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

 

 

 

 

 

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.