Gracefully weathering the tides of change

Graceful
ocean

Fact checking: real, or not?

With so many sources of information available these days, how do we determine what we allow into our lives? Who is to say what is real? Reality is a different experience for each of us. When do we walk on by, allowing tidal forces to wash and renew?

Despite the voices proclaiming fear and ruin, cities are reinventing themselves. Industrial towns like Pittsburgh and Detroit are reawakening and allowing the tides of natural decay to take their course, choosing to learn how to stay in the present, learning to live in individual realities. Churches are re-centering: the third largest denomination in the United States (per the 2010 Census) is NON-denominational. They seem to be focusing on helping us deal with our individual realities. (You can tap on the link for details.)

Enlightenment: real, or not? Nearly every self-help source, religion, healer, and wizened person recommends the practice of meditation. This is a world-wide trend, friends. It is finding our higher selves, becoming part of something much bigger: enlightenment. And it is growing. We are allowing it because “it” works.  “It” weathers all tides.

Meditation, like our very existence, can put us into a tailspin if we try to make sense of it. Some people know it as understanding grace. If we can just stop and learn how to live from a foundation of mediation (learning how to be), the puzzle of life solves itself. We, ourselves, can’t do it. Our energy, our peace, our meaning, flows from a source we can’t define. When we can accept our “nothing-ness” alongside our “something-ness” we connect with ourselves, with creation, with our Creator–even if we have no concept of what that means. We just accept.

Allowing the tides…

I love the metaphor of Jesus words (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV):

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

My father rode the changing tide of farming. By the time he retired, he was harvesting with huge machines that did all the work he remembered once doing by hand. Fortunately, he had taken time to tell me stories of farming with horses: how he and his father and brothers took care to choose compatible teams, how one horse became a leader and would nip encouragement to the other when it wasn’t pulling its own share, and how, if a horse strained to go ahead, the result could become painful and destructive.

Meditation allows us to settle into our yoke and harness for the day. If we strain beyond, our futile efforts become painful. If we ignore the gentle tug of the reins, we antagonize our driver and our team.  Jesus told his disciples to go into privacy and close the door to pray. He said words were unnecessary. When we stop and open ourselves to possibility– when we cease trying to be, we learn to be as we were intended.

As always, your views, experiences an comments are always welcome and encouraged!

Mira

 

 

 

 

 

Alexithymia: the bewildering dilemma of emotional void

Dilemma

One of my teaching colleagues had a poster taped to the front of her desk. It ranks as one of my favorites.

RATE SCHEDULE

………

Answers $1

Thoughtful answers  $2

Correct answers $4

Dumb looks: Still for free

To most of us, this kind of poster seems hilarious. For some, simply a bewildering dilemma. For some, facial expressions are impossible to read–and perhaps impossible to produce. The reasons for this are still being investigated and are thought to range from genetic to environmental to perhaps a single traumatic experience. On the edge of the spectrum, there is even a name: alexithymia.

How to paint emotions when the scenery is deep space

Circling back to my theme of equipping children with self-knowledge, assertiveness, and kindness, I wanted to share that app developers are starting to provide child-friendly tools. These apps can help parents and teachers teach the words and concepts of emotions to children. Time and again, developing emotional intelligence is being seen as key to developing mentally healthy children who can form their own networks of supportive relationships. This also builds the inter-personal skills that help them become productive and financially independent adults.

Here is the list of children’s apps for building emotional intelligence.

Mira

Unless you become like little children…

Pretend

childlike

Pretend: the wonder of a child…

Embracing moments of joy and living with the eager anticipation and assurance of more joyful moments to come…

Until I had experienced enough living to equal about 120 childhoods, I hadn’t been able to understand Jesus’ famous words:

“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3-4 NIV)

The word pretend originated from the Latin word meaning to stretch forth and claim. Personally, I would like to reclaim my childhood wonder. How about you?

