An instrument of peace

“Lord, make me an instrument of peace.”

With that single line St Francis defined a life of mindfulness and loving kindness long before those terms were first used. Long before pop culture turned them into an industry. A t-shirt slogan.

He goes on to describe how that instrument looks. It is one of understanding and giving. A life in service of love.

“Lord make me an instrument of peace

Where there is hatred let me sow love

Where there is injury, pardon

Where there is doubt, faith

Where there is despair, hope

Where there is darkness, light

And where there is sadness, joy

Oh divine master grant that I may

not so much seek to be consoled as to console

to be understood as to understand

To be loved as to love

For it is in giving that we receive

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned

It is in dying that we are born to eternal life”

This is how I want my life to be yet I often fail in these intentions. Instead, I want to be understood. To be consoled. To wade deeply in my sorrow. To be loved despite my shortcomings.

When I find myself on the needy end of the spectrum that runs from giving to receiving I remember that I can not only offer these gifts to myself, I should.

My efforts to be an instrument of peace must begin with myself because to offer peace to others I must first have it within me. The good news is that inner peace is often gained in the offering of it to others. It is a beautiful, endless, self-sustaining circle.

This was my meditation this morning:

That I forgive myself and not beat myself up for being human.

That I keep strong the faith that brought me here.

That I keep the flame of hope ever burning within me to light both bright days and dark nights.

That I be willing to find and feed my joy, especially when it seems so far away.

That I love myself as I wish to be loved by others and that I share that love regardless of my pain.

That peace isn’t just something we feel, it’s something we practice.

I believe I need more practice.

Peace be upon you.

Beaver Moon

There’s a full moon tonight. It is a moon of introspection. A time when impulse gives way to doubt. Doubt gives way to resistance. Resistance gives way to rebellion.

If, however, we are able to separate our feelings of rebellion from a need for change we open ourselves to new ways of communicating because it is also a time of inspiration, security, steadfastness, and loyalty.

If you find yourself ready to bolt today, from whatever it is that feeds that resistance, whether it be work or a relationship or yourself, then stand back. Take a breath. View the situation in its entirety. And be grateful.

I spent a couple hours at the beach earlier. I felt alone. Truly alone. I wanted to run. To hide. I was balled up tight and wondering why I would feel that way in the presence of such shear power and beauty.

I straightened up. Put myself in a meditative position; back straight, palms upwards in my lap, shoulders relaxed, jaw loose. I breathed in that amazing energy. Connected to those feelings of insecurity. Embraced them. Listened to them. Loved them.

In loving myself I released those feelings and found that sense of security that lay just under the surface.

I wish I could share this with you. The feeling that everything will be okay because I feel those same doubts coming from you.

Relax. Breathe deep. Feel yourself connect to the earth through your feet and the base of your spine. Breathe deep and long, filling your lungs from the bottom up. Then release the air, squeeszing it out from the bottom up.

Focus on a point in front of you. Just in front of your eyes whether slightly open or loosely closed. Imagine a white dot of light there. The light moves and when it moves it makes the slightest sound. Listen to it. Feel it. Let it expand. Allow it to envelop you. When your thoughts stray listen to them, release them, then return to that point of light.

That light is surety. Stability. It is the strength of the Universe that lives within you. It is your divine spark. It is you and it is telling you everything is going to be okay.

Tonight the moon is full and so are you. There’s nothing to run from.

This house of Love

Solitude.by.Stellaire.Studio.jpg

Truth
Hope
Faith
Honesty
Courage
Vulnerability
Compassion
Care
Passion
All intentions of Love
Gratitude realized
They are the foundation
Upon which we build
Each supports the other
Builds upon each other
Seamless
The mortar between
Made from their union
A blending
Truthful hope
Hopeful faith
Faithful honesty
Courageous vulnerability
Vulnerable compassion
Compassionate care
Careful Passion
Passionate love
Each stone with deep roots
Based in experience and understanding
All firm
None are loosened by illusion
Or fantasy
Each floor laid
With deliberation and purpose
With careful design
The plan determined
By each preceding
It grows
Stone by stone
Board by board
With every loving action
Every caring word
Touch
Kiss
Passion
Floor upon floor
Rising endlessly
The walls form
Where floors end
Yet have no limit
Rooms without walls
Walls without ceilings
One with Gaia and the Universe
It is a house of Love

 


 

Image: “Solitude” by Christine Lantz

 

 

 

 

 

No news is good news

tv-bullet-hole

“News”
Is a modern thing
Based on gossip
And lies
Sent on waves unseen
Carried by sponsors
Who want me to buy
The product they proclaim
Will make my life better
So long as I listen
Or watch
With horror
The news designed
To modify my thoughts

So I don’t

I don’t need anyone to tell me
“The world is ending!”
If that day comes
I won’t need to be told at all
Not at all

Instead I create this place
Where there is no hate
Where there are no lies
No commercials
No sponsors
No hate
No one to tell me “You must”
“You should”
“You can’t”
Only Love
And the intentions of Love
Because nothing else matters

This is why I write

 

Since I started publishing my writing I have been getting responses that, to be honest, I don’t really know how to respond to because I had no idea the effect that revealing my soul would have.

