|Rogue River Valley, Oregon “Prayer is the medium of miracles.”|
from A Course in Miracles
|Ciao and Sacred Sunday to you:|
Here in Southern Oregon, day officially begins to break around 5:30am. Yet, if you watch closely night starts to give way to dawn much earlier.
The black void of the sky, scattered with brilliant stars and planets slowly surrenders to welcome in the burgeoning light.
One of my personal top “wonders of the world” are the magnificent sunrises and sunsets of Arizona. Unquestionably they are glorious.
And yet, the practice of yoga, of expanding our consciousness, asks that we see with our hearts and souls, not only with the naked eye.
You and I are invited to develop our inner eye and get to know our inner landscape so that we’re better able to receive the beauty of whatever place we happen to be.
So, whether your days are getting longer or shorter, depending on where you reside in the world, I encourage you to see the world around you with an artist’s eye.
Moving from the southwest, a place of stark beauty and eternal sunshine, to a landscape of noticeable seasons and less sunlight takes a little adjusting.
While at the same time, if I’m truly living my yoga, it’s yet another invitation to see the world around me with a freshness and curiosity.
Now, with summer nearing closer in the Northern hemisphere and the sun shining brightly, I’m reminded of childhood years.
When play and running wild outdoors until the fireflies magically alighted was the norm.
When adulting was not even a consideration and the spirit of possibilities seemed endless.
I can see in my mind’s eye a young girl with scraped and dirty knees and dirtier sneakers pedaling away on her pink Schwinn bicycle, streamers flying from its handlebars and playing cards clothes-pinned to the front and back wheels.
Oh, the wonder of being alive.
Those innocent and carefree days are long behind me. And unfortunately, for you as well my friend.
The world we live in today is a vastly different place. And while I don’t want to be a “Debbie Downer”, as my younger brother teases me at times, I question and wonder aloud if there was a gradual decline in our moral compass –
Or was there a sudden and significant portal we unconsciously passed through only to arrive on the other side of human decency, civility, kindness, and care for our fellow travelers on the path of life?
I don’t have the answers. Though I do have opinions, surprise – surprise.
One firm belief I hold is that we are so disconnected from Nature and the rhythms and cycles of life that we’ve lost our way.
When we left the fields and the farms, the villages with communal living, to live in cities and entered boldly into the industrial age, we crossed the threshold.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I am so very grateful for my dishwasher, washing machine and dryer, stove top and oven, and of course indoor plumbing.
And those little pocket-sized computers called phones.
However, we ignored the place we came from, we turned our backs on the place that housed us, fed us, and kept us in alignment with the natural order of things in order to build a life with more ease.
Which is fine, the ease. I, for one, appreciate the ease.
What I find maddening and sad, is that instead of wholeness and integration we traded our souls for modernity and convenience.
We left behind the sacredness we held for life and threw out our reverence and connection with Nature, like the trash we so quickly accumulate.
I don’t have the answers. Not even one.
You’d have to be living in a cave to not be aware of the brutality we inflict on one another. And the total disregard we collectively hold for our planet.
Suffering and pain permeate through the pores of all people.
No matter whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice. For gun control and red flag warnings or not.
Whether you’re blue, red, or independent. What’s happening in our country particularly goes well beyond party line.
There are days I want to throw up my hands and say F@*! it, stop the world, I want to get off.
But that would be the coward’s way out.
So, what are we to do?
We start with our own self. We reflect and we soften instead of hardening.
We cultivate more kindness and compassion.
We owe it to ourselves and each another to be the upholders of the light.
We owe it to ourselves and each another to do one small thing each day to bring more beauty, peace, and joy in the world.
We owe it to our ancestors and to our children, and their children, and their children…we owe it to the countless lives that have horrifically been extinguished, and to the families left to grieve.
So, what are we to do?
One tiny human being, in a sea of millions, can indeed affect change if you start with yourself and take baby steps.
~ When you’re asked to perform a task that feels challenging, do it in the spirit of generosity and good old-fashioned humility, and offer it for someone who needs extra love.
~ Put your hands in the dirt and plant a little garden; it will reconnect you to your planet home.
~ Roll out your mat and offer your yoga practice up for the greater good of all people.
~ Donate, or volunteer, and be of service; that’s practicing karma yoga.
~ Smile at people, you just might water the last seed of hope in an otherwise depleted heart.
~ Create – cook a meal for a sick neighbor, write a poem, get out your sewing machine and make something beautiful, knit a baby blanket and donate it to women’s shelter, pick up a musical instrument, sing, dance, watch a comedy and bring laughter back into the atmosphere.
~ Check in on people you know who are struggling, mentally, emotionally, physically; you may literally save their life.
~ Meditate, pray, go to church, or the church of the mountains, and commune with the trees, the plants, the creatures inhabiting the place.
~ Be willing to keep your lips sealed and your ears open so you can listen deeply with your heart and not your ego. Then, maybe an opening will appear resulting in an honest conversation.
~ Finally, when someone or something calls your soul to action, pause, feel into your body, respond truthfully from your essence; then proceed with compassion, determination, and fierce love.
If each of us does our own part, be it grand or small, we will help bridge the great divide and contribute to the collective need for healing.
With love and appreciation, xoxo Paulette