“At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.” ~Chris Van Allensburg, The Polar Express
Every day we are faced with a choice- a choice when to wake up, where to go, to be happy or to be sad, a choice to thrive and live or a choice to wither and die. Through all of this internal decision-making there also exists the internal dialogue or stories we tell ourselves about our lives, the people in it, our worth, our fears or perhaps those issues we have not yet made peace with.
Beneath this, there is a silence. In this silence is the choice to believe or not to believe. In this solitude of grace is a love that permeates every fiber of our being and every fiber of everything around us. A simple truth that is not colored with the what-ifs, should or should nots, worries or concerns, but instead offers a choice to be free to love and to be loved. A choice to let go for good of those things that no longer serve us so that we may be the “purpose” we came here to be. It offers a “knowing” that there is something so amazing and powerful around us we’ve only to recognize it for what it is. It is the belief that we are never alone, and that we can “depend on” and “count on” this reality to provide us with everything we need in each moment. It is up to us to sincerely ask for and receive it.
This Christmas, make a choice whether to accept, even in the midst of some personal darkness, that there is a “heaven” that bears witness. In this truth, we can find calming grace and healing such that the “bells” are still heard now and forever in this world and beyond.
How many children learned this prayer as a child? It is a simple prayer, yet profound in its message. A reminder that our souls reach beyond this world and that we hope to be called home should something happen to us. How many of us remember this prayer as a bedrock of our first introduction to prayer or the notion that there is something greater that awaits us?
Our waters run deep with influences like this from every experience we have ever had. While we may not be able to recall each memory specifically, they are still there running deep, still calling to us from a sea of energy that runs through each of us and everything around us. In our dreams, in the many signs that surround us we find them there as inspiring reminders throughout our lives. To quote neurobiologist, Dr. Candace Pert, in Bill Moyer’s Healing and the Mind, “Clearly, there’s another form of energy that we have not yet understood. For example, there’s a form of energy that appears to leave the body when the body dies…Your mind is in every cell of your body.” Dr. Pert has proven, neuropeptides- the chemicals triggered by emotions- physically reside in our bodies and interact with our cells and tissues. Our experiences, memories, emotions, and thoughts are what contribute to our “cellular memory.” Throughout our lives these memories influence our behaviors and everything we do.
This prayer life for me, while having evolved over the years, reminds me that my soul still remembers and yearns for the love of spirit that runs through and around me and has the ability to affect my life spiritually, emotionally, and physically. When I am lost and in the dark, I’ve only to reach out and receive, through the uplifting joys and deep pains, the dawning light of awareness that again, I am never alone.
In my mid-thirties, my evolution of prayer included a new request that no matter what I may have to walk through in this life, no matter how painful, let it be if it is to include in the healing a deeper connection to spirit and the love that awaits me there. And while I have wanted to retract that prayer many a time-I am only human- ultimately it has opened my eyes to the fact that in the darkness is where I find the greatest “light.”
Somewhere locked away inside me, stamped on an energy field that we are really just now beginning to understand, I remember, and my soul remembers that simple prayer and that appeal from childhood. A “knowing” that I would be protected, loved and cherished and that everything would be okay as long as I return to the place called “home” and stay intentionally “open” to everything around me.
“When prayer comes from the soul, when it is prayer of pure intent and inspiration, a prayer that desires to reach out and create an envelope of love for self and all our relations, then the very desire with which it is being spoken gives it wings that will carry it to the heights and realms of spirit…”
“If you have been brutally broken, but still have the courage to be gentle to others then you deserve a love deeper than the ocean itself.”
I have not written for almost 6 years. What was once water to my thirsty soul became parched and barren, the passion stifled by the loss of a loved one. To swim to those depths again, that place where our creativity lies deep within us, takes courage, and to rise up from the brokenness– a love of something greater than yourself that ultimately you know, is the breath needed in your life again.