After receiving this message from one of my readers (who really should be doing her own writing) that so gracefully sums up everything I have been hearing I have decided that the best I can do is to let each of you know that you are not alone in the way you feel by sharing her words (with her permission, of course).

Every one of us, myself included, longs for the sort of love and passion I so often write about. It’s not just okay to feel that longing, I encourage it. I say embrace it. Let it become the light that shines the way on your path. Let those awakened desires and enflamed passions provoke you to release the person you’ve been keeping locked up out of fear or shame or guilt or doubt or whatever reason it is that you have chosen to lock up that beautiful goddess, the wild woman, child. Let that light bring you to a place where it can join with another or many others and shine the way for everyone you meet. Let it light your world.

My wish for you is that you love. Someone. Everyone. But mostly yourself. Love like there is no tomorrow because Now is all we have and right now you need Love.

You are perfect as you are. You are ready.

You are loved and in that Love we are One.

James

 


 

A longing for the deepest of all connections had taunted her for so long, she had given up…. almost. No longer looking, she resigned herself to a state of perpetual suadade.

What she had learned is this – she couldn’t exist in a relationship that functioned at only a surface level. Long ago she had tried. Talking only about mundane chitty-chat topics, gripes and irritations of the day, silly plans of the next acquisition, negativity, rigidity, disapproval and controlling behavior – she had listened accommodatingly all the while feeling her life force slowly withering. The stilted unease of being with a pessimistic, shallow person was artificial, stifling, claustrophobic. She could no longer breathe. She heard a faint whisper that grew louder and louder until her survivalist instinct was shouting at her, “There is more to life than this!” She finally listened. Love is not a tool used to limit and oppress. Love is a wonderment in its beauty, vast and enveloping with its sweet, gentle warmth, ever-changing, ever-expanding, infinite. She had a clear vision of the type of love she sought, but no idea as to how or where to find it.

Not that she didn’t try. But as she journeyed, each crest presented a glimmering landing that evaporated as she moved towards it. She bemoaned karma for its unwarranted unfairness, repaying her kindness and compassion toward others with but false promise and no substance each and every time. “That kind of love is a mirage,” she defiantly declared. But inner voice be damned, its persistent denial wouldn’t allow her to believe her own lie. Her soul still ached for that rare, ancient connection – two beings recognizing in each other their own self. So unfathomable in its rarity, so unspeakable in its mystery and yet for those who have found it, so complete in its simplicity.

Certain of its existence, she rationalized that perhaps she wasn’t ready. And so tucking it away deep inside, she went on with life. The longing lay dormant yet omnipresent. Alone, but not really lonely, she spent those years observing and reflecting. Where had she been? Where was she going? What was her destiny? Surely it was one of her own making. That she knew. Had she known at the time that each disappointment taught her secrets she needed to move incrementally closer to him, she would have realized that karma is just and never capricious. Only when you are ready will you find that which is your destiny.

And then, she read his words. He spoke to everyone, and yet he spoke only to her reaching deep into the innermost part of her soul. Joyful tears welled as she read and understood completely each and every thought. His introspection, honesty and courage ignited her. The life force flickered and danced within her. I’m not the only being who needs this to feel alive! Without even knowing her, he had offered proof positive that this depth of emotion exists and is a necessity for those who feel it. Resolute, she decided to resume her quest. But first she had to thank him…

Thank you, James, from the bottom of my heart!

***


 

You are so very welcome.

Beyond here be Monsters

rio.grande.nm

A little piece I wrote this seveal years ago when I was facing the necessity of rejoining “civilized society” after being off-grid and pretty much off the map for a time.

It’s interesting to go back in time and find these little sparks that encouraged the flame within that burns so bright today and to recognize the dark places they came from.

The lesson for me is clear; embrace my past and be grateful for what I learned. But never go back.

___________________________

Here, at the edge of the world, I find contentment and chaos. Old friends, both. Neither expected nor warranted.

I find myself frozen in this pivotal moment. Momentum gathers with the clouds that seem determined to follow.

Not long ago I sent them back to spread their seed of malcontent upon the shoulders of those who manipulated. The cries of their masters, now quelled by the wind that always lives in the canyons where I take refuge, were never heard. I cry instead for them.

Here, where the Universe Herself sings with such beauty that my soul aches to touch Her just once again. Such things may not exist.

Here, I am at peace.

Here, standing at the brink, I wonder; Stand or Fall.

Beyond here lay the rest of the Pack, ferocious and cunning and ready. I will join them for now, but they will know; I do not belong.

My guise will last, my purpose will be fulfilled, and I will flee to the Refuge of Love with Life renewed and Balance, at long last, achieved.

I will stand.

Light within.
Love and Life beside.

The view at the edge really is not so bad.

 

Image by J.M.Greff