admire calls out another of your teachers it can cause a serious emotional conflict. “But.. but they’re so brilliant. They’ve helped me so much in the past…” You don’t know which way to turn.
It’s okay to listen to both teachers because no one is write all the time. No one has all the answers.
Thus is the beauty of the human experience – that we all have our own history, our own wounds and our own perspective to teach from. Each of us has unique gifts and wisdom of our own to share, birthed in us by our wounds and grown in the fertile soul of self exploration.
You were not born for nothing. In you, in the terrific, singular way life has shaped you, there is a truth that is yours to tell. You may say: Not me. You may think: What I have done in this lifetime is to follow orders well. Not true. There is an undercurrent. You dream. You have something to say that we need to hear… Smash a hammer to the geode that is you. Shine a light on what is most beautiful, heartbreaking, and real for you in life and in your heart. Then let this vision be known, let us be made right, made whole, be dazzled by your truth. – Mackey Alston, documentary filmmaker
It is a sad thing that people think they’re boring. Because they don’t live exciting, adventurous, famous lives. But every soul has value. Every soul has a story. Every person has a gift that is unique to them. That thing that only they can do in the way they do it. You don’t have to be big and loud and cataclysmic or tragic. With a heartbreaking, painful story of adversity and survival. You have lived a life. You have experienced ups and downs, hurts and pains. Not every story has to be CNN-worthy to be valuable and meaningfull.
You must understand that you are the only you there will ever be. If you don’t create, express, speak your words and give your wisdom, no one will. No one else will ever have your voice or your words. No one else will ever have your eye for colour or your ear for music.
I know that I have felt more than once that there is something wrong or not good enough with my artwork or sewing. I’ve been told that I’m not doing it “right” but what does that mean? How can I be doing me wrong?? Because that’s all I’m doing. Being and expressing myself as authentically as possible.
That’s all any of us can do.
So just do you. Just promise yourself that you will be as authentic as possible. That you will look inside your heart with honesty and integrity and hold to your values when you create and when you make your choices. Express yourself in the only way you really can – in your way.
I’ll be honest. When I logged on tonight, it was with the intention of posting a rant to FB about a customer at my hotel job who upset me, but grace intervened. I got distracted by the little red notification icon on the top of the page and found this blog by Dr. Flanagan. I always enjoy his posts – filled with imperfection and grace and a fresh perspective that I dearly need (usually just when I need it). His post was about beauty. Not cosmetic beauty, but the kind that exists around us on a daily basis that maybe we miss.
How often do we find ourselves pounding through our day on rushed feet with angry strides and completely missing all of the beauty around us?
How often do you take the time to drink in the blue sky, the clouds, the flowers, the birds, the simple magic happening all around you?
I wonder how our moods would shift if we took the time to cultivate awareness of the beautifull things we ignore in our busy lives and maybe we could point out that beauty to someone else who maybe needs a little brightening.
What a shame to think that we trudge through our days, checking off to-do lists, running errands, but completely missing all the beauty of life going on around you. Why don’t we try, the next time we’re out, to cultivate awareness of life’s beauty going on around us. How about instead of filling our FB feeds with bitterness, rants and random offense-to-everything posts, we share photos of our gardens, our neighborhoods, that flowering bush by the post office, the deer hiding in the neighbor’s evergreens. Let’s cultivate beauty together and watch it flourish and grow!
This idea comes from Robert Ohotto – who I’ve mentioned more than once and is completely brilliant! He talks about needing to “land your plane”, meaning to take a break. What do you do to relax? To just take a breath and settle? Do you sink into the couch for a marathon of your favourite show or a great comedy? Some of my faves are “Community”, “Big Bang Theory”, “Modern Family” and “How I Met Your Mother” – tho it’s been a bit since I watched HIMYM due to unforeseen reality in my show. I also LOVE My Little Pony – the new Friendship is Magic version, which, yes I did try oh-so-hard to hate when it first came out but one episode in and I was like “okay fine you win it’s awesome and uplifting and so so much fun”. Do you hike or run or swim? Do you do yoga? Tai chi? Dance?
The point is that you have to have something to bring yourself in for a chill every once in a while. As Robert says “no one can fly forever”. At some point you have to land that plane or it’s going to run out of fuel and you’ll crash if you just try to force yourself to burn hot forever. Are you guilty of this? Do you push yourself for more and more productivity until you just crash into the ground? Does it manifest as an illness that hits you out of nowhere and you’re sleeping 10 hours a day, curled up in your blanket burrito and your exhausted body and spirit is just reveling in the comfort and rest?