While I have always been on the mystical side of life more drawn to spirituality than the tangibles in this world, it has taken the massive “roller-coaster” of life we ride each day with all of its ups and downs, to show me what life, or my life is all about. It has not been the soft cool evenings on my back porch or the many sunrises I have witnessed, as majestic and inspiring as they are, that have given me the insight as to what I am doing here or not to sound too clichéd, but what my purpose is.
It is the lows and the heartbreak that have left the deepest profound meaning. It is those experiences that have left me with empathy for others and for myself, just to be able to be alone with my thoughts and not critical of where I need to be or what I should be doing. In learning to accept those flaws and those imperfections in myself and others is where I have learned the greatest love and the freedom to explore and experience the greatest growth.
In this growth is where I finally recognize, as the years go by, that my greatest strength and desire is to share with others and to be a blessing. This does not mean stifling my journey by overwhelming myself with “do-good” activities, but yet living a simple and real life that leaves room for transparency and honesty with other people. I have had the good fortune to instead share stories with people, some quite miraculous, and in doing so help each other to reach for the “greatness” that exists in us by trying to understand who we are and what life is trying to show us.
I have had moments in my own life that have extended past the realms of this world that we consider normal, into those areas that defy logic but leave us with the knowing that we have touched something greater than our limited self. Be it dreams, near death experiences, knowing our loved ones who have passed are near, or other sacred gifts that slip into our “normal” waking world, it is these areas that I seek passionately to understand and in doing so inspire me to be the best I can be. Quantum physics is now revealing proofs that the consciousness that exists all around us is experienced by limitations of our brain which acts as a filter, allowing us to participate in only a fragment of what truly surrounds us, but every now and then we are given a peek beyond the thin veil to be given a gift of sight into something so beautiful and miraculous that it takes our breath away. Something that lets us know we are not alone and that life on Earth is a small fragment of our existence. If that does not inspire us to be the best that we can be, I don’t know what will.
In Caroline Myss’s book, “Intimate Conversations with the Devine,” she writes,
“I was being called to an entirely new path. I wasn’t sure about the details; I only knew without the slightest doubt that the needle on my compass had shifted. I was meant to explore the territory of the soul. And it would require a prayer life. And that was that.”
As I read those words so eloquently written, it occurred to me that the internal dialogue I have had with myself throughout my life, filled with so many personal beliefs, constructed thoughts and patterned behavior is slowly falling away to, if I let it, a reality that is asking me to tap into it for wisdom and guidance like never before. In doing so, my own personal compass is leading me to many other people who are also reaching out into the depths of an unknown, through their own experiences, that promises love and a communication with the soul providing rare and precious insight as to what our individual “mission” is here, and lets us be assured that when we do leave here it is not the end.
I leave you with this video that I hope will encourage and provide you with an enthusiasm to venture beyond the confines of our everyday life. This video, while a bit long, is worth it. Penny Wittbrodt is one of the many people who have had an opportunity to glimpse what lies in the eternal greatness that surrounds us. She is an inspiration to us all. This is just one story with more to come. Hope to hear from you and you own story!
“Interesting Photos” (Captured June 6th, 2018) I felt compelled to take a picture of this little tree on the side of the road on my way to work. To my surprise the 1st and 3rd picture showed something I was not expecting. You never know.
Well, as I sit here, wondering what the second have of my life will be, now that my love of 27 years is gone, I realize that what I’m really missing is the meaning of that relationship, the meaning the other person gives to “us.” In that respect, I haven’t lost anything. His love, his smiles, his heart, helped to shape me and my perspectives. I now look at the world through the eyes of that “us.” And while no- he is not here in my physical world- he lives with me in a new construct that I am not familiar with, but know through my spiritual self, that he is always by my side.
That said, I need to derive meaning from who I am, and what my circumstances are now, and that takes A LOT of reflection and a lot of soul work. I need ways to express what I am feeling, ways to channel and convey what I am thinking and ways to search and define what I mean to myself. There are still other loved ones in my life that I appreciate and look to for support, but ultimately, I am responsible for me, and if I cannot identify who I am now, it is difficult to relate to others or to be of benefit to the world around me.