I should probably attribute this next concept to someone, but I have now seen it in so many places and credited to so many philosophically-minded folks, that it has created my own confetti-like words in the wind:

For every enlightened soul who has shared what seems like plausible meaning-of-life wisdom, followers have convened to claim ownership and to construct their own air-tight rules. The result is always the same: destruction of the real grains of wisdom. (I am speaking of religions, political beliefs, cultures, traditions, work ethics…all of it.) In fact, just by writing this, I am restricting your understanding. And that is why Jesus’ parables were so brilliant: we can’t know exactly. We can only hope and trust in something that is similar to what Jesus described during his short life.

Here is my personal little childlike box of confetti that, tonight, is what my picture of the kingdom is like. I can assure you that if you asked me tomorrow, it will have even more confetti. (Apparently kingdom boxes work like that!) Furthermore, I am quite certain that we all gather our confetti differently.

The beautiful confetti of children:

(Job speaking to the Lord) Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. Job 42:3 

When I try to make sense of something or prove to myself that I have made the best decision, I tend to go a little crazy. The kingdom of heaven is like my world-within-my world. It’s the one I cannot hold onto firmly, because if I try, it disappears. It’s a little like staring at a star: if you look directly at it, you can’t quite see it anymore. When I can just pretend…when I can just accept that what is happening in each moment is simply my next opportunity to find love and goodness, each moment becomes an opportunity to learn. Without the baggage of prejudice (prejudging), outdated information, and yesterday’s advice, we live in gratitude for each other and the resources we have.

Does this mean that learning is pointless? Of course not. But learning anything is never static. Learning creates opportunity and invites childlike awe. If we grab it and wield it like a sword, it just gets old and crotchety. Relationships? New, full of wonder, looking for the next opportunity to find more love. Work? New, full of wonder, looking for more ways to care for, serve, and love each other. Backstabbing competition? Back to old, crotchety, and stinky.

What does your kingdom-box of childlike-confetti look like? It is certainly a challenge to keep it in focus, but when we can find others who are humbling themselves to the point of discovering their own gossamer confetti-threads of childlike wonder, finding the laser-like focus doesn’t seem so impossible anymore.

As always, your views, experiences, and comments make us all richer. Please share!

Mira

 

 

 

 

A day without writing…

Jump

bubble-bath
This may be the shallowest, most nonsensical thing I have attempted to shake out of my laptop.

Today was a day without writing. I’m missing my high-board jump into my bubble-bath of words.

For the past ten weeks or so, I have poured out things I thought I knew, things I thought I understood, things I have tried to see through others eyes. Today, nothing. Today, I think I didn’t think. And that was the thought that sparked my comfort-zone of consciousness off the couch.

When even my simplest words haven’t been extruded and examined, I feel as though I haven’t really been here. My eyes, searching up and left (as they always do when I’m trying to get the synapses firing) snatched the day’s random images: the golf shot that I should have been practicing mentally, the synchronicity of fellow bloggers working out why we feel compelled to validate and adopt each other’s view–valiantly attempting to cobble together our own little soul-groups of security. And stranger still–in our  state of nonsensical conundrum–mystified as to why our soul-group is so different from theirs.

At the end of the day, I may not know any more than the morning, but through my struggle to feel alive through the demolition and reconstruction of my elementary words, I’m feeling worthy of taking up space again. It’s the old, familiar brain-muscle-burn, feeling satisfied that I have tried.

How about you? Do you experience a free-falling existential angst when deprived of your me-time bubble-bath of words?

Mira

Loving patiently while they learn…

baretrees
Waiting patiently in silence for the returning spring of life-giving love…

Judging vs. discerning; rejecting the person vs. employing wisdom for daily-living

There seems to be a common theme here in the blog-o-sphere, around which humanity has obstacles of communication for developing a unifying understanding. And yet, perhaps we are growing closer.

I found article on the website TheOverwhelmedBrain.com that beautifully illustrates how a form of judgment can destroy relationships. (Click or tap the link above for access to the article. The website itself is linked here, inside the “Daily Balance” of my Starfish Mission.)

