Friday, December 2, 2016

Stopping Overwhelm

Last night, a dear friend left me a phone message. I could barely hear her because the tv was turned up loud in the background. When I called back she was railing about politicians in the news, filled with fear and anger over what is happening in the world. It was 11 pm- so I said, as gently but as firmly as I could- "Turn off the television!".
        Let's take a deep breath together. Regularly. Frequently. Let's find a truly sustainable way to live, to balance the need for information that can help us contribute and participate in the world with how much (in this moment) our hearts can hold.
        Because, if we have to disconnect from our hearts in order to take in more analysis or information, our actions will not be fueled and guided by our very real love for the world.
        I am not talking about putting our heads in the sand, or only listening to uplifting news. I am talking about discovering what really sustains us in keeping our hearts open- and making sure that we do that - whether it is praying or walking on the earth, watching comedies that make us laugh, or reading great poetry, or listening to music that makes us dance.
        Our shared life needs all of us, needs us awake and aware and alert, needs us rested and calm and clear, needs us listening deeply and responding with an open heart. And make no mistake- we can say, "No!" to that which causes suffering and threatens life, without closing our hearts- if we take care of those hearts.
        Sustainability is about how we receive life from and renew resources- including the inner resources that fuel our participation in our world and in our own small lives.
        So let's take another one of those breaths together. . . . and tend ourselves, each other and the world with fierce compassion, crazy hope, and real kindness. ~Oriah

One of the things that sustains me are the spectacular photos, like this one, from Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming. Seeing this egret's wings makes me pause and take a long full inhale.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Dreaming in the Dark

Each day now
A little less light
Darkness tip-toeing in
Draining colour from the sky
As we head for home

Waking up in the dark
Light leaking in around the curtains
Later each morning

Moving toward the longest night
We practice letting go. . . and letting go. . . .
We dream for ourselves and our people
We remember the promise of the returning light

`Oriah "Mountain Dreamer" House

Gratitude to Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming for this beautiful photo of the light and the dark.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

How We See - Or Not

How we frame things, changes what we see. If we frame something as a "disaster" (an illness, an election, lunch with a friend that went badly) we see something that we do not see if we frame it as an "opportunity" or a "challenge" or even a "mystery" that baffles. But some things are more pliable than others, and it's not easy to see when our framing is creating denial of what is. (Although we are often sure we can see this in others- ha!) And, for those who claim or aim to have no framework, I say good luck- the human psyche, in an effort to make sense of ourselves, our lives and our world is always framing things- naming them, colouring them with emotion and beliefs, creating a narrative. Even the idea that we can see without framing is, of course, a filter that changes what is seen. The problem arises when we think our framework is The Truth, when we go unconscious and don't even consider a situation from another's way of seeing, when we claim that we are seeing "objectively" without a particular approach shaped by our history and our current needs and fears. I have long been aware that those who see things very differently than I do give me the gift of becoming conscious of my own frameworks. Because it's only when we are conscious of what our framework might be blocking or dismissing that we can make a choice about expanding what we can see. ~Oriah Mountain Dreamer Many thanks to Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming for this spectacular photo that prompted this mulling for me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Morning After

Let's pause. I know, I know this culture's way of dealing with disappointment is often to start regrouping, reorganizing, getting out there and taking action. That's okay but. . maybe we could just take a moment, a day, to sit down, to take a slow walk or a long run, to feel our feet upon the earth, to be with whatever is arising within.
When we try to outrun uncomfortable feelings- grief, loss, fear, anger- they disappear into our unconscious and from there, wreck havoc, shape choices and sometimes cause outbursts that leave us mystified.
So, today, I am going to pause and see what arises, and- to the best of my ability (and yes, some moments are better than others) just be with what comes. Fresh grief can stir heartache for old losses that have not been mourned. Fresh anger can take us to old hurts that need tending. Being with whatever arises reminds us that nothing is static, everything is in constant motion, and nothing- no matter how uncomfortable- can really be outrun.
We can pause. We won't get stuck here. We are not alone here. <3 span=""> Oriah
With gratitude for another spectacular photo from Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Waking Up Again and Again

Love it when my own words come back to haunt and help me. So hard to know when we have gone unconscious, fallen asleep to what and who we are because. . . we're unconscious! and asleep! And THAT would be the life of a human being- going to sleep, waking up, being aware, sinking into unawareness, and becoming aware again.
      The tricky thing is that walking asleep can sometimes feel desirable when things within or around us are hard. But, as this little piece from "The Call"reminds me- there's no safety in walking asleep. We might just walk right into a wall.
      The good news is that when we have woken up to something, we never go back to sleep quite as completely. Even in our unconsciousness we often have a niggling feeling that we are a little "off," and that can be enough to make us sit down and breathe, and use whatever way we know to wake up.
      For me writing often takes me home to remembering what I am. If I just keep letting my fingers move on the keyboard, sooner or later the words I need to hear to go home to the truth of what we are will appear. ~Oriah
And another fantastic pic by Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming. Thank you Karen!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Love Letters

Everyday the world offers love letters:
Today, a soft blush across the horizon at dawn
Wind-blown leaves hurtling across a bright blue sky
Strangers laughing together, chasing new apples
spilling out of a grocery bag onto the busy sidewalk
Everyday the world offers love letters
If we can pause to receive them
They will sustain our hearts.
If, in our pain or our rushing, we cannot
It is not held against us. No one is keeping score.
Tomorrow new love letters will arrive.
~Oriah Mountain Dreamer (c) 2016
Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming does a wonderful job of passing along the love letters- like this one- offered at dawn and dusk.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Life Changes Us

Life changes us
Heart breaks and soul aches shape us
Mystery and magic colour how we see and know and love
Life changes us 
Don’t fight it; work with what the day brings
Let it teach us how to love, how to let go
Life changes us
Sometimes it brings us to our feet
Sometimes it brings us to our knees
Life changes us
Let it
It’s why we’re here
~Oriah Mountain Dreamer (c) 2016
Something about this photo from Karen Davis at Open Door's Dreaming prompts me to say yes- to another day, another adventure, to the unknown ways in which today may change me.