Nature has always been my “solace,” my comfort, and what is real for me. When all other people, ideas, or problems fail to make sense to me, or life becomes a little overwhelming, nature is my “go to.” So it makes sense to me that I try to capture it in some form, whether it is photography, drawing, watercolor, or writing, to share that essence of God’s beauty in a way that brings either joy to others or just me.
I appreciate all the artists, photographers, and poets who bring their precious glimpses of nature into my world. I hope you will enjoy the little gifts that are created and shared in this blog, but more importantly I hope it inspires your heart to create through your own talents. We all leave each other with pieces of who we are, to create a tapestry of thought, of feeling or expression. As I forge onward in life, taking the 27 years of meaning and love, and merging it with all the beauty I see now, I am assured it will never die, but yet live on in each heart and expression around me.
My blog has metamorphosed over the last few years. At times, it lay barren, waiting for me. At other times, it flourished. A blog is of course the result of its writer or creator. That’s the beauty of a blog, it reflects the individual, and again, who they are in that moment. Blogs are living expressions of us and grow with us. I originally started writing my blog when I started writing my book, Chasing the Perfect Moment. The book is done, but the “perfect moments” live on. I hope to capture some of the best of those moments here in this blog. I also hope that you are inspired to share yours too. The journey is more meaningful together.
As I move through the process of grief, I have found humor to be a necessary component.
If you have ever seen the movie, “Elizabethtown,” with Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst and Susan Sarandon, you can appreciate what I am talking about. Susan Sarandon loses her husband and is desperately trying out new things to help compensate the loss. She learns to fix the car, the toilet and learns to “tap dance” among other things.
I have found myself in the throes of what Susan Sarandon’s character experiences. In the first two weeks after my husband’s death, his truck wouldn’t start, the lawnmower wouldn’t start and a mouse (or rat) the size of a small dog, took up residency in the garage. I remember coming to tears, my heart beating fast and my knees going weak. I remember thinking, “Great!” “What next?” I also thought, “You have got to let things go, Ginny.” “Everything will be alright.”
About 20 minutes after that statement, I hear a lawnmower, my wonderful neighbor is mowing my yard, my boss texts me to let me know she and her husband are going to help with my husband’s truck and my dog comes running up to me from outside and as I look down, drops the mouse at my feet. Thank God for divine intervention!
I have to tell you though it has been an effort learning to dance in the rain. It’s not easy as those emotional downpours hit. While I feel for the most part I am an independent woman, there was so much physical and unspoken support I forget I had.
Our AC and heating system had been giving us a little trouble and required a few small repairs, nothing major however until this last week when another problem occurred. It was one of those problems that could go either way and a decision was needed. One of the considerations was also the cost. What was the best decision?
After two nights of restless sleep, and doing numerous Google searches for trouble shooting, I felt exhausted and broke down in tears. This breakdown was not about making a decision on an air conditioner as much as it was about not having my partner and support here with me. My thoughts turned to the “what-if” scenarios of a bleak future.
However, as I sit here today with my new system running beautifully with its latest technology, I feel stronger. I made the right decision.
Dancing in the rain will continue to make me stronger and appreciate the beauty of the new “me” that is emerging. My sweet husband is a part of me still and will always be, but I know I will survive on my own as each beautiful hurdle teaches me something new about myself.
How fortunate we are to journey with someone who shares our thoughts, our ideas and our heart. I have been blessed to have had 27 wonderful years with such a person. We grew, we learned, we laughed, we loved, we cried and evolved as better people for having known each other.
In the shadows of grief it is hard to ever think you can go on to live life without this person. You don’t want to hear that it will get better, you just want that person back. You grasp for anything to give you a “tangible” connection to your loved one after they die. You are reminded each day that they will never walk through the door at the end of the day again. As preparations are made and business affairs wrapped up the realization stabs through the numbness as you go through the motions to remind you that they are never coming back. The mental gymnastics you tell yourself to try to ease your pain work for a short time. You cannot reason with it.