A teacher with whom I once worked seemed to have struck this beautiful balance. She often remarked that her mother, also a teacher, had repeatedly instructed her to “remember to always be kind”. Continue reading “Loving patiently while they learn…”

The Spring of Spirituality

Passionate

spring

21 Symptoms of Spiritual Awakening – LauraMarie

This year, autumn is reminding me of spring.

In my hemisphere, days are growing cooler and shorter, but there is a new part of me that feels like spring has arrived.

Wrenching oneself away from the world of the concrete, absolute, and scientifically proven can be a little unsettling at first–like flying solo for the first time.

Whether you have caught a glimpse of this dramatically different life through a church, your personal research, a coach–it doesn’t matter. Once here, you don’t want to leave. And, there is an unspeakable joy in the immersion and connection with others who have allowed themselves access to authenticity. In authenticity, we are daring to live greatly in a community of higher consciousness. Here, together, we begin to sense the vibrations of the universe itself. Here, we begin to grasp the personification of passion.

Even though I was raised in a traditional church, thinking this openly is new for me, too. As long as I am able, I will continue to join with others–maybe even you–as we connect deeper and more richly than ever. Jesus did his level-best to help us understand his Kingdom. Let us never attempt to limit our openness to the wonder of creation.

Extricating oneself from a negative past of bullying, abuse, neglect, and/or trauma is cause for celebrating every moment that feels like spring. If you’re still trying to find a reason to celebrate, I’m doing my best to help you start on StarfishMission

The website from above ( 21 Symptoms of Spiritual Awakening – LauraMarie ) is the result of a simple Internet search of “what happens when you open your mind to possibility”. I’d love to hear if you have or are experiencing any of the “21”.

FYI – the linked page is in English, most of the rest of the WordPress website for its 5 million followers is French. 🙂

-Mira

More rocks

Twilight Zone

Connect with MiraLianna HERE.

The Russian ballerina pressed on relentlessly, honing every move, gritting through pain, powering through fear, and achieving her evening as prima ballerina. After the performance, the ordinary returned. Walking out through the back door into the dark rain and back to her tiny apartment, she knew that tomorrow would be more of the same old shtick.  She would need to prove herself time and time again. This documentary from- Continue reading “More rocks”

Seeing stars. Walking on water.

Twinkle

Connect with MiraLianna HERE.
IMG_20150608_201332_959.jpg

Starfish Mission is beginning to twinkle…

The past few months have been a marathon of deep diving. I been resurfacing time after time, each dive reaping more treasure. This morning, my words to my husband were something like, “I think I know how to stay on the surface now. And when I go under, I know that I’ll be able to resurface and breathe again.”

In that moment, I caught a glimpse of what Jesus was probably trying to say: “Take my hand. I’ll show you how to walk on this calm, refreshing surface so you can show others how to do it. This is my amazing Kingdom where all are equally valuable and equally commissioned. This is the leveling place where you can meet and decide your next direction. Here on the surface of my life-giving waters, I want you to be able to experience my power, my love, and the power you have with each other–drawing in–breathing in—all of the fullness of my Kingdom. Here, we continue the evolution of our Universe.”

I have been borrowing quite a few photos from Google’s free-to-use collection, but this photo is all mine. These are my waters for dancing today.

My own plunging, floundering, breathless, and black-hole story is now tucked into a sub-menu on my About MiraLianna page.

An amazing community of people and ideas has been coming together like headwaters–helping to create  Starfish Mission. On the Starfish Mission page (top of this page on a PC or bottom if you are on a mobile device), you can find ENTRY POINTS. A little like the children’s book series, Choose Your Own Adventure, can can choose your entry point depending where you are in the journey of life. Included is the life-raft of the Black Hole point, when nothing is working and you are gasping for air.

  • Entry point: Pre-Marriage
  • Entry Point: Wanting a Family
  • Engry Point: New Parents
  • Entry Point: Raising a Family
  • Entry Point: Black Hole (This is a designed as a first stop if, for any reason, you are feeling rudderless, uncertain, without purpose, neglected, abused, fearful, or unhappy.)