You’ve got to find that thing you can land your plane with. That hobby or show or activity that lets you just un-think for awhile and relax. Not thinking about the next project or all the plates you’re spinning, your to-do list, your daily planner gods.
Besides watching comedies and My Little Pony, I also love working on simpler projects because I like taking the plane-landing time to just play instead of creating anything specific. That’s where a lot of my baby scrap dragons come from. Play time. They are mismatched and imperfect and adorable. That’s what I love about them.
So what is your thing? How do you land your plane?
Not only am I God’s love unfolding into life Always, but so are you.. and so is every other person. I’m trying to take this thought in for myself. I’m trying to feel this in my heart. This understanding that we are not separate from God, but part of God ourselves. That we are God and God is us. I can sense an opening in myself for this idea.. but I find the understanding that every other human being is also part of God harder to take in. Only because there are so many “bad” people in the world choosing to do bad things. Part of me understands the logic that God’s intention in creating me was no different than in creating them, so they must come from the same place that I do. They must also be part of God. I just need to find the space in myself to let that understanding in. Logic isn’t always very effective where the heart comes into play, let’s be honest.
Robert’s show today was about the archetypal message of the Crucifixion. “Can you meet others in this understanding that you are God’s love unfolding into life always, but so are they?” He asked. “If not, what do you need to sacrifice to get there?”
That is the part I’m still working on. As always, with Robert’s shows, this is something that I have to spend some time thinking about. Journalling about. Robert’s good for that – finding openings for new perspectives.
Carmel -by-the Sea has enchanting architecture. But the most enchanting to me are the fairytale cottages built by Hugh Comstock. Hugh’s wife, Mayotta, made and sold rag dolls that she named “Otsy -Totsys”. When her dolls outgrew their home , she asked Hugh to build her a Doll House to use for her sales and as a showroom. And so he built
In 1925, Hugh and Mayotta decided to build a second house on their parcel of land and named it
For more about Hansel click on the following links:
a kitchen full of laughter
listening to children tell stories
spinning around & around till you get dizzy
homemade cake with messy frosting
catching lightning bugs
shooting off fireworks in the backyard
the county fair
handmade birthday cards
looking at family photos with the youngins
your own uniqueness
getting to see each other again after a long separation
helping your big sister plan her wedding
being a bridesmaid in your sister’s wedding
the anticipation of the first date
…..then telling your grandkids about it
shopping with your sister for her wedding gown
….and being the one to pick it out
the Christmas dept. of the store
running into an old friend
really bad 80s music
cheesy 80s music
swimming with no one else around
hiking the hard trail
Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream
new clothes- even if they’re just “new to you”
stupid thong jokes
sidewalk chalking adventures
homemade Christmas ornaments
guardian angels with crooked halos
finding secret notes
way too big ice cream sundaes
messy birthday kids
West [by God] Virginia
walking barefoot in the creek
I randomly discovered this book years ago called “14,000 Things to be Happy About” and I fell in love. I was so inspired by the idea of listing all the wonder-full things that make you smile, that brighten your day, that recall happy little memories and special moments. I started keeping a list of my own. It’s been built in bursts, sometimes dumping bunches of ideas at once, sometimes just one or two.
Since a big part of my goal with my work is to spread more happyness into the world, I thought I would start sharing my list with you in a series of blog posts.
A lot (most) of the entries on my list have personal significance and might not make sense to anyone else, but I wanted to be authentic in my sharing, so I’ve copied the list as is from my notebook.
having to be patient against your will
taking things slowly
having your own place
letting my mind wander
little boy grins
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
little bitty drive-thru windows
finding out your ex is miserable
“that song” playing on the radio
the first kiss
discovering each other
falling in love
staying up too late
really bad movies
waking up every day
Irish and Scottish accents
all your family living nearby
nieces and nephews
the sun setting over the West Virginia mountains
the sun rising over the Pennsylvania hills
books about happy things
having a job
having a home
being able to “go home”
hugging someone who needs it
being hugged when you really need to cry
not having to play games
babies (especially when they sleep)
freedom of religion
being an American
driving to Canada for the weekend
freedom to make big mistakes
bands with weird names
having parents that you can actually talk to
being who you are
being “out of the closet”
lounge lizard retro funky style
beauty without make-up
having a “glow in your aura”
sharing a wavelength
“Believe” by Cher
having “enough issues for a subscription”
giant teddy bears
believing in faeries, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny
magick in the ordinary
stones tumbled by nature
rabid fanboys and girls
developing that roll of film you found in your bag
scissors with funny edges
being “too Broadway”
dad telling his stories over and over
baking Christmas cookies
a kitchen-full of kids frosting cookies
…. and the morning after
talking llama movies