What I have found is that our love, the love we had, now looks at me from a new place to slowly begin to heal me. No, I can’t hug my husband again, or hold his hand, but I can remember his smile, the fun we had and the lessons learned. I want our life to have stood for something and to identify my new life in the light of this understanding. His mission is over, I am still here. What is my purpose, what does this look like?
My husband would want me to go forward. He still encourages me from the other side with the warmth I feel as I look at our favorite garden, or the moon shining brightly in the dark night sky. He is still here in our new relationship. One I cannot explain, it is unique. It is in this uniqueness that a new light shines and a new life will emerge, my own.
There is no shadow that can sever the connection that love has forged between two people, only light that promises to show the way here on earth and eventually guide us back home to our loved one.
It is comforting to know that so many of us can understand one another when it comes to losing a loved one. We join hearts in the midst of our struggles to gain the footholds that move us towards our futures, not alone, but with each other.
“Your concept of the world depends upon this concept of the self. And both would go, if either one were ever raised to doubt.” Gifts from a Course in Miracles
I recently saw the movie “Still Alice.” While I have been in and around an industry that deals with dementia and more specifically, Alzheimer’s disease, this movie, starring Julianne Moore nailed the disease in a way that made it very personal for me. If you have not seen the movie, I would highly recommend it if not for any reason at least for an appreciation of who you are.
Throughout this movie you watch the main character lose herself to this horrible disease yet struggle to maintain her sense of self through activities to remember and hold on to who she is. However, there was one specific part of the movie that reached in and grabbed me in a way that made me shed tears over the imagined death of a self that has been my best friend and the precious ethereal line that bridges me to it.
Throughout my own life, I feel like I have and still do continually create and look for relationships, work and an environment that reflects and expands my innate or authentic self and not just the learned identity created by culture, society and family. Still, I take so much for granted when it comes to “me” that inner precious self. I realize now through an even greater awareness the importance of being a best friend to and with myself.
In the worst of times, my greatest, judge, jury and prosecutor have been myself. I have fought with me and critiqued unmercifully. Even in a time now, when the worst is behind me I sometimes forfeit the reality of how truly a wonderful creation I am when I beat myself up pointing the finger of accusation.
We sometimes long and wish for things to have been different when we lose a loved one. We grieve or wish we could go back to hold them one more time, but how often do we embrace ourselves with that same compassion? We fall in and out of love with others and with self. We fear intimacy of self for fear of what we might encounter and have to deal with. You are all you have. Without you, there is no recognition of other and without kindness to you there is no kindness in the world.
I will think before I take myself for granted again. Early in the morning, when I pray or meditate, I will imagine a light cupped gently in my hands, fragile yet strong needing my protection, my love and my respect. I will treasure “self” in a way I did not before raising it with as much love as I would a small child. It is my link to all that is real and all that is true.
Many believe that these are only natural rock formations.
That nature is playing a trick on us.
This is not quite so. In all of them are traces of artificial trimming the scale of human activity to accept the scale desired shape. Many of them are consistent with celestial objects, it’s no secret .
Sphinx of Bucegi / Romania
St Andrews East Sands beach / Scottish beach
Old Man of the Park, near Sundance, WY.
Grey Man of Merrick – Galloway Forest Park
The Stone Head. A photograph of an enigmatic head in the Guatemalan jungle.
This was destroyed because it didn’t fit with the countries history.
La dame de Mali
Rodopi / Bulgaria
Sanctuary near S.Dolno
Even archeology agrees with this because around these rocks reveals millennial human activity which unequivocally defines these places as sacred sites and ancient temples . But even if…
In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.
No light stays hidden and at the right moment through the right inspiration and encouragement our light will shine brightly into our darkest corners of insecurity. Too often we make excuses for ourselves and our dreams, letting our ego edit what our soul cries out for. Our light stays hidden under the blanket of doubt and uncertainty. We feel fearful to tread the waters of life for fear of drowning.
It takes courage and determination to crack the door open, but when we do- what the light can reveal is amazing. It does no good to play it small. The world needs your light and so do you. Inevitably and at some point it becomes too painful to ignore the cry that calls out for us to become more.
