Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Courage To Be At Peace

Heard someone ask the question: "Do you have the courage to be at peace?" We tend to think of needing courage to speak up or take action. Stimulated by too much information in a world where there is so much to do to co-create peace and justice, and community and compassion what would it mean to be at peace, and why would it take courage?

Being at peace is not about being passive. It's about the still centre that helps us know where and how we might best contribute. It's about the inner quiet that helps us be responsive instead of reactive. It's about the balance within that is needed for sustained participation and contribution. It's letting our heart break watching news of violence, and still staying engaged.

Being at peace helps us work with others without the kind of white knuckle attachment that leaves us hopeless and helpless when things don't work out as we'd hoped.

Why would it take courage to be at peace? Because it means we will see and feel it all: the compassion and the cruelty, the hope and the despair. Being at peace is about not being distracted, is about being fully present where the winds of all that is beyond our control- sometimes light breezes and at other times a tsunami- are felt.

And that takes courage. May we have the courage to be at peace. ~Oriah

When I saw this photo from Karen Davis Open Door Dreaming I smiled and felt the stillness of this egret in my own body.


Friday, May 4, 2018

The Beauty that Sustains Us

It's Friday. I will go for a walk and buy a small bunch of daffodils to bring spring into my apartment.

My mother always said buying cut flowers was a "waste" because they would "only die." She did "plant" plastic poinsettias in the window boxes at Christmas. When I went away to college, if I had a couple of dollars left at the end of the week (I worked a couple of jobs) I would buy a small bunch of cut flowers at the grocery store- it felt like such a gift to myself.

Then my parents came to visit, and my mother saw a small potted rubber tree I'd bought for $1.99 for my room (I'd made sure there were no cut flowers), and announced, "That's it- you are cut off! You're not wasting our money on this kind of frivolous spending." She paused and then screamed at me, "Who do you think you are?!!"

It was okay- if it hadn't been that, it would have been something else and their financial support had been minimal, and I had my jobs. And, more importantly, to this day I love buying cut flowers - sometimes just one- as a gift to myself of the beauty that sustains me. Sometimes, as I put them into a vase I answer the question my mother asked so long ago, and whisper to myself with a smile, "This is who I am."

I wonder what beauty my mother longed for but would not allow herself.~Oriah


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Beltane Fires

Blessed Beltane- a celebration of the fire that cleanses, the spark that ignites our passion and purpose and ecstatic longing. I wrote this on Beltane many years ago:

The Moment Before

I want to touch the sharp taste of the moment in between, the second just before, the place where the breath catches in anticipation.

It's the scent of heat held in the air between two mouths reaching for each other, hungry. The shine of moisture on slightly parted lips just before it melts into the wetness of the other.

It is the skin that tingles waiting, fine hairs at attention, reaching aching. It is the places that have not yet been touched but know they will be. It is the smooth, quivering paleness of the inner thigh as the outer is stroked and kneaded. The muscles of the abdomen tightening the back arching slightly, begging: come here, quickly, slowly.

There, in that moment, do not take your eyes from mine. I am here, awake, reaching to be met. Do not touch me and keep your soul out of your fingertips. Die into me or do not come into me at all. Ever after is in this moment happily or not.

Sacrifice the daydream. Dare to hold the desire for a great love. Be with me.

~Oriah "Mountain Dreamer" House

I love the fire in the sky in this photo from Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Heart Restoration

Small and unexpected flash of insight this morning while doing a Kundalini yoga exercise for opening the heart: an open heart not only allows us to receive others and the world with curiosity and compassion, it also helps us feel old hurts we have (usually unconsciously) held there, and let them flow out with the exhale. No "once and for all" claims being made here- just an observation from the surprise of noticing small aches- like bruises on the heart- and letting them melt away to be replace with a rose-coloured wholeness. ~Oriah

I had labelled this photo from Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming "Heart chakra" because of the stupendous colour- just seemed right for this post. :-)


Thursday, April 5, 2018

Waking Up with Joy

Some days, grace saturates my dreams and follows me into wakefulness. And I am quietly alert, smiling even as I open my eyes filled with a joy that does not deny the pain of the world or the trials and tribulations of one small human being. And I am filled with awe at having a life to live, of being an ensouled body/embodied soul.

I cannot make this happen- it is a gift that cannot be earned. And, of course, there are other mornings, mornings when I wake up worrying for the world and those I love, trying to pull away from small aches or searing pain, wanting to lodge a complaint with Anyone-In-Charge.

Remembering this makes me smile this morning as I whisper into the half-light, "Thank you."  ~Oriah

Another spectacular photo from Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Sitting, Settling

The Grandmothers of my night dreams, old women rapped in wool shawls and bright blankets, their black eyes gleaming in the firelight, never use long sentences where three words will do.

Lately, it’s been, “Sit and settle.”

I think of Lao Tzu’s admonishment to be still and let our mud settle, consider what we should or should not “settle” for, remember how I did not fight for a fair settlement when divorce was desired. I wonder about settlers and settlements, ideas of staying put, settling down, settling in for a long and unavoidable wait. . . . 

I turn back to the Grandmothers full of questions.

One of the oldest speaks before I make a sound. “Oriah.” I turn to her and she speaks slowly as if to someone hard of hearing. I hear the sigh behind her words and see her small smile. 

“Sit and settle.”  ~Oriah (from a dream last night)

Another beautiful sunrise photo from Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming.


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Being Home

Sitting at home reading, I paused to stretch for a moment and thought, "Ah, it's good to be back home." The thought startled me because, well- because I haven't travelled anywhere. And clearer than the thought was the feeling- that feeling you get after a long trip. No matter how well the trip has gone there is a lovely letting go when you return home and sink into the scent of familiar rooms, notice the way the late afternoon light brings out the dark wood grain of the tabletop, the way your bed feels warm and welcoming.

I'm curious about this feeling- why it arises now, in what way I have perhaps wandered from my "home" - inner or outer. If you've read any of my writing you know that I have faith in our deepest longing. And perhaps all soul longing could be described as wanting to go home- to ourselves; to a sense of belonging; to knowing our own belovedness and feeling the presence of the Beloved that never ceases to reach for us.

I don't know what made this feeling arise when it did, but I do know that we don't earn our homecoming- it is a gift, grace, unearned and unconditional. For reasons I do not understand, in that moment, as I set my book aside and sat quietly I became available to something that is possibly always there. And for this, I am deeply grateful. ~Oriah

The wonderful photos of Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming always remind me that this earth is my home.