A word from the wise via Ginny, my rite of passager

IMG_0448

I share with you today a wise and loving statement that my daughter has embraced as her own over the last several years. It gives strength, dignity, and a joyous realization to all of us about ourselves and our unique contributions to this world as we continue to “come of age” in youth or adulthood.  A quote by Marianne Williamson:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.”

You may have heard this quote before, but I find I can hear it again and again and find nourishment in its soul opening words.

How big will you cast your shadow today- the evidence of your large and lovely being?

Advertisements

What does the Mandala of your soul look like?

10592828_669439976468481_5561131665542074160_n

I am gazing at a picture of a beautiful mandala made entirely of stones. Each one is painted differently. Some with curly fronds, others with symmetrical floral knots, but all silhouettes of the natural world. The center is a lacy confection of white designs feathered onto a brown rock, reminiscent of gingerbread. I don’t usually think of mandalas this way. Rock and stone. Silhouettes and gingerbread. I usually see painted glowing swirls of geometrics, looking luminous and celestial on a shaving of paper or a sheet of canvas. But I look at this one and think, “why not?” What does the mandala of my soul look like? What illumination do the interiors create for me and others at this moment? Is it a gingerbread stone, bringing complexity and joy all at once to my own self, then fingering them out through gifts of awareness of beauty to those around me? Is mine a windy labyrinth where trust is illuminated only one footstep at a time, but you can hear the pulse and voice of birdsong over the twisting walls, radiating both toward and away from me? Is it a field of fallen leaves creating an overlapping pattern of both life and death, beginnings and endings, sugar maple red, and rich compost brown, delicately trailing paths of newness and rebirthing all around?

 

What is the mandala of your soul today?

The Threshold of Negative and Positive

IMG_0230

I am looking at a line of trees. Sharp shapes in shadow, fringed and filled in with light. Negative and positive space.

When I look at the beauty of both negative space and positive space, I am taken by surprise. The darkness brings delineation. Line. Shape. In this case, trunks of tall, tall trees in shadow. The leafy tufts themselves are also part of the positive space, but add a tinge of color, a softness. It is the light that is the negative space. White with hints of blue. It appears to hold the space for the line drawings of trees. Both seem necessary. All positive space would lead to nearly pure darkness. All negative space would be formless light. I, too, am trying to understand, or dare say, accept my own positive and negative spaces. The parts I see, the solid, chirping fingers on the keyboard. The internals that sing when I move towards love. The open spaces in myself that I don’t know about yet. The lulls in wisdom. The terrible stillness that somehow leads to peace.

 

May I, this day, embrace my positive spaces, and accept, with open heart, my negative ones.

Sun-honeyed milestones

securedownload-8

What makes certain moments in our lives, “momentous”? You know the ones- those sun-honeyed memories that seem to conjure up all sorts of good things in the stew of your soul. Deep, simmering, rich with multi-dimensional broth. They are not even necessarily “the big ones”: marriage, graduation, childbirth. Sometimes the times that reign large in our souls may appear smaller, even inconsequential to the rest of humanity.

I think the ingredients may be simple. From my own experience in the wilds of being a soulful human, the common denominators seem to be love, awakening, and beauty. I stare into past moments that I savor as milestones in my life, and ask myself, “was it the deep acceptance? the sincere and loving embrace of friendship? the way the sunlight was distilling gold onto the peeling eucalyptus trees? a new experience of myself? all of these?” And I say in reply, “yes, I think so.”

Milestones aren’t always fluted with royal icing or champagne glasses (although I like that, too!), but can be trimmed with a recognizable understanding from eye to eye, “a long loving look at the real” (that phrase courtesy of a good friend and fellow spiritual director), or the gift of pure presence from a fellow traveller, or from Nature Herself, in all of her constantly changing splendor.

What were some of the sun-honeyed milestones of your life?

securedownload-7