Tuesday, February 23, 2010

angel with moose wings

Spiritual resource to share: self-forgiveness and expectation of good

Two evenings ago, I took my dog, Mocha, out to a remote area where we could hike a wide expanse of lake. The ice on the lake had been frozen over for months and gave us an open vista to run and jump through drifts while watching the sun set.

I parked the car easily and Mocha and I were soon out of the car and onto our hike. But when returning, I realized there was an ever so slight slope to my parking space. But that was enough to keep me from backing up onto the icy dirt road and head on home. After thirty minutes of trying to get out, I was stuck.

I realized I didn't have my cellphone.
I realized that we had earlier emptied the car out of all emergency equipment
I realized that it was getting dark and this was pretty remote.
I realized I needed to pray.

My first thought was to berate myself for not having checked before I left to see that I had what I needed in case of an emergency. I drive in remote areas so often and it is almost second nature to have with me these emergency things. I needed to forgive myself - immediately. I didn't have time to dwell in self-condemnation and fearful speculation. It was getting dark fast.

Mocha and I walked out a half mile to a paved road. Far down the road, I could see headlights of a car. I waved earnestly with both arms. It went right past me.
Sure, I thought, who is going to want to pick up a stranger with a Rottweiler at night? Right on the wings of that thought came another. I had a choice. I turned down the ideas that I could be abandoned or that we would have a long, cold lonely 10 mile walk home.
I started listening to angels - "God's thoughts passing to man" - that assured me that God is right with me. God cares for each of His children. This is a law of Love operating right now on our behalf -- and on behalf of any of God's children that happen to pass by this way!

Another set of headlights. Another car passed by, but then stopped, went into reverse and stopped again in front of me.

As the driver of this 4x4 pick up truck with a trailer hitch rolled down his window, I explained my situation and asked if he had a phone I could use. He volunteered to take me to my car and help pull me out. Mocha and I jumped in the back of the pick up and into a wide all-embracing set of wing-like antlers of a moose. We negotiated space with the antlers and then took off to find our car.

What was lovely about this experience was the man - he was kind, understanding and concerned for my safety. After he easily pulled my car out onto the dirt road, he followed me to be sure that I could get to the paved road with no problem. The fullness of God's care for each of His children was shown through this man's unselfishness and kindness. This was God's angel message in a fully equipped pick-up truck.

After many heartfelt thanks, we parted on the paved road and Mocha and I were safely on our way home.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Natación con pirañas/swimming with piranhas

Spiritual resource to share: love of adventure

Recurso espiritual de compartir: amor de aventura

Presented first in Spanish, followed by a translation in English

Presentado primero en español, seguido de una traducción en inglés

(Por favor véase abajo para más información/See below for more information)

Este articulo (abajo), escrito en 1974 por Alex Noble y publicado en El Monitor de Christian Science, ha sido un pilar inspirador - lo saco siempre que yo esté listo a emprender algo nuevo y desconocido. ¡Disfrute!

Pasos avanzados

Encuentro que el riesgo hacia objetivos expansivos y loables es esencial. Mientras el riesgo es fácil para hablar de, no es tan fácil practicar. Cuando tomo un riesgo, ampliándome en una nueva dirección, parece a salir en un lago congelado. La invitación de miradas superficial, ábrase y seguro. Pero hay siempre la posibilidad que el hielo rajará - la posibilidad de fracaso, de poner en ridículo de mí. Siempre que yo tome un riesgo - hacia el desarrollo de una nueva habilidad, hacia una amistad nueva y desafiante - casi siempre tengo dudas profundas en cuanto a la sabiduría de mi curso.

Verdadero a cada paso de la nueva experiencia cuando esto no se abre antes de mí, avanzo, sostenido sólo por un sentido interior de aseguramiento y necesidad, aunque el paisaje circundante pueda parecer incierto y hasta peligroso.

En cualquier situación de riesgo, trato de mantener que una buena voluntad de dejar va de cosas que no calculan de un modo natural y espontáneo. Debe haber libertad, flujo y crecimiento. Pero un nuevo talento o habilidad, un nuevo amigo, una perspectiva fresca en mi vida - éstos bien valen el examen de conciencia lo que arriesga por lo general provoca.

