Saturday, September 5, 2009

Look To The Sky

When people say that one has his or her "head in the clouds," they usually refer to a mental state that appears to be drifting rather than concentrating. For this reason, putting our heads in the clouds can be a wonderful meditation tool. Whether puffy and white or tinted with the colors of dawn and dusk or shades of gray and darkness, those vaporous sky dwellers can remind us of so many things about life and about ourselves.

I sat outside of my office today, as I often do, and I watched the clouds go by and change their shapes. This provided for some healthy reflection.

For this sort of meditation, we can find a physical place to relax and look upward, or we can look to the skies from within our imaginations.

Directing our thoughts to the endless expanse of sky that clouds inhabit, we feel our souls expand to reach beyond any seeming limitations. Following the clouds, we are free to unleash our imaginations. We may choose to merely drift along with them for a time, enjoying their distanced perspective on the world. Or we can look for messages in their fantastical shapes. Even still, we can just sit, watch, and wonder as we feel the joy of their immense billowy puffiness.

However we interact with them, we do so from a peaceful place. Clouds drift above the hustle of the world below, knowing they belong to another realm that cannot be affected by the frenzy below, reminding us that peace is always available to us.

By directing our vision beyond the ordinary, clouds also remind us of the illusion of appearances. While appearing to be solid, their vapor and mist appear like puffs of cotton balls.

From below, they give little indication of the heights they reach.

Sometimes they may cast shadows, leaving us in shade, but like life's difficulties clouds change shape and move onward, revealing the shining sun, twinkling stars, and blue sky that eternally exist beyond them.

When a ray of light breaks through the clouds, their dramatic filtering only makes the light more beautiful by contrast, just as we can shine more brightly in the midst of life's challenges.

When we allow clouds to offer us a welcome respite, they help us visit the realm of illusion to see the truth beyond.

God's nature offers us so much when we seek peace.

Look to the sky and trust in it's change and wonder.

With love & light,


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Accepting Life As It Happens

Life has been challenging lately.

I usually embrace challenge and see it as opportunity. However, lately I have felt overwhelmed by the life this past year has brought to me and am eager to get past it and move ahead.

On 07 July, I wrote about "this too shall pass" and on 14 August I wrote about my goldfish pond and the cycle of life that it recalls me to when I feel sad or alone. I look at the pond and I know that when winter comes, the fish will hibernate beneath the cold ice above - just to return to life come Springtime.

Today, when the pond was approached for quiet reflection, it was discovered that the dozens of fish that lived there had died.

My immediate thought was how to see this as an opportunity, but that didn't take hold. I could only think "what more can happen?". I admit that I feared the answer to that and while I wished that this year would just end already, I was afraid of jumping to the future in haste and not appreciating what is here and now, no matter the situation.

We all go through times when we wish we could press a fast-forward button and propel ourselves into the future and out of our current circumstances. Whether the situation we are facing is minor, or major such as losing a loved one, it is human nature to want to move away from pain and find comfort as soon as possible. However, we know deep down that we need to work through these experiences in a conscious fashion rather than bury our heads in the sand, because these are the times when we access important information about ourselves and life.

The learning process may not be easy, but it is full of lessons that bring us wisdom we cannot find any other way.

The desire to fast-forward can lead to escapism and denial, both of which only prolong our difficulties and in some cases make them worse. The more direct, clear, and courageous we are in the face of whatever we are dealing with, the more quickly we will move through the situation.

Understanding this, we may begin to realize that trying to find the fast-forward button is really more akin to pressing pause. When we truly grasp that the only way out of any situation in which we find ourselves is to go through it, we stop looking for ways to escape and we start paying close attention to what is happening.

We realize that we are exactly where we need to be. We remember that we are in this situation in order to learn something we need to know, and we can alleviate some of our pain with the awareness that there is a purpose to our suffering.

When we feel the urge to press the fast-forward button, we need to remember that we are not alone; we all instinctively avoid pain. But in doing so, we often prolong our pain and delay important learning and healing.

As we choose to move forward in real time and accept what life holds for us, we know that in the long run, this is the least painful way to go.

With love & light,