Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Greetings, Gentle Readers!

This is such a wonderful time of the year. The Wheel turns and autumn gives way to winter. As much as I love autumn, I do love winter. There is a refreshing that comes with the colder temps. The leaves fall from the trees knowing that they will bring the coming again of spring in just a few short months.

I must admit, though, there are things about this season that get under my skin. So many people celebrate holidays. It's not just about Christmas. It's about Yule, Hanukkah, and others. We all celebrate our own way. And even though I would never deny anyone their holiday, I end up being so frustrated at those who do. Why can we not acknowledge all peoples of faith with a simple "Happy Holidays?" Why is that greeting so horrible? I don't understand. Why can I not wish you a Merry Yule when you wish me Merry Christmas? People get seriously bent out of shape over it, truly.

For those who believe in Jesus, He came to show us the way of giving. For those of us who follow pagan gods, they showed us to honor the earth and creation. For those of Jewish faith, the holiday shows us the miracles available to those who believe.

I think many of us have forgotten the idea of it all. Whether it's Yule or Christmas or Hanukkah...no matter. What is important is the idea of generosity and charity,. Instead of piling up gifts, why not take time to serve at a homeless shelter? What a wonderful way to teach children the necessity of giving and gratitude! Why not foster a dog or cat in a shelter over the holiday so it knows the warmth of human companionship? Why not put together a simple bag of necessary items like toothbrushes, paste, deoderant, snacks, etc. for a homeless person you drive by every day? Why not simply be a light to everyone you meet?

There are so many ways to celebrate that bring us back to the original idea of holidays: to serve those less fortunate than ourselves and be thankful for all with which we've been blessed. Let's use this year's holiday to serve others in a tangible way.

Blessed Be!
Happy Holidays!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

A Matter of Opinion

Greetings, Gentle Readers...

It's been a long time since last we connected through this wonderful medium. And first, as we do, let's take a moment to remember Steve Jobs. He was the Einstein of his generation, changing our lives immeasurably.

That said, there is much going on in our world this day. I'm speaking of the marches on Wall Street which are catching on all over the world. No, you don't see much on the mainstream media about this, especially in the US. But it is happening and it deserves our attention. All over the US, and now in cities around the world, the people are banding together in peaceful protest against the class system that has risen over the past 35 years. It started here in the US under President Regan and has continued with every Republican president since he left office.

I know President Regan is idolized by the right. He did give a good show. But he also stripped the tax code, along with those who followed after him, to benefit the richest people in our country. Those leaders also gave massive breaks to corporations and allowed them to take our jobs overseas. Then they allowed Wall Street to make a killing off people seeking the American Dream. I know some may disagree, but I believe the record of such stands.

Now you have two classes: the super rich who pay little to no taxes, and the working poor who bust their butts to carry this country on their overworked backs. It is quite evident that it cannot continue this way. Even those who are financially blessed have come out against the tax code that victimizes the low and middle class. And, really, the idea of a middle class is going away quickly.

What coverage of this uprising we see says they have no mission. I think many who have been interviewed have been quite direct. The populace is tired of being taken advantage of. They are tired of working so hard and giving away their money, which is over-taxed to the max. Let's be honest, by the time you pay your state, local and fed taxes, on top of all the sales taxes, there isn't much left to care for yourself.

So, I encourage you to check out what is happening. Join a peaceful march in your own city. Let the powers that be know you're not going to be taken advantage of any more.

But above all, be respectful and peaceful. Violence never solved anything.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Light Through The Trees

Greetings Gentle Readers...

It's been a while since we last spent time with each other and much has happened. As usual, life moves forward. Sometimes slowly. Sometimes quickly. But always moving forward, nonetheless.

Where do we go when life takes a down turn? Some find solace in faith. Others find solace in simple meditation. Some find no solace at all. And it is those who fail to move forward, who remain stuck in the pain of life, who are on my mind this day.

We've all done it; remained in our pain. When life throws us a hard right to the chin and we are knocked down, we fight to get up but find ourselves giving in. It's just too easy to remain on the canvas than face what hit us and come back fighting. Analogy? Sure. But it is a true one.

For those who are Christian, there is the verse in Romans about God not giving us more than He will make a way out of. Oh, many misquote that one! It's not that God will not give us more than we can handle! It's that there will be a way out! For the Pagan who follows Goddess, we know that there is comfort in Nature. There is peace and wisdom to be found under the overarching branches of an old Oak tree. The quiet brings comfort.

But for those who fail to overcome, there is a life of anger, pain and regret. And what a shame and disappointment to live under that huge cloud. One never finds peace and joy. We've all met folks like this. Everything is negative. They become a victim of their own circumstances. And they are an energy drain to be around. No matter what happens, it becomes about them. And we who try to focus on the positive, find ourselves drowning in their hole of blackness.

So what is the answer when life throws you down and seemingly beats you up? The answer is to look up. See the light through the trees in the forest. Know that there is someone, something greater than yourself and your "problems." Make the decision, and yes it is a decision, to move forward with that light in mind. Grieve as you should. I'm not saying to ignore your pain. Be honest with it. But know you cannot live in it without damning yourself to a life of ugly.

Stop. Listen. Find your center. Then find your path again. This is a journey, dear friends. It is a journey of the spirit. Pick yourself up and walk. Feel the breeze on your skin, the earth beneath your feet, the light above in the sky. Take control. And enjoy the journey!

Blessed Be!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Am I Walking in Awareness?

Awareness. Mindfulness. Taking ourselves outside our own ego and walking in the moment. This is the path my spirit is taking.

There are many who write or video blog on this idea. And there are some great books on the subject. But what is it to me?

I find myself just existing, walking through life with no defined purpose. I move from place to place, issue to issue, problem to problem, without slowing down and considering who I am. Why am I in this place right now? What is there to learn from this? I'm sure you do the same. We get up in the morning, go through our routine, arrive at our jobs, and survive til five.

But what if there really is more to life than our routines? What if this is all a stage: a place for me to learn the lessons of life? How I go about that is a state of being. Awareness.

When my feelings are hurt, it is simply my ego in the way of the lesson. How hard it is to stop, put my ego to the side, and accept what happens with grace and inner understanding! It's so easy to take things personally. It's easy to throw up an emotional wall. It's a difficult thing to stop in the middle and ask what the lessons are.

It takes quiet time away from the noise of the world. I must find a place of solitude to open my heart and mind to what really happens in my life. For me, that place is nature. I love a quiet place under an old tree. That speaks to my spirit. What speaks to yours? Is it your personal scripture? Is it a particular musical piece? Or is it a place of total silence?

People have become uncomfortable with silence. That's a shame. We used to love the silence. Our great grandparents lived in simple times. There was no mass transportation to drown our minds. There was no booming radio blaring out noise. There was stillness, quiet, peace. Not saying it was easy. It wasn't. But it was simple. One could find a secluded corner to be with one's own thoughts. Not so much anymore.

So today, just for today, throw your intent into the Universe to live today in Mindfulness. Live today in Awareness of who you truly are. Live today in Awareness of your surroundings. Open yourself to the myriad of possibilities and the wonder of all that is. Be "in the moment." You will be amazed at the direction your spirit takes.