Jean Cocteau ha dicho, "un artista debería averiguar lo que él hace todo lo posible, y luego hacer algo más. ¿" Qué debe adelantar allí si me quedo la caja fuerte y caliente dentro de los límites de una orden cómoda, establecida? ¿Por otra parte, qué puedo posiblemente perder encarando el nuevo, el desconocido, dónde asombroso, las cosas vigorizadoras, que abren horizonte, y hacer, pueden pasar? En la toma de riesgos, a menudo me hago esta pregunta: ¿"es hecho algo de un impulso de mi truest mí un error, sin tener en cuenta qué podría pasar?"


This piece, written in 1974 by Alex Noble and published in The Christian Science Monitor, has been an inspirational mainstay - I pull it out whenever I am ready to embark on something new and unknown. Enjoy!

Stepping forward

I find that risk toward expansive and creditable goals is essential. While risk is easy to talk about, it is not so easy to practice. When I take a risk, extending myself in a new direction, it is like stepping out onto a frozen lake. The surface looks inviting, open and secure. But there is always the possibility that the ice will crack - the possibility of failure, of making a fool of myself. Whenever I take a risk - toward developing a new skill, toward a new and challenging friendship - I almost always have deep misgivings as to the wisdom of my course. True to each step of the new experience as it opens up before me, I move forward, sustained only by an inner sense of assurance and necessity, even though the surrounding landscape may appear uncertain and even dangerous.

In any risk situation, I try to maintain a willingness to let go of things that are not working out in a natural and spontaneous way. There must be freedom, flow and growth. But a new talent or skill, a new friend, a fresh perspective on my life - these are well worth the soul-searching that risk usually provokes.

Jean Cocteau has said, "An artist should find out what he does best, and then do something else." What is there to gain if I stay safe and warm within the confines of a comfortable, established order? On the other hand, what can I possibly lose by confronting the new, the unknown, where amazing, invigorating, horizon-opening things can, and do, happen? In taking risks, I often ask myself this question: "Is anything done from an impulse of my truest self a mistake, regardless of what might happen?"

Después de bajar por 800 pasos a una cascada hermosa en Costa Rica, nos dijeron que los peces en los fondos estuvieron relacionados con pirañas - sin embargo, esto era una relación distante y estos peces eran vegetarianos!

After climbing down 800 steps to a beautiful waterfall in the cloud forests of Costa Rica, we were told that the fish in the surrounding pools were related to piranhas - however the relation was quite distant and these fish were vegetarian!

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

the light that keeps shining

Spiritual resource to share: comfort

Days after the thrill of a surprising victory at a recent competition my son was in, we heard the tragic news. One of his schoolmates passed on after a short illness. This had us all running for comfort, trying to find ways to make sense of this.

Comfort is a gift. And, like a gift, it has to be accepted. This may be hard after shocking news, but after the anger and questions calm down, we can reach out for and receive comfort.

There is a song about comfort:

Like as a mother, God comforteth Her children,
comfort is calm, that bids all tumult cease.
Comfort is hope and courage for endeavor,
comfort is love, whose home abides in peace.*

Comfort as calm, as hope, as courage, as love. This is a gift for each of us. This is a gift that helps to clear our head so we can see what is true and lasting about life.

Some say that time will heal the hard headache of grief. But perhaps that is only the time it takes
  • to let go of the disorientation and welcome a new re-orientation to life.
  • to stop looking at the lost opportunities and find the opportunities that exist right now to love each other, to help each other, to enjoy each other.
  • to replace the shame of past unkindnesses with the affirmation of the life (the love, the goodness, the joy) that was shared
  • to replace the guilt of forgetting with the balm of forgiveness. It is not too late.
  • and finally, to exchange the fear of loss and change with an understanding of what is changeless.

Sooner or later, we recognize the integral part each friend, each family member and even each acquaintance has in the fabric of our lives. We weave into one another's lives like the threads that weave over and under and cross each other in a taut fabric ..... and there is no unraveling.

Love is spiritual and good - like light. We can no more lose what is good than we can lose light. Consider that the absence of a loved one brings their gifts into sharp focus and demands recognition!

My son and his classmates are celebrating their friend's life. They are preparing a memorial service with his pictures, his stories and all that he brought to this startlingly connected school community. This action - shared by the whole school - was quickly becoming an affirmation of life and the continuity of community. His friend's life's connections showed them what their life connections were.

"Mom, I want to stay here with my friends" my son explained to me when I asked if he wanted to come home for a while, "you can feel the healing going on."

It becomes more obvious than ever before that we are all important to one another. The light that we bring to others keeps shining. And the light of this friend goes on in all the lives of all the people he touched.

* Christian Science Hymnal Hymn #174

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.