Today feels like yet another one of my myriad pivot points. (Apparently, I’m all about pointing today.)

Happy Birthday. Proud of you. Still..where is the love?

Yesterday, I wrote about my mother appearing in a dream on my birthday, two weeks after she died. That really happened.

This past week, I had a moment when I was consumed with a great shudder and a flood of tears. This defies all forms of logic and everything but the intention of my original journey. If you knew me personally, you would be shaking your head in amazement. You would know how intent I have been on a path of Show Me. This…whatever, whomever, is trying to get through to me is pure and unadulterated experience.

She loves me, after all

My shudder, my flood of tears: my mother seemed to be saying to me, “Yeah, we had a lot of crap to work through. It sucked, didn’t it? We had a mission, you and I, and now–look at you. 1500 hits, 530 views, 50 posts–all in one month. You have been featured on *Dr. Jonice Webb’s website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed.  You are doing your mission, you have found your purpose. You have always been a great daughter. I am still proud of you. And now, I’m not just signing ‘Love, Mom’–now I’m telling you…I have loved you–will love you–forever and forever.”

❤ ❤ ❤

Mira

*Dr. Webb’s book, Running on Empty, provided MY entry point. Through her work, I found a key to unlock my door and knock down my wall. I found what was missing, how many of us got into this mess, and what can help. I’m now linking arms with anyone who will. We have generations of hope ahead.

I can see clearly now…

Vice

01-035 (2)

Matthew 13: 11-33

Pain. Somehow, it seems to take on a life of its own. What you thought was hurting there, is really hurting here. I am beginning to understand. Coming here–into this world filled with pain–has sometimes felt to me as though I’ve had amnesia. Like I should have known this before. Didn’t I? How did I forget? Relearning. All of the tedium. Ugh.

Physical pain is one thing. Emotional pain is quite another. A personal who can soothe emotional pain has a gift: the gift of true love. Love is not always easy to find. Love is borne on the backs of habits– born of pain, gathers droplets through compassion, spreads across calm waters where there is no judgement, and rises from the mist into the sunshine. Love does not hold vice on its calm surface. Vice sinks quickly and disappears into the depths. Only through pond inversion will vice get another chance to become love.

Occasionally, when meeting someone for the first time, I feel as though I’ve known them my entire life. I felt like that when I met my husband. It still feels like that, most days.  Do you know this feeling?  I have been having more of those moments recently. It’s not such a coincidence, really. Retirement provides opportunity.

Several days ago I wrote a post about feeling lucky to have been unlucky. I have also been doing an online book study with friends. We have been reading the book Self-Esteem by McKay and Fanning. Throughout the book so far (it takes some time to work through that thing!), there had been no reference to geography. But then–it was there–the name of a town. MY town. The town where we have spent the greatest share of our lives. Frantically, I began searching. Was there a connection? Yes, but not what I expected.

Dr. Matthew McKay, I discovered, has written a book that he never expected to write. He is a man of science and committed to adhering to sound research practices. McKay experienced the kind of pain a parent fears the most: his son, aged 23–full of promise and excited about his future, was murdered. McKay began a highly unusual quest to try to connect with his son on the other side. He found a way. What he learned–what I read last night in his book Seeking Jordan–consumed my dreams. This morning the mist cleared, and my life seems sane again. Mostly.

You would need to read the book–and even then you would need to be in a certain place in your life’s journey to allow it in. We are just as we suspected. We are in this together. We are all connected. Pain provides us opportunity to link arms (as one reader recently said to me–so succinctly) and to learn collectively. Through our pain, we learn love–better.

I am here with you to breathe through our pain, to connect, and to learn love better.

Love,

Mira

*I am not a licensed therapist and will never claim to be such. I have retired after working 20 years as full-time, elementary-classroom teacher. I’ve taught it all: reading, math, science, and the social studies. (That does NOT mean that I have learned it all!) What I have to offer (and what I have yet to fully understand. 😉  ) is a lifetime of experiences and a spaghetti-brain full of randomly-connected information. 🙂 Most importantly, I care.