What are your dreams, what are the deferred daydreams that continue to ebb and flow in your mind pushed back by the “responsibilities of life?” When do we make up our mind that it’s time to envision what makes our heart sing? What’s the first step? What does it look like?
Could you take a moment today, no matter where you are at, no matter what the circumstance, and dream a little? Let your light shine brightly.
For those of you who have continued to follow my blog, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have been away chiseling at my own dreams and bringing them to life. My blog has changed a bit, but it is still me here, sharing and hoping to hear from you!
“We stand in our own shadow, and wonder why it’s dark.” Zen Proverb Photo Credit by kariliimat ainen
When I was a little girl, my uncle Oscar once told me, in his thick German accent, “Little Ginny, the moon is made of green cheese.” I wondered about that for quite a while. I think he was trying to tell me not to believe everything I see or hear. So while the moon continues to romanticize hearts all over the world, mine included, it also reminds me that there is a greater truth out there and to never stop questioning and reaching for it. I am here for an important earthly task before my heavenly appointment.
Caroline Myss, in her book, “Sacred Contracts,” a book about awakening to your divine potential, writes that the first stage of the Sacred Contract, or your calling in life, is contact-a moment of connection that occurs between you and the divine. Sometimes subtle, sometimes profound, throughout our lives at some moment, a call comes. Are we listening?
My contact came as a little girl sitting on the big porch swing in our backyard. I would go out there at night and swing quietly, looking at the stars fascinated by the vast expanse of the sky that went on forever, but mostly I sat there because of the moon. Each time I saw it my heart never failed to leap in awe and wonder at what was for me– the first real presence of heaven. Similar to Linus, in the Peanuts Halloween Special, as he waited for the “Great Pumpkin” to rise out of the pumpkin patch, I sat there waiting for this “white orb” of divine goodness to come up over the trees. I had so many questions for this celestial being and each night I would end with prayers and a wish to visit special places past the moon, much like over the rainbow, where no one would hurt anymore or would hurt others. As I sat on that porch swing, I was determined through all the fears and uncertainties in my young, budding life, not to give up on the dreams or the life I envisioned. That little girl knew something inherently that her circumstances many times dictated otherwise, and it is that something, that precious jewel, that we need to protect and keep as an heirloom of faith.
As a child, not knowing who this universal intelligence or “God” was, it seemed I could find it easier. I wasn’t told yet who God was, or where he lived, or what he did, and how he looked. It was mystical and magical being led by intuition and a divine guidance. That beautiful universal intelligence spoke to my heart in many wondrous ways teaching me aspects of my greater self, the ones that would get me through the years to come. It’s easy to enter communion with God as a child. It’s the time before hard core beliefs, judgments and opinions. Sometimes, we overlook the little child because they come with too many problems or memories we lose the magic and innocence that come with them.
The promises made under that glorious moon so many years ago continue to be a part of my own “sacred contract.” Whenever I’m a bit down, or feel like I need to touch, at least visually, a piece of the heavens, I look to the stars, literally. There, behind some tree, or right out in the open, in the middle of the sky, is my old friend, the moon. As I gaze at this familiar orb nestled in the heavens, I remind myself of how far I have come, and that the journey still continues. The moon reminds me to always romanticize, but with an added awareness to remember to romanticize over the more mundane aspects of life too, the one’s we take for granted. These are the teachers and lessons we travel with each and every day, and to appreciate them. They can lift the shadows between us and the moonlight.
And finally, to never stop dreaming or wishing. To continually call on my child inside letting her dance in the glow of the moon. I remind myself to reach for the white orb of cheese and seize every opportunity as it unfolds in life. My authenticity waits for me to claim it. My calling waits for me to hear it, if I don’t dance, there is no journey.
Are you answering your call?
But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
I hope you enjoy this blog as a source of inspiration and information. Our life stories and journeys have always fascinated me and have convinced me that there are numerous signs all around us as to our individual and collective purpose while here on this Earth. For me, I best express my appreciation and love for this life and beyond through writing and have always enjoyed doing so. Please feel free to join in the posts that are written with your comments